Mangos Grill on the block

Mangos Grill, a downtown restaurant and bar on Fulton Street, is up for sale.

Woodbridge-based Kislak Realty is handling the real estate listing, describing it as “large kitchen with opulent dining room, bar and entertaining area,” as well as on-premises parking. The liquor license is available for purchase, according to the listing. No word on asking price.

The property at 1349 Fulton St. is owned by G&T, Inc., which bought it in January 2004 for $555,000. The 0.7-acre site houses a two-story building and is assessed at $518,300, yielding a property tax bill of more than $32,000 last year, according to property records.

Water rate increase coming

The City Council last week introduced a new ordinance (O-11-13) that will raise water rates by about $20, or about 15 percent, effective April 1. The ordinance will come up for a public hearing and final approval at the March 11 regular meeting.

After the water utility ran a deficit of $170,000 in 2010, water rates were raised last year by about 5 percent last year. The City Council at the time considered a recommendation by the city administrator of increasing rates 5 percent for three consecutive years, but the governing body instead sought to address it on an annual basis.

The ordinance would increase the minimum monthly charge from $11.41 to $13.12, an increase of $1.71, nearly 15 percent. The ordinance stipulates increases of 2 percent annually through 2016. The increase would generate about $487,000 for the remaining eight months of 2013, or $13.68 to the minimum user.

In a Feb. 7 memo to Mayor Rick Proctor, Chief Financial Officer Frank Ruggiero explained that the additional revenue will reduce or eliminate the need for the city budget to supplement water utility operations, enable the utility to again become self-liquidating, and fund upcoming capital improvements.

“This amendment would be in the best interest of the city to have the Water Utility Fund be self-liquidating and not rely on the current fund to supplement the operations,” Ruggiero wrote in his memo to the mayor.

City Council introduces taxi fare hike

The City Council last week introduced the first taxi fare hike in seven years and will vote on the measure (O-12-13) after a public hearing at its March 11 regular meeting.

The three taxi zones in Rahway currently are $4, $5 and $6, and the increase would hike fares $1 in each zone, making them $5, $6 and $7; essentially an overall increase of about 20 percent. Boundaries of the three zones are laid out in this Google Map.

Owners of the two Rahway taxi companies requested a fare hike in a December letter to the mayor and City Council. The last increase in taxi fares was November 2005.

Artist housing PILOT approved

The City Council passed a series of measures on Monday night aimed at bringing affordable housing targeted for people in the arts and entertainment industry to the Arts District, including a financial agreement that will provide a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT).

Continue reading Artist housing PILOT approved

State of the City 2013

Mayor Rick Proctor focused his State of the City remarks last night on regional flood mitigation efforts and the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy while touching on some redevelopment topics. He also warned of a tough budget year, thanks to another water utility deficit that will raise water rates.

Continue reading State of the City 2013

Public hearing on PILOT for artist housing

The City Council on Monday night will hold a public hearing and final approval for a financial agreement that includes a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) for the Rahway Residence for the Arts to pay the city at least $33,000 annually. Mayor Rick Proctor also is expected to deliver the State of the City address at the same meeting.

Continue reading Public hearing on PILOT for artist housing

Property for Station Place project acquired

Demolition of the main property for Station Place, a 116-unit rental project, likely will begin later this year after it was acquired by the redevelopment in November for almost $3 million.

Use and occupancy of the 1.3-acre property by A&M Industrial Supply runs through next month and if the Campbell Street facility is vacant by the end of March, the redeveloper expects to start demolition by mid-April, according to Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier, who briefed the Redevelopment Agency in his report last  month.

Completion of the five-story development could be approximately 18 months from the start of demolition. Building permits are expected to be obtained by February 2014. No word on where A&M Industrial Supply would be relocated, which is the responsibility of the redeveloper, Heartstone Development.

The property at 1414 Campbell St. was acquired by Metro Rahway Urban Renewal, LLC in East Hanover for $2.87 million on Nov. 20, according to property records. The 1.3-acre site currently is assessed at $974,800, for an annual property tax bill of about $57,000. The developer also acquired neighboring 1442 Campbell St. for $425,000 in 2007. The project will include 85 parking spaces on the ground level, along with another 17 on-site spaces and 18 on-street spaces.