Vacant Kmart in Franklin may become a four-story apartment building

·2 min read

FRANKLIN (Somerset) – Kmart may become Cosmopolitan.

The owner of the Rutgers Plaza shopping center on Easton Avenue is proposing to demolish the vacant Kmart and build in its place a four-story apartment building called The Cosmopolitan at Somerset Town Center.

Levin Properties is also planning to change the name of the shopping center to Somerset Town Center. The Stop & Shop supermarket will remain.

In a report by the township's Director of Planning Mark Healey, Levin Properties needs to clarify whether it plans to demolish the vacant Burger King on the 27.4-acre site.

The proposal is scheduled to be heard by the township's Zoning Board of Adjustment at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6.

A rendering of the proposed Cosmopolitan at Somerset Town Center where Kmart used to be in Rutgers Plaza.
A rendering of the proposed Cosmopolitan at Somerset Town Center where Kmart used to be in Rutgers Plaza.

In its application, Levin Properties, represented by former Assemblyman John Wisniewski, says it wants to transform "an obsolete big box space at Rutgers Plaza into an amenity-centric residential component."

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The plan calls for 69 one-bedroom apartments, 123 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units.

Of the 200 units, 20% will be designated as affordable – eight one-bedroom apartments, 24 two-bedroom apartments and all of the three-bedroom apartments. Though the township has met its current affordable housing obligation, the units will be used for any future obligation.

Design of the M-shaped building includes two courtyard areas, a pool, a 2,950-square-foot club room and a 1,930-square-foot fitness area.

The plan calls for a dozen electric vehicle charging stations, eight in the area of the apartment building, two in the area of the multi-tenant retail building and two in the area of Stop & Shop.

The 106,480-square-foot Kmart closed in the 266,157-square-foot center three years ago.

Email: mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

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

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Franklin NJ: Vacant Kmart in Rutgers Plaza eyed for apartment building

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