Metro Rahway adds 13 parking spaces

A new plan for Metro Rahway will net an additional 13 parking spaces after acquiring an adjacent lot and adding a fitness center and leasing office to the original proposal. The Planning Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved an amended site plan, relaxing the parking requirements under the city’s redevelopment plan.

Building to left was acquired.

With the addition of 20 spaces as a result of acquiring 91 W. Cherry St., a leasing office and fitness center was added to the Campbell Street side, eliminating seven spaces from the parking garage, according to Clay Bonny, managing member of Heartstone Development. He told the Planning Board  that the project probably would be completed by about August 2014.

The 116-unit rental project on Campbell Street between Elm Avenue and West Cherry Street originally had about 107 on-site parking spaces in a ground-floor parking garage and another 18 on-street spaces (a ratio of 1.07 per unit). The additional 13 spaces will bring the total spaces provided to 138 (120 on-site), for a ratio of 1.18 — closer to the 1.25 required in the redevelopment plan. The added parcel also reduces the impervious coverage from 75 percent to 72 percent.

The addition of Lot 6 also allowed for moving the West Cherry Street entrance a little further away from Campbell Street as well as increasing the side setbacks, reducing the building’s footprint. Another adjacent property is for sale by owner but Bonny said it would not affect his project enough to acquire it.

Metro Rahway acquired 91 W. Cherry St. (Lot 149, Block 6) in May for $157,500, according to property transaction records. The property, assessed at about $110,700, paid almost $6,700 in property taxes last year. In all, The developer has spent almost $3.5 million to acquire the six parcels that make up the 1.6-acre Metro Rahway site. The six lots were most recently assessed for a total $1.285 million, generating property taxes of about $77,750.

One longtime West Cherry Street resident spoke during the public session of the meeting, supporting the project but raising concerns about the lack of on-street parking.

Metro Rahway seeks 21 more parking spaces

The Planning Board is scheduled to hear an application Tuesday night that would create another 21 parking spaces for the 116-unit Metro Rahway project on Campbell Street and Elm Avenue.

The plan as approved previously would create a five-story rental development, including a ground-floor parking area of 85 spaces but another 21 parking spaces are sought on a particular lot within the development. The project had planned to use another 17 on-site parking spaces and 18 on-street spaces.

The applicant is seeking to amend an existing board approval for a four-story building on Blocks 149, Lots 1, 5, and 23-25. Lot 6 is sought to incorporate into the project and provide an additional 21 parking spaces and “other associated access and internal circulation improvements,” according to a certified letter to neighbors from Metro’s attorneys, Parsippany-based Pitney Day.

The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 2 City Hall Plaza. 

UPDATE: If the Planning Board approves the changes, Metro Rahway would have 120 parking spaces on site for the 116 units, plus 18 on-street spaces, according to Clay Bonny of East Hanover-based Heartstone Development, which also built River Place at RahwayLots 5 and 6 are adjacent to each other and we can expand the entrance from [West] Cherry [Street] to include parking on both sides of the entry boulevard,” he said in an email.

New space at St. Georges Plaza taking shape

(July 2013)

Commercial space that will be the future home of a new Subway shop is starting to take shape at the St. Georges Avenue Shopping Plaza.

The new 2,800-squart-foot space will house a Subway later this year as well as a second tenant. The former Krauser’s space will be occupied by a 7-Eleven after renovations are completed.

Here’s what the site looked like about six weeks ago:

(June 2013)

Meridia Water’s Edge coming along

Having reached its apex earlier this spring, construction at the five-story Meridia Water’s Edge continues, shaping the 108-unit project adjacent to the Center Circle and Rahway Public Library.

The building will include 52 two-bedroom units, 38 one-bedrooms with an office and 18 one-bedroom units. Units will range from 672 square feet to 850 square feet, with rents of $1,400 to $1,550. The ground floor will include 87 parking spaces, with another 22 spaces to be created within the adjacent library lot.

Capodagli Property Co., now based in West New York, acquired the three-quarter acre site from the Redevelopment Agency for $1 million in January 2012  but was credited for the expense of removing soil from the property (which was estimated to cost about $160,000. The City Council approved a 10-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) financial agreement in March 2012. The agreement will begin with a $216,000 payment in the first year and rise in future years based on gross revenue, with an tax break estimated at $170,000 annually.

Gas station property awarded tax judgement

The City Council last week approved more than $9,000 in credits for overpayment of taxes to a St. Georges Avenue gas station, as a result of a judgement in tax court. The governing body on July 8 approved AR-149-13, which awarded a credit for the 2011 and 2012 tax years to Lukoil North America at 490 St. Georges Ave., (Block 15, Lot 1).

Credits for overpayment of taxes
* 2011, $3,574.30 (~16 percent)
* 2012, $5,578.16 (~24 percent)
Total, $9,152.46 (~20 percent)

The 0.4-acre property at the corner of West Inman Avenue is assessed at $394,500 and paid about $23,043 in property taxes last year, so the credits represent an approximately 16-percent credit on its 2011 taxes and a 24-percent credit on the 2012 tax bill; or an average 20 percent over two years.

The city had a record number of tax appeals filed and won last year, which affected the municipal budget by an estimated $25 for the average home’s tax bill.

Timeline tweaked for Lafayette Village project

Developers have an additional six months to get government approvals for Meridia Lafayette Village and the timeline to begin construction on the 115-unit rental development has been changed to six months after approvals are received.

Continue reading Timeline tweaked for Lafayette Village project

Pizza poll results: Your favorite pizzeria

The results of the latest pizza poll are in and it pretty much came down to two pizza places that garnered more than two-thirds of the total 155 votes tallied:

What’s your favorite place for pizza in Rahway?
Nunzio’s II, 40 percent (62/155 votes)
Nancy’s Towne House, 27 percent (42/155)
Tony’s, 7 percent (11/155)
Papa Vito’s/Plum Tomato, 6 percent (10/155)
Brooklyn Pizza, 5 percent (8/155)
Gino’s, 5 percent (8/155)
Michelino’s, 3 percent (6/155)
Other, 2 percent (4/155)
Ted’s Pizzeria, 1 percent (2/155)
Subworks, 0.65 percent (1/155)
Buona Pizza, 0 percent (0/155)
KC’s Pizzeria, 0 percent (0/155)

The first day of the poll brought in almost 30 votes, with Nancy’s Towne House grabbing the early lead. After a few more days and a few dozen more votes, Nancy’s Towne House and another contender, Nunzio’s II, seemed to have separated themselves from the pack. It was a two-horse race from there on in, with the two pizzerias finishing with more than two-thirds of all the votes.

Nancy’s has always fared well in the poll but Nunzio’s II was a bit of a surprise considering its modest finishes in previous polls. Third place went to Tony’s and the former Papa Vito, now going by the name Plum Tomato, was the only other option that grabbed at least 10 votes.

What was odd though was a week or two into the poll, we surprisingly got more than 20 votes in one day, and most of them seemingly for one particular place (Nunzio’s II). That always raises some questions since we don’t track where votes came from and it can be manipulated by most anyone who’d have the time or effort to feel like doing it.