Plans for ice cream shop pushed back

Construction of an ice cream shop on the former Decker’s Tavern site is on hold until oil remediation is completed on a neighboring property.

Jim Biniaris, owner of Piece of Cake Frozen Specialties across the street, said in a telephone interview this week that he had the opportunity to purchase two neighboring Jaques Avenue homes after the Zoning Board originally approved plans 20 months ago. He’s waiting on oil remediation to be completed on one of the recently acquired sites, which could take several more months, before moving ahead with the project.

File photo

When the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the application of Gourmet Ice in September 2010, the plan was to begin construction at Jaques and West Inman avenues the next spring and hopefully open this year.

The original application called for a 2 1/2-story building with an ice cream shop and service counter on the first floor and a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Variances were needed for 11 parking spaces, retail and apartment in an R-2 zone, front yard setback of less than 25 feet, and maximum impervious coverage of more than 60 percent.

Decker’s Tavern closed in about 2006 after 66 years and the two-story building was demolished in October 2010. A proposal in November 2007 to build two three-bedroom duplexes was rejected by the Zoning Board.

Panel discussion on arts-fueled redevelopment

I’ve been invited to participate next week in a panel discussion about redevelopment and since it’s been a few months since we had a Rahway Rising happy hour, maybe you’d like to consider it and join us.

The Young Community Development Professionals Association (YCDPA) and New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders will host the discussion on how cities are using arts to redevelop, specifically looking at efforts in Rahway to spur downtown redevelopment. The panel will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, at Nancy’s Towne House, 1453 Main St. Admission is free and will include a question-and-answer session.

The panel will include former Mayor and former Arts District executive director James Kennedy and Rodney Gilbert, founder and CEO of Yendor Productions, a Newark-based consulting firm that develops and produces arts education and programming and events.

Medical office rising on St. Georges Avenue

A new medical office building has sprouted up on St. Georges Avenue in recent months. A single-family home with a garage and shed were demolished to make way for the two-story, 5,000-square-foot medical office directly across the street from Billy Court and near the entrance to Rahway River Park.

The Zoning Board heard the application in March 2009 (.pdf) and unanimously approved it, 7-0, in April 2009 (.pdf). Variances were needed because the medical office use is not allowed in the R-2 residential zone. Testimony included some concerns from neighbors about allowing the facility in a residential zone and aesthetic issues regarding a fence. A traffic engineer testified that no left turn would be allowed onto St. Georges Avenue by vehicles exiting the property, which will have 33 parking spaces.

Below is a Google Street View of what stood on the site previously:

60 units proposed for Arts District

A collaboration between a Newark-based developer and The Actors Fund would bring 60 units of affordable housing for people in the arts and entertainment industry to the Rahway Arts District (RAD).

Continue reading 60 units proposed for Arts District

Some $125k spent to prepare Hamilton facility

Almost $125,000 in funding by the Redevelopment Agency has been spent for opening the Hamilton Stage for Performing Arts, according to an annual status update provided to the agency.

Continue reading Some $125k spent to prepare Hamilton facility

Riverwalk sheriff’s sale postponed

A sheriff’s sale on unsold units at Riverwalk originally scheduled last month has been postponed until April 11. Redevelopment Agency attorney Frank Regan briefed commissioners on the sale at their meeting last month.

Continue reading Riverwalk sheriff’s sale postponed