ROSELLE PARK, NJ — A 1-acre property near the train station could soon be home more than 60
apartments and commercial space, according to preliminary redevelopment plans presented at the June 20 meeting of the mayor and Borough Council.
Tony Gallerano, of the municipal land use board planner Harbor Consultants, outlined the project for the area known as the “Hunter property,” a site located at 140 West Webster Ave. that is home to H & H Building Supply. The owner is looking to “fully redevelop the site” into a mixed-use property, Gallerano said.
A total of 62 apartments — 43 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom units — would be accompanied by ground-level parking, some retail space, about 4,000 square feet of commercial space and a ground-level lobby. Nine units would be set aside for reduced–rate housing, with a preference for seniors.
The partial four-story building would also feature a terrace area on the second floor to be used by tenants. The terrace, situated above the ground-level parking, could feature walking paths with benches, a small dog park-like area and landscaping, Gallerano said. The second, third and the partial fourth floor would all be utilized for the apartment units. The fourth floor also will feature a small, rooftop seating area.
Gallerano said the building would appear mostly as a three-story structure from the street view and that the partial fourth story would face the baseball fields on the western side of the property. NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Rail Line runs along the southern edge of the property. Some apartments would have private balconies that overlook the terrace area and a fitness center would also be included.
Gallerano said certain design standards are written into the redevelopment plan but final plans would eventually have to come before the Roselle Park Planning Board.
“We’ve written into the draft plan certain standards that we’re recommending as far as for the building itself like certain types of finishes and either brick or stone,” he said.
The developer is also proposing to create a 1,200-square-foot public plaza space at the corner of the property that could feature benches or small tables with chairs.
Mayor Joe Signorello said at the meeting that the redevelopment project would be “extremely unique for the area” as opposed to some other “cookie cutter” developments on nearby properties.
Signorello added that the redevelopment ties in with the borough’s recent “visioning” project, which looks to transform the area around the train station and the commercial corridor along Chestnut Street into a “transit village.” The visioning project would also add streetscaping and open public spaces to the area, as well as improve mobility.
The announcement about the project coincided with Lawrence Hamm addressing the meeting regarding the upcoming upgrades to the train station.
Hamm, who works in the the Office of Government and Community Relations for NJ Transit, said, “I’m happy to say that the Roselle Park rehabilitation project is alive.”
He said NJ Transit has been working with Conrail, which owns the tracks, to replace the platforms and “repair deterioration.”
The original $2.8 million project, which involved the rehabilitation of both the Roselle Park and Cranford stations, was approved by NJ Transit in 2016. Now, Hamm said the Roselle Park platform work could cost up to $6 million.
He added that an assessment of the area to see about installing an elevator revealed further damage to the platform, which has delayed the project.
However, the design of the new platform is set to begin the fall, Hamm said. This will take around eight months to complete, after which its construction will take approximately two years to complete.
“Design will first focus on replacing the surface of the entire platform, with some work on the structure elements underneath,” Hamm said. The platform is 840 feet long and 15 feet wide. He said designers will simultaneously pursue a plan to add an elevator at one end of the platform, a project that will cost an additional $2.5 million.