Shane Sorrano of AST Development Corp. and architect Bruce Englebaugh of Minno and Wasko offered the concept site plan during a 15-minute presentation before the Redevelopment Agency on Wednesday night.
The 219 units would break down as follows, approximately:
- 111 one-bedroom (51 percent)
- 78 two-bedroom (36 percent)
- 25 studio (11 percent)
- 5 one-bedroom with a den (2 percent)
Parking for 196 cars would occupy the ground floor, topped by four floors of residential units. There would be an additional 82 surface parking spaces along the southern side of the site, for a total 278 spaces. Executive Director Leonard Bier said it’s the first development in memory where all parking requirements of the city’s redevelopment ordinance (1.25 spaces per unit) are satisfied.
There will be no retail space but a two-story gym and recreation center for residents would occupy about 5,840 square on the third floor. A leasing office would occupy about 970 square feet.
The goal was to have a continuation in design from the Slokker project (Main & Monroe) further up Main Street, so the same architectural firm was used. “In conversations we had, we wanted to see some continuity along Main Street, not a hodge podge,” Bier said. A common road from Main Street to West Milton Avenue would be an improvement done as part of the project, he said.
The lower level will be a brick facade, divided vertically to give it scale, Sorrano said, with fiber cement panels and metal panels, in addition to aluminum sun shade and balconette.
With no questions or comments from commissioners, the agency approved a motion (5-0) accepting the conceptual design. There were no members of the public in attendance.
The next step will be to eventually come before the Planning Board with a more specific site plan. One of the Center Circle buildings has begun to be rebuilt after a January snowstorm caused the roof to collapse. Bier said owners of the facility want to get one more season in — which runs October to April — before development begins.
This is at least the third concept plan presented in recent years for the 3.5-acre Center Circle site. Previous versions were scuttled because of unexpected environmental remediation that complicated the sale of the property. Three years ago, AST Development presented a concept plan for 250 units within three buildings. In 2014, Heartstone Development, which partnered with AST on the 116-unit Metro Rahway, presented a concept plan for about 250 units in one building.