By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Compromise sealed the deal to move forward with plans to renovate Grandville Towers from apartments to condominiums, which gained approval from the Red Bank zoning board Thursday.
After more than a year of occasional hearings, presentations and a little haggling particularly over affordable housing requirements the Morford Place building’s owners got the OK to convert Grandview’s 91 apartments and overhaul the first floor by adding new condos and facilities.
“This is a winner,” board member Kevin Moss said.
The building’s developers, PRC Group, spent the last 18 months or so back-and-forthing with the state Coalition On Affordable Housing and the zoning board whether the conversion would require a set-aside of a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom affordable condo. COAH said a one-bedroom was OK; the zoning board wanted a two, said Robert McGowan, attorney for PRC.
But the zoning board backed off Thursday night and accepted PRC’s offer to make a contribution to the borough’s affordable housing fund based on the value differences of the two unit sizes. In addition, PRC will ensure nearby Depot Street, which is in need of repairs, gets a proper fix up.
“We’ve all gone through a lot with you and we appreciate what you’re doing,” board chairwoman Lauren Nicosia told McGowan. “This is a compromise.”
Now, PRC’s attention will turn to the actual renovations at the 10-story building. In phases, the company will convert all the apartments to condos by installing new kitchens and bathrooms and remodeling the spaces.
The first floor, where there’s now one apartment and a common area that includes a pool and bathrooms, will be completely revamped. Five condos will be built and McGowan said the pool and laundry rooms will be upgraded with a storage area, meeting rooms and new bathrooms.
McGowan said at the earliest, construction would start in the spring and when it does, the developers will work around tenants and/or accommodate them so as not to cause disruption. Once started, construction would take between 12 and 18 months, McGowan said.
It could take years to sell the condos considering the economy, and sales won’t even start until “well into next year,” McGowan added.