The battle goes on for a corner of Elizabeth that’s been embroiled in conflict, but we seem to be getting closer to a resolution.
The site is 1.7 acres at the corner of East 7th Street and North Caswell Road, which is now the home to Jackalope Jack’s. Philosopher’s Stone and Hare of the Dog were also on this parcel before they closed.
Original plans for the mixed-use project by Faison were for 123 apartments and up to 30,000 square feet of non-residential space, including 15,000 square feet of retail, on the ground floor. Complaints arose when the original plans were presented in that the parking in the plan was not adequate for the traffic and that the design looked like a factory. To address these concerns, the new plan includes about two dozen fewer units than originally proposed, a better parking ratio and reduced mass by proposing two smaller buildings instead of one large structure.
The new plan was presented to the City Council in late June, and overall was well received. Council members did question whether the development could include the addition of bike lanes to 7th Street and about the height of the new structure in relation to the buildings surrounding it. The proposed height is 58 feet for the building at the intersection and 48 feet for the structure fronting 7th Street. Those heights are incongruent with the Elizabeth Area Plan, which calls for a maximum building height of 40 feet.
While the plans may be moving forward, many still oppose the addition of more housing in this area. Signs line 7th Street around the parcel saying “No Faison Apartments.”
The project will go before City Council again for a vote as soon as this month. Stay tuned for what happens next on this little corner of Elizabeth!
Image: Elizabeth Community Website