Maplewood Mayor Addresses Safety at Avalon Bay/PSE&G Site Project After Edgewater Fire

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Avalon Bay Communities Inc., the designated developer for the PSE&G site in Maplewood, is also the developer, owner and operator of the Edgewater apartment complex that suffered a devastating fire in January.

Although no one was killed and injuries were minimal, the five-alarm fire destroyed 240 units of the 408-unit luxury complex, shut down schools and streets in Edgewater, and left hundreds of residents homeless. Residents have filed a class action suit, alleging negligence in construction, maintenance and operation. According to a PIX 11 story, the largest building and maintenance workers union in the country is alleging that Avalon Bay has a history of “cutting corners” and “a horrible record of safety violations.” reports that officials in Princeton are calling for a review of construction codes as a planned Avalon Bay luxury apartment complex development there moves forward.

On Monday night, Maplewood officials reported that the Avalon Bay project, which would bring 235-units of mostly luxury apartments (6 would be designated as affordable housing) to the former PSE&G site at Boyden and Springfield avenues, was moving forward rapidly. A financial agreement is on track to be presented as an ordinance for first reading on Feb. 17, and a redevelopment agreement for approval as a resolution on March 3.

When asked to comment about the Edgewater fire’s impact on the project, Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca said, “With any multi-family dwelling under consideration in Maplewood, including the post office site, PSE&G site and Maplewood Commons, we all have discussions with the developers about fire safety. We intend to monitor any regulatory changes to state fire codes and add our input. Lastly, our Code Enforcement Committee will discuss fire and building safety issues and propose any local or state changes we think make sense.”

A call to Avalon Bay on Thursday has not yet been returned.

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