Designs of Tamarand project still in flux

Original concept plans to construct an addition onto an existing East Cherry Street property aren’t likely to happen and instead a new round of changes are expected to a project that initially proposed 43 units.

East Cherry buildingRedevelopment Agency Executive Director Leonard Bier told commissioners at their Oct. 12 Redevelopment Agency meeting that they’re still in discussions with Tamarand Realty. The West Orange-based firm acquired several lots along East Cherry and Lewis streets as part of a $1.12-million deal last year. and presented an initial concept plan for the property.

The first version of the designs were “not terribly exciting,” Bier said,” while the second version was more interesting although he told commissioners he didn’t know the latest iteration. He also briefed commissioners in April about first round of design changes to the initial concept plan presented in November 2015.

The Redevelopment Agency designated Tamarand Cherry, LLC as redeveloper, which only means they’ve indicated interest but have not yet been satisfied with designs, Bier said.

East Cherry Street

Developers at first thought a new building could be met with the existing building but realized that would not be feasible from a construction standpoint and so it would require a redesign to have two distinct buildings. The original concept plan presented last year had loft apartments on a fourth floor with a fifth floor added onto the existing building with loft- and mezzanine-style apartments.

The original concept had 43 units and almost 4,400 square feet of retail space, in addition to a 40-foot wide promenade between East Cherry and Lewis streets that would include razing the New Era building at 61 E. Cherry St., which was recently vacated. The existing building has 9 rental apartments above three ground-floor retail spaces.

Renovations would include the retail space and existing apartments while new construction would occur on the adjacent 17-space parking lot on Lewis Street. About 50 spaces in the parking deck on Lewis Street would be made available for the added housing units, according to the original concept plan.