FLEMINGTON – The long-awaited redevelopment of the Nilkrath tract, known for the Guitar Boy muraltook another turn with the reduction of the number of retail businesses in a mixed-use project.

The plan for the corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue, it takes 11 townhouses on North Main Street and 100 apartments, 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor with an outdoor terrace and 5,600 square feet of amenities with public access to a park. The plan also offers a total of 200 underground parking spaces. The original plan called for 9,000 square feet of retail space.

The development, proposed by Cardinal Capital Management, will form part of the north entrance to downtown Flemington and will be across North Main Street from the recently approved Captiva Main Street plan to redevelop the former Agway site with 100 apartments.

The plan presented by Cardinal Capital Management to Borough Council in March suggested a small neighborhood grocery store could be included, but Mayor Betsy Driver said at Monday’s Borough Council meeting that tighter regulations on floodwaters from the Department of Environmental Protection had caused changes to the plan, reducing the amount of commercial space on offer.

“It’s a good project and I can’t wait for it to come to fruition, even though there’s no grocery store,” Driver said.

Erich Schwenker, a Somerset County native who is CEO of Cardinal, said the intention now is to have the townhouses and apartments both as rental units, but that could change depending on project funding. . He said rental townhouses are a “very appropriate response for a lot of people.”

At least 15% of the units will be designated as affordable housing. The exact number will be defined in the final redevelopment agreement between the borough and Cardinal, Driver said.

The abandoned railroad depot on the property is in “very poor condition,” said Paul Boudreau, a representative for Cardinal.

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While there has been some interest in moving the building to another location, Boudreau said just getting the building ready for a move would take “an enormous amount of work”.

The building fell into disrepair and several fires were started inside, he said.

The mural that welcomes people to downtown Flemington from Walter Foran Boulevard could be history if a redevelopment plan for the property and the former Agway store across Main Street is carried out .

Cardinal, based in Milwaukee, has acquired, developed and rehabilitated more than 10,000 multi-family housing units valued at approximately $1 billion in Wisconsin, Alabama, Iowa and other states over the last two decades.

Schwenker, who has begun developing nonprofit housing for specialized populations, said he was interested in building housing for the “missing middle” between workforce housing and residential housing. market price. Most of the company’s developments have a wide range of tenants, he said, and one project in Wisconsin is dedicated to military veterans.

Architect Nancy Dougherty said the long-awaited project would provide the north end of Flemington with “a dynamic gateway” and expand the town center of the county seat.

Once the borough has negotiated a redevelopment agreement, the borough will negotiate a financial agreement with the builder. The Planning Council must also approve site plans.

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Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. For unlimited access to her articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account