Roselle Park development project shows promise

Photo Courtesy of Carl Hokanson A rendition of the buildings and surrounding area after the project is complete.
Photo Courtesy of Carl Hokanson
A rendition of the buildings and surrounding area after the project is complete.

ROSELLE PARK, NJ — Mayor of Roselle Park Carl Hokanson announced the construction of new buildings for 213 new luxury apartments and 5,200 feet of retail space at 230-248 W. Westfield Avenue at the intersection of Columbus Place.

The construction is anticipated to begin in early September, and the mayor assures residents that traffic won’t be an issue. The construction is meant to ease the tax burden of property owners and provide new job opportunities.

“The approximate completion time for the construction is next fall,” Councilwoman at Large Charlene Storey told LocalSource. “This is an empty lot that has been an eyesore for quite some time. There will be two buildings constructed that will contribute to the property tax,” and Storey says this will ease the tax burden of property owners. The location is ideal for young people or empty nesters that want to be in walking distance of downtown. The apartments will be in close proximity to the Garden State Parkway and Roselle Park train station.”

The site where the apartments will be located had long been abandoned, after fire destroyed a building on the property.

“Domani’s Restaurant used to occupy the space where the apartments will be located,” said Roselle Park Clerk Doreen Cali. A year after the restaurant closed, the vacant building burned down in a three-alarm fire in 2009.

Meridia Construction Group found the location attractive for the apartments due to its convenient proximity. Hardwood floors, granite tabletops as well as washers and dryers in each unit, all make for an elegant and comfortable place to live.

When asked about the details regarding the construction, Mayor Hokanson said he did not have the answers and that he was trying to get in touch with the developer to gather the necessary information, and he provided LocalSource with a press release by Meridia Construction Group.

According to the press release by Meridia provided by Hokanson, a fitness center and game room are included in the rental fee. On-site maintenance, security cameras and keyless entry offer top-notch security. Hokanson also mentions the importance of location in a recent press announcement. The bus stop and airport are quite close. Businesses will also have a chance to benefit from the new apartments as new residents move into the community.

“We’ve seen this be a success in other municipalities such as Garwood and Cranford,” Storey told LocalSource. “Many of the restaurants are in walking distance of the apartments.”

Businesses located on Westfield Avenue are anticipating an increase of customers. Some are even taking the necessary steps to prepare. They want to make sure they are ready to accommodate the new flow of business.

“We are ordering new items and hiring new staff to prepare for the increase in business,” 7-Eleven manager Kirk Solanki told LocalSource. “We are anticipating the delivery of a couple hundred new items. We are also in the process of training new staff.”

“We are still waiting to hear from the corporate office to determine if we are going to do anything to prepare for the increase in business,” Burger King manager Jennifer Gonzalez told LocalSource.

“The new apartments will most likely appeal to young people,” Storey told LocalSource. “They would be ideal for anyone with student debt or anyone that isn’t capable of maintaining a house. Westfield Avenue will benefit from the new apartments and encourage new business. The apartments are at the higher end of the price range for apartments in Roselle Park. They have more amenities such as secured parking. They are also very attractive.”

There will be outdoor parking in between the two buildings, which will be helpful to businesses. Inside the buildings, there will be several floors dedicated to parking. There will be more parking in the larger of the two buildings.

The abandoned site has been an eyesore for the community, and there has been an interest expressed to better utilize the Westfield corridor. It has not been confirmed as to which businesses will occupy the new retail space.