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Residents Question Proposal for 6-Story Apartment Building

State Street lot eyed for new apartments, retail space.

A developer is working to transform an abandoned gas station at Queen Anne Road and State Street into a six-story apartment complex with retail space, but an initial hearing on the project Thursday drew concerns from residents and an area merchant.

The proposed building, at 140 State Street, includes 42 rental apartments on the upper five floors with storefronts on the ground level, attorney Matt Capizzi, who represents developer State Corner LLC, said at a zoning board meeting. The complex will also include an underground parking garage for tenants with 87 spots.

The plan calls for about 8,600 square feet of retail space along State Street and Queen Anne Road, according to Project Engineer David Juzmeski.

Residential space would include 28 two-bedroom apartments, six one-bedrooms and eight three-bedroom units, he said.

While the façade would expand around State Street and Queen Anne Road, the building would be set back from the rear property in an L-shape, Juzmeski said.

Although the developer’s full presentation, including a report on traffic, was moved to a future hearing, some residents voiced concerns over the project’s potential impact on the area.

Township resident Mildred Tucker asked if the developer had taken into account the impact deliveries would have on State Street traffic.

Delivery trucks would have to use State Street to access the building, Juzmeski said. The developer would work to lessen the impact on the neighborhood during construction.

“Basically, any construction on this site would have some kind of disturbance to pedestrian traffic,” Juzmeski said. “We would do everything we can to try and accommodate the pedestrian traffic on State Street.”

Some of the strongest resistance to the project came from Monique Kim, who spoke on behalf of Plaza Cleaners. The dry cleaner is next door to the site and Kim said she worried construction would damage her father’s store.

“We are very concerned that this would cause erosion and cause serious structural problems for the property,” Kim said. 

Kim also shared concerns over storm water runoff and the possibility that work on the apartment would infringe on the airspace above the dry cleaner. 

The developer is seeking variances for the six-story complex, which measures 68 feet, higher than the township’s 35-foot building limit.

“We are not getting a sense that our issues and the concerns that we have could be met appropriately or adequately enough,” Kim told the zoning board.

She said the building should be set back six feet from the store, although Juzmeski noted it complied with town code.

Board member Jerry Barta said some of the concerns could be addressed later in the review process. 

Elsworth James, of the Northeast Teaneck Block Association, asked that the developer meet with community members to discuss the project. James said developers usually discuss their plans with the association before moving forward. 

Block association President Gwen Acree said she was concerned about overflow parking from the proposed apartment building.

“I am seeing it impacting the neighborhood, as far as traffic is concerned,” Acree said.

Juzmeski, the project engineer, noted the 87 planned spaces exceeded the township’s required amount of 84. The project’s attorney signaled he was open to meet with concerned residents.

Zoning board members also questioned the lack of service elevators in the proposal and logistics of garbage pickup. The State Street project was ultimately carried to a May meeting, but it was not yet known if the rest of the presentation would be further delayed. 

