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Varied Construction Projects On Tap In Township

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20 Cedar Grove Lane, the future home of a 3-story hotel and standalone restaurant.

A 3-story hotel, a car care center and a nursing home are just a few of the construction projects planned or underway in the township.

Also on tap: a medical office building and the second half of a retail center.

Perhaps the most controversial project of the five is the hotel, targeted for 20 Cedar Grove Lane. Developer Rukh Cedar Grove Lane Properties has approvals to build a 3-story hotel and standalone restaurant on the site.

The project was opposed by neighbors, who cited concerns over noise and lighting as their main objections, and was initially rejected by the Planning Board. But Rukh made enough concessions on those issues to satisfy the Planning Board, won a re-hearing and received final approval for the project in 2010.

Vincent Dominach, the township’s senior zoning officer, said construction on the project should begin sometime this spring.

Rukh’s owner, Rupen Patel of Piscataway, also owns the Imperia catering hall on Easton Avenue. The Cedar Grove Lane property abuts that property.

Patel told the board at the time that the new hotel property would offer another exit from Imperia, thus, he said, reducing problems caused by Imperia guests making illegal right turns onto Easton.

Plans call for a 103-room hotel and a 6,300-square-foot restaurant on the 4-acre site. There was no indication of how many jobs would be created by the hotel, but testimony was given that the restaurant would employ 60 people.

The hotel will be a Springhill Suites brand, owned by Marriott and managed by Radius Hospitality, according to the Planning Board resolution.

In addition to the Imperia, Patel told the board he owns several other hotels in the township and in other states.

Among the concessions agreed to by Patel were the elimination of an outdoor seating area, the widening of a driveway to permit left and right turns onto Cedar Grove Lane and the limiting of the restaurant’s hours to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays and 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Two projects are underway on Elizabeth Avenue.

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The site of the second phase of a two-phase retail construction project on Elizabeth Avenue.

The first, at 411 Elizabeth Ave., is the second phase of a two-phase, 43,000-square-foot strip shopping center at the corner of Old New Brunswick Road.

The first phase of the project was a 17,192-square-foot building. The second phase, which is planned to be built next to the existing building and face Old New Brunswick Road, calls for the construction of a 25,741-square-foot building.

The developer, Somerset Elizabeth II, previously won Planning Board approvals for a 48,000-square-foot building, but in 2010 decided to reduce its footprint.

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Site of the new STS Auto Care Center on Elizabeth Avenue.

A few blocks down Elizabeth Avenue from that project is the new home of an STS Auto Care Center.

The 5,880-square-foot building was the second choice of the developer, Turtle Brook Realty, which in 2007 won Zoning Board approval for a 7,00-square-ffot strip shopping center.

The developer returned to the board in 2012 with an amended plan, this one calling for the single tenant in the smaller building.

The store will employ about six people, the board was told, and would be in operation from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The structure being erected at 780 Old New Brunswick Road will be a 4-story, 161-bed skilled nursing center.

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Pillars are erected in what will be a 3-story skilled nursing home on Old New Brunswick Road.

The 5-acre site was formerly a landscaping business. Developer Franklin Nursing LLC won Zoning Board approval for the new use in 2012.

The developer needed a number of variances, including a use variance because it’s located in the Corporate Business/Retail District Overlay zone, where long-term care facilities are not permitted.

The facility’s first floor will consist of a 53-bed sub-acute unit, physical therapy rooms and a dining area.

The second and third floors will each hold 54-bed skilled nursing units, each of which will be comprised of 1- and 2-bed rooms. In the 2-bed rooms, each patient will have their own window.

The developer also agreed to plant 197 trees to buffer the site from the view of the Somerset Run residential complex.

Work on a 2-story, 22,000-square-foot medical building targeted for a vacant field on Veronica Avenue should begin sometime this spring, Dominach said.

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A 2-story medical office building is slated for this Veronica Avenue parcel.

The project, offered by Dr. Didier Demesmin of University Pain Medicine Center, won Planning Board approval in October 2013, even though some board members had problems with the number of parking spaces to be provided.

Township ordinance calls for 148 spaces, Demesmin proposed 94.

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

The new practice would require the hiring of one doctor – bring teh practice’s total to five – and several support technicians.

Another noteworthy project is the renovation of the former Unclaimed Freight building on Easton Avenue. As previously reported, the space is being renovated to hold two businesses – the first  and biggest being a Planet Fitness franchise – and the entire site is getting a new facade and new signage.

 

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