Apartment Building, Medical Clinic Approved By Planning Board

PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION – An artist’s rendering of a proposed mixed-use building at Somerset Street and Voorhees Avenue. The project was approved by the Planning Board.

The latest project in the Renaissance Redevelopment area and a medical clinic – both targeted for Somerset Street – were recently approved by the Planning Board.

The Board heard the applications at its August 16 meeting.

The Board approved an application for a four-story, mixed-use building at Somerset Street and Voorhees Avenue, on the site of a former forklift rental and sales business. The building would hold three commercial spaces on the first floor, and 87 apartments on floors two, three, and four.

The apartment breakdown is nine studios, 24 1-bedroom units, nine 1-bedroom plus den units, one 2-bedroom unit, 39 2-bedroom plus den units, and five 3-bedroom units.

All of the units will be market rate, the Board was told.

The project also includes a 119-space parking garage, attached to the building.

Developers in the township’s redevelopment areas are not required to provide the standard 20 percent affordable housing requirement in individual projects, so long as the aggregate number of affordable units in a redevelopment area is 20 percent of the whole.

Board chairman Michael Orsini wondered if it was wise to build for commercial uses in the building, given that so many other new commercial spaces in mixed-use buildings are vacant.

“If you come back and say, we looked at it again and we want to amend the plan to make it all residential, that would not come as a surprise to too many on this Board,” he said.

Board member Ted Chase noted that commercial spaces in nearby Voorhees Station seem to be occupied, although it took some time to get there.

“I think the point is the more commercial you have together, the more business you attract,” he said.

The Board also approved an application submitted by City MD, a walk-in medical facility.

The project is targeted for a vacant tract at Somerset Street and Kevin Apuzzio Avenue.

The 3,487-square-foot building will house an average of eight employees, including a full-time doctor, three medical assistants, and x-ray technician and two front-end staffers, said Timothy McNierney, City Med’s vice president of construction.

“We will treat most issues, just shy of an emergency room visit,” he said.

The facility will be open seven days, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, he said.

McNierney said the average clinic sees between 20 and 50 patients a day.

“Generally, the morning, lunch time and early evenings are a little heavier,” he said.

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