Developer Norm Risley will bring his proposal to construct 24 townhouses on four acres of land behind his Risley Square property on Jimmie Leeds Road across from the municipal complex to the Galloway Township Zoning Board Thursday night.
Risley’s project targets young professionals who make roughly $25,000 a year and retirees as potential tenants. It’s a project Risley hopes will help jumpstart development within the township.
“I hope it helps to facilitate traffic throughout the area,” said Risley, who envisions a downtown area in Galloway in which one can work, live and shop, all within shopping distance.
At this time, Risley Square is home to , , , a , new ceramics store and is soon to be home to a new Yogurt store, according to Risley, among other stores in the center across from the municipal complex.
“For the past 10 years, I don’t think a project like this has been something that was feasible,” Risley said. “There weren’t wasn’t enough commercial development. Now we have the grocery store, the cleaners, there are all kinds of things.”
Risley said the project will cost a “couple hundred thousand dollars,” and that he would be paying for the project out of his own pocket.
One hope is that the complex attracts professionals looking to set up a business in the area.
According to Liz Raughley, the Rental Agent for , there is 6,000 square feet of space available in the Tilton Fitness building, and it can be divided into 1,200 square foot units if necessary. She said Tilton Fitness would like to complete its building by getting all available space for business rented.
Engineer Kevin Dixon has 12,000 square feet of empty space available in the Dixon Engineering building.
“We are in full support of the project,” Dixon said. “It’s a good fit. It adds to the customer base. Townhouses don’t have the burden of municipal services, and I think that makes it more of a ratable.
“You could cut down on car trips, walk to work. You can live, work and shop in the same area and it’s good for the environment. It’s the contemporary way of thinking for community development.”
Resident Richard Price went before the township council at Tuesday night’s meeting, and urged other residents to come out and support the plan.
“Risley’s a good builder, and he’s not going to put anything up that would hurt his reputation,” said Price, who added the ratables generated off the project could pay for more police officers and other “ancillary things.”
“I urge everyone to come out to the zoning board meeting. Let’s hear from the people.”
Should the project receive all necessary approvals, Risley projects it would be completed in 12 months.
“It would put some people to work,” Risley said. “There are so many trades that would be involved. You touch on everything when you’re building a residential component.”
Before that, Risley must go before the Zoning Board Thursday night. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.