2019 Land Development & Planning Awards
Six local projects have been named recipients of the 36th Annual Land Development and Planning Awards presented by the Somerset County Planning Board.
“Each year, the Board of Freeholders presents awards for projects that exemplify superior site design, address contemporary planning issues, or exert a positive influence on the character of the county,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, planning liaison. “By publicly commending these outstanding projects, we hope to promote exceptional planning and development throughout the county. Congratulations to all of the honorees!”
The 2019 award recipients in the following categories are:
GRAMERCY TOWNHOMES, South Bound Brook
Gramercy Townhomes is a 22-unit townhouse development located in South Bound Brook on a property that remained undeveloped for decades. The townhouses established a higher-end rental market and brought in new residents, who frequent the borough’s business establishments. The exterior cladding on the two townhouse buildings features traditional brick, vinyl and PVC siding and a combination of metal and dimensional asphalt roofing products, creating a unique streetscape through the creative use of color and cladding types. In addition, the architectural relief and varying roof shapes, including towers, add to the richness of the buildings and sense of quality and attention to detail. These elements give residents an enhanced sense of ownership and provide a highly attractive addition to South Bound Brook’s Main Street.
The developer was Landmark Companies. The architect and engineer were Chester, Ploussas, Lisowsky Partnership, LLC.
28 MOUNTAIN BOULEVARD, Warren
The developers of the 28 Mountain Boulevard project, Robert and Mitchell Berlant, redeveloped a post-World War II home and converted it into a modern, yet traditional, commercial-medical property, which is aesthetically pleasing and consistent with land uses in the Warren Town Center. While the main structure was residential in appearance, a new addition with cathedral ceilings anchors the eastern side of the building, giving it a commercial look. A newly constructed 2,700 square-foot building, clad with brick and Hardi Plank, complements the older building. The two buildings are separated by a new porous pavement parking lot. This project is a fine example of the adaptive use of an older home for commercial purposes, while maintaining the character of the home.
The developer of the project was 28 Mountain Boulevard, LLC. The architect was Douglas Coleman, AIA and the engineer was Fisk Associates.
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING
BOUND BROOK AND SOUTH BOUND BROOK, NEW JERSEY PEDESTRIAN BICYCLE TRAVEL PLAN, Bound Brook and South Bound Brook
The Bound Brook and South Bound Brook Pedestrian and Bicycle Travel Plan takes a comprehensive look at safe routes to school in both boroughs. The Safe Routes to School program is an international, federal, state and local effort to create safe and convenient opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to and from school. This Pedestrian Bicycle Travel Plan outlines actions to improve bicycle and pedestrian travel, including short-term and long-term solutions. The plan provides a demographic analysis of both boroughs and an analysis of existing policies concerning pedestrian and bicycle safety. It contains maps showing all school locations, crossing guard locations, student addresses and locations of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. It also provides a thorough analysis of existing conditions and details recommendations and implementation strategies for safe routes.
The plan was prepared by the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Support was provided by RideWise, Project for Public Spaces, Rutgers 4-H Cooperative Extension, Middle Earth, Michael Baker International, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Bound Brook and South Bound Brook, and the Somerset County Planning Board.
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING
LOST VALLEY NATURE PARK CONCEPTUAL DESIGN, Manville
The Lost Valley Nature Park Conceptual Design and Recommendations Report focuses on recommendations for the proposed Lost Valley Nature Park along Lincoln Avenue, the Millstone River and Royce Brook in the Borough of Manville. The goals of the project are to improve recreational access for a variety of activities and visitors; to enhance and restore the ecology of the site for wildlife and improve water quality; to increase the flood attenuation capacity of the site, if and where possible; and to connect visitors to local businesses. The report makes detailed recommendations concerning public access, wayfinding and gateway signage, visitor amenities and activities, ecological restoration, trail development, marketing, economic development and maintenance. The plan is consistent with and reinforces Somerset County greenway plans. This project’s approach to planning and design of the Lost Valley Nature Park reflects an interdisciplinary focus on ecology, human health, recreation, economic development and flood resilience. It is a model that could be replicated by other communities across the Raritan Watershed that wish to create similar nature parks adjacent to rivers.
The plan was prepared by The Nature Conservancy with support from the Borough of Manville, the Manville Green Team and the Somerset County Planning Board.
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING
BOUND BROOK PLAZA, A VISION FOR A REVITALIZED STATION SQUARE AND HAMILTON STREET, Bound Brook
The vision plan for the Van Horne Plaza examine the area in front of the historic Bound Brook Rail Station as well the adjacent Hamilton Street corridor. Bound Brook’s civic life is envisioned being centered around Van Horne Plaza, the rail station and a revitalized Hamilton Street which includes the historic Brook Theater. The plan makes specific recommendations for land use, pedestrian improvements, streetscape improvements, landscape and planting improvements and site furnishings. Detailed cost estimates are provided. In addition to making recommendations concerning physical improvement, a section of the plan discusses urban experience programming. This vision, when implemented, will transform downtown Bound Brook and make it a more enjoyable place to visit shop and dine.
The plan was prepared by Olin Partnership, Ltd, T&M Associates and the Borough of Bound Brook.
EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING/SUSTAINABILITY
THE SOMERVILLE GREEN SEAM RESTORATION, Somerville
This award is for both planning and implementation of a project that resulted in the remediation of a stream corridor in Somerville’s Landfill Redevelopment Area. The stream corridor flows through an area that was the site of a former municipal landfill, which was severely contaminated. It required unique solutions for cleanup and approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection before work could begin. The engineers, working with the borough, created a rehabilitation plan that provides a natural open space area where people can walk, cycle and enjoy the outdoors, just minutes from downtown Somerville. In addition, the site now provides a greater flood storage capacity that will help mitigate some of the flooding problems in the area. Working with the developers for the adjacent New Jersey Transit owned property, the engineers created a pedestrian and cycling link from the station area to the green seam area. When the station area development is complete, the green seam will be a short walk from the rail station and downtown shops and restaurants. This project demonstrates how vacant and contaminated property can be brought back to reuse through planning, creative engineering and collaboration with borough, county and state officials.
The project was designed by Geosyntec Consultants and the Borough of Somerville.