Fire Damaged Building on Piaget Will Get New Life


Plans for the facade facing Piaget (bottom).

The November 1st meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (BOA) was refreshingly short, with only two applicants coming before the board. Two others were carried to future dates and will be heard at future meetings.

Of note was an application for 429-433 Piaget Avenue, where Aurora Ristorante, Zen Sushi, The Smoke Shop, and Epic Cuts stood. The strip of four stores was engulfed in flames on June 16, 2022, and the devastating fire rendered the site a total loss. Since then, it has been an eyesore and a sad reminder of that catastrophic fire.

The applicant, represented by Glenn Peterson, Esq., requested a use variance to restore the existing, fire-damaged building and replace the second-floor offices with six one-bedroom apartments. The site plans also call for the removal of two houses on the irregularly-shaped property, allowing for the construction of a large parking lot behind the building at the corner of Montgomery and Barclay.

Mr. Martin, the planner for this application, testified that this project fits in with the city’s master plan and would not be an unusual use for the neighborhood, which has both retail and residential establishments. Furthermore, he said, the six one-bedroom apartments would not burden the school system. The two houses that will be demolished have five bedrooms between them; this project calls for a total of six and since they are single-bedroom units, they will likely be occupied by people without children.

Most significantly, Martin said, the restored building will enhance the overall appeal of the neighborhood and strengthen the tax base. Vice Chairman Gerard Scorziello moved to approve the application with a few stipulations and it was quickly approved.

The application concerning a drive-through at the Clifton Avenue and Cloverdale Dunkin’ was carried to the next meeting on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 pm. Another application that has residents on alert, 811-813 Route 46, is on the schedule for the December 6th meeting. You can read more about this application HERE.

You can view the agenda for this meeting HERE and watch the recording HERE.

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