Cretella Unveils Downtown Plans
Cretella, architect Jose Carballo and attorney Jay Bohn came before the Planning Board Thursday seeking approvals for two applications: Certified Green Property One, LLC, at 214-24 Park Avenue would convert a vacant building to ground-floor retail space and four apartments on two upper floors. Art Lofts I, LLC, proposes first-floor retail and 20 apartments on four upper floors at 152-58 East Second Street. Both sites are in the North Avenue Historic District.
Cretella recently brought forward plans for two other sites and said Thursday he expects to add 100 units downtown and even more later.
Plaintalker described the Park Avenue proposal in a blog post about the Historic Preservation Commission meeting where Cretella's team sought a review and recommendations to the land use board for 214-24 Park Avenue and also the former Courier News building next door. Cretella also has plans for the PNC Bank building, he said.
Planning Board members questioned the size of proposed apartments for Certified Green Property One, LLC, but Carballo said, "That is the space we have within the building."
Because the building takes up the whole lot, there will be no open space or onsite parking. Cretella said a traffic study indicated an abundance of parking downtown at municipal lots, as much as 350 spaces at any given time. Parking is not a requirement downtown anyway, officials said.
With no room for Dumpsters, trash will be stored in the basement until pickup and storage for tenants will also be in a separate section of the basement.
After a few more questions, the board granted preliminary site plan approval for the Park Avenue proposal.
As explained by Carballo, the East Second Street proposal includes Romond's Garage and an adjacent lot at the corner of Gavett Place. A modern five-story building would be erected, incorporating the garage and wrapping around the corner. A stage would be part of the site, facing the main train station. There would be four stores on the first floor and apartments on upper floors would be equipped with Magic Pak heating and cooling units in special closets with just venting grills flush with the exterior.