Developer acquires former Dornoch lots

Four properties once owned by the defunct developer, Dornoch, have been snapped up by another developer who has become active with projects in downtown Rahway.

DMR Construction acquired the foreclosed parcels in December under the name, Cherry Street Properties, LLC. The Waldwick-based company recently proposed an 86-unit project along Irving Street called Poplar Court, and is working to bring an 88-unit development to Fulton Street.

The buyer declined to specify the purchase price but it’s a safe bet that it’s considerably lower than the $1.4 million Dornoch paid for the four properties at the height of the market in 2006:

38 E Cherry* 38 E. Cherry St. (Block 318, Lot 21); Dornoch paid $320,000 in April 2006. Assessed at $72,200, the property tax bill was $4,732 last year. This property has been vacant for years and for the longest time had a broken window until just a few years ago.

* 44 E. Cherry St. (Block 318, Lot 20); Dornoch paid $442,500 in April 2006, barely three years after it changed hands for $155,000 in March 2003. Assessed at $160,000, the property’s tax bill was $10,488 last year. Both East Cherry Street parcels need extensive upgrades and potential future use is still to be determined, according to Realtor Matt Dobrowloski.

This space has been home to a few cafes over the years, most recently Casa Borinquen, which closed in late 2011. Years ago, it housed Eat To the Beat, which I still think was the best tenant in that space.

1469 Irving* 1469 Irving St. (Block 318, Lot 22); Assessed at $228,800, the property had a tax bill of about $10,331 last year. Several loft apartments occupy the upper floors with two first-floor retail spaces of about 600 square feet and 1,860 square feet. DMR plans to upgrade the exterior of 1645-47-49 Irving St. when the weather improves in the spring, according to Dobrowloski.

1513 Main St* 1513 Main St. (Block 320, Lot 10); Dornoch bought the site in April 2006 for $625,000 and the property changed hands in November 2000 for $150,000. It’s assessed at $139,800, with taxes of about $7,715 last year. The property has about 1,000 square feet of retail on the first floor topped by two duplex two-bedroom apartments.

Several years ago, many of the Dornoch properties downtown were declared in default of their redevelopment agreements with the Redevelopment Agency. In the case of one property, Dornoch’s partner, Slokker Real Estate Group, has taken over and moved forward with Main & Monroe, a 196-unit, two-building complex proposed in Lot B downtown.