Planning Board Approves Next Renaissance Phase

An artist’s rendering aerial view of the project, presented at the Planning Board meeting.

A project that will provide 37 three-bedroom apartments in eight buildings was approved October 20 by the Planning Board.

The project is the latest phase in the Renaissance Redevelopment area, overseen by RPM Development of Montclair.

The building will be constructed on four parcels of land bounded by Gurley, Berry and Fuller streets and Voorhees, Blair and Davis avenues.

The parcels are not contiguous because RPM, the project’s master redeveloper, could not get some of the property owners to sell their properties, and the township has frowned on the use of eminent domain to take the properties in the redevelopment zone.

Each of the apartments will have garages and one-and two-car driveways, the Board was told.

One of the parcels will also include 3,000 square feet of open space, the Board was told.

Some of the units will have a third floor “recreation space,” architect Joaquin Bouzas told the Board. Tenants will not be able to turn that space into a fourth bedroom, he said.

The applicant’s attorney, Peter Lanfrit, told the Board that tenants will be limited to two people per bedroom. Any more, he said, could get them evicted.

There will be pervious pavement installed so as to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, and there will be the opportunity for tenants to install electric car charging stations in their garages if they wish, the Board was told.

Lanfrit told the Board that it would be “foolish” for the developer to install car charging stations in every unit because there may not be a need for them.

Lanfrit said the nature of this project, and the difficulty in getting property owners to sell, has posed many challenges for the developer.

“Obviously, the municipality is invested in this redevelopment project and wants the applicant to move as quickly as they can,” he said.

“Trying to do this piecemeal was challenging but trying to get this approved is showing that redevelopment is taking place in this section of the municipality,” he said. “Maybe when the construction starts it will convince the people who are still there that it is time to move on.”

“We’re not going to wait to acquire all of the parcels,” Lanfrit told the Board. “Whenever we’re in a position to put a section in, we will be back to put that section in.”

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