Skip to main content
All Posts By


Quimby Lane Redevelopment

In December 2020 Bernardsville issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking to transform its relatively underutilized Quimby Lane district into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of the Borough’s struggling downtown. For many decades, the area has experienced high vacancy rates and disinvestment due to challenges such as insufficient parking, limited walkability and inadequate public open space. The Quimby Lane Redevelopment Plan represents a significant step in restoring the energy and street life of Bernardsville’s historic downtown.

Melillo Equities’ proposal delivers the promise of a vibrant downtown, all the while increasing economic opportunities, providing additional tax revenue and addressing New Jersey’s affordable housing mandate. Utilizing an assemblage of properties within our portfolio, the firm’s proposal presents a strategic balance of in-town residences integrated with retail and dining experiences. Occupying upper stories, residential spaces are designed in an open floor concept with a variety of high-end finishes, fixtures and appliances. Ground floor retail, office and restaurant spaces will promote street-level interest and commerce. Facades and storefronts will reflect Bernardsville’s best architectural style. Traditional brick and concrete masonry, classical lighting fixtures, permanent sidewalk-shading awnings and other vintage details will seamlessly integrate into the existing fabric of the borough’s historic downtown.

Plans also include the creation of unique and programmable public open spaces. Melillo Equities’ proposal for new “Mill Street Promenade,” “Quimby Plaza,” and “Mine Brook Park” will provide a significant increase in Open Space amenities available to residents and visitors to the vibrant new neighborhood. Public benches, shade trees, planters, WIFI charging kiosks and bicycle racks to be incorporated into the streetscape support the vision of a walkable downtown. Activities may include Nature, Art and Music Camps for children, T’ai Chi and Yoga for seniors, Earth Day Celebration, Walk-In Movies, Sidewalk Sales, Wine and Food Tastings, Art Installations, Weekly Concert Series and more. Open space recommendations assume collaboration with Bernardsville’s Environmental Commission, Recreation Department, and Open Space, Shade Tree, and Historic Preservation Advisory Committees. The proposal also features onsite pedestrian plazas and classic streetscape elements such as benches, shade trees, planters, WIFI charging kiosks and bicycle racks, all supporting the vision of a walkable downtown.

Our firm’s mission to redefine NJ’s suburban landscape begins by addressing challenges encountered by many struggling municipalities, such as lack of in-town living, public open space and access to a variety of amenities. By introducing “urban” elements to suburban environments, our approach (“Suburbanism Redefined”) will reestablish Bernardsville’s historic downtown as the crown jewel of the community.

The Cottages At Vernon Manor

The Cottages at Vernon Manor2

During its heyday, the 200-acre Peapack estate of lawyer Richard V.N. Gambrill, known as Vernon Manor, consisted of a stately brick Georgian mansion, stable complex, and dairy farm which served as a primary source of milk and other products to meet Peapack & Gladstone’s needs. That was more than one century ago. Over time, the philanthropic Gambrill family donated portions of their estate property which would eventually become the sites of Peapack-Gladstone First Aid Squad, St. Luke’s church rectory and the borough’s Municipal Complex (converted original elementary school) housing municipal offices, police department, town gymnasium and library.

Adjacent to the Municipal Complex, the Gambrill’s original 19th century dairy barn still stands. Its award-winning revitalization (Somerset County Land Development & Planning Award) was achieved in recent years by prominent local developer Jessica Associates, during which original structural beams and stone foundation were beautifully retained and restored. The historic structure’s adaptive reuse has produced state-of-the-art storage facilities on its lower level and upscale retail space on its main floor.

Forthcoming plans for the storied property include the introduction of “The Cottages at Vernon Manor,” an exclusive, compact enclave of luxury residences. The Cottages will exude timeless architectural design honoring the best of Peapack & Gladstone’s turn-of-the-century vernacular. A classic English-style courtyard will be the community focal point, landscaped with heritage trees, stone retaining walls, ornamental plantings and patterned walkways connecting the new neighborhood to downtown sidewalks.

Nineteen upscale apartments will be housed within 5 “cottage” structures, each featuring open floor plan, high ceilings, full kitchen and ample living space. Residents of the Cottages at Vernon Manor will enjoy proximity to everything the Twin Borough has to offer. Situated squarely in the center of town, The Cottages overlook Liberty Park and lie within walking distance of both Peapack and Gladstone train stations, post offices and town centers.

The Cottages at Vernon Manor continues our mission to redirect development in our suburban towns away from ecologically sensitive areas along their periphery and toward already-developed in-town sites. Suburbanism Redefined℠