Friday, July 21, 2006

Development Watch

From the Suburban News

Developer reduces proposal to 125 units on Birchwood Ave.

Developer Woodmont Properties this week presented a scaled-down plan for an active adult community on Birchwood Avenue, and again received an encouraging response from the Township Committee.

The company proposes to build Cranford Woods, a 125-unit age-restricted luxury complex, on a 15-acre parcel of land at 215-235 Birchwood Ave. The site is currently home to office buildings, and the township and developer will work to draft a "senior housing zone" agreement setting out guidelines and standards for the project.

When the project was first unveiled at a May 8 township meeting, the developer proposed 150 townhouses and condominium flats. Following a series of meetings with a municipal subcommittee and information sessions with local residents, the number of units has been reduced, though the design plans are otherwise similar.

From the Times Trenton:

15 takers eye site vacated by Manex

Fifteen different parties have expressed interest in developing the site owned by Manex Development that Mercer County has moved to take back, county officials said.

County Executive Brian M. Hughes said he would like to have control of the 7-acre property and put out a request for proposals from potential developers, but the county will wait for the result of an Aug. 4 hearing on a county request to take back the site.

County officials would not disclose the names of those interested in developing the property.

From the Record:

Show us the water, developer is told

A developer that wants to build 288 town houses must show that there's enough water in the ground to supply the project, a state appeals court decided this week.

K. Hovnanian must prove in three different ways that there is adequate water for the Eagle Ridge project, the Superior Court's Appellate Division ruled Tuesday.

The powerful developer considered the ruling a victory.

"The company would not be going forward with Eagle Ridge if there was any danger to the community water supply," said Andre Miesnieks, a regional K. Hovnanian executive.

From the Courier News:

Ground broken on Plainfield subdivision

Officials are praising the approval of six, single-family luxury houses in the city's West End -- a project officials are calling the first major subdivision of upscale housing the city has seen in almost a half century.

The development, named Shiloh at West 7th Street, received final approval last week after six years of uncertainty surrounding the fate of the project's site -- a 1.3-acre lot at 1045 West 7th St. once home to an abandoned, seven-family house and carriage home.

Those buildings have since been razed and the property cleared, with construction on the six-unit subdivision slated to begin in the coming weeks by Panjaur Builders of Jersey City. Referred to as "the kind of thing" she would like to see more of in Plainfield, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs touted the development as a step toward the city's revitalization. "What this represents is six families who will realize the American dream of home ownership," Robinson-Briggs said. "I'm very happy to see this moving forward."

According to Mike Lipscomb, owner of ML Realty Group Inc. of Scotch Plains, the real estate firm marketing the development, each unit in the development will be from 2,600 to 3,200 square feet, with prices starting at $449,900.

From the Sentinal:

Board says housing plan lacks specifics

The South Brunswick Planning Board criticized a firm last week for not providing what it felt was sufficient information to even begin a critique of a concept plan for 76 luxury homes on the VanDyke farm.

The proposed development is a controversial one, as it would sit atop the 300-year-old farm, Davidsons Mill Road, which residents and the township have both expressed an interest in preserving. The development's proximity to both a state park and a state-protected water body has also been a source of contention for residents in eastern South Brunswick, where the houses are being proposed.

The application, which complies with the area's zoning regulations and demands no waivers or relief, was proposed shortly after the township rejected a request by developer Morris Realty Associates to rezone the farm for industrial use so a warehouse could be built there.

During the July 12 hearing, the firm's planner, Gerald Linaz, described the tentative plans for the development using a sketch of the property and layout of the houses as a guide. The plan calls for the construction of 76 homes, 17 of which would be on 3-acre lots and 59 of which would be on 2-acre lots. One of these lots would be dedicated for preservation purposes, as the bodies of the original VanDyke family and, it is believed, their slaves are buried there.


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