Center Circle property sold for $5.285 million

The Center Circle property on Main Street, which gained Planning Board approval in January for a 219-unit development, sold for $5.285 million.

The transaction closed on Nov. 8, according to property records.

File photo

The athletic facility, featuring two bubbles on the 3.55-acre site at 1255 Main St. (Block 305, Lot 5.02), closed after nearly 20 years in business. The site currently is assessed for $1.2 million, generating an overall property tax bill this year of $81,204.

The property had been on the market for several years, with an asking price of $5.45 million at one point. As the housing market slowly climbed out of the recession, concept plans for development had been presented as early as 2013 with owner Carl Schulz in discussions with multiple developers as recently as two years ago.

The property technically was acquired by 1255 Main Street Urban Renewal, LLC, a sole purpose LLC established by AST Development. The Lavallette-based real estate development and investment firm has approval to build a five-story, 219-unit rental complex. Four floors of residential units would top ground-floor parking totaling 196 spaces, plus another 78 surface parking spaces along an access drive.

Center-Circle.1255-Main-St.Front-elevation-1-e1470507310183-1The 219 units would among the largest recent developments, rivaling the 222-unit Carriage City Plaza. There also is the 208-unit Main and Monroe development adjacent to Lot B, which has approval but hasn’t yet begun. The 487-unit, three-building Brownstones complex planned for the former Wheatena property is the largest proposal on the drawing table that has approval. It’s been about two years since the Wheatena and Quinn & Boden buildings were razed at the corner of Elizabeth and West Grand avenues.

b4391-centercirclesdiinbackAbout a decade ago — just before the housing market collapsed amid the mortgage crisis — the Center Circle property was to be part of a massive mixed-use development that also was to encompass City Hall Plaza, including relocating City Hall. A concept plan presented to City Council in February 2007 proposed a mixed-used project of 375 units of housing — about a third for sale and two-thirds rentals — 175,000 square feet of retail, a 125-room hotel, and parking decks totaling some 1,300 spaces.

The concept even won a New Jersey Future Smarth Growth award in 2008 but the forthcoming recession brought on by the housing meltdown eventually scuttled those plans.

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