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Township Committee To Vote on Post Office Developer

The Maplewood Township Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, to discuss designating L&M Development Partners as the redeveloper for the Post Office site.

An aerial view of downtown Maplewood, the site of the proposed Post Office Redevelopment. Credit: Maplewood Village Post Office Redevelopment Plan
An aerial view of downtown Maplewood, the site of the proposed Post Office Redevelopment. Credit: Maplewood Village Post Office Redevelopment Plan

The Maplewood Township Committee may finally select a developer, Tuesday night, for a controversial Post Office Redevelopment Project which has drawn scrutiny from many local residents.

According to the Township agenda, Karen Nichols, R.A. Of KNTM Architects will make a presentation on the Post Office Redevelopment and the Township Committee will vote on a resolution designating L&M Garden State Associates, LLC of Larchmont, NY as the redeveloper of the site.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Municipal Building, located at 574 Valley St.

A preliminary layout includes street level retail space suitable for Kings Supermarket, currently located across Maplewood Ave., a ground floor level of retail spaces, and 25 apartments above. The US Postal Service is considering 1830 Springfield Avenue as a possible property for relocation, the township previously stated on its website.

“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,” The Township stated in a letter to the community. “It is likely that the Township will retain ownership of the parking lots around the proposed building.”

Engage Maplewood, a local group that formed in May 2013 in response to the Post Office redevelopment plan, has created both written and online petitions calling for more transparency from the Township Committee. 

As of Monday, the petition had more than 575 online and written signatures, according to the organization. Engage Maplewood is urging residents to attend Tuesday's meeting through its website.

L&M was recommended by The Maplewood Township Committee’s Economic Development Committee in December. L&M has brought on Wilder Balter Partners of Elmsford, NY as a partner for the project.

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. Also added to the Committee to assist with the Post Office Redevelopment Project include 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).

“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. The Maplewood Village Alliance also provided significant input,” the township said in its letter.

Click here for the Maplewood Village Post Office Redevelopment Plan as adopted on July 16, 2013.

CJV January 07, 2014 at 05:18 PM
The most important questions are financial and aesthetic. Vic ruined the sale of the Police Station site and he ruined the subsequent Design and Review process for the Station House project. Vic has no credibility in either area.
Elisabeth Anderson January 08, 2014 at 06:38 AM
Why was he reappointed Mayor, if he is this Dictator...I guess no one is connected enough to challenge him. If the existing post office building was only renovated, not destroyed and rebuilt, it would be done faster, with less of a construction nightmare. Could the post office be incorporated into an enlarged Kings?
CJV January 08, 2014 at 08:01 AM
So, we narrow the field down to one developer before we accept their bid for the land? Anyone else see the problem with this? Vic already evicted the Post Office. When the developer now offers us next-to-nothing for the land, and also demand a PILOT, Vic will say it's the best we can do. Seriously- the auction will have one bidder due to Vic's designs here. Vic Deluca is destroying Maplewood. He wants to replace our scenic downtown with more copies of his heinous Station House, and destroy our schools in the process with further enrollment but no further school taxes to cover the costs.
Winky January 09, 2014 at 10:10 PM
There is nothing wrong with the post office building and could be altered for a new use, made much more attractive, while honoring it's international style.while using some of it to keep the post office functions...they need room, but not that much - local sorting, not regional anymore. it is a waste to demo that building. and the TC still hasn't explained why it needs to be demo'd.
Winky January 09, 2014 at 10:13 PM
It is absurd that they do not have a price for the land. They need to explain that. Maybe they do not care - they just want to drive thru this project...?

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