FANWOOD — The planning board will resume its hearing in August on the application to redevelop the former A&P supermarket site on South Avenue into two apartment buildings, a restaurant and a new home for Fanwood Liquors.
At last week’s initial hearing, which stretched more than three and a half hours, the board heard from an engineer and an architect about plans for what will be called Carano Square. Besides constructing the two large residential dwellings, the multi-phased project also will see the temporary relocation of the liquor store closer to the railroad tracks and the vacation of most of Old South Avenue.
Engineer Catherine Muller told the board that during the first phase of the project, a temporary building and parking lot for Fanwood Liquors will be built behind where it presently sits. At the same time, construction of the first apartment building will begin on the former A&P lot. That four-story building will have 74 apartments consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with 80 underground parking spots for residents. A 5,000-square-foot restaurant will be attached to the western side of the building and a flat roof terrace will be accessible for either restaurant patrons or residents, said architect Laurence Appel.
The project’s second phase will see the existing liquor store building razed and about two-thirds of Old South Avenue vacated. The western end of that roadway will be configured so that it leads directly into the new liquor store’s parking lot, which itself will have access to the larger parking lots serving the new apartment buildings. The third phase will feature the construction of a new building for the liquor store in the same spot as it is presently located, Ms. Muller said. During the fourth phase, the second apartment building will be constructed next to the new liquor store, where most of Old South Avenue now runs, while the first building to the east nears completion.
The second building will have 66 apartments with one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with 73 underground parking stalls. The 140 apartments in the two buildings will range between 750 and 1,500 square feet, and 21 of them will be designated as affordable units. The ground-floor apartments in each building also will feature a front stoop and entry door facing South Avenue in addition to an inside entry point. The upper floors will center around an outdoor amenity area situated on the roof of each building’s indoor parking garage and will include barbecue grills and tables and chairs.
All mechanical equipment for the apartments will be placed on the roof, and Mr. Appel, the architect, said that while solar panels are not part of the plan, the roof of each building will be constructed to be “solar ready” for a time when it “makes sense for a building like this.”
The two apartment buildings will be separated by a driveway, with 15-foot-wide entry and exit lanes split by an eight-foot island. An underground detention system is planned to collect excess rainwater. Late in last week’s hearing, several board members raised questions about the size and placement of some of the development’s signs on the buildings and on the ground, and the matter will be further addressed at the board’s next hearing on Wednesday, August 9, when a traffic engineer and a professional planner are expected to testify.