Plan for Mangos shifts farther down Fulton

A plan for 88 rental apartments centered around the Mangos Grill property has been revised to move the project off the corner of East Milton Avenue and farther south on Fulton Street.

The five-story proposal would include about 3,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The number of units and stories in the revised plan remains the same as in the original. About half of the 88 units would be one-bedrooms and the other half would be a split of two-bedrooms and studios. The number of parking spaces, however, increased to 64, from 45.  Redevelopment Agency commissioners had concerns about the lack of parking in the original proposal, presented in August. A redevelopment agreement could be approved as early as the agency’s February meeting.

The Central Business District Redevelopment Plan requires a minimum 1.25 spaces per unit; 64 spaces would still fall 46 spaces short of a required 110 spaces, so a visit to the Zoning Board would be likely.

Developers presented the revised plan in September. The Redevelopment Agency in November approved a resolution (45-13) naming 1321 Fulton St., LLC, an affiliate of Waldwick-based DMR Construction Services, as redeveloper of the properties: Block 312, Lots 4.04 (Mangos site), as well as a portion of Lot 5, and neighboring Lot 23, home to IPT Worldwide.

Originally, the plan envisioned using the Mangos lot, along with the corner property on East Milton Avenue (Lot 1.01) to the north and a portion of Lot 5 on the south side. Now, the proposal  includes all of Lot 5 and the adjacent Lot 23 to the south.

Mangos Grill has been on the market for some time and is under contract while two neighboring parcels are in attorney review, according to redevelopment officials.

Joel Schwartz of Landmark Companies, an architect involved in the planning, said the project might go before the Planning or Zoning boards this year, with demolition by the end of the year. He’s hopeful the project will create a ripple effect of other improvements; for instance, the union building on Pierce Street will upgrade its landscaping and driveway.

5 thoughts on “Plan for Mangos shifts farther down Fulton”

  1. Another interesting and insightful post, Mark. Several things occurred as I read…

    From both this and a prior post discussing a plan to put 250 units on Center Circle site, it is apparent that if piecemeal development happens, a parking deficit will occur over time, as developers and regulators seem to be shortchanging the city mandate for 1.25 spaces per housing unit. Center Circle (250 units, 234 spaces) and now this Mangos development (88 units, 64 spaces) are mere blocks apart, and should contain 422.5 parking spaces as per city guidelines; the proposed totals are 298, only 71% of the mandated total. Lots on Fulton, Pierce, and East Emerson are narrow and cars are parked on the streets. The nearly 30% car overflow will mean more competition for these spaces.

    Second, retail space. Here, 3,600 sq ft is included, but is thought being given to what sort of retailers may populate these shops? An earlier Rahway Rising post discussed the earlier Town Center plan, with planned 175,000 sq ft of retail space, as “hopes of” attracting a Trader Joes or Barnes & Noble. That may be the reporter’s characterization, but I wonder if that is/has been the approach. Clearly, there is a lot of vacant space downtown already, much of it in older buildings where presumably the rent would be lower. I know the philosophy has been “build it (residential) and they (retailers) will come,” but I wonder if there isn’t a more proactive approach that can be taken in revitalizing the commercial side of downtown. (Maybe there is and I just don’t know about it.) Does general redevelopment also aim to further the goal of arts development (ie, could booking agencies, theater equipment rental firms, or other such ventures be targeted to occupy the burgeoning retail space)?

  2. Great comment.
    Parking, are you kidding me, do you really think the powers that be are concerned with this issue. Yes, there is a mandated space per unit on the books, but to actually think that those in charge will hold anyone to that is insane. The people making the decisions are doing such a haphazard job at just trying to get what they think is the right business or development in, they will approve anything. even at the cost of the existing owners/renters.
    They all live by the if you build it they will come, and we will address it at that point.

    Existing retail in older buildings will never happen. The banks own most of the property and they do not want to be land lords. So the only option is to build new. Unfortunately those that are negotiating for the new have no concept of how to build a downtown. Look at the amazing progress they have done so far. We have a bunch of disjointed stores, most of which do not make it that long revolving around the arts that only appeal to a select audience that will not come and shop here anyway.

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