Page 18 - RENJ Combo 0220
P. 18

16 FEBRUARY 2020
  River Development Equities’ proposal for a 44-acre redevelopment in East Brunswick includes a hotel with outdoor dining, as depicted in this conceptual rendering.
none currently exists is easier said than done.
“It depends on where you are, it depends on the level of buy-in
from the public and the amount of communication that’s put out to the public about what we’re trying to trying to accomplish,” said Reiner, a senior urban designer with DMR Architects in Hasbrouck Heights. “And I think that depends on if it’s a property that the municipality has created a vision for.
“In East Brunswick, it’s been a municipally run vision, so it’s not about a developer coming in and saying ‘I want to build something.’
It’s about the municipality saying, ‘How do we
bring this to our
residents, what
are the benefits we can gain from this type of development, but also
what are the
needs that can be fulfilled?’ ”
Stephen Carlidge of Shore Point Architecture, who is also part of the design team, said the concept aims to be adaptable. For instance, the team is considering varying housing types, from flats to multistory live-
work units that can allow a resident to operate a business on the ground and live upstairs.
“One of the beauties of this site is that we have all kinds of flexibility in what we’re going to be able to do,” said Carlidge, the president and founder of the Ocean Grove-based firm. “And we think that’s a real positive.”
Waters’ project team includes a host of other well-known professionals from firms such as Melillo + Bauer Associates, Langan and Giordano Halleran & Ciesla PC. He said
his goal was a proposal that “is impactful” but unlike other projects in New Jersey. To that end, his team is drawing inspiration from modern architecture in places such as California, Seattle and Austin, Texas.
“I don’t think I need to say a
whole lot, but if you drive virtually anywhere, a lot of the product in
our state is pretty typical, borne
out of economic necessity, borne
out of not really thinking too far
into the future,” Waters said. “We would rather not do this project than not be able to do it the way we’ve envisioned it, which is to think about developing something that people want to live in tomorrow — not today, certainly not yesterday.
“It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have all of the creature comforts, it doesn’t mean
it doesn’t have all of the places you want to work and live and be able to entertain yourself,” he added. “But
it means that we’re going to break the mold. We’re going to do things that they’re doing in other parts of the country very successfully and it should capture anyone that drives by, let alone anyone who lives here or who works here.”
For all the optimism among
Waters’ team, public officials and many residents, the developer noted that “now the hard work really starts” — with hard design, entitlements and “really being able to figure out how we create an environment where people want
to come here and stay here.” Other stakeholders acknowledged that the redevelopment process is only just getting started.
“(We’re) climbing the mountain,” Cohen said during the Feb. 4 presentation. “We’re at a little pedestal right now where we can look at the landscape and see what we’ve accomplished, but as soon
as today’s over, we’re back up to climbing the mountain, because there’s a lot of work to be done. But this is a little bit of a chance for us to share with the community what we’ve accomplished and to bask in a little bit of the accomplishments that we’ve achieved so far.” RE
  An aerial view of the 44-acre redevelopment site in East Brunswick that is now in the hands of township officials and River Development Equities LLC
Stephen Carlidge
   Courtesy: River Development Equities LLC Courtesy: River Development Equities LLC

   16   17   18   19   20