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Large Mixed-Use Housing Project Planned at Ken Smith Site

With the car dealership's recent closing, a developer envisions a 114-unit luxury apartment complex with 11,000 square feet dedicated to retail.

After 62 years in business, Ken Smith Motors on Franklin Avenue has closed up shop, and in its place could be a large mixed-use luxury apartment complex.

All American Ford on Route 17 in Paramus purchased Smith's inventory and took over its service station, shuttering the struggling dealership by the train station for good.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Donald Dinallo said his development company, Terminal Construction Corporation, and the now-retired owner of Ken Smith Motors, Mike Smith, have ambitious plans for the Ridgewood property nestled next to the train station. 

"We're in the process of putting together the application for a 114-unit residential project with about 11,000 square feet of retail space," Dinallo told Patch.

The proposed building would be four stories in height (three stories above grade-level parking), necessitating a height variance, he said.

Terminal is planning on a mix of studio apartments (700 sq ft), one-bedroom units (850 sq ft) and two-bedroom dwellings (1100-1150 sq ft). 

The 11,000 sq ft retail section – on the corner of Franklin and Chestnut Street – would be broken up into various stores, if constructed, he said.

If approved, the construction would resemble the downtown in a Mediterranean style, Dinallo said.

Asked if he was worried the numerous other housing projects proposed in the downtown could impact his own project, Dinallo was unconcerned.

"We're not worried. We think that is the best use for the site, a residential mixed-use project with the proximity to downtown and the train station," he said. "Ridgewood is a great town, it's going to appeal to the younger and the older. We think we have a good concept. Hopefully it's looked on favorably with any board we're in front of."

A 57-unit mixed-use development – The Enclave, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"another-downtown-rw-housing-development-proposed"} -->, at the old Sealfons building – is scheduled to begin hearings in front of the zoning board this fall. The planning board is also reviewing a , as well as the

barbara September 25, 2012 at 03:27 AM
How about a luxury senior citizens home similar to the one in Saddle River on Boroline Road (I believe it's called Brighton Gardens) where the residents do not drive any longer and a parking facility for the town. Just a thought....
Andrew Cutler March 14, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Absolutely! The site would be perfect for a parking garage! 1. it is close proximity to the train stations and the center of town for the convenience of commuters and visitors alike - bringinf more people and revenue into town 2. there is already a traffic control at the entrance to help manage traffic flow. a second easement can be allowed through to Oak St. 3. a partnership deal could be brokered between the owners, NJ Transit and the town Opportunities for thoughtful sustainable planning are difficult until land opportunities open up - this is one that appears to be very logical. For decades the parking problem in Ridgewood has always been debated - leaders come and leaders go and zip has been done about it - except lip service... In the meantime the town has lost opportunity for revenue and business growth in the CBD... Many out-of-town friends tell me they pass on coming to Ridgewood because of the parking... Now we have another high density housing project planned... A friend rented in a similar complex along the tracks in Park Ridge... the place stood 3/4 vacant... no one wanted to pay good money to buy with the RR running though their bedroom - and the few that were occupied were rentals with transient types who had no interest in making a contribution or connection to the town... a total bust...
Andrew Cutler March 14, 2013 at 12:51 AM
And leverage a potential partnership with NJ Transit to aid in supporting a parking plan as they'd benefit from the additional commuter revenue...
Andrew Cutler March 14, 2013 at 01:00 AM
The units won't be occupied long enough for that to happen... the place will be sublets to transient corp. types who will flee after their assignment's over or they get sick of the trains knocking them out of bed...
Andrew Cutler March 14, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Spot-on all front and you can have the bear...

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