Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Report on Plainfield Development

I went for a walk down South Ave from the Netherwood train station to Richmond St.  The city is focusing redevelopment along South Ave near the train station and there are some vacant factory buildings further down towards downtown that have gotten some recent attention.

Across from the train station - Sumo/Crown Bank have been slowly working on the four story mixed use building which is taking a long time preparing for occupancy.  But there are signs that work continues.

Corner of Berkman and South - the large factory building was getting new windows as I walked by.  This will be a storage facility when it is ready.

Next door - is the Edward Paul building, a large factory building that has been out of use for many years.  It is equally distant from each of Plainfield's train stations but not within the transit village zone.  Its future involves a crucial development decision.  In the past, developers have expressed interest in renovating it for residential use.   But if we allow that, the door is open for residential use the full length of the rail line between the train stations.  This is undesirable.  We need a balance of residential and commercial.

Another property with commercial development potential is next door to Edward Paul - the corner of Richmond and South, currently a vacant lot.  

Commercial development is important because it brings tax revenues without the expenses for services that new residents bring.  It also brings much needed jobs.  Our Planning Board has wisely zoned the city to maintain the character of residential areas and concentrate commercial development around our train stations and our shopping districts.  This block between Berkman and Richmond along the rail line needs new businesses.  With the momentum created by the Mapp administration, we should raise our expectations and not settle for less than well balanced, quality development that will have lasting value for current and future residents, especially those needing employment. 

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