Often, when communities in Union County are discussed for having a variety of development or multifamily residential and business offerings near train stations, Cranford, Rahway, Summit and Westfield are among the places that come to mind. Just a few miles away from those municipalities along New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line lies the borough of Fanwood, where the train station has long been surrounded on one side by a residential neighborhood and on the other by parking lots, light industrial and auto body businesses, and a handful of shops.
However, in the past decade, a transition has begun in the latter area to make it have more of a downtown feel. For example, multiple mixed-use buildings have been built along the South Avenue corridor, with ground floor commercial space and rental units above.
Now, another project seeks to bring in more residents to this part of Fanwood. A groundbreaking ceremony attended by Mayor Colleen Mahr and other local officials was held on June 22nd for a new project called Station Square, which will be built by Somerset County-based contractor J. Tomaro Construction just a short walk away from the Fanwood Train Station at 213, 215, and 217 La Grande Avenue and 47 Second Street, diagonally across the way from La Grande Park. The Borough reports that the $10 million project will consist of 35 ‘townhome-style’ residential rental apartments, which will include one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units.
“With features such as spacious great rooms, carports, garages, and balconies, the units are sure to have terrific market appeal,” according to the Borough.
Seven of the apartments will be designated as affordable to low and moderate income households, and Mayor Mahr said in a statement that “the affordable housing is a really important piece for us because we believe that whoever would love to live here in Fanwood, should be able to afford to be here in Fanwood.”
The project is being developed by Station Square at Fanwood, LLC, which is registered out of the same Keasbey, Middlesex County address as Landmark Companies. NJ Parcels records show that the company bought the property back in 2006 for $1.3 million. The tract, which has long been a gated vacant lot, was previously occupied by the Dean Oil Company, which “provided home heating oil to homes in the vicinity, as well as auto parts and supplies,” according to Images of America: Fanwood. It has since “underwent a million dollar, multi-year cleanup under the direction of NJDEP [New Jersey Department of Environmental Projection],” according to the Borough.
In addition to train service, New Jersey Transit buses connect Fanwood with Newark, New York, and other area communities, and the community is a short drive from Downtown Westfield and the Route 22 corridor.