Franklin Square is located on an infill site that formerly contained a school. The developer and municipality shared a vision for the creation of the 105-unit project: to increase the downtown population and create a high-quality community by applying design criteria traditionally used for single-family homes. These included residences that feature public living spaces oriented toward the front of the plan while private rooms and outdoor decks overlook a quiet green at the rear. The project is targeted to working couples and empty nesters and included 15 affordable units as well. Seven buildings, each with a unique footprint, were dictated by the overall site design. This, in turn, drove the unit design and resulted in a range of unit types. From the street, Franklin Square appears to be a community of townhouses rather than stacked flats. A traditionally detailed entry porch serves each pair of units. Doors are turned to make the number of entry doors less apparent from the street. To be consistent with local architecture, the buildings feature traditional red brick exteriors accented by wood detailing and trim. Smart growth features of this community include high density tempered with good design; proximity to mass transit and downtown Metuchen; automobile- and pedestrian-friendly design; diversity of housing choices; an increase in the downtown residential population, which benefits the local businesses; pleasing traditional design; and a high degree of public and private cooperation.
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