NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A developer is moving forward with its plans to erect a 16-unit apartment building on the site of the former rectory of the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Maple Street.

The 2.5-story house was recently demolished and will soon be replaced by the new development being undertaken by Construction Management Associates, also known as Premiere Properties.

The site is 75 feet wide by 200 feet long, and stretches between Maple and Freeman Streets, just off of Somerset Street in the Fifth Ward.

When completed, the project will include 16 apartments, and a parking garage with 26 spaces. The three-story development will include 31 total bedrooms.

Parking was a major issue brought up by neighborhood residents at the February 22 meeting of the city’s Zoning Board, where the project earned unanimous approval.

The residents came to the meeting to voice their concerns over the new housing, which would be the largest development in that neighborhood by far.

Residential Site Imporovement Standards (RSIS) would normally require 32 parking spaces, but the development falls nearly 20% short of that requirement.

The developer’s Traffic Engineer argued that the standards allow for some flexibility.

In this case, the developer’s witnesses testified that similar developments built by CMA have had a parking space to unit ratio of roughly 1.5:1 and the Maple Street plan makes provisions for 1.6:1.

The developer also agreed to waive the rights of its future tenants to obtain on-street parking permits, but members of the public pointed out that there are currently no such parking permits in existence for Maple Street.

In the somewhat dense residential neighborhood, on street parking for existing housing is tight, but officials said the Zoning Board had no power to implement a requirement for permits, like the system used on many other streets in the Fifth Ward.

Thomas F. Kelso, the developer’s attorney, who also serves as the county government’s top lawyer, said that the Zoning Board had no power to require permit parking, and that only the City Council and Mayor had the power to do so.

The developer has not yet responded to inquiries about when the project will be completed.  As of September, the construction of a foundation for the new building was well underway.