There are more than 300 residential properties on the city’s foreclosure registry, as of Sept. 1, including almost 100 vacant properties.
The developer behind a