MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Tuesday, representatives and their attorney from Daibes Enterprises met with Township Committee members to explain why the project on 1611 Springfield Ave has been delayed time and time again.
According to Daibes' original plan, when finished, the building will be two stories high and have two or three stores taking up 5,275 square feet on the ground floor. There will be six apartments on the second floor and a parking lot for 15 cars.
Construction started on the site on January 9, 2013, but 18 months later, the site shows almost no progress.
Berek Don, from Daibes Enterprises explained that the delays were due to environmental issues with an old oil tank. The site was formerly a gas station. "It was an issue on how to cover a certain area where an (oil) tank was removed. It was not engineered correctly." he said. "But now we're good. We can build."
He explained that a letter of approval from the Department of Environmental Protection is “forthcoming.”
Attorney Roger Desiderio responded, "The fact that you do not have this letter from DEP is not preventing construction moving forward?"
"That is correct," said Don.
This was the second time since April that Mr. Don has appeared before the committee to responded to questions of delays in construction. In April he told the committee that he replaced the family member in charge of the project and he was being "punished." He had been given the job so he could learn and gain experience. Since his removal, Don has been personally working on the project.
Mayor Victor DeLuca asked Don or someone from Daibes to appear before the committee in September to make sure construction was on schedule. The attorney for Daibes, Joseph Vena, asked if that would be necessary if they were proceeding on time.
“If we see it up in the air, Mr. Vena, if we see a roof there, if we see things happening, then we can chill out. But honestly we have to keep this project on a short leash,” warned DeLuca.