.

Downtown Housing Developments Could Finish by 2014

A summer of 2014 construction target for two large multi-family housing projects an "optimistic" estimate, Village Planner says.

Pressed by a resident over believed lack of progress on large multi-family housing proposals in the downtown, Village Planner Blais Brancheau said bricks might be laid in spring of 2013 and finished by summer of 2014 if things go exceedingly well.

Developers for a and a appealed to the planning board in 2011 to request a zone change to the Master Plan. The process funneled into a of housing stock and the overall approprirateness of multi-family housing downtown.

But Paul Levin, of Graydon Terrace, was anxious to find out when ground could break. It would largely determine whether he stayed in Ridgewood or not, he said.

"My frustration is this has gone on for 6-8 months and we're at zero. We've made no progress," he said.

Per Brancheau, should the study conclude in late summer, the application be approved by the planning board in the fall, kicked up to the council and green lighted, it would trigger a site plan developed to work out more nuanced aspects of the plan. If that moves quickly, construction could finish in summer of 2014, Brancheau said.

"It would be really hard to predict at this time," the planner said. Any number of variables or opposition to the applications could cause delays, he added.

One developer – John Saraceno – opted for a faster track on his large downtown housing proposal. Though likely to be determined quicker, his application in front of the zoning board could prove more challenging.

A hybrid retail-residential project, calls for a partial tear-down of the Sealfons Building, wrapping 100 housing units above a large section of retail. It's been somewhat scaled down since first appearing before the planning board as a courtesy look in late 2010.

Those hearings are expected to begin in August, and could last a few months. Should the developers on Broad St. and Chestnut St. not want to wait for the lengthy planning board process, they can withdraw their zone change request and submit an application to the zoning board.

Flygrl July 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I think it's a great idea! Dealing with the town has always been difficult. Building Dept has its enormous flaws. I have been in real estate over 18 years and have experienced it personally. Ridgewood could use this..Red Bank has done similar buildings.
lmb July 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM
These are much need developments in Ridgewood to revitalize the downtown district.... hope they get approved.
EOJ July 05, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I question whether our schools could absorb the children of one hundred additional families and still maintain the quality we expect in Ridgewood?
Lisa Baney July 05, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Is the thinking that more than one of these would be approved in the same general timeframe? Even concerning any one of these projects, I already believe it is important to to have independent study and consideration of the impact on traffic and potential school overloads (if in fact younger families do come to live there, despite the developers' belief that they will mostly serve older individuals). But then, more so, what might the impact be on traffic and schools if more than one of these were to happen simultaneously or before the impact of one can be observed in real life? I appreciate the importance of keeping empty-nesters and and revitalizing the CBD, but have the impacts of multiple developments (simultaneously, or one soon right after the other) been analyzed professionally by appropriate independent experts, and discussed? I confess that I have not followed this as closely as some people, but I am interested.
Tony Damiano July 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Lisa's comments are valid. There is also talk of a third development on Franklin and N. Broad St. when Ken Smith relocates to Rt. 17. This location would be ideal for commuters and is just steps from the CBD. I do think a development is greatly needed and would strengthen the CBD. I am assuming that each development would have ample parking. Also, one or both complexes should be zoned for an older age bracket, 50 years and up. The dynamic around today is that those who wish to reside in Ridgewood, but are looking to downside have little or no options. Tony Damiano - owner of Mango Jam, President of The Ridgewood Guild
jp1 July 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM
How about a parking garage at Ken Smith motors?
AMAMOM July 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Is Ken Smith really re locating to Rt17 or are you just starting a rumor? Their partner, All American Ford is already on Rt 17 so I am not sure why they would move since they already have that market covered. As one of the few one car families still around we would really miss the ability to have our car serviced within walking distance to our home.
Ridgewooder July 07, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Upscale condos in or near the CBD would be a great idea and perhaps what we need to revitalize it.
paul levin July 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I am glad that I opened up a hornet nest. There are many of us with grey hair who have put our kids thru school in Ridgewood ( it was the main reason for moving here some 40 years ago). We would love to stay in town and only hope that with our newly elected officers and board members, that the process could be expedited and that we could be kept informed. Paul Levin
barbara September 17, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Look at what Midland Park did on Paterson Avenue. They took a former manufacturing building and converted it into a luxury 55 yr and older apartment complex called The Kentshire. I have had my parents (in their 80's) on the wait list for months. Very difficult to get into the complex because the units are all taken. Not much traffic generated and no impact on the school system. Ridgewood would behoove itself to take care of its 55 and older population. This is a sorely needed housing idea.
Gary Rabinowitz September 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Wow. I'm gobsmacked that any Ridgewood resident would want a high density, multi-family apartment complex built in their otherwise nice downtown. Let me recap: adding 172 new units could add potentially 200 to 300 new kids into the school system (if each unit averages 1 or 2 kids), create traffic snafus, overcrowding, burden your police/fire, and further screw up your bad parking situation. And you think parking and school crowding is an issue now? If I were a Ridgewood resident, I'd politely tell these bait & switching developers to take a walk down East Ridgewood Avenue (even if their family has been a benefactor to your nice village). And why on earth would any resident take such a public position IN FAVOR of a development that should logically be opposed by residents at all costs? There's either an agenda or this resident is just plain selfish (build out of character housing cause I want to continue living here. Conform to me, me, me!!!!!) Good luck Ridgewood -- fight the good fight against these greedy developers.. CHEERS -GXR

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »