Candlewood Suites gets final OK

The Planning Board last night unanimously gave preliminary major and final site plan approval for a Candlewood Suites at East Milton Avenue and Routes 1/9, next to the Best Western.

Representatives of Family Hospitality Inc. came before the Redevelopment Agency in October with changes to plans that had been approved several times for previous hotels. At that time, they hoped to break ground by this spring, with a construction time of 10 to 12 months. Rates would run about $149 a night.

The four-story, 93-unit extended stay facility eventually will include an indoor pool and a restaurant, both of which are part of the original redevelopment agreement. There has been interest from White Castle and McDonald’s but Kirea Patel of Family Hospitality told the board they’re interested in a more upscale eatery, as are city officials. Original plans include a 6,000-square-foot steakhouse-type restaurant.

Among the items reviewed by engineers Tuesday night was not allowing left turns from the parking lot onto East Milton Avenue; drivers will have to exit on Lennington Street and then turn onto East Milton. There also will be a public walkway along the Rahway River, linking the nearby Rahway Yacht Club to the townhomes under construction at the end of Lennington Street.

[CLARIFICATION, 3/27: Poor choice of words on “linking,” it’s more like a public walkway will be built between those two areas. I didn’t mean to imply the walkway would provide any public access to the Rahway Yacht Club, which is private property. Waterfront development permits for Candlewood Suites, Best Western and the Lennington Street townhomes required public access to the waterfront, which entails building a sidewalk or some similar pathway. The pathway would be interrupted by the Yacht Club property and resume at the existing park at the neighboring incinerator property.]

The 4-acre property (667 E. Milton Ave./Block 338, Lots 3.01 & 3.02) has been vacant since a one-story Deluxe Inn was demolished about five years ago.