Capodagli Proposes New Project
An application on file in the Planning Division names George Capodagli as the sole owner of Plainfield South LLC, the company that is seeking Zoning Board approvals for a four-story building at 1400-06 South Avenue. The proposal exceeds density and height allowances and is not a permitted use in the “neighborhood commercial” zone. The building would replace a one-family dwelling on one of two lots at the site, which is south of the Plainwood Square park across from the Drug Fair. South Avenue splits around the small park.
Plans call for a four-story building with a parking garage on the ground floor. Although 66 single parking spaces are required, the developer proposes 21 single-space parking stalls along with 21 “tandem” spaces in which one car would be parked behind another.
The proposed building site is half a mile from the Netherwood train station.
According to a legal notice by Weiner Lesniak, the applicant’s attorneys, the developer expects to be heard at the Aug. 6 Zoning Board meeting. The board meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall Library. Anyone who is interested can look at the plans and documents in the Planning office on the second floor of City Hall.
The East Third & Richmond proposal was the subject of a flurry of action in 2006, including an “emergency” Planning Board meeting on a Saturday in September to push through an “in need of redevelopment” study. A couple of weeks later, the board approved a redevelopment plan. Capodagli received conditional designation as the developer on Dec. 6, 2006.
Despite at least two extensions of the conditional designation, the developer and the Union County Improvement Authority, which is in charge of the city’s development activities, could not agree on terms of an agreement. The City Council agreed last month to let Capodagli withdraw.
Developers have eyed sections of South Avenue ever since Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs began promoting transit-oriented development in early 2006. A condo project on the site of Carfaro’s Auto Body failed to win Zoning Board approval. A proposed study of more than 90 properties around the train station was scaled back to 15 sites. A plan to redevelop two industrial buildings on South Avenue was floated, but no action ensued.
Recently, an ordinance to change the zoning of a site at Leland and South Avenue was withdrawn before council action. The proposed ordinance drew criticism for appearing to set the stage for a developer that has offered a conceptual plan for apartments and stores on the G.O. Keller site.