The Belleville, N.J., Planning Board approved a site plan on Oct. 12 for a mixed-use project that will include a four-story self-storage facility and a pharmacy at 11 Franklin Ave. Real estate developers 11 Franklin Ave. Redeveloper LLC and Tulfra Real Estate filed a proposal for the 18.7-acre lot next to the Clara Maass Medical Center. Future plans could also include a hotel and restaurant, according to the source. The footprint for the self-storage structure will be 25,000 square feet.
The board voted 7-2 in favor of the plan; however, after planners expressed concern about the potential for increased traffic congestion, it stipulated the developers must provide an updated traffic report when submitting for future plans. The board also limited the pharmacy’s hours of operation to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and required the developer to allow for a 10-foot easement for future road-widening projects on portions of Franklin Avenue and Mill Street, the source reported.
Tulfra acquired the property in 2015 from Roche Diagnostics N.A. in partnership with the Hampshire Real Estate Cos., a real estate investment firm with experience developing self-storage. The companies have developed more than 3 million square feet together on previous projects, according to a press release.
Since 1814, the site has been home to a copper-rolling mill, a manufacturing plant for Jergens lotions and detergents, and a boiler plant. Roche took over the Jergens facilities in 1975. Factory operation ceased in 2007 after an environmental study. Buildings on the site were demolished in 2009, according to the source.
Last month, Tulfra purchased a 6.5-acre property in Nutley, N.J., on which it plans to build a 125,000-square-foot self-storage facility.
Hampshire Real Estate has a diversified investment platform that includes self-storage, industrial, medical, office and retail properties primarily in Northern New Jersey. The company has a “strategic alliance” with real estate investment trust Extra Space Storage Inc., which has been involved in other Hampshire developments. The partnership includes the REIT acquiring a 50 percent interest in a 78,000-square-foot self-storage facility in Bloomfield, N.J., according to the Hampshire website.
Independently and with its institutional partners, Tulfra has owned or developed more than $1 billion in commercial and industrial properties in Northern and Central New Jersey over four decades. It works with municipalities to transform underutilized or non-performing assets into projects in all asset classes including commercial, hotels, healthcare and residential. The company is based in Rochelle Park, N.J.