Michael J. Klatsky February 22, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Also, this project should include office space, perhaps on the upper floors. we need diversity in our rateables. In addition, as a town, we should try to become a more self-sufficient place with our own businesses that our residents can get to--keeping our people here, our businesses here, all the tax revenue here and creating a Town identity.
Michael J. Klatsky February 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM
As far as projects to low taxes go, this one passes the sniff test. It is located in a pre-existing downtown area, that already has roads, sewers, power, transportation and other underutilized EXISTING infrastructure that we can put back to use. Rather than the typical new construction that requires an enormous investment on the Township's part to provide those services, this project gives us all of the benefits with none of the bad.
Michael J. Klatsky February 22, 2012 at 10:24 PM
However, as good of a project this is, lets not be duped by its cheap and shoddy design. We can learn from the many towns of similar size that have gone through the exact same thing. Have a look at Buildings in: Great Neck, NY Englewood, NJ And especially, the amazingly great architecture of the South End of Boston. There are literally thousands of 5 story, really nice buildings there.
zizi February 23, 2012 at 02:06 PM
@Michael J. Klatsky: There are plenty of rich people in Teaneck who make it their job to keep things as they are and also insist on not cutting expenses (mainly school budget). They don't like progress and want to live in 50's. I say that we should get more development and the kind of development that brings in the most money. I for one want to trim the budget and increase the revenue.... my taxes went from $5300 in 1999 to almost $10500 in 2011. I really am fed up with this system. who can pay these taxes? My income can not keep up with these crazy increases...... my quality of life is taking a nose dive.......
Judy Distler February 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM
There are four story private homes in the West Englewood section. How does that happen? Why is an apartment house above retail space on a wide street, on a corner that is currently terrible looking, that might actually add to the town coffers and to the charm of the Plaza area so frightening? An FDU-run hotel was turned down for the River Rd./Rte. 4 area (would not have minded it in my backyard), but we can still look at Riverside right across the river and watch the tax dollars go to Hackensack. . . Hope this doesn't drag on forever and go down to defeat.
DMAB6395 February 24, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I agree with you again ZIZI, we were looking a few years ago to get out of Teaneck because our taxes were raised once again-we were looking down in South Jersey, maininly in the Wildwood /Cape May area. There was a beautiful house that we couldn't afford because it was almost a million dollars but the fact that this house was on a 1 1/2 acres of land & there taxes were $7,000 a year which was less than what we were paying (it was about 5 years ago)for our little postage sized lot that we are living on now. How's that possible? Look at how Cape May is compared to Teaneck & you'll get your answer. We are still here but who know's for how much longer with these taxes going up every year I don't know how Teaneck isn't a ghost town.
Jay Jay February 24, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It amazes me that people think that adding high rises to the landscape in Teaneck will be the cure to our high taxes. When you start adding an influx of more people to a small area, other things will need to get upgraded as well. Think of what 80 more cars will do to traffic. What will 100 new toilets flushing do to our aging sewer system? Whatever influx of money that will come from this development will probably be spent on upgrading our Infrastructure to support it, because I don't see how anyone can come to the conclusion that the existing infrastructure, that was put into place more than 80 years ago, is being underutilized. And what will adding massive high rise buildings do to the quality of life? One of the things people love about Teaneck is that you live in neighborhoods. Neighborhoods go out the window when you live next door to a high rise condo development. Once you say "yes" to one high rise, it becomes nearly impossible to say "no" to the next one. Pretty soon we'll end up looking like Englewood. Before we go down that road, why don't we examine Englewood and see how much all those "rateables" have affected their taxes. Was it really worth it? I am all for development that fits in with the existing community, not development that will change the essence of Teaneck forever, and not necessarily for the better.
DMAB6395 February 24, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Jay Jay-what's wrong with wanting to expand Teaneck? OK maybe not 6 stories but you have to admit that having more stores & having apartments above it will be good for Teaneck. It will bring jobs to Teaneck where we need them-I would rather have this apartment/store complex than having a abandoned gas station. I am waiting to go to the May 3rd meeting about this & learning more about it before I decide to vote against it. Right now I am being positive about it until I go to the meeting and they show me that it's not a great thing for Teaneck. Yes we are full of neighborhoods & that's a good thing but I don't see how having a apartment complex will destroy that. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Jay Jay February 24, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I agree that an abandoned gas station is nothing but an eyesore, and I would have no problem is a 3 story apartment building with stores below. Not that we need more store fronts now, because there are plenty of empty storefronts around Teaneck already. I'm not even sure that there is a need for more apartments in town. The real issue I have is why 6 stories? My guess would be this is how the developer can make the most money. Does Teaneck really need all those apartments on the 4th, 5th, and 6th floors? My concern is if you say "yes" to this developer, it will open the door to any and all developers with high rise designs whose only concern is how much money can they can make, and not the impact the project will have to the community. It would set a precedent. That is what worries me.
DMAB6395 February 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I agree with you on the point of it will open the door to any and all developers with high rise designs...that's why I am waiting & going to the meeting. Maybe we could get the developer & the town to agree on a smaller development. Where it would only be 2 or 3 stories including the store fronts. I don't see the harm in going to the meeting & seeing what they have to say that's why I'm staying positive about the situation. If they won't go smaller than maybe there's a developer out there that will go smaller-I still think that anything is better than that empty gas station & like other people have pointed out it will be bringing money to Teaneck that we do need. Store fronts being there doesn't always mean that you have to put stores there. You can put in a laundromats, maybe day care center, etc. There are many possibilities.
Michael J. Klatsky February 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Please allow the professionals determine the building permits.
