Rental building added $2m to assessed value

Perusing some tax and property records yielded an interesting morsel of information about Brookside at Rahway, the 50-unit apartment complex on St. Georges Avenue that opened last year.

When the five-acre property was just a wooded area, it was assessed at $319,800, generating a property tax bill of about $15,000. Today, the property assessment totals $2,334,500 for the 2013 tax year, according to property records. In addition to the $319,800 land assessment, another $2,014,700 was added for the building improvements, bringing the new property tax bill to $136,358 in 2013 — almost 10 times the tax bill under the old assessment, or more than $120,000 than the previous amount.

The average home in Rahway, assessed at about $133,000, will pay approximately $7,600 in overall taxes this year, so the property taxes generated by this new development are equivalent to about 18 average homes.

The three-story rental apartments suffered major damage in a January 2011 fire, just before it was to open. The site was just a wooded area until trees were cleared in August 2009, and construction started about a year later.