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Maplewood Economic Development Committee Recommends L&M Development Partners for Post Office Site

The Alternative Press Staff

Monday, December 23, 2013 • 6:51am

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Township’s Economic Development Committee has unanimously recommended L&M Development Partners of Larchmont, N.Y. as the developers for the downtown Post Office Redevelopment Project. The Township Committee is expected to adopt this recommendation at its meeting on Jan. 7.

Once voted upon, L&M and the Township must negotiate financial and site details. The developer must also work with the Village Alliance on the design features of the building. Additionally, for the project to move forward as envisioned, L&M and Kings will need to negotiate a mutually agreeable lease.

L&M has added Wilder Balter Partners of Elmsford, N.Y., as a partner for the project and architectural firm BeyerBlinderBelle of New York City.

“The recommendation is the result of a two-year process that included three community meetings and numerous meetings and hearings by the Township Committee and Planning Board,” said an official release by the Township. “The Maplewood Village Alliance also provided significant input.”

The Post Office Redevelopment Plan may be read at http://twp.maplewood.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/1309.

“L&M’s preliminary layout of the site includes street level retail space suitable for Kings Supermarket, a ground floor level of retail spaces, and 25 apartments above. The proposed building takes up less than the full site and is situated in a way that allows for automobile and pedestrian access and parking on the railroad side (east) of the building. It is likely that the Township will retain ownership of the parking lots around the proposed building,” the release stated.

The project will meet the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The plan is for 10 percent of the apartments (probably three units in the building) to meet affordability criteria as determined by the state of New Jersey.

The Maplewood Economic Development Committee includes Mayor Vic De Luca, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal, Township Committeeman Jerry Ryan, Township Administrator Joseph Manning, Township Attorney Roger Desiderio, Township Director of Community Relations Annette DePalma, and Planning Board Chairman Tom Carlson.

The following were added to the Committee to assist with the Post Office Redevelopment Project: Township Engineer Tom Malavasi, Maplewood Village Alliance District Manager Julie Doran, Architect Karen Nichols of KNTM Architects (consultant) and Retail Expert Mark Lohbauer of JGSC Group (consultant).

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