[POLL] What Do You Think About the Mixed Use Building Approved to Replace C-Town?

Planning Board approves mixed use property plans at 126 Main Street

The Matawan Borough Planning Board approved the latest plans for the long vacant C-Town property on Main Street at their Jan. 4 meeting, according to an article in the Independent. They voted 4-2 to approve the mixed use property.

, as reported in Patch in December, include a 4450 square foot retail area and 39 residential units in a four story building where C-Town now stands. The building will consume the parking lot along Little Street, however there will be parking available to shoppers. Parking is currently prohibited on Little Street, Jackson Street and Maiden Lane.

This is the third proposed version of the mixed use property presented to the board, with variations in building height, the size of residential space versus retail space and the number of residential units.

Joe Carelli January 14, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Based on all the vacancy signs at all the apartment complexes in town, it's pretty ridiculous. They should just raze it to create more off-street parking for the existing businesses.
Herky January 14, 2012 at 01:48 AM
JOE : WHAT businesses??? GhostTown, there are very few in town! Thats why this bullding is going to stimulate NEW places to open up in town.
tim A January 14, 2012 at 02:39 AM
The main Street is so poorly utilized. Look at Red Bank. Look at Freehold. matawan has this nice main street like a gift, and no one can figure out how to capitalize on it. ideas: build this thing above. Whoever improved a C-town?!!?!? give incentives to get have Starbucks to move to that closed dollar store. That thing is jammed always....brings traffic...people want to stay there and hang out....or maybe Dunkin Donuts... build outdoor restaurant and something family like...like Cheeburger Cheeburger get an anchor retail store stop! stop! with these hair salons. there are like 15 on the street....why?? get a pizza place on the road. ice cream too. think traffic, traffic, traffic...and not car traffic...people walking on the street, wanting to come to main street, and spend time....so many cars drive through and have no incentive to stop.
William January 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Starbucks, retail stores, residential- all sounds good until you realize the reason why no one shops there is because there is NO WHERE TO PARK! Never has been, and probably won't be. Not to mention the County traffic light system makes a simple trip through town take 15 minutes! The municipal lot behind the old Matawan Pizza is too far away, and also not even big enough in itself. Yes there is transient traffic (i.e. business) from the train station, but there is no where to stop and park to get out of your car, even for a few minutes. A friend once suggested making Main St. a one way street heading East, and Broad St a one way St heading West between Terhune Park and the Memorial park across from Quick Check, with Church St, Little Street and Steamboat Alley being cross fairs. This would allow for one way parking on both sides of Main St. I told him to run for Mayor, because It takes a bold idea like that to fix a big problem- but then we both realized the overly politicized environment in Matawan would quickly squash anything new. You can build whatever you want on Main St, but unless people can easily park its useless. It is a shame in that Matawan is somewhat of landmark town throughout the state because of its once legendary train stop on the Central Jersey line...(which of course is now called (Aberdeen-Matawan). You can be way down south, or even northwest Jersey and you'll see the old state highway signs telling you how far away from Matawan you are.
Anna DeNardo January 14, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree about the parking. But what about making something more recreational. With all the taxes we pay I have to travel to take my kids somewhere else to do something, anything! Old Bridge has a skating rink. What do we have?? A broken down pool club that our town didn't want to deal with. Why didn't they purchase that property?? It's all political BS!! NO, these kids hang around in the only shopping center with a movie theatre and bowling ally. What a shame!!
Joe Carelli January 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Herky, my comment was more about the lack of need for more apartments. However, the biggest complaint I have heard from people outside of Matawan and Aberdeen is that there is no parking. I know it's not really the case, but that is the impression when people drive down Main. I liked when we had the convenience of the hardware store. Unfortunately, the store was never crowded. That was a shame because their prices were competitive and it beat having to drive to Home Depot or Lowes.
Barzillai January 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM
The Borough seems to have no comprehensive plan for downtown Main Street. There will continue to be vacant store fronts -- in older buildings and new -- until someone figures out how to draw traffic from Routes 34 and 35 into the downtown, gives them a reason to stay, and finds a convenient place for them to park, The new building could be part of such a revitalization program, but it simply stands alone. It's almost too late for the Borough to dress itself up for the inevitable onslaught of visitors heading here for the centennial of the Matawan Creek shark attacks. As the voice said in Field of Dreams: Build it and they will come.
