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Former ‘Unclaimed Freight’ Building To Get Makeover, New Tenants

Building will be home to Planet Fitness gym

Unclaimed Freight Building1

Workers at the former Unclaimed Freight building on Easton Avenue.

Changes are underway at the former Unclaimed Freight building on Easton Avenue.

Once the home of mainly a discount furniture store, the structure soon will house a gym and will get a completely new facade.

Plans for the facade were brought before the township’s Historic Preservation Advisory Commission April 1. The commission needed to review the plans because the property is bordered by the historic Delaware & Raritan Canal.

Saddle River-based architect John Montoro told the commission that the new facade will consist of several different materials, all of which will be different colors.

Each tenant, he said, will have individual canopies and slightly different facades.

“Instead of putting a strip canopy back there … we’re creating a different facade for each store, kind of like a streetscape,” he said.

The stores’ current signs will be replaced with lettered signs that will be illuminated from within, he said. Each store will have to come before the commission for approval of their sign.

The national gym chain Planet Fitness will take up most of the space formerly used by Unclaimed Freight, he said. A second tenant is planned for that area, but has not yet been named. The remaining stores will all remain.

Handicapped parking will be added on one side of the building, Montoro said.

All canopies will be made of “Sunbrella” material, he said.

Overall, the commission was supportive of the plan – “I think it’s refreshing,” said commissioner Barbara Lawrence – but did impose several conditions to its approval. Among those are that the owner must come back to the commission if the mechanical units on the building’s roof are changed.

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