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.