City officials in recent weeks have met twice with a developer whose project was tabled by the City Council last month.
In his report to the Revelopment Agency at last week’s meeting, City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier said some members of the Planning Board, Redevelopment Agency and City Council met with representatives of Capodagli Property Company. The Pompton Plains-based developer has proposed a 108-unit rental complex on about three-quarters of an acre on the back portion of the City Hall Plaza property (Block 305, Lot 5.04).
Pelissier said Capodagli and his consultant laid out a strong presentation that included citing trends of 17- to 35-year-olds not looking for big living spaces and eating out two dozen times a month. “This developer is marketing to that,” he said. Capodagli provided officials with a general concept of what the area might look like if he were to acquire adjacent Center Circle property, but Pelissier emphasized that it was not a plan for the Redevelopment Agency to take action on, “but just to see what it’d look like.” The Center Circle currently has an asking price of $5.45 million.
Water’s Edge is a stand-alone project, Pelissier stressed, although Capodagli’s concept for the City Hall Plaza/Center Circle site included three structures on The Center Circle property. “I’m guessing he would want 400 units” if Capodagli were to acquire and propose a development on the 3.5-acre Center Circle property.
“My concern is we’ve done our part of redevelopment for…15 years…the City Council has been in tune, so has the Planning Board, to keep redevelopment moving,” Pelissier told commissioners Wednesday night. If Capodagli were required to reduce the number of units or make existing units bigger, he likely wouldn’t do the project, according to Pelissier, adding that it could mean losing the project, along with its related sewer and water connection fees and potentially more people downtown.
The agency had an agreement to sell the three-quarter acre site to Capodagli for $1 million (less the cost to remove existing soil), along with tens of thousands of dollars in water and sewer connection fees, said Pelissier. “There’s nothing wrong with questioning from City Council, it’s their right to ask what’s this whole property going to look like, but this is a stand-alone project [Water’s Edge],” he said, and it’s very valuable to keep it moving.
An ordinance to amend the redevelopment plan to include the five-story project was tabled by City Council last month amid concerns about density, size of units, and potential flooding. A proposed Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) for the project is expected to be introduced at next month’s meeting, where a representative of Capodagli is expected to appear to explain the PILOT. The Redevelopment Agency last week extended the memorandum of understanding with the firm for another 90 days.