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Lawrence Township Planning Board approves apartment complex

The Lawrence Township Planning Board gave its stamp of approval to a 129-unit rental apartment development, proposed for a 7.1-acre property on Spruce Street, at its April 18 meeting.

The apartment complex, which will include a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments, will be built at 1052 Spruce St. The site is at the rear of the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton at 1040 Spruce St.

The plan calls for constructing five apartment buildings, each of which will be three stories tall, said Russell Smith, the engineer for applicant 1052 Spruce LLC.

Recreational amenities include a clubhouse and dog park.

There will be parking for 245 vehicles. Several parking spaces will be equipped with chargers for electric vehicles (EV), but the exact number has not been determined. There could be three to five EV parking spaces initially, and more may be added.

The 129 rental apartments include 69 one-bedroom apartments, 55 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom apartments. They will be divided among market-rate and affordable housing units.

Four of the one-bedroom apartments, 12 of the two-bedroom apartments and all of the three-bedroom apartments will be set aside for affordable housing. Income limits determine whether a household qualifies as a very low-, low- or moderate-income household.

The maximum income to qualify for a one-bedroom apartment for a single person is $22,941 for a very-low income household; $38,235 for a low-income household; and $61,175 for a moderate-income household.

For two people, the maximum income is $26,218 for a very-low income household; $43,697 for a low-income household; and $69,915 for a moderate-income household.

A household of three people can earn up to $29,495 to qualify as a very-low income household, and up to $49,159 for a low-income household. The maximum income for a moderate-income household is $78,654.

A four-person household can earn up to $32,772 to be considered as a very-low income household; $54,621 for a low-income household; and $87,393 for a moderate-income household.

The 22 affordable housing units will be dispersed among the five apartment buildings, said attorney Dino Spadaccini. They will be “fully integrated” into the development, and it will not be possible to identify which of the units are market rate and which are affordable, he said.

All of the first-floor apartments will be ADA-adaptable units, to allow for handicapped individuals to occupy them, said project architect Mark Trimbath. Overall, the apartments will range from 550 square feet to 1,100 square feet.

The 3,600-square-foot clubhouse will include a game room, a community room, a kitchen for residents’ use, and a fitness room, Trimbath said. The leasing office and a conference room also will be located in the clubhouse.

Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski, who sits on the Planning Board, praised developer 1052 Spruce LLC for being “a really good community partner.”

“It’s a really good plan. It will be an improvement to our community,” Nerwinski said.

Lawrence Township Councilman James Kownacki, who also sits on the Planning Board, welcomed the developer to Lawrence Township. He agreed with Nerwinski that the development would be an improvement.

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