Mine Street Proposal Gets Another Hearing

By: Tatiana Vickerie

Critics of a proposed 57-unit apartment building on Mine Street told the Planning Board in November that the project could create problems with parking, transportation and property values.

The meeting was called to an end before the planning board was able to make presentation due to the lack of time.  The public will hear the plans of the developer during the next meeting.

“The parking is a major problem almost everyday. I have spoken to the parking people about cars that at least once a week,” said Mine Street resident Nancy Beardslee. “It almost impossible for me to get in and out of the driveway.”

According to residents living on Mine Street, the new apartment building will intensify due to the lack of parking within the area.

The 57-unit apartment building, cited in the original plans, was designed to have a 96-space underground parking garage; which later reduced to 52-spaces near College Avenue.

“You need to hold firm to the 96 required spaces,” said Kevin O’Neill, speaking on behave of his daughter who lives in the area. “It would be unreasonable to reduce the requirements to only 43. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Rutgers buses run infrequently on weekends, and during the winter and summer school breaks. Several people to reiterate the fact that having a car will be needed for those who will be occupying the apartments year-round.

“There is not comprehensive transportation in New Brunswick for these people to get around to find a grocery store.” Alrobi continued, “The Rutgers buses are not comprehensive forms of transportation.”

The architecture of the new development was also called into question. There was concern as to whether the project would bring down the value of the property value. Community members stated that the building was out of character for the neighborhood because it did not go with the historic feel.

“The plans that are being discussed don’t match the style of the street nor does the building have an iconic architectural style construction,” New Brunswick resident Anthony Alrobi said. “It’s bland, plain, vanilla…it is horrible when I walk down the street.”

Those in support of the new building were in the minority at the meeting. The want for the completion of the project is partially due to lack of safety around the construction area.

“As of right now the area is just an empty lot, and it’s not well lit,” said Rutgers College student Ezra Nathan. “That area it attracts crime so I think this building will bring a more modern feel to the street. It will be more of a well-lit safe place…so the faster we get this project moving will be more appreciated.”

“I have a lot of friends who live in this area that are upset with their housing. They don’t think it’s safe,” said Rutgers student Samuel Spelenfrund. “I feel like the faster we get this project moving is the faster we’ll see positive change in New Brunswick. That’s what we students feel we need.”