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.