A look at redevelopment study areas

The 119 properties being studied for potential redevelopment have a total assessed value of $30.733 million, generating property taxes last year of about $1.898 million. Collectively, the properties comprise about 57 acres.

City Council last month adopted a resolution to authorize a redevelopment study of the 119 properties. Now it’s up to the Planning Board to conduct the study.

In the meantime, I divided the 119 properties into three clusters to profile each with a closer look at current assessments and taxes. To be clear, these have not been designated redevelopment areas by the city, that would come a few more steps later in the process, if at all; these are my own calculations based on a review of property records and I grouped them together as I saw fit.

West Grand Avenue

West Grand.Antiques&ThingsThe West Grand Avenue corridor by far has the most properties, with 92 of the 119 overall. The vast majority of those are residential, probably why so many people came out to the City Council meeting last month.

The West Grand Avenue cluster has the highest overall property assessment of the three clusters but the lowest average given the sheer number of properties. There’s a total assessment of $15,863,500 (average $172,429), about twice the total of the other two zones combined, with property taxes of $957,483 (average $10,407).

Elizabeth Avenue

The Elizabeth Avenue corridor includes 17 properties, with probably the most balanced mix of industrial, residential or exempt lots. The properties are assessed at a total $7,496,700 assessment (average $40,982) and property taxes of $478,964 (average $28,174). The properties total almost 13 acres.

I grouped all the Elizabeth Avenue properties into one cluster but I suppose they could be split up into two or three areas, if one wanted. The properties stretch from the Wheatena section of Rahway River Park to the Linden border.

New Brunswick Avenue

There are nine properties within the New Brunswick Avenue redevelopment cluster that have a total assessment of $7,373,500 (average $819,278), with property taxes totaling $461,912 (average $51,324).

Much of the New Brunswick Avenue redevelopment cluster is comprised of industrial properties¬† — which is why it’s the largest at 34 acres — or city-owned parcels, of which there are five.

The New Brunswick Avenue zone includes the two largest properties in the study but also the smallest, with a few small parcels owned by the city. The 26-acre Dri Print Foils is assessed for $3.146 million with property taxes of almost S201,000. The largest lot by assessment also is in this zone, at $4.025 million, a nearly 4-acre lot that’s part of Delco Plaza, which recently got approval to become a fitness center.

2 thoughts on “A look at redevelopment study areas”

  1. In all the discussions, I haven’t heard of the primary reason why redevelopment of this scale was considered, except that it is recommended in the last Masterplan Study, which recommended improving the properties along the major routes into Rahway. And that reason would be…? I still want to hear the excuse. Higher taxes from new properties? More work to distribute to major contributors? If not these, then what?

    1. Susan, I don’t know if you saw this or whether it would answer your question but the city put out a FAQ sheet at the meeting.

      There was also some talk, deemed preliminary and not the explicit reason for the study, of siting a grocery store/supermarket. IMHO, in the case of West Grand Avenue, there’s some room for improvement, with a number of boarded up properties, inconsistent land use with a hodge podge of residential, retail. Ultimately, the administration said the study will be to determine whether these areas would warrant examining for further redevelopment.

      Of course, the cynic in me would agree that it’s to find more work to distribute to contributors.

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