Maplewood, Developer Discuss Tweaks to Post Office Plan

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As Maplewood advances in negotiations with the developer of the Post Office site, the township is considering tweaking some of the redevelopment plan for the mixed-use building in the center of the Village.

Attorneys are in the process of drafting redevelopment agreements, and both sides have entered into an escrow agreement, said Mayor Vic DeLuca, who gave an update on the project at Tuesday night’s Township Committee meeting.

The township’s Economic Development Committee recently met with the developer, JMF Properties, said DeLuca. JMF has paid the town $25,000 to reimburse expenses related to the redevelopment agreement.

“We have talked to the developer about…the possibility of looking at the building and maybe making a few changes to some of the regulations we have in the plan,” said DeLuca. The potential changes include whether traffic flow behind the building should be two-way, as opposed to one-way.

In addition, the developer has assured the town there will be parking in the basement for rental tenants, as well as parking in the back for shoppers and also “overflow residential,” DeLuca said.

JMF principals will meet next week with members of the Maplewood Village Alliance design review committee, which must approve any changes to the plan. Then the Economic Development Committee meets with the developer again on Dec. 17.

“We hope to have everything put into place so that in January we’ll be able to approve any change,” said DeLuca. The plan will then be reviewed by the Planning Board before coming back to the Township Committee for final approval.

Meanwhile, the Post Office still plans to move to its new location at 195 Maplewood Avenue on February 15. “They have started work…and it’s our understanding they should be completed by [then],” DeLuca said.

Also last night, the TC approved a new ordinance to establish 20-minute parking and a limited-time loading zone in front of the soon-t0-be new Post Office building.

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