L&M Development Partners Recommended as Developers for Post Office Site archived

http://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us

The Maplewood Township Committee’s Economic Development Committee has unanimously recommended L&M Development Partners of Larchmont, N.Y. as the developers for the Post Office Redevelopment Project.

The Maplewood Township Committee’s Economic Development Committee has unanimously recommended L&M Development Partners of Larchmont, N.Y. as the developers for the Post Office Redevelopment Project. L&M has brought on Wilder Balter Partners of Elmsford, N.Y as a partner for this project. Both companies have extensive experience in residential and commercial developments in suburban and urban settings. The architect for the project is the firm, BeyerBlinderBelle, of New York City.

The recommendation to designate L&M as the “preferred developer” will be considered by the Maplewood Township Committee at its January 7, 2014 meeting. The recommendation is the result of a two-year process that included three community meetings and numerous meetings and hearings by the Township Committee and Planning Board. The Maplewood Village Alliance also provided significant input. The Post Office Redevelopment Plan is at http://twp.maplewood.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/1309.

L&M’s preliminary layout of the site includes street level retail space suitable for Kings Supermarket, a ground floor level of retail spaces, and 25 apartments above. The proposed building takes up less than the full site and is situated in a way that allows for automobile and pedestrian access and parking on the railroad side (east) of the building. It is likely that the Township will retain ownership of the parking lots around the proposed building.

The project will be “green,” meeting the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Additionally, ten percent of the apartments will meet affordability criteria as determined by the State of New Jersey.

The Maplewood Economic Development Committee includes Mayor Vic De Luca, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal, Township Committeeman Jerry Ryan, Township Administrator Joseph Manning, Township Attorney Roger Desiderio, Township Director of Community Relations Annette DePalma, and Planning Board Chairman Tom Carlson. The following were added to the Committee to assist with the Post Office Redevelopment Project: Township Engineer Tom Malavasi, Maplewood Village Alliance District Manager Julie Doran, Architect Karen Nichols of KNTM Architects (consultant) and Retail Expert Mark Lohbauer of JGSC Group (consultant).

As the preferred developer, L&M and the Township will negotiate financial and site details. The developer must work with the Village Alliance on the design features of the building. Additionally, L&M and Kings will need to negotiate a mutually agreeable lease.

L&M - very good firm. BBB - top notch architectural firm, particularly for buildings with a sensitivity to the "historical" context.


The part of this I don't grasp is the path behind the building from the Ricalton Square parking lot through to the lower parking lot by the tunnel. We don't have this now and I didn't think we needed it. Is it something a lot of people wanted?

I'm excited about this choice. BBB's work is beautiful.

Hopefully the full L&M submission will be released soon for everyone to see. I would guess it is difficult to understand the full implications of the plan without having access to the rest of the submission graphics. It would also be great if the town released the other two short listed submissions as well.

spanishfish said:

Hopefully the full L&M submission will be released soon for everyone to see. I would guess it is difficult to understand the full implications of the plan without having access to the rest of the submission graphics. It would also be great if the town released the other two short listed submissions as well.


It is a sad fact that the TC has not yet released the plans, but not atypical. The release of only the site plan is consistent with the TC's typical regulation and restriction of information disseminated for review by the public - and so now they will vote on January 7th when almost no one has a chance to provide oversight or input. Is this by accident? really there is no reason for this. If they think it's so great, why not put it all out there in the SUNSHINE?

The TC should seriously consider postponing their vote a few months so the public has time to review and comment.
If not, they really appear to be railroading this thing through in an unfair manner with a complete lack of transparency to the public.

And regarding the architectural firm noted, it is a very fine firm indeed, but if one looks at the narrative submitted earlier by L & M, it is likely that there will be little of any creative new ideas by BBB here as it is stated in their documentation -- "...Maplewood demonstrates a compatible and viable locale for the application of one of L&M's multiple MODELS, where we've integrated green principles, transit-oriented design..."
"Models" being the important word here. BBB will be the architect of record for a site fit model already in the developers stock of plans.


Which is pretty much what happened with the Station House Apartments. I published on MOL
the plans which were one of a number that are possibilities for use by NJ School of Technology in their dorm building . These plans are made up and pulled out of a file when needed.

Winky said:

spanishfish said:

Hopefully the full L&M submission will be released soon for everyone to see. I would guess it is difficult to understand the full implications of the plan without having access to the rest of the submission graphics. It would also be great if the town released the other two short listed submissions as well.


It is a sad fact that the TC has not yet released the plans, but not atypical. The release of only the site plan is consistent with the TC's typical regulation and restriction of information disseminated for review by the public - and so now they will vote on January 7th when almost no one has a chance to provide oversight or input. Is this by accident? really there is no reason for this. If they think it's so great, why not put it all out there in the SUNSHINE?

The TC should seriously consider postponing their vote a few months so the public has time to review and comment.
If not, they really appear to be railroading this thing through in an unfair manner with a complete lack of transparency to the public.

And regarding the architectural firm noted, it is a very fine firm indeed, but if one looks at the narrative submitted earlier by L & M, it is likely that there will be little of any creative new ideas by BBB here as it is stated in their documentation -- "...Maplewood demonstrates a compatible and viable locale for the application of one of L&M's multiple MODELS, where we've integrated green principles, transit-oriented design..."
"Models" being the important word here. BBB will be the architect of record for a site fit model already in the developers stock of plans.


A little perspective in order. As important as this project might be to the village, it is a pretty small project for an experienced developer of any stature. Given this, the plans are almost certainly proprietary. This is just not a big enough project for a developer/architect to give their ideas before they have the job.

@davidfrazer - but they have been given the job. Since the TC and the EDC these days are really one and the same....(used to be EDAC). Do you really think the TC will vote against it? they already have the 3 votes of the EDC memebrs. \
So what you say makes no sense.

Winky said:

@davidfrazer - but they have been given the job. Since the TC and the EDC these days are really one and the same....(used to be EDAC). Do you really think the TC will vote against it? they already have the 3 votes of the EDC memebrs. \
So what you say makes no sense.


@davidfrazer
As someone recently said to me, why bother ? Trying to make a rational argument with someone who is either too ignorant or too removed from reality to actually be rational is a waste of your time.


And where do we draw the line as to what constitutes a personal attack. Too ignorant?

Winky said:

@davidfrazer - but they have been given the job. Since the TC and the EDC these days are really one and the same....(used to be EDAC). Do you really think the TC will vote against it? they already have the 3 votes of the EDC memebrs. \
So what you say makes no sense.


I am lawyer, so it makes perfect sense. There is no deal until it passes the Stevie Wonder Rule: signed, sealed and delivered.

author said:

And where do we draw the line as to what constitutes a personal attack. Too ignorant?


Thanks Author - I do believe that is an attack. Being a lawyer doesn't give one a pass on being rude.

The point is that the TC has no business making a final agreement without bringing all into the SunShine. They obviously have decided to move toward an agreement with this developer. thus my statement. And obviously it will be some time until a final agreement is signed - all the lawyers have to look at it.

Winky said:

Thanks Author - I do believe that is an attack. Being a lawyer doesn't give one a pass on being rude.

(For the record, those were two different posters.)

Winky said:

It is a sad fact that the TC has not yet released the plans, but not atypical. The release of only the site plan is consistent with the TC's typical regulation and restriction of information disseminated for review by the public - and so now they will vote on January 7th when almost no one has a chance to provide oversight or input. Is this by accident? really there is no reason for this. If they think it's so great, why not put it all out there in the SUNSHINE?


Winky said:

author said:

And where do we draw the line as to what constitutes a personal attack. Too ignorant?


Thanks Author - I do believe that is an attack. Being a lawyer doesn't give one a pass on being rude.

The point is that the TC has no business making a final agreement without bringing all into the SunShine. They obviously have decided to move toward an agreement with this developer. thus my statement. And obviously it will be some time until a final agreement is signed - all the lawyers have to look at it.

Ah, a new approach.

You keep coyly mentioning "sunshine" to imply that what the TC is doing is somehow in violation of those specific laws which-- not coincidentally, of course-- refer to that same word in the context of public meeting/disclosure requirements. Though I don't for a minute think the TC is either naive enough, stupid enough, so poorly advised and/or sufficiently ego-filled to believe they would even remotely run afoul of their responsibilities under the law, clearly you seem to. Thus, one assumes you have evidence to support this not-so-subtle allegation. Do tell.

sarahzm said:

Winky said:

@davidfrazer - but they have been given the job. Since the TC and the EDC these days are really one and the same....(used to be EDAC). Do you really think the TC will vote against it? they already have the 3 votes of the EDC memebrs. \
So what you say makes no sense.

@davidfrazer
As someone recently said to me, why bother ? Trying to make a rational argument with someone who is either too ignorant or too removed from reality to actually be rational is a waste of your time.

.

author said:

And where do we draw the line as to what constitutes a personal attack. Too ignorant?


Suggesting that a commercial business release proprietary information on the supposition that " they have been given the job" before a contract is signed and before a TC vote , no matter how much a done deal it may seem to be, does show ignorance of basic business practices. The definition of ignorant is: lacking knowledge or awareness in general. I think that applies.

Telling someone they "make no sense" when trying to explain those basic business practices certainly seems irrational and removed from reality.

It wasn't a personal attack. It was an observation, and I think it was accurate

The party who made the comment is not the one to decide whether or not the comment is a personal attack. That is the sole function of the moderator.

if calling someone "ignorant" in this context warrants a ban, there should be a lot more bannings. if the rules are that strict, we'll reach the point on MOL whenre there won't be enough people left to get a good online checkers game going.

That said, we wouldn't need to organize an online checkers game if the TC accepts my proposal to turn the P.O. space into a high-tech gaming environment:


I'm all for turning a PO'd space into something more genial.

I'm hoping that when the P.O. moves, I'll get more interesting mail.

Nothing like a sense of humor with a freight train of a snow storm allegedly coming our way.

Author, I do apologize. Even though I disagree with your arguments on this issue, I respect many of your posts and calling anyone ignorant is uncalled for.

True Story .........my mother worked for over 30 years in an eraser factory. The only reason for its
existence was that people wanted to change what they had written.

It is the nature of some of us on MOL, me included to become passionate. We all want what is only the the best for our town. And it is is human nature for so many of us, again me included to think that
WE are the ones to know what that answer was is. Part of the game. It would be condescending of me to say apology accepted but know my feelings are we are all Maplewoodians........and we all love our town.

Observation:
1) High profile developer.
2) High profile architect.
3) Lots of $ on the front end.
4) Visions of champagne toasts, awards, & media exposure.
5) Order XXL hardhats for big heads and wide bearths for large ego's @ the ground breaking.

apple44 said:

I'm hoping that when the P.O. moves, I'll get more interesting mail.


And

Maybe my mail will come on time?

Maybe it won't include my neighbor's mail?



The plan does not allow French balconies. If there are balconies, they have to be full balconies.

I wondered about this, until I looked at the railroad side wall of those ugly apartments where the police station used to be. There are railings for French balconies placed in front of ordinary windows! There apparently wasn't a requirement for the French "balconies" to have French windows that actually opened.

The folks from the "towns west" must be having a smug little laugh every time they pass by in the morning. But, by God, one day we'll make them laugh out the other side of their mouths on the way home.



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