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Somerville may see another apartment building – MYCENTRAL JERSEY.COM

Posted On 11/18/2015

Article published HERE

SOMERVILLE – Another apartment building may be coming to the borough.

Robert Weiss, of Weiss Properties, unveiled his proposal at Monday’s Borough Council meeting to build a 72-unit apartment building on Davenport Street on the property that now houses offices, including the Social Security Administration.

At the end of his presentation, the council unanimously voted to designate Weiss as the redeveloper of the property that he originally redeveloped with the offices.

“I think it’s a beautiful building,” Mayor Brian Gallagher said.

Weiss, who is building The Cobalt apartment complex on Veterans Memorial Drive, told the council that he has confidence in Somerville’s future.
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“We’re very fortunate we are able to do this in a town like yours,” he said. “A lot of people are gravitating to Somerville.”

Weiss said the proposed five-story apartment building, The Davenport, would be mostly one-bedroom and studio apartments, with some two-bedroom apartments.

“We will try to have something for everybody,” he said, adding that the building will be “very elegant.”

On the ground floor will be a gated parking garage with 79 spaces that will have an entrance and exit on Hunterdon Street, Weiss said.

Also on the ground floor, within view of pedestrians on Davenport Street, will be a gym for residents and a meeting room.
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The apartments will be grouped around a second floor courtyard that will be open to all residents, Weiss said.

Weiss said construction, once all approvals are given by the borough, could begin in 2017.

The Social Security office lease expires at the end of 2016. Weiss said he does not know where the office would move.

Weiss said the market for small office space is disappearing

One of the selling points for The Davenport, Weiss said, will be its proximity to the train station and Main Street businesses. He said that residents of downtown buildings are known as “walking wallets.”
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“Why drive to downtown, when I can live in it,” he said.

Weiss’ proposal is the latest in a wave of apartment complexes proposed for Somerville. Plans have been submitted for a mixed use building at the corner of East Main Street and Warren Street on the former Somerville Aluminum site and at the east end of the borough on the former Baker & Taylor Site and on James Street.

In addition, the borough is waiting for approval from the state Department of Transportation for a transit village development around the train station.

Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

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