The Township of Maplewood is looking to encourage redevelopment of the old Toomey’s site on Baker Street in Maplewood Village in a manner more consistent with other properties in the village.
The old service station is an odd man out in a downtown filled with ground floor commercial spaces and office and residential uses on upper floors.
The draft redevelopment plan (see below) was prepared by planning consultant Paul Grygiel. The stated purpose of the Redevelopment Plan is “to provide a framework for the potential redevelopment of a property occupied by a vacant building and developed in a manner inconsistent with its walkable downtown setting in accordance with smart growth principles and current design techniques.”
The draft plan aims to attract development that is consistent with other buildings in the downtown, that capitalizes on the transit-friendly location, that is “green,” that is attractive, that improves the pedestrian environment and that provides parking not just for its own uses but also accommodates parking for other uses in the vicinity (the Township has been leasing the property since June to provide 10 extra visitor parking spaces):
The plan also provides for maximum building height of 35′ along Baker Street but up to 47′ is in stepped-back components away from the street. A maximum of three stories would be allowed.
Toomey’s closed last year after 49 years of business in Maplewood Village. Joe Toomey, then age 74, moved his business in with Bernie’s Motor Cars at 73 Millburn Avenue in Millburn. At the time, Toomey told Village Green that he was looking forward to cutting his hours back from 70 to 40 per week. (Read more about the closing and history of Toomey’s here.)
In June, DeLuca told Village Green that his “best guess” was that the parking lot will be available for parking for “a year or two” as Iron Ore works on a proposal for a mixed use development for the site.
From Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca:
The Township of Maplewood will hold a community meeting to discuss the draft Redevelopment Plan for the Toomey’s Automotive Site at 104 Baker Street. The meeting will be on Monday, November 19th at 7:30pm in the Parlor at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood.
In July 2018 the Maplewood Township Committee determined the former Toomey’s automobile site at 104 Baker Street qualified as an “area in need of rehabilitation” and engaged a licensed planner to prepare a draft redevelopment plan. The plan sets forth standards for the construction of buildings and other improvements at 104 Baker Street.
The meeting is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the plan, ask questions and offer comments. No formal action will be taken at the community meeting. The Township Committee will consider input from the community meeting as it prepares a final draft.
A representative from the planning firm will be present as will members of the Maplewood Township Committee.