Four-Storey Apartment Building Proposed for Former Madison Restaurant Site | Madison Eagle News

MADISON – The owner of Madison Pharmacy is looking to demolish a one-story building behind the pharmacy and replace it with a four-story apartment building with shops on the ground floor.

The project is proposed for the former home of the Central + Main restaurant at 3 Central Ave., which closed permanently in September. Before that, the building was occupied by the Redux restaurant from 2015 to 2018.

The building would house six apartments spread over three residential floors above approximately 1,600 feet of retail space. Although one story higher, the 42-foot structure would be identical in height to the mixed-use building housing the Tons of Toys toy store and other businesses across the street, and two feet taller than the pharmacy building next door.

Longtime pharmacy owner Frank Iannarone must seek approval of the site plan from the Town Planning Board, but must also undergo a review by the Historic Preservation Commission in order to demolish the building in the Madison Civic Historic Commercial District.

Iannarone has owned the pharmacy for 32 years and the property, which includes both the pharmacy and the restaurant, for around 15 years. In a telephone interview on Tuesday, he said he was pursuing the mixed-use project for several reasons.

“I’m tired of looking for a restaurant tenant every two years because the turnover is huge. Plus the building is ugly. For me it’s more than anything an eyesore and something. again would attract people, ”he said, pointing to the studies. noting that additional apartments in the city center would make the city center more dynamic.

Iannarone said a developer has similar housing plans for the land adjacent to Central Avenue that houses the three buildings between Nicky’s Firehouse Subs and the building it seeks to demolish. The neighboring lot contains a hair salon, a residence and the former home of the Central Lunch restaurant.

Property records show that the three-building land at 5 Central Avenue was sold in August to Ledan Holdings, LLC for $ 901,000.

“[Most of] the rest of the block is going to be demolished by someone else, ”according to Iannarone. “There is going to be a lot of development in the region.

He said he thinks his plan for the 3 Central Ave. will be positive for downtown Madison.

Request withdrawn, for now

The Historic Preservation Commission has the power to impose mandatory conditions on applicants seeking to demolish buildings in historic districts.

The commission was due to start hearing Iannarone’s demolition request in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, November 9, but the file has been withdrawn for now on the grounds that the request was incomplete.

As with the controversial and ultimately successful 2019 request to demolish the historic Lincoln Place cinema, the borough hired a historic preservation attorney to help guide the commission through the application process.

The borough council voted unanimously on November 8, the day before the request began, to hire Lawrenceville’s lawyer, Janine Bauer, to consult exclusively on the request from 3, avenue centrale. Bauer, who is the historic preservation attorney for Hoboken and Orange, identified issues with the request the next day, which led to its withdrawal.

“The plaintiff’s lawyer consulted with his client and then, based on my advice, agreed to withdraw the claim,” she told the committee at the November 9 meeting. “So that’s where it is. They will come back with a complete file.

Bauers said the claim will need to be properly graded again when the claimant is ready to appear before council at an unspecified future date.

The proposal, being a demolition rather than a renovation of a historic neighborhood structure, is one of the most important applications seen by the commission in recent years, Borough Administrator Ray Codey said during a telephone interview on Monday, November 15.

“In this situation, like the theater, it’s a complete demolition to the ground, so when they asked for help, we provided it,” he said. “Ms. Bauers is well known in historic preservation circles. We are pleased that she represents the Historic Preservation Commission.

While the commission is empowered to impose binding conditions on developers in such cases, commissioner Chris Kellogg lamented that his most important conditions for the movie theater project were “easily dismissed” when the developer appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

“I guess I didn’t realize at the time that the mandatory conditions weren’t really binding on an appeal,” he said.

Bauer acknowledged that the mandatory conditions are not inviolable in the event of an appeal, but no court decision is referred to an appeal body.

Demolition took place for the cinema in June this year, with the zoning council approving a request to replace it with a 24-unit mixed-use apartment building in July.

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