Medical Office Building Wins Planning Board Approval

Two-story, 22,000-square-foot building planned for Veronica Avenue

Planning Board3

Architect Michael Testa describes proposed medical office building on Veronica Avenue.

A proposal to build a two-story, 22,000-square-foot medical office building on Veronica Avenue won Planning Board approval at the Oct. 16 meeting.

The proposal, submitted by Dr. Didier Demesmin of University Pain Medicine Center, sparked some conversation by the board members over the proposed number of parking spaces before it won approval.

Demesmin’s plan is to close his existing office on Clyde Road and move that operations to the first floor of the new location, his wife, Hyesung Demesmin told the board. The second floor would be leased out, preferably to a medical practice, she said.

The practice also has offices on World’s Fair Drive and in Monroe and South Plainfield, she said.

She said plans also call for the hiring of another physician – bringing the total of the practice to four – with a maximum of two doctors at any location at one time.

The practice will also hire two more mid-level professionals, such as Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants, she said.

The new office’s first floor will have 10 examination rooms, with an expected maximum of 15 patients in the facility at one time, Demesmin said,

The office would operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with office hours extended to 8 p.m. two days a week, she said.

The two-acre parcel is vacant now, the project’s engineer, Gregory Oman, told the board.

Plans are to plant 79 trees, along with dozens of shrubs and other types of ground cover, he said.

The board saved most of its questions for the applicant’s traffic engineer, Jay Trautman. The board was concerned that Demesmin proposed only 94 parking spaces when the township ordinance requires 148.

Trautman told the board that the requirement – essentially more than six parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of office space – was “way out of line” with the area’s usage, and that a survey of other medical facilities along Veronica Avenue showed parking space ratios that were much smaller.

Even the Institute of Traffic Engineers, which sets suggested guidelines for traffic-related issues – recommends a little more than three parking spaces per 1,000 feet of office space, he said.

The applicant, Trautman said, was proposing more than four parking spaces per 1,000 feet.

“I think we have a very reasonable, almost excessive supply of parking,” he said.

Board member Robert Thomas said that he stopped going to nearby LabCorp because finding a parking spot was so difficult.

“We didn’t see that” situation “when we canvassed,” Trautman replied.

In the end, the board accepted Trautman’s arguments and approved the application.

Demesmin still has to win approvals from several other agencies before construction can begin.

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Approximate location of proposed medical office building.

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