Yet another developer has interest in creating a new housing development in Ridgewood's downtown, the third proposal in less than a year.
J.T. Bolger, son of noted philanthropist David F. Bolger and principal behind Two-Forty Associates LLC., says providing Ridgewood with upscale apartments and several townhouses at the site of the vacant former inspection station on Chestnut Street would be a welcome addition to the Ridgewood downtown. He'll be presenting his plans for "Chestnut Village" to the planning board Tuesday night.
It won't be a wholly unfamiliar proposal for the planning board, which just weeks ago conducted the first hearings on a . Both projects would require a change to the Master Plan, approved by both the planning board and council. Site plan approval would be needed should both government bodies approve the plans.
Bolger has a more modest vision than the recent Garden Homes proposal on Broad Street, he said. He proposes a four-story 52-unit apartment complex (including six townhouses with private entrances) at a peak roof height of 56 feet (the cupola is 68 feet high) that steps back from the street. According to plans, 82 parking spots are present, half of which are enclosed within the complex. The site is surrounded by largely commercial buildings, notably medical offices, West Bergen Mental Healthcare, the YMCA (which he said would be a draw). To the rear is the railroad. There are no immediate residential neighbors.
"We're going to try and take the now-vacant property and convert it into 52 apartments with underground parking, a unique mix of single apartments, two-bedrooms and a townhouse component along the front," Bolger said in an interview Tuesday. He added the design would be "drawing upon the Ridgewood architecture that already exists in the Central Business District."
Asked if Bolger was worried the planning board and village elders may pan "Chestnut Village" over of a dual concern of density and a potential flooding of the school system when factoring in Garden Homes' project, Bolger said he didn't think it would be an issue. While he noted he wasn't bold enough to say definitively there would be no impact on the school system, he remarked that he believed the village could absorb roughly 170 units downtown. (Another recent proposal, should a plan come to fruition.)
"Having so many one-bedroom projects will probably attract a single up-and-coming young couple that wants the vibrancy of the business district, be close to the train and not need a vehicle," he said.
Continuing, he said somewhere around 64 people are likely to be living in Chestnut Village, though that figure could change as the project moves forward.
One bedroom apartments, 40 in total, he said, would likely be priced around $1,650 per month. Bolger contends it's in line with current rentals in Ridgewood, though he'd be providing amenities like washers/dryers and dishwashers within each unit.
Under the proposal, West Bergen would be provided three special needs units, complying with current affordable housing regulations.
Bolger said he believes most traffic generated would likely go through Robinson Ln. and not further clog the CBD.
The hearing begins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the fourth floor court room of Village Hall.