Agency extends closing on gas building sale

The Redevelopment Agency extended the closing date on the sale of the former Elizabethtown Gas building, which has been approved for a 58-unit affordable housing development for artists.

Elizabethtown Gas bulidingThe Redevelopment Agency passed a resolution (Resolution 22-16) at its July 6 meeting authorizing a third amendment to the agreement of sale for the acquisition of building at 219 Central Ave. (Block 167, Lot 1). The resolution extends the closing date to no later than Oct. 31.

Executive Director Leonard Bier told commissioners last month that the current contract would expire July 28, and the resolution allow the deal continue to move forward with financing. “We’re ready,” Bier said, and environmental work is done, only waiting on certification from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The developer, Ingerman Development Group, has approvals but the agency can’t yet convey the title, he said.

The Redevelopment Agency plans to acquire the 1-acre site from Elizabethtown’s parent company, then turn around and sell it to the redeveloper, who would oversee and manage the project.

The agency authorized the acquisition from Pivotal Utility Holdings, a subsidiary of AGL Resources doing business as Elizabethtown Gas Co., on May 1, 2013. The agreement of sale was entered into on Dec. 6, 2013.

The agency previously extended the closing date with an amendment to the agreement of sale on March 4, 2015. The agency entered into a letter agreement April 29, 2016, extending the closing date to June 29.

Rahway-Residences-for-the-Arts.renderingA second amendment was adopted May 4, authorizing access to the property to conduct a geo-technical investigation for development and seller consent to the submission of permit applications for the property by the redeveloper. Closing has been delayed due to ongoing “environmental activities” by the seller and DEP has issued a soil remediation permit for the property.

The Planning Board in March approved a final site plan for a 58-unit affordable housing complex geared toward people employed in the arts and entertainment industry.