The second of three flood-prone homes on West Grand Avenue has been acquired and soon will be razed.
City Council approved a resolution (AR-91-15) at its April 13 meeting, awarding a bid of $18,045 to Yannuzzi Group, Inc., to demolish 194 W. Grand Ave. The Kinnelon-based firm was the lowest responsible bidder.
The 2 1/2-story home 194 W. Grand Ave. (Block 161, Lot 35) was acquired by the city in October 2014 for $260,000 (with the deed recorded in the county clerk’s office in December). It was previously assessed for 127,200, making for a recent tax bill of $7,891. The home previously sold for $365,000 in March 2006 and before that for $260,000 in September 2004.
That property, in addition to the adjacent 188 W. Grand Ave. and 182 W. Grand Ave., have been either targeted for acquisition or already acquired. The three properties are only several hundred feet from where the Robinson’s Branch of the Rahway River splits off from the Rahway River in the Wheatena section of Rahway River Park.
182 W. Grand Ave. (Block 161, Lot 37) was acquired by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in September 2013 for $147,800. That property, which also has been razed, had been assessed for $92,300, generating a recent property tax bill of $5,581. It previously sold for $157,000 in March 2002. The home at 188 W. Grand Ave. (pictured above on the left) as not yet been acquired, according to property records.
Acquisition costs of about $408,000 for the two properties were covered by federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for disaster recovery related to Hurricane Irene that the governing body applied for two years ago.
Once acquired, the properties are reclassified as Class 15C (Exempt Public Property) rather than Class 2 (Residential). Since the land will be owned by either the city or state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), that means the properties will no longer generate tax revenue, which totaled about $13,471 in the most recent tax year.