Tag Archives: Brookside at Rahway

A closer look at local Walk Scores

How walkable is Rahway? According to Walk Score, it’s more walkable than most cities in New Jersey.

Continue reading A closer look at local Walk Scores

Polls results: Most appealing new development

OK, so it wasn’t a huge majority or a overwhelming mandate. In fact, it was one of the weakest showings in our history of polls — a scant nine votes. Even so, Park Square came out on top among the handful of people who put their two cents in:

Of the new construction in recent years, which residential development is most appealing?
Park Square, 55 percent (5/9 votes)
Sky View at Carriage City Plaza, 33 percent (3/9)
Riverwalk, 11 percent (1/9)
Brookside at Rahway
Meridia Grand
River Place
Riverview Manor

A couple of readers made good points: Colin was familiar with some new construction but didn’t know these by name. And Sivyaleah offered her take on each complex.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, “most appealing” could mean different things to different people. Some comments over on our Facebook page took issue with  the amount of development in recent years, as well as the high-rise complex. Others just weren’t comfortable voting without knowing much about the buildings other than their exteriors.

We’ll make sure to get back to what people are comfortable with in the next poll. Thanks – and stay tuned!

Poll: What new development is most appealing?

There have been nearly 1,0000 new residential units constructed over the last decade in Rahway. There are more to come but that doesn’t stop the occasional inquiry about what are the best buildings in Rahway. Of course, there are other, older developments too (Rahway Plaza Apartments and Hamilton Apartments, among others).

With the exception of 86 units at Riverwalk townhouses, about 60 of the 200 condos at Sky View at Carriage City Plaza and the 13-unit Riverview Manor, all other developments have been rental apartments, including some age-restricted, such as Rosegate and Park Terrace. Meridia Grand started out in the planning stages as condos until the housing market collapsed, and it shifted to rentals.

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This time next year, there may have a new entrant or two in this poll, but for now, while I work on a few other posts, to get some discussion going:

Of the new construction in recent years, which residential development is most appealing?
Brookside at Rahway
Meridia Grand
Park Square
River Place
Riverview Manor
Sky View at Carriage City Plaza

“Most appealing” could mean different things to different people. Rahway residents who don’t live in any of the new developments might aim for what looks best on the exterior. Of course, people who actually live in the buildings might have their own considerations, and experience to share. Feel free to use the comments section to share your thoughts about why you voted for one or another.

A year after the big apartment fire

It was a year ago today that a fire destroyed a three-story, 50-unit apartment complex on St. Georges Avenue. Brookside at Rahway was under construction and nearly completed with leasing was expected to begin later in the year.

Police determined the fire was arson within a few days, but it wasn’t reported as such until one of our follow-up inquiries in March. Police Chief John Rodger said last week that it remains an open investigation.

Demolition of the three-story structure began about three months after the fire and work began anew in late September. In August 2009, trees were cleared at the 5-acre site to make way for construction, which began the first time around in August 2010.

Brookside at Rahway has since been nearly rebuilt, with leasing expected to begin in the spring.


The idea of public art is always intriguing, so I thought this piece from The Atlantic was pretty cool  about an effort in Budapest, Hungary (“An Artistic X-Ray for Buildings in Budapest”). A local art collective commemorated buildings that had been razed for new construction by painting a mural of what appears to be a black-and-white X-ray of what once stood there.

It reminded me of some of the old artifacts and other signage found when some Main Street properties in Rahway were razed several years (namely a Marks Harris (.pdf) on the side of the building facing Lot B that’s been painted over white). Click the link above to see the images, it’ll really give you a sense of what I’m talking about.

Work begins again on Brookside apartments

Reconstruction of Brookside at Rahway, the St. Georges Avenue apartment complex that was destroyed by fire in January, began earlier this month.

Work on the site originally began in summer 2009, with construction starting in earnest the next year, and the 50-unit rental complex was nearly completed when the fire, an incident local police concluded was arson, occurred. Demolition of the three-story structure took several weeks in the spring. No word on when completion might be expected.

UPDATED OCT. 11: Jim Sisto of Fanwood-based United Excavating/Sisto Realty, which is building the project, said boxes started getting placed on the site Sept. 12 and are expected to be finished this week. He’s hoping to open for business by April 1.


In case you somehow missed it, here’s the story this week from nj.com detailing an ethics complaint filed by City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier against Mayor Rick Proctor, in which Pelissier alleges the mayor encouraged him to hire his wife.

Police confirm St. Georges Ave fire was arson

(Taken about 7 a.m. today)

Rahway police today confirmed that the Jan. 4 fire that destroyed a St. Georges Avenue apartment complex under construction was arson.

“We determined it was an arson within a few days but weren’t prepared at that time to release that information,” Police Chief John Rodger said in response to another of our inquiries. He declined to go into further detail about the investigation. “Other than telling you that it was declared an arson, there isn’t a lot I can discuss about the fire,” he said.

(Taken about 7:30 p.m. today)

The 50-unit development, dubbed Brookside at Rahway, broke ground more than a year ago and was nearly completed, with leasing expected to begin as early as this spring. Instead, demolition of the three-story building started this week and could take as much as a month to complete. Jim Sisto of Fanwood-based United Excavating/Sisto Realty said he plans to rebuild after the structure is demolished down to the foundation and steel.

Demolition of fire-damaged apartments to begin

Almost three months after a fire gutted the nearly-completed Brookside at Rahway apartments on St. Georges Avenue, demolition is scheduled to begin Thursday on the three-story structure.

The plan is to demolish down to the foundation and steel and eventually start the process of rebuilding, according to Jim Sisto of Fanwood-based United Excavating, the firm behind the development of the 50-unit rental complex. Once demolition gets under way, he expects it could take about a month, weather permitting, to take down the structure. If anyone is able to take some photos or video of the demolition, feel free to share.

A four-alarm blaze tore through the building on the morning of Jan. 4. The cause of the fire is still unclear. Police John Rodger said as recently as today he had no new information that he could share. Sisto said he hasn’t gotten any answers from authorities or insurance companies as to the cause of the fire. He believes the cause must be arson given how meticulous he said he keeps his job sites, and there was nothing on site that would have sparked a fire.
UPDATED 3/24: Updated portions in italics.


A pretty cool idea recently reported in The Wall Street Journal: “Construction info on the go — New codes on building permits provide Smartphone users with city data”. New York City’s Department of Buildings has started to bring “Quick Response,” or QR codes, similar to bar codes, on all permits for buildings undergoing any type of construction in the city. The information already is available on the city’s website but the QR codes will provide instant access to “a condense mobile version of the Buildings Department webpage, which provides permit and violation history for every building, and already received more than one million views a day.