A long-vacant Irving Street building that once was planned as a restaurant recently changed hands.
The property at 1530 Irving St. (Block 153, Lot 13), across the street from the Park Square development between Elm and Elizabeth avenues, was purchased in July for $465,000 by 1530 Irving Street Property, LLC, which lists a Staten Island address, according to property records.
The new owner plans to have an office in the back and rent the storefront, according to Ann Marie Williams, managing director of Rahway Arts and Business Partnership (RABP). The building likely needs extensive renovations, she added, and it’s doubtful to be a restaurant though the new owner is open to anything.
Way back in June 2009, the Planning Board approved a minor site plan for the property. Some exterior work was done later that year, eventually exposing the original facade with “Public Service” in stone. The 5,700-square-foot building was built in 1910 and was the original Public Service Trolley Building . By 2010, there was an apparent dispute with the city over sewer or water connection fees that slowed the project but at one point was believed to be settled.
By 2013, the front of the single-story office building was used for the Rahway Mural Lab‘s first collaborative mural, featuring the Rahway River, “a theme reflecting the central role that the river plays in the City of Rahway.” In recent years, there also was a nascent effort to acquire the property for use as a trolley and railroad museum.
The previous owner had acquired the 0.3-acre property for $525,000 in April 2006. The 72×198 site is assessed for $205,000, including $112,800 for land alone, and generated an overall property tax bill of about $13,872, up from about $9,750 in 2009.
The previous owners of the property, which included a principal in The Station Bar & Grill in downtown Garwood, had acquired the liquor license from the former Triangle Inn, formerly located at Montgomery and Monroe streets. That establishment was demolished along with several other buildings in 2009 to make way for Meridia Grand, an 88-unit apartment complex that opened in summer 2010.