Herky January 14, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Joe : Take a look at the municpal parking lot off Broad Street,50% the spaces are used by taxincabs and their empolyees.. How is this permitted?? When a business is opened they MUST provide enough parking for employees and the space to park their vehicles. So where can anyone wanting to shop in downtown park . Go to a town meeting and ask this question and watch the Stupid answer you will get!! The board members will all look like they weren't awary of this!! Not to mention the parking lot is in terrible physcial shape, ,Potholes , no line markings, no arrows showing flow patterns ETC: If this were in the Marc Woods section of town Everything would be done Tomorrow to correct!!
Jim Tobias January 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I am amazed by the parking comments. In 20+ years I have never had a problem finding a space, and I go downtown 2-3 times a week. Are people spoiled by huge lots at Strathmore and elsewhere? Our downtown can support more and better retail if there are more people living nearby (as in the proposed building, or expanded existing homes), and more people making multi-purpose trips: library, post office, bank, etc. Where I think we failed to have a vision is our lakes. We have 2 beautiful bodies of water on either side of Main Street, and yet access to them is almost non-existent. Imagine if we had a pedestrian passage lined by retail that went between the lakes, crossing Main, with at least a tiny sitting area at each end spot. Good planning and design could also take advantage of the train station, which draws hundreds of people near our downtown every day. We've got the raw materials for an engaging and prosperous town center that would be the envy of other towns.
Herky January 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
All progress has beeen stopped over the years by the SAME party in control of politics in this town, Even though this project has FINALLY been approved. look at how long it has taken ,because mof a few narrow minds on the zoning board, Who are APPOINTED>!!
Herky January 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Jim Tobias: You have no problem finding a place to park, because no one else is shopping here.
Aberdeen Guy January 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I agree with a lot of the comments above. I would hope that the town would use this as an opportunity to address the other problems with main street including the parking situation (there is parking, but the lot is in horrible shape), the lack of quality stores and restaurants and the general unappealing look of the street. The signage of the stores and just general matawan signs are awful and look 50 years old. Why would anyone stop and walk along that street in it's current state? A better question is why would anyone open up a store on that street with the way it currently looks and the lack of traffic and people walking there? I also agree that they should put some effort into cleaning up the lakefront and burrows mansion. A coat of paint and some TLC to the yard/garden of the mansion would do wonders. For the lake, how about they clean up the area, put in some benches and knock down that god awful 7-11 and create a little park. I really hope this new building gets the town moving in the right direction with main street, the lakefront and one day the transit village.
Barzillai January 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I doubt the Borough has any control over the 7-Eleven and whether that building gets torn down or not. Perhaps they could at least get that ugly sign off the front of it? They made their store into a giant billboard directing customers to their "new" store on Morristown Road. (The Morristown Road store is hardly a new location. For those who haven't figured it out yet, it's that equally rundown 7-Eleven near the CVS and Garden State Parkway Exit 120.) I like the idea of taking advantage of the lakefront, but residents near the lake will surely have something to say about that. Something negative. People unfamiliar with Matawan aren't going to park behind buildings well off the main drag. They don't need a Strathmore Shopping Center sized lot but it needs to feed directly from Main Street and be well lit and have adequate signage. People are very uncomfortable parallel parking. They'll do it, but they don't like it. I do ok but even I think twice about stopping along Main Street.
Nick J January 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I think we need to address the real issue of this project, 39 apartments, what does that translate into for the schools and taxes? Matawan does not need another apartment building complex. I pay enough property tax already because of the day laborers and the social economic problems that come with theme for the citizens of small towns like Matawan, Keyport, Freehold. Lets face facts Matawan missed the bus with revitalization and redevelopment all the way back when the borough and township split and the borough did not get any prime taxable’s real-estate on Rt 34. Matawan has been political funk since Vic Armellino days and even before that. The other bitter pill to swallow, being when the station moved a mere few hundred feet into Aberdeen leading to loss of the towns Identity. Think about the ratio of square footage of this project how much retail vs living space, the owners of the project have little or no interest in store fronts and retail bossiness why would you invest in a site that has at least 10 empty spaces within 200 yards. What’s the attraction? Apartments folks! That’s were the money is for these people, Apartments! 39 apartments means 78 cars, where is the parking for that? What is the attraction for the potential residents? The Latin bodegas, or the Mexican restaurant, or the easy two-minute walk to day laborer loitering spot in front of Quick Chick or 7-11. This whole mess sickens me to my stomach makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.
