By Marisa Iati | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Star-Ledger on December 18, 2015 at 10:37 AM
Crews will begin building the facility, along with a 20-acre park, on the site of the former Roselle Golf Club in January.
The groundbreaking follows a significant community debate about the best use for the underutilized golf course in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Although the original proposal called for 1,600 apartments, the project was scaled down after the borough and many residents pushed for more open space.
The site stands between Roselle Catholic High School, Grace Wilday Junior High School and Roselle Shopping Center.
The multi-building complex, called The Park, will be built in five phases over eight years. The leasing office is slated to open in spring 2017, and units should be ready for rental that summer, according to officials.
The first phase of construction will comprise 190 one- and two-bedroom luxury units, as well as a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse with a gym, pet spa, movie theater, pool and other amenities.
Developer David Lloyds told NJ Advance Media that from the outside, the three-story buildings will look more like townhouses than apartments. Some of the buildings will be C-shaped.
“It’s not just a rectangular building,” Lloyds said. “We did more with the fenestrations and the roof angles than you would typically do to kind of make them more like a townhome type of thing.”
Mayor Christine Dansereau said in a press release that the complex will provide housing to current Roselle residents and also draw new people to the town.
One of the biggest pulls, in Lloyds’ opinion: an on-site dog spa and dog run. Each unit will be permitted to have two pets.
“Not only will the quality of life of the person renting the unit be better, but their pet will be much happier, as well,” Lloyds said with a laugh.
Lloyds said he also expects people to be attracted to the apartment complex because of its walkable distance from Roselle Shopping Center, which will be refurbished around the same time as the construction of the apartments.
The groundbreaking for The Park fell the same week as developers dug shovels in the ground for a 70-unit “transit-oriented” apartment complex that will mark the entrance to downtown Westfield. Developers of that site promoted its location one-tenth of a mile from the city’s train station.
But Lloyds said he went for a different effect in designing The Park. Although the location is commuter-friendly — it’s a mile away from both the Linden and Roselle Park train stations — he said the 20 acres of open space will give the complex a more relaxed feel than transit-oriented developments.
“This site is going to offer a much better quality of life than any of the other new apartment complexes around, which seem to be built just for being as close as possible to a train,” Lloyds said. “I know there’s a lot of people who live in Union County who value other things in life, other than just being a two-second walk from a train.”