More Downtown Residences Proposed
Dashield spoke at a forum on economic growth and stimulus funding sponsored by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, who is running for re-election. This writer could not comprehend the stimulus funding part, which involves numerous funding sources and opportunities. Dashield promised a new web page will soon be posted on the city web site, with an overview, a listing of projects and a status report.
After the slide show on stimulus funding, Dashield presented one calling the downtown a “diamond in the rough,” with a diamond image superimposed over a Google map of the central business district. What makes it a “jewel,” he said is the presence of the main train station, the as-yet-unnamed Union County office building and the Plainfield campus of Union County College.
Hailing plans for closed-circuit television cameras, the Music in the Plaza program and the new Madison Avenue playground and the new senior center as highlights of the downtown, Dashield went on to enumerate Cretella’s projects. Although his company, Landmark Developers, is the designated developer for the entire North Avenue Historic District, Cretella has recently offered separate projects with various names.
One involves two buildings in the 200 block of Park Avenue, under the names of Certified Green Property One LLC and Next Step to Collins Avenue LLC. The first will have four residential units and 3,565 square feet of commercial space, and the second will have 12 residential units with 3,935 square feet of commercial space.
Arts Loft I LLC is a project in the 100 block of East Second Street that will include 20 residential units and 3,737 square feet of commercial space.
A project called Front Street Offices LLC will contain 50,000 square feet of commercial space and an adult day care center.
One new one is the somewhat ironically named “Luxury Condos” in the largely ruined Miron’s warehouse on East Second Street. A former developer failed to proceed with his project, leaving the building open to the elements from both the roof and sides of the building. For months, only a sign for “luxury condos” stood at the site. Cretella proposes 12 residential units on the site, but has no approvals as yet.
The most ambitious project announced Tuesday is the “West Second Commons,” apparently to take place on the so-called North Avenue Extension behind the PNC Bank building. Dashield said 100 rental units and 11,500 square feet of retail space are proposed. The PNC Bank now at the corner of Park Avenue and East Second Street would relocate to the new complex. The current PNC Bank building would become a “hospitality operation,” Dashield said, with lounges in the former bank vaults.
Cretella was in the audience but did not speak except to answer questions. Asked about a timetable for the commercial development on West Front Street, he said it would take place within the next 12 months.