Work begins again on Brookside apartments

Reconstruction of Brookside at Rahway, the St. Georges Avenue apartment complex that was destroyed by fire in January, began earlier this month.

Work on the site originally began in summer 2009, with construction starting in earnest the next year, and the 50-unit rental complex was nearly completed when the fire, an incident local police concluded was arson, occurred. Demolition of the three-story structure took several weeks in the spring. No word on when completion might be expected.

UPDATED OCT. 11: Jim Sisto of Fanwood-based United Excavating/Sisto Realty, which is building the project, said boxes started getting placed on the site Sept. 12 and are expected to be finished this week. He’s hoping to open for business by April 1.


In case you somehow missed it, here’s the story this week from detailing an ethics complaint filed by City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier against Mayor Rick Proctor, in which Pelissier alleges the mayor encouraged him to hire his wife.

Zoning Board chairman claims ‘second guessing’

While updating Zoning Board members at the end of last Monday night’s meeting about issues coming before the Planning Board, Chairman William Hering (who also serves as vice chairman of the Planning Board) questioned why the City Council earlier this month tabled an ordinance for the Meridia Water’s Edge project despite approval by the Planning Board in August.

Continue reading Zoning Board chairman claims ‘second guessing’

Zoning Board OKs Bachmann’s modification

Readers who’ve long been asking “When’s Bachmann’s reopening?” finally have their answer. The Zoning Board of Adjustment on Monday night gave unanimous approval of minor changes to an application that was adopted several years ago.

Continue reading Zoning Board OKs Bachmann’s modification

Center Circle owners raise issue with project

Owners of The Center Circle raised concerns about notification regarding the proposed Meridia Water’s Edge development as well as access to the three-quarter property adjacent to their complex.

Continue reading Center Circle owners raise issue with project

Contract awarded for Hamilton Street parking

Two months after rejecting bids for the amphitheater parking lot project, the Redevelopment Agency awarded a $1.1-million contract to Gingerelli Bros at its meeting earlier this month. Berto Construction submitted a bid of $1.6 million. Bids were received July 29.

A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for next week, City Engineer James Housten said, after which construction should begin, including work on drainage, stream bank stabilization, curbing and lighting foundations. Work is expected to be completed in conjunction with renovations of the Hamilton Stage, which is expecting to be finished in the spring. Toms River-based Gingerelli Bros. also is the firm that was awarded the $5.825-million contract for the Hamilton Stage.

The Redevelopment Agency early this year decided to delay building the amphitheater and instead build about 115 parking spaces in the interim.


The center stairs of the inbound platform of Rahway Train Station finally opened today, approximately 18 months after they were closed for repairs. 18 months. NJ Transit also issued an advisory this week that as part of repairs to the elevator on the outbound platform (which are expected to last until early next month), travelers will not be able to use the sidewalk to the corner of Milton Avenue and Broad Street from Monday to Thursday of next week due to the installation of a pump and tank next to the pedestrian tunnel.

City Council tables Water’s Edge plan

The City Council on Monday tabled an ordinance (0-26-11) that would amend a redevelopment plan to include a 108-unit, five-story rental complex proposed near the library. Concerns were raised about the size of apartments and the density of units as proposed.

The governing body will take up the ordinance to amend the Lower Main Street Urban Renewal Plan at its meeting on Oct. 11 but some council members had concerns about the density and overall plans for the surrounding area.

The day after Hurricane Irene. (By D. Palmer)

Representatives of Capodagli Property Company appeared before the council during its pre-meeting conference last week to present their plan, which includes a request for a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the project.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Jennifer Wenson-Maier said Monday night that she thought the units seem too small and the density of the project too high for the three-quarter-acre site. The 56 two-bedroom units would be 816 square feet as currently proposed, with 14 one-bedroom units of 672 square feet, and another 42 one-bedrooms of 720 square feet since they feature an office area.

There’s no master plan for that parcel or the three acres around it, Wenson-Maier said, adding that she’d like to aim for a “better product” and a more complete plan for the area, even if it means delaying the project. In addition to density, Councilman At-large James Baker raised concerns about potential future flooding, and also preferred to include some retail and commercial components, as was the case with the Town Center project. (The photo of the site above was taken the day after Hurricane Irene).

The Water’s Edge application was to go before the Planning Board on Sept. 27 but now will be delayed until the ordinance is approved by City Council.


NJ Transit issued an advisory that the outbound stairs on the east end of the Rahway Train Station will close Monday, until mid-October.

It would appear that the main/center stairs on the inbound platform are almost completely rebuilt — after being closed for more than 18 months. The Rahway Chamber of Commerce had an attorney send a letter to NJ Transit this week about the deplorable conditions and glacial pace of repairs to the inbound main stairs and the outbound elevator.

City officials now openly at odds

If you thought last month’s disagreement over the mayor’s request for two support staff might be a rare public spat, now it’s just open warfare among the administration and City Council — despite the fact that all members of the same political party (Democrat). Monday’s public meeting brought more allegations, complaints and condemnations, a day after reports about the city’s lack of a full-time health officer.

Continue reading City officials now openly at odds