VHS Grad Seeks To Develop Former Brunner Lots

By on January 6, 2014

The former Brunner auto dealership.

The former Brunner auto dealership.

Mark S. De Mattheis, a commercial real estate developer who was a 1983 graduate of Verona High School, has filed plans to turn the former Brunner auto dealership lots on Bloomfield Avenue into two small apartment buildings.

De Mattheis is the managing member of De Mattheis Investments LLC. The Pine Brook, N.J.-based company has built or renovated upscale shopping centers in Whitehouse Station, Jackson and Hackettstown and apartment buildings in Morristown and Highland Park, among other locations.

The company will be before the Verona Board of Adjustment this Thursday night, January 9, to get a series of variances to build one building on 435 Bloomfield Avenue and another on 449 Bloomfield Avenue. Both lots are directly opposite the Richfield Regency, just east of Verona Park. The properties were owned by Bob Brunner Donald W. Brunner and went under contract in November; they had been listed at $349,000 and $299,000 each.

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According to the filings for the hearings, the two new De Mattheis buildings would have a total of 20 residential units in them–and would need a total of 20 variances to be built, many of which concern parking on the lots. It appears that the developer is planning to put some of the parking underneath the buildings, as it is with the Verona House Condominiums next door. But the company also needs one variance to build residential structures on the lots, which are currently not zoned residential. It also needs a variance because the proposed building coverage–approximately 89.1%–exceeds the maximum of 80% in Verona.

It is not known how large the apartments would be or what amenities they would have. Mark De Mattheis declined to speak with a reporter ahead of the hearings, which are scheduled for 8 p.m. in the ballroom at the Verona Community Center.

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CORRECTION: The Brunner properties were owned by Donald W. Brunner, not Bob Brunner.

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