Weighing options on Wheatena

As negotiations over acquisition of the former Wheatena property slow down, the Redevelopment Agency is waiting but keeping its options — including condemnation — open.

Continue reading Weighing options on Wheatena

Lafayette Village to expand onto Dock Street

Meridia Lafayette Village will push 13 feet further into Dock Street than originally planned, allowing the developer to open up some of the units — if the City Council gives its approval.
Continue reading Lafayette Village to expand onto Dock Street

Poll: What new development is most appealing?

There have been nearly 1,0000 new residential units constructed over the last decade in Rahway. There are more to come but that doesn’t stop the occasional inquiry about what are the best buildings in Rahway. Of course, there are other, older developments too (Rahway Plaza Apartments and Hamilton Apartments, among others).

With the exception of 86 units at Riverwalk townhouses, about 60 of the 200 condos at Sky View at Carriage City Plaza and the 13-unit Riverview Manor, all other developments have been rental apartments, including some age-restricted, such as Rosegate and Park Terrace. Meridia Grand started out in the planning stages as condos until the housing market collapsed, and it shifted to rentals.

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This time next year, there may have a new entrant or two in this poll, but for now, while I work on a few other posts, to get some discussion going:

Of the new construction in recent years, which residential development is most appealing?
Brookside at Rahway
Meridia Grand
Park Square
River Place
Riverview Manor
Sky View at Carriage City Plaza

“Most appealing” could mean different things to different people. Rahway residents who don’t live in any of the new developments might aim for what looks best on the exterior. Of course, people who actually live in the buildings might have their own considerations, and experience to share. Feel free to use the comments section to share your thoughts about why you voted for one or another.

City forecloses on 65 E. Cherry St.

The city has begun the process to foreclose onĀ  65 E. Cherry St., where a fire-ravaged building was razed almost two years ago.

Continue reading City forecloses on 65 E. Cherry St.

Meridia Water’s Edge reaches apex

The five-story Meridia Water’s Edge appears to have reached its highest point.

The 108-unit project between the library and Rahway Plaza Apartments broke ground last spring and will include 52 two-bedrooms, 38 one-bedrooms with an office, and 18 one-bedrooms. The Planning Board approved an application that included just 87 parking spaces, with the developer, Capodagli Property Company, to secure another 21 parking spaces from the Rahway River Condominium Association (which owns the building in which the library is located, along with the office space on the upper floors).

Construction manager Jim Wendell told the Redevelopment Agency at its meeting in January that the building likely would top out by sometime in March.

City Council amends budget

City Council on Monday night amended the city budget by resolution (AR-87-13), held the required public hearing on the spending plan, but will approve the budget as amended at its meeting next month.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Ruggiero explained that an amendment is necessary if:
– There is an increase or decrease of 10 percent in a budget appropriation;
– A new appropriation is added that is equal to more than 1 percent of the budget;
– The tax levy is increased or decreased by 5 percent.

In this case, it was the first item, an increase or decrease of 10 percent in a budget appropriation. Specifically, $20,000 was reduced in the Department of Law for salaries and wages, related to the public defender and , along with changes to some six line-items in the budget, which reduced the tax levy by about $32,000, from $34.47 million to $34.44 million. The tax levy is about 2.95 percent, or $985,000, more than last year’s tax levy. In all, the budget stands at $50.77 million.

The change will mean an average tax increase of about $113, versus the originally proposed $116, for the average assessed home in Rahway ($133,000). The municipal budget comprises about 40 percent of the overall property tax bill.

The City Council also unanimously adopted a budget for the Special Improvement District (SID) in the amount of $130,000, which funds the Rahway Arts District.

City budget up for vote, public hearing Monday

City Council is scheduled to adopt a city budget for 2013 on Monday night that anticipates a municipal tax increase of about $116 for the average assessed home ($133,000). A public hearing is scheduled during the regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

The $50.7-million spending plan includes a property tax levy of $34.47 million, an increase of about 3 percent over the previous year. City Council also is scheduled to adopt a separate, $130,000 budget for the Special Improvement District (SID), which funds the Rahway Arts District.

The municipal budget was introduced last month. For a breakdown of some specifics on the tax increase, check out this post from last month after the municipal budget was introduced.