Proposal for Lot B grows to 196 units

Developers are expected to return to the Redevelopment Agency later this year to present an updated vision for two downtown buildings proposed for Lot B on Main Street.

The two buildings were proposed as 184 units when first presented as a concept in January but Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier told the Redevelopment Agency at its meeting last month that the project is slated for 196 units, with five stories of apartments over one level of parking, about 208 spaces. There would be about 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

“This is potentially the best project that has been proposed in the Central Business District. The elevations in my opinion are as good as they get and will make a tremendous impact on downtown,” Pelissier said. The project may consist of a rooftop pool on one of the buildings and a rooftop seating area on the other.

There are still some issues to be worked out, such as a land/parking swap with the Parking Authority, acquisition of land with Amtrak and discussions with the city about a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT). The developers, Slokker Real Estate Group and its partners, have been requested to present plans to the Redevelopment Agency, which could be during a meeting later this year. An early concept plan was presented to commissioners in January.

In the proposed plan, Monroe Street would be extended across Main Street, through Lot B, to West Cherry Street. This would create an opportunity for pedestrians to connect from one part of downtown to the other, Pelissier said, especially with the Parking Authority efforts to acquire land on West Cherry to establish pedestrian access to the Lewis Street parking deck and train station.

Lambertville-based architects Minno and Wasko also were responsible for Park Square in downtown Rahway, as well as Cranford Crossing and the planned Harrison Commons.

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