Park N Shop vote Mon­day

Coun­cil to de­cide on pro­posed apart­ments

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Af­ter nearly two years of dis­cus­sion, the fate of a pro­posal to build apart­ments at the Park N Shop will be de­cided by city coun­cil on Mon­day.

The meet­ing is set for 7 p.m. at city hall, 220 S. Main St.

DSM Com­mer­cial is seek­ing to de­mol­ish the shut­tered M&T Bank build­ing at the cor­ner of South Main Street and Ap­ple Road and re­place it with a three­story build­ing con­tain­ing 10,600 square feet of re­tail space on the first floor and 12 apart­ments on the sec­ond and third floors. There would be 10 four-bed­room apart­ments and two twobed­room apart­ments for a to­tal of 44 bed­rooms.

Most of the ex­ist­ing, re­cently ren­o­vated re­tail space at the shop­ping cen­ter would re­main, though plans call for de­mol­ish­ing 6,400 square feet of the west­ern-most por­tion of the build­ing – which Park N Shop Liquors oc­cu­pied be­fore it moved else­where in the shop­ping cen­ter – to pro­vide more park­ing and cre­ate an end-cap unit.

Last month, the plan­ning com­mis­sion unan­i­mously rec­om­mended coun­cil ap­prove DSM’s re­quest to di­vide the prop­erty into two parcels and re­zone the 1.13-acre par­cel con­tain­ing the new mixed-use build­ing from gen­eral busi­ness to cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict, as well as ap­prove a com­pre­hen­sive plan amend­ment, ma­jor sub­di­vi­sion and a spe­cial-use per­mit. How­ever, coun­cil is not re­quired to fol­low the plan­ning com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

If ap­proved, the $5 mil­lion project is slated to be com­pleted by spring 2019.

No ten­ants for the re­tail space have been an­nounced, but DSM of­fi­cials have said they want to at­tract “com­mu­nity-type ameni­ties” to the pro­posed re­tail space as well as the three ex­ist­ing va­can­cies. Such busi­nesses could in­clude a cof­fee shop, an ice­cream shop or a restau­rant, they said.

DSM pur­chased the 5-acre shop­ping cen­ter in 2014 – af­ter the pre­vi­ous owner aban­doned a highly con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to re­place the bank build­ing with a Wawa gas sta­tion – and held two com­mu­nity meet­ings to gain feed­back from neigh­bors be­fore com­ing to the plan­ning com­mis­sion.

The plan orig­i­nally called for a drive-thru cof­fee shop, but DSM elim­i­nated that af­ter many res­i­dents voiced con­cerns about in­creased traf­fic and noise from the speaker. Still, sev­eral res­i­dents have con­tin­ued to ex­press con­cerns, par­tic­u­larly about the apart­ments.

SUB­MIT­TED IM­AGE

An artist’s ren­der­ing shows how the pro­posed mixed-use project at the Park N Shop would look from Ap­ple Road.

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