Michael J. Klatsky February 24, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Also Teaneck does not need more retail. People want to drive to go shopping for a one stop, Like at Bergen Town Center / Garden State Plaza. We need to have more people here during the day....i.e. Professional Office workers. We need many office buildings in the downtown plaza area! No more office parks on Route 4 &17 surrounded by parking that suck the vitality out of our downtown. Those workers will spend their money in the plaza area during lunchtime, for breakfast and perhaps live in the plaza area so they can live in the downtown and make Teaneck a Strong Town.
Michael J. Klatsky February 24, 2012 at 10:02 PM
To all the people who want Teaneck to remain exactly the same....the big social experiment we call suburbia is over. We must evolve or become a dead town. The choices we make will determine whether we become a independent town with its own economy or remain a giant dormitory for workers, which is what the 95 % low density residential town we call Teaneck is now. Evolve or become extinct
Michael J. Klatsky February 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM
In addition, the infrastructure in the plaza was laid in the 1920's with the intention of building a set of 6 large complexes the same size as 34 State Street, with a large hotel connected to all of them. The capacity if certainly there for much more dense development since the plaza was designed as a high density place surrounding the West Englewood Ave Railroad Station. And stop this business about traffic. The streets are always empty here in Teaneck.
Jay Jay February 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Do you honestly think that an infrastructure that was laid in the 1920's, about 90 years ago, would be able to accommodate a major influx from new development? And I don't know where you live in Teaneck, but here on the southern side, Teaneck Road, Degraw Ave., Queen Anne Road, and Cedar Lane are constantly busy with traffic. I can't image it is any less around the Teaneck Road/State Street area.
Jay Jay February 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Teaneck is far from becoming a dead town. I believe there will always be a need for a community like Teaneck so close to an urban area. That is the charm of Teaneck. It feels like a small town, yet it is so close to New York. I believe High Rises will change that.
JAD February 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Perhaps it's just me but I don't view 6 stories as a high rise and am unsure how a new addition would impact the current infrastructure or if the upgrades done along Windsor Road already would come into play and ease any additional usage or at a minimum make the cost/benefit from this type of project logical. I don't agree with Teaneck having ample retail. I personally enjoy stand alone store shopping, always have and find it to be extremely limiting here in town, to put it lightly. The boost to the current local stores from the addition of other "anchor" shops could very easily be a win/win. New construction (built to suit) for shops could bring a few recognizable name stores that would also be an incentive for some vacant shops in that area to rent as well.
DMAB6395 February 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I love going to the "little" stores in town. They are convenient. As for your comment about letting the professionals (Michael J. Klatsky)doing the permits etc I was just making suggestions. 6 stories are not high rise building but I think that 6 stories is a little too high for Teaneck-maybe 3-4. I for one will wait until they give us more information & then go to the meeting on May 3rd.
Michael J. Klatsky February 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Yes. Teaneck's Infrastructure is extremely underutilized to the point that other nearby municipalities want to shut down down their infrastructure and use Teaneck's excess for a fee. If you think there is traffic anywhere in Teaneck other than NJ 4....I have a bridge to sell you. And traffic should be the least of our concerns when it comes to re-establishing our downtown plaza, which aside from a few restaurants and eyesores, is relatively abandoned. If you don't think so, you need to visit other historic NYC edge Towns, like Great Neck or Cedarhurst.
Michael J. Klatsky February 26, 2012 at 12:36 AM
However, we desperately need a high rise office tower in the plaza as an anchor. Several 40-50 story towers would be the absolute minimum if we are to become economically independent and a destination and low tax strong town. If not, we are doomed to be a high tax, NYC backwater forever.
Michael J. Klatsky February 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Please note that if we all felt like (Jay Jay), the caveman would still be living in caves, because a hut and domestic farming would harm their current way of life. Please keep that in mind when you discuss the future of Teaneck, Town of great potential.
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Michael J. Klatsky June 21, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Tomorrow night, the Teaneck Planning Board will be having a meeting at Town Hall at 7pm. This is about the proposed modern apartment complex for the site of the existing eyesore of the ABANDONED Gulf Gas Station at the corner of Queen Anne Road and State Street, (across from Shnitzel Plus.) This complex based on the existing renderings will look similar to the apartments Englewood has allowed on Route 4 and Downtown near Shoprite.
Michael J. Klatsky June 21, 2012 at 04:33 AM
A few vocal residents of Teaneck are against any new apartments in town and have threatened this project. However, there are no consequences for them, but only bad consequences for young couples and families living in the apartments area. While their mortgage stays the same, our rent rises each year due to increasing demand for apartments. The last apartment complex build here was in 1948!!! The apartments are mostly filled, rent is high and young families are looking for a larger apartment for two children rather the tiny 750 sq. ft apartments here.
Michael J. Klatsky June 21, 2012 at 04:34 AM
While we need an apartment option in between terrace circle/Ayers/Walraven/Westgate and a Starter Home, there are people that feel that more apartments will harm their way of life. You need to call the Teaneck building department and vocalize your thoughts at 201-837-1600 Ext. 1100 or attend this meeting tomorrow night and let the Planning Board know that the silent majority wants and needs more apartments in Downtown West Englewood, providing more space for our young families and giving our struggling local Queen Anne Businesses more local customers. Competition gives us more options and will lower our rent!
DMAB6395 June 21, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Teaneck is almost non-existened now with retail & where are all the apartments? I hope you are not talking about the u down apartments on River Rd just after the FDU college dorms? Or the Section 8 housing we have over by Teaneck Rd/ if that's all the apartments we have in Teaneck than sorry to Diane Schwartz & all of you haters of progress but we need these apartments & we can def use the retail space-oh I forgot the apartments behind the CVS...I would rent one of them if I had the money but the parking isn't worth the hassle. Diane Schwartz I am assuming you live on the side of Cedar Lane-say by Stop & Shop? How is the apartment complex that's about 10 minutes (with the traffic on Cedar Lane) by car away from you going to impact your lifestyle? I think I know you, your son David, went to THS with my son & played baseball with him. If so, then those apartments & retail space are not going to impact you in either way.
Michael J. Klatsky June 21, 2012 at 01:22 PM
the meeting will be tonight june 21st 2010 at 7 pm at town hall
Michael J. Klatsky June 21, 2012 at 01:51 PM
It looks like they have asked for another delay until August. Don't show up tonight!

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