The Maplewood Township Committee agreed this week to pay $20,000 to Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab to conduct a planning and design study for redevelopment of the .
The committee also passed a resolution authorizing a redevelopment agreement for the former .
The Tuesday meeting was more heavily attended than usual, because of the promotion to Sergeant of Maplewood Police Patrolman Niheema N. Gary.
Regarding the Urban Design Lab project, Mayor Vic DeLuca said that while the fee was “pricey,” it would help the township to think strategically about the overall plan for the site. “This is the most important piece of land we will develop,” he said. Committeeman Jerry Ryan agreed, and said that a “fresh perspective” would be valuable. Patch will have more details about the project in an upcoming article.
DeLuca said that as part of the developer agreement for the two-parcel Universal Chain site, Elite Properties had agreed to spend $145,000 in repairs to the , including new doors, lighting and possibly a new roof. The development will consist of eight townhomes on one parcel of land, and a 124-unit apartment building on the other. Elite also agreed to conduct an age-targeted marketing campaign to attract senior citizens as tenants for the apartments.
The Mayor also announced that Daibes Enterprises, the developer of the former , has begun work on the footings and foundation of what will become a mixed-use development with retail space on the first floor and six apartments on the second floor.
Finally, the former Wyman Ford property at is slated to become a Deal$ dollar store, which is part of a national chain.
In other business, the committee unanimously passed the 2012 municipal budget of just over $38.8 million, and passed one ordinance and amended another regarding trash and litter in Maplewood. Patch