Clothing store receives approval for Jack’s Famous Furniture site

SCOTT FRIEDMAN

NORTH BRUNSWICK – A clothing boutique has been permitted for the Jack’s Famous Furniture building – but not without its restrictions.

Jack Mamroud of Mamroud Realty sought a variance to add a clothing store on behalf of Arameus Clothing LLC in the rear of his existing 4,200-square-foot building at 1007 Livingston Avenue in North Brunswick, which currently includes a furniture store, the NJ Ballet Arts Center, Brunswick Uniform Supply and a cabinet showroom.

Since the property lies at the corner of 16th Street and Livingston Avenue, the applicant also needed Planning Board approval on June 13 to change the location of the driveway by shifting it to the east toward Joyce Kilmer Avenue.

According to a traffic study, 1,400 vehicles per hour travel along Livingston Avenue, while only 40 use 16th Street, engineer Gary Dean said during the meeting.

“Obviously, Livingston Avenue causes a lot of traffic … and certainly backs up each time from the light to the south,” Dean said.

With the proposed changes, “I foresee absolutely no difficulty in accessing this site,” Dean said. “I can’t see an issue in terms of impact.”

Various members of the board insisted that with the approval, no further tenants could occupy space inside the building; there was ongoing debate as to whether or not the cabinet showroom was an approved use.

Planning Board Chairman Richard Zangara also assured residents that should the clothing business fail, Mahmoud would have to go before the board with any new application.

Other conditions included limiting deliveries and garbage pickup to the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., not allowing school buses or tractor trailers to park in the lot; prohibiting the sale of vehicles from the parking lot; and compliance with the township’s ordinance for lighting specifications. The hours of operation would be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Resident Wayne Gerhartz, a resident of 16th Street, alleged that there are trucks in the lot at 4:30 a.m. and trailers traveling down Livingston Avenue more than the two times a month Mamroud cited. He also said that Mamroud does not have garbage pickup, so instead debris “blows around the neighborhood.”

“And it’s so bright it looks like a football field,” he said.

“He’s not telling you the truth about what’s going on back there.”

Although the Planning Board members unanimously approved the application, they did ask Mamroud to heed their warnings.

“[Mamroud] has done good things with that property,” Pat Melanson said, “but some linestepping goes on on a continual basis … over the years with signage issues and parking and some other things and it’s frustrating because we put these things in but it’s very hard to enforce these conditions because as we know, nobody’s going to be there 24 hours a day to see what he’s doing, and I think sometimes [Mamroud] knows that.”

Ralph Andrews, also a town councilman, agreed that Mamroud needs “to be a little more cooperative” with the conditions placed upon him.

“Let’s stay within some of the rules here,” he said.

Mamroud must wait until the paperwork is complete and permits have been issued before moving in his new tenant, officials said.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.