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NJ Future Redevelopment Forum 2020 - Lohbauer

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NJ Future Redevelopment Forum 2020 - Lohbauer

  1. 1. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns
  2. 2. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns The neighborhood: • Old-fashioned all- American downtown • 2-3 story residential or office above unique retail, restaurants • Need for foot traffic
  3. 3. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns Wasted space • One-story • Adjacent to RR station • Incompatible design
  4. 4. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns What would work? • Researching economics • Interviewing merchants • Community-wide survey • Plan and RFQ process
  5. 5. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns Growth by choice, not chance • The Clarus has 20 residential units on 2nd & 3rd floors • Walking distance to shops, supermarket, restaurants, & RR
  6. 6. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns Development that meets the town’s goals • Multi-story mixed-use • Compatible design • Desired retail
  7. 7. Better together: Place-based economic development in downtowns Pre-leased retail instead of empty space • BCB Maplewood Bank • Abby Haliti Salon • Starbucks • The Cassidy Bar & Kitchen

Editor's Notes

  • The redevelopment project was completed by a developer called “Clarus.” Clarus Maplewood, which is home to 20 luxury apartments near the township’s train station, was one of four awards the project earned during an annual dinner hosted by the association. The complex opened last October and was 100 percent leased by early this year, with a street-level retail mix that includes Starbucks, BCB Bank, Abby Haliti Salon and The Cassidy Bar + Kitchen.
  • The redevelopment project was completed by a developer called “Clarus.” Clarus Maplewood, which is home to 20 luxury apartments near the township’s train station, was one of four awards the project earned during an annual dinner hosted by the association. The complex opened last October and was 100 percent leased by early this year, with a street-level retail mix that includes Starbucks, BCB Bank, Abby Haliti Salon and The Cassidy Bar + Kitchen.
  • The redevelopment project was completed by a developer called “Clarus.” Clarus Maplewood, which is home to 20 luxury apartments near the township’s train station, was one of four awards the project earned during an annual dinner hosted by the association. The complex opened last October and was 100 percent leased by early this year, with a street-level retail mix that includes Starbucks, BCB Bank, Abby Haliti Salon and The Cassidy Bar + Kitchen.
  • May 18, 2016:

    Demolition has commenced on the former Maplewood Post Office in Maplewood Village, which is slated to become a new multi-story mixed use development that will house 20 apartments and five new retail spaces.
    Late Wednesday afternoon, the north side of the building at the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Ricalton Square was gone, and a worker was hosing down the rubble.
    The demolition of the 1958 building, and the project that is set to take its place, has engendered volumes of opinion and sometimes heated debate among residents.
    But for now we will leave all that aside, and reprint an essay by Maplewood Town Historian Susan Newberry on the storied history of the Post Office. The piece originally appeared in The Village Green in February 2015.

    The building was gleaming, new and efficient. It had a sleek geometric façade that hugged the downhill slope, with panels of handsome greenstone echoed by an aluminum grid of windows. There was a large delivery bay and nearby parking. I didn’t know at the time that it was built in the modern, ultra-functional International style being promoted for public buildings during the Eisenhower era.
    The grand opening of the building on Maplewood Avenue instilled a great feeling of pride in the community that would astonish residents now. From 1912 until 1947 Maplewood’s post office had been a lowly substation of that in South Orange and it had resided in a series of small rented spaces. Finally in 1958 after years of efforts, Maplewood’s importance was recognized with a new building constructed expressly for the efficient handling of incoming and outgoing mail and packages. The community was jubilant. At the dedication on November 22, 1958, a Senator and high local and post office officials gave speeches.
  • The redevelopment project was completed by a developer called “Clarus.” Clarus Maplewood is home to 20 luxury apartments near the township’s train station has won four awards since it opened in October 2018. In less than 6 months the residential and commercial spaces were 100 percent leased. The street-level is all-retail with businesses facing on 3 sides of the building-north toward the train station; west on Maplewood Avenue (the main coridor), and the south side shown in this image. (The 4th side has a service corridor, and RR tracks).

    Note that both Maplewood and the developer resisted the temptation to go higher than 3 stories. A taller building would have netted more revenue for the developer, and a bigger ratable for the town. But the community of Maplewood was clear that it did not want to build an outsized structure that would be as incompatible with the neighborhood as the one-story Eisenhower era Post Office had been. Nor did the town want the extra traffic and parking problems that would come with it.
  • Here is a street view of the building from the north side, which is closest to the train station. You can see the Starbucks prominently on the corner. The restaurant tenant is along busy Maplewood Avenue, and has outdoor umbrellaed tables on the inclined surface above the pedestrian walkway.
  • The beauty of compiling the economic case before approving a development project is that it not only tells you what to build, it tells you the types of businesses that would be most sustainable in that space.

    These retail tenants pre-leased the commercial spaces prior to the opening of the building. That result differ from the typical development project in NJ, where retail tenants are often an afterthought of the builder, and the spaces remain vacant for months or years after construction.

    If Maplewood hadn’t made the effort to do the economic analysis first, they might have settled instead for a CVS Pharmacy, Burger King, or some other incompatible development on that footprint.

    GROWTH BY CHOICE, RATHER THAN BY CHANCE

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