7 West Parker Re-development

A Redevelopment Plan is currently being drafted for the site of the former Gleason’s Dry Cleaning operation at 7 West Parker Avenue, west of Columbia High School and Valley Street. The current proposal is to construct a multi-family dwelling with 46 units.

The draft Re-development Plan, which defines the zoning for the site, is being voted on by the Township Committee at the September 6th and 20th meetings. The draft Plan appears below.

The overall time line for this effort is as follows:

PurchaseCurrent owner purchases property from Gleason Dry CleanersDecember 20200
Need of Redevelopment StudyTownship studies property to determine if it qualifies for RedevelopmentSummer 20216
Approval of StudyPlanning Board and Township Committee approve property as being “in need of redevelopment”October 202110
RenderingsShown to Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED) Sub-committee. Preliminary business terms discussed in closed session.February 202214
Contract for Redevelopment PlanPhillips Preiss planning firm is selected to write Redevelopment PlanMarch 202215
Vote on Redevelopment PlanRedevelopment Plan is voted on at Planning Board and Township CommitteeAugust/Sept 202220
Submission of Project to Planning BoardFormal submission of full project site-plans to Planning BoardFall 2022?22
Vote at Planning BoardApproval of full project plansEOY 2022?25
Redevelopment AgreementApproval of business terms including give-backs to community and PILOTEOY 2022?25

Redevelopment Project Timeline

This time line is typical of projects of this kind. In Maplewood most redevelopment projects follow a Zoning-based approach in which the Redevelopment Plan is written in generalized legal language and specific public awareness of the project occurs relatively late, sometimes no sooner than the Planning Board hearings. In the estimated timeline above that is nearly a year after township officials saw renderings.

This process in this case began when a study was done to determine if site qualified for designation as a site in “need of redevelopment”. A Planning Board hearing was conducted in October of 2021 at which the document was reviewed and approved with removal of one section that commented on the surrounding area. The Board voted to removed the section as it was not clear that there was agreement on it’s contents. Public comment was also provided which stressed the need to set goals for the project in the context of the surrounding area before a Redevelopment Plan was written.

As of this writing, the CEED (Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development) sub-committee of the Township Committee has discussed the project at at least 3 meetings. These meetings are held at 8am the second Thursday of each month, zoom access is available via the calendar on the Township web site. Some of the renderings shared during those meetings are shown below:

Preliminary business terms including PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) and give-backs to the community typically take place in parallel with the CEED meetings, in closed session. Final business terms are agreed on following the Planning Board approval of site plans.

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This site was created to chronicle the five year public process leading to the construction of Clarus Maplewood, and beyond!   We recently re-arranged it to provide easier access chronologically or by topic area.  Check out the changes by using the search box, or using the project overview. Check out the What’s Next? page for a listing of recent planning efforts and developments.