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Car Dealership Site Shut By Arson Getting a New Life

The future Franklin Place condominium complex is moving ahead, revealing the shell of a former car dealership.

There's been a lot of heavy machinery knocking down walls and making way for a planned 16-unit condo complex on Franklin Place. The former site of an Infinity dealership that was burned to the ground by a disgruntled employee in 2004 is getting its major makeover.

After clearing hurdles with the planning board Pinnacle Solutions has been working to turn the chunk of Franklin place near the intersection with Summit Avenue into a luxury commuter-friendly complex. Work has been increasing in the past few weeks, with machinery punching out the walls that covered the remnants of that heavy blaze that threatened Summit's downtown.

Recent work at the site has uncovered some burned out vehicles visible from the sidewalk. The man responsible for setting the fire, which reportedly cost $2.5-million in damage, according to the Star-Ledger, was Willie R. Jones.

Jones was sentenced in February to seven years in prison for the crime that closed the former Douglas Infiniti dealership.

As for the immediate future of the site, city officials, such as Mayor Ellen Dickson are pleased the site will become a boon to Summit and provide additional rental housing. "I'm very happy to see the project ready to go," she said at a January planning board meeting.

AStar Gazer November 19, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Condos, for rent or sale? Either way it will be a hard sell since it is across the street from a public housing project, known for its drug dealing. Described as a 'luxury commuter-friendly complex', seems an understatement. Most likely it will become an 'affordable housing' ruse.

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