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'Chestnut Village' Housing Development Proposed

J.T. Bolger proposes a 52-unit housing complex on Chestnut Street

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.

RdgwdGRock October 18, 2011 at 06:42 PM
build it, baby, build it
No One October 18, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Seems like a good idea, it would help boost property values in an area that isn't the best part of Ridgewood. The only issues I have is the possible flooding of the school system and the fact no one wants to live in a luxury apartment which is a block away from where garbage trucks are kept over night.
James Jr. October 18, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Wasn't that site going to be a storage center at one point?
Dan Johnson October 18, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Yes, and then they had to do a lot of remedial work because of leaked gas/oil etc from the inspection station. This idea makes much more sense.
Lawrence October 18, 2011 at 09:07 PM
52 units on Chestnut, 100 units at Sealfons, 120 units at Broad Street. Subdivision proposals. 272 units but no impact on the school system? Yeah, right. Where does it end. With that said, of the 3 apartment complex proposals, the Chestnut on seems to make the most sense, if any sense at all.
Marcia Ringel October 19, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Why would apartments require less remediation of contaminated soil than storage units? Most of the traffic would use Robinson Lane? That's supposed to be a good thing? The hundreds of people who live at the apartments on Oak Street would have to endure a lot of traffic getting in and out of their parking area at the end of Chestnut. Nobody can live conveniently in the suburbs without a car. This is not Manhattan, although developers want it to be. The renters would be more likely to have two or more cars, but certainly one. The unceasing argument that hundreds of additional residents would not affect the schools has to stop. It's easy to say that young couples who just want to be near the train would move there. Nobody knows that. And those young couples may have families. How many people over the years have moved to Ridgewood specifically for the school system? It's one standard reply of almost everybody I've ever met. Many people move to apartments or very small houses just to get a toe into the town. Why would this be any different?
JB October 19, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Residential development actually requires a higher level of clean up, than commercial development.
Lawrence October 19, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Residential Direct Contact Soil clean-up standards are more conservative than Non-Residential Direct Contact Soil clean-up standards These take into account human health receptors and impacts. Residential standards are always more stringent as the assumed exposure is longer/greater in a residential scenario than an non-residential standard. Agree that the argument that builds our tax bases is ridiculous. These apartments will have kids. 85% of our taxes go to schools. We need commerical ratables.

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