Representatives of the Crossroads Developer maintain that it is difficult to say what exactly its proposed 600,000 square foot shopping development would look like because they have not yet secured any specific tenants. However, at a Planning Board hearing Monday night, the developer presented a slideshow of architect renderings and photos of existing shopping centers that reflect the aesthetic that he hopes to replicate at Crossroads.
Developer Tony DiGiovanni told the Planning Board Monday to look at ‘The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley’ in Pennsylvania to see the inspiration behind what he hopes the pedestrian-friendly side of Crossroads will look like.
That shopping center, he said, contains buildings of various heights and with different facades. Locals can expect finishes of stucco, brick, and stone on the buildings, stylized brick or concrete on the ground, wide sidewalks, walking areas with benches, fire pits, lampposts, and a fountain.
“The design came about emulating Saucon Valley,” DiGiovanni said Monday.
For the other side of the development, which is made up of two big box stores, DiGiovanni said Crossroads plans to mimic designs its used at some of its other developments across the state that “mask” the size and big box nature of the stores. He showed the board examples of Lowes and Walmart locations at the company’s developments in West Windsor and Raritan Town Center as examples.
By implementing the specifics in the ordinance that allows for the development, Crossroads officials said the Planning Board would be able to hold whomever the tenants are at the big box stores to certain design standards.
Some board members and members of the public expressed dissatisfaction with the presented designs.
“To me, it lacks depth and imagination,” Planning Board member and Councilman Chuck Jandris said.
“The charm is not there. I’m disappointed again.”
DiGiovanni responded that the presented renderings are just basic models that “will only get better” once tenants are in place.