Jim Tobias January 15, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Nick: I think there's some parking in the proposed plan for the building -- can anyone confirm this? I don't understand your comment about taxes -- the apartments will be taxed. The idea behind greater density downtown is that it will support more and better retail. Just building more retail will not do it; we need customers, and more apartments mean more nearby customers. That's the theory, anyway.
Nick J January 15, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Jim apartments bring more children into the district, thus more taxes. The rate the land owner pays on an apartment complex vs the an average home in town is less, based on 39 units, we should expect to see half the units within a year with one or more school age kids. I do not feel this is the answer to the problem its long term with tax incentives and the right use for the area.
Herky January 15, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Nick J : some Morning when you have time, go down Main Street, by the apartments at 90 Main and see how many immigrant children are waiting form the bus!! Is the borough getting a fair tax from this complex for the number of children attending our schools?? I don't think so.. Wake up!!
tim A January 15, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I see this topic generates alot of passion. So many comments since my previous post. We obviously want to fix it. The town council is suppose to work for us, not the other way around. It is our tax money, our town. Don't understand why the st. remains the same though every year. Parking by post office & behind that former dollar store for ex. Park on whole Main st. By the banks. Take control of 7-11, start a trolley service up and down Main St. from train station & maybe include town hall. Trust me if there is a will there is a way. Retail: Key point is deciding/letting what retail occupies this new space & takes over dollar store will be HUGE in getting people to even care what is on Main St. Not c-town or hardware. Something people will want to actually go to & hang out. I feel like every store at the corner of 34 and 79/main st, should be ON main street in the middle. Starbucks, that awesome bakery, burger place, pizza place.....throw in a Gap/Old navy/Carter's/ice cream place/Stewart's/sportszone bar...all places I have gone to around here & would want me to go to main st. They seem be to spread out in odd places around town(s) except on main st. Instead we have 15 haircut places on Main st. Cleaning it up: Business owners should (again - i think it doesn't exist now) be asked to pay until some alliance to make rules for the look of the street & cleaning it. Not torn awnings like we have now. Lakefront, Agree. But the real problem is main street.
Tammy January 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM
This is happening all over the country...in small towns and suburbia. High density, mixed use buildings near transit (centers). Some people like it, some don't. The problem is that most town infrastructure cannot really support all the new people that these attract and many store fronts remain empty. Depending on how well Matawan prepares it could very well be a good thing. However, knowing how well towns generally manage things...this could turn out to be a mess.
Andy C February 02, 2013 at 08:05 AM
Another year has gone by, what's going on with this plan?
Bernie February 02, 2013 at 03:28 PM
People like you are stopping progress in Down town Matawan, they don't need more parking for businesses that don't exist. There is plenty of parking in the Broad Street lot boarding Little Street, but the Leave your cozy living area and take a ride and LOOK! lot needs to be resurfaced and lined.Of coarse since it is providing a parking area for the" Postal employees" and the Taxi services, it is a little crowded at the present time.
Bernie February 02, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Anna ; Thats Aberdeen!
Bernie February 02, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Nick J: Go down Main Street in the morning and look at the Number of Immigrant children waiting for the bus near 90 Main Street apartments.WHY aren't you aware of this. So the apartment complex at the old C -Town will not be this kind of renters. Wake up.
Barzillai February 02, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Main street should be the urban core of a greater Matawan Township. Aberdeen has no identity and no city center to have a parade. If we had a referendum to merge the two municipalities, we could get rid of half the idiot politicians in one fell swoop. Matawan has name recognition but poor management. The state would gladly support the merger. A larger community could give us a greater pool of leaders to choose from, even two party boards.
Andy C February 02, 2013 at 05:26 PM
That's a suggestion worth considering Barzillai. I feel that the two towns are As ONE anyway. Maybe if we shared more facilities and services our spending (and taxes) could go down as well. Besides, it still wouldn't be that large of a town (size and population wise).
Andy C February 02, 2013 at 05:52 PM
About the renters.... I agree that the taxes that the rental property owner pays will probably not cover the cost of the extra kids attending the schools. But the developer hired a VERY high end architect (Dean Marchetto from Hoboken) to prepare the design. I really doubt that the people that you are referring to are going to be able to afford to live in this complex.... IF it ever gets built that is.


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