Tax judgement results in 2-percent break

A judgement by the state Tax Court resulted in a 2-percent reduction for one of the city’s largest taxpayers in the 2010 tax year, but no change in the property’s overall assessment.

The City Council approved resolution AR-230 at its Oct. 15 meeting, authorizing a $7,001 credit for the overpayment of taxes to Renaissance at Rahway, LLC, which does business as Meridia Grand. The building was constructed in 2010 by Capodagli Property Company, which sold it in 2011 for $19 million.

The 88-unit Meridia Grand on Monroe Street and East Grand Avenue is assessed at $5.362 million, for a property tax bill of about $324,420 last year. A $7,001 reduction is about 2.16 percent. The size and nature of a tax appeal can determine what venue it’s decided in and larger tax appeals can take longer to resolve.

The number of tax appeals filed doubled in 2010, and it was the same year that Merck initiated a massive tax appeal on its property, which resulted in a settlement and multi-year reduction. Renaissance at Rahway/Meridia Grand was among the top 10 property taxpayers in the city that year.

The City Council also approved refunds for 2013 tax appeals, which will be detailed in an upcoming post.

‘Zero tolerance’ for parking under railroad tracks

In an effort to improve traffic safety as well as security around the train station, the Police Department has startd installing lane barriers along Milton Avenue, beneath the train trestle.

Illegal parking under the railroad has been an issue for some time. “This is something we have put a lot of thought into, and we have tried enforcement with negligible results,” Police Chief John Rodger said. “When we issue summons or chase cars out they come back pretty quickly and we just don’t have the ability to be there every moment.”

A layout was tested two weeks ago and the east side of the street was installed on Monday, with the other side pending weather and manpower, the chief said.

It’s always been illegal to park under the bridge and with the alert system in place post-9/11 the area was specifically designated a problem, Rodger said. Police also get a lot of complaints that motorists trying to turn left from Broad Street onto Milton Avenue can’t see and have to pull out into the intersection.

“We are hopeful that this solution will deter parking in that area, and eliminate the mid-block pedestrian crossings to get to vehicles previously parked under the bridge, while at the same time providing line of sight for vehicles trying to enter the intersection,” he said.

Once both sides of the street are completed, Rodger said there will be zero tolerance for vehicles parked in the bus stop or taxi stand on West Milton Avenue.

City Council awards design contract for upgrades

City Council last month awarded a $572,000 design services contract associated with a planned multimillion-dollar upgrade of the city’s water treatment plant on Westfield Avenue.

Continue reading City Council awards design contract for upgrades

Water’s Edge to begin leasing by December

Meridia Water’s Edge, a 108-unit rental complex that broke ground last year behind the library and Center Circle facility, is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Continue reading Water’s Edge to begin leasing by December

New Home2 hotel set to open by next month

Almost two years after breaking ground and some five years after originally getting approval, a new extended stay hotel just off Routes 1/9 is expected to open in the next several weeks.

Construction delays pushed back the opening by some six months, according to a person answering the phone at the forthcoming 92-unit Home2.

Home2 Suites by Hilton is an extended stay brand of Hilton and the corporate website indicates a Nov. 15 availability.

The four-story facility will be located at 667 E. Milton Ave., adjacent to an existing 74-room Best Western on Paterson Street.

The 4.4-acre property has changed hands over the years and the application has come before the Planning Board a number of times for amendments and such.

Plans were approved for a Sleep Inn but the property then changed hands in June 2008 and a plan came about to bring in Candlewood Suites.

In December 2009, the Planning Board approved an amendment to a previous plan, at which time members were informed that the hotel would be a Homes2 Suites and not a Candlewood Suites.

Meanwhile, the Kings Inn motel has been undergoing extensive renovations and could be forthcoming as well.

Indigo now vacant, officials press for new hotel

Redevelopment officials are encouraging the owners of Carriage City Plaza to find another hotel flag and retail tenants or sell the property to someone with hotel experience after Hotel Indigo shut down last month.

Continue reading Indigo now vacant, officials press for new hotel

Metro Rahway aims for late spring 2014

Construction has officially started at Metro Rahway, the 116-unit rental complex near the train station, and is expected to be ready for leasing in “late spring 2014,” according to this report. The four-story, $18-million project on Campbell Street between Elm Avenue and West Cherry Street will replace the A&M Industrial Supply building, which was demolished in June. A&M Supply was still in litigation with the Redevelopment Agency over relocation compensation and appeared headed for mediation last month.

Continue reading Metro Rahway aims for late spring 2014