Station Place could break ground next year

After several changes and a few years of trying to relocate the current tenant of the property, Station Place appears to be moving forward, with construction slated for later next year.

Clay Bonny of Heartstone Development reported to the Redevelopment Agency last week that he anticipates closing on the A&M Industrial Supply property on Campbell Street by the end of September. The business would be relocated by the end of this year with demolition expected to begin at the start of 2013. The project includes several adjacent lots on Elm Avenue, for a total of about two acres.

The 116-unit development would be five stories, featuring one level of parking topped by four levels of residential units with 29 units per floor. The one level of parking would accommodate 85 spaces with another 17 on-site parking spaces and 18 on-street spaces. As recently as 2010, Heartstone had been considering reducing the density to 85 units with no parking underneath, but the 116-unit plan on top of parking “makes better sense in the long term,” Bonny said. Apartments would range from 900 square feet to 1,250 or 1,275 square feet with about a 50/50 split between one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms.

The A&M property has an annual tax bill of about $30,000, based on a $483,000 assessment. The roughly half-acre site was acquired in July 1995 for $440,000, according to property records. Station Place already acquired the corner lot at Elm and Campbell in 2007 for $425,000 which has a property tax bill of about $7,200.

The project has gone through several transformations over the years. In the grandest scheme — when the housing market was still booming — the entire block encompassed by West Cherry and Campbell streets and Elm and Esterbrook avenues would have been acquired and developed. When that proved too ambitious, the Planning Board approved 80 for-sale condominium units in early 2007 (.pdf). By September 2008, with the housing meltdown in high gear, Heartstone converted the project to 80 rental units.

East Hanover-based Heartstone Development was behind the 136-unit River Place, constructed at Lewis and Dock streets in 2004.

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