Plans for Mixed-Use ‘District of Metuchen’ Unveiled

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorMetuchen, N.J.–Renaissance Properties has unveiled its plans for the District at Metuchen, a mixed-use project containing 121 condominiums, as well as 77,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 20,000 sq. ft. of office space and parking area for 250 cars. The six-acre site, which was bought by the developer, contains an abandoned supermarket and is located at the intersection of Middlesex and Lake Avenues.Dave Minno of Minno & Wasko, an architecture and planning company based in Lambertville, N.J., has finished designing the project and construction is expected to begin at the end 2008.“This site is in an important location but is unfortunately an eyesore right now,” Minno tells MHN. The supermarket shut down 10 years ago and the site has been lying unused since then.Over the course of two years, with the help of inputs from the community, Renaissance has devised a strategy for the District.The project focuses on smart growth and incorporates a number of green-building concepts. “The buildings have very traditional architecture. It is like many of downtown New Jersey’s buildings. They all look different from each other, which gives the sense that they all came up at different times,” says Minno.The three- and four- story buildings have one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, which are priced from the mid 400,000s to the mid 500,000s. The building also has 21 affordable units that people from income levels specified by the government will be able to buy. “The town needs residences for its teachers and firemen, and practically nothing in New Jersey can be built without affordable housing units now,” Minno tells MHN.The District is situated across the street from the New Jersey transit train station and “will save on the number of people driving,” says Minno.“This is a re-use, smart-growth project beneficial to the community. The fact that the developer has taken the community’s ideas into consideration while designing this project, makes it very special,” he says.