Unexpected environmental cleanup likely will push back negotiations for The Center Circle property into next year, ultimately delaying a proposal to build nearly 250 units on the site.
AST Development in Lavallette last summer proposed a three-building complex of 248 rental units, and has been in negotiations for the 3.5-acre Main Street site, which has been on the market with an asking price of $5.45 million. An unanticipated environmental cleanup was revealed earlier this year.
The seller wanted a deal by November to make a determination as to scheduling for the winter season while the buyer wants all permits in place prior to putting funds in escrow, Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier told the Redevelopment Agency at its meeting earlier this month. He said he does not expect all permits to be in place until March, adding that the seller and buyer are still negotiating.
AST received an estimate of $1.2 million to remediate the site while Center Circle had a quote of $600,000 from another firm, Pelissier said. The buyer wants the property clean with a “no further action” (NFA) letter. The seller will obtain a loan to have it remediated and the bank that will provide the loan wants to have funds placed in escrow to guarantee the ultimate purchase in order to be made whole at the closing, he said.
The seller wants a commitment to determine if he can rent the facility for the winter, Pelissier said, although even if the buyer was ready to put $4.5 million in escrow, they’re not likely to acquire it by November, when a decision would have to be made. The area of contamination is under one tent, he said, which would need to be removed so it would not be in business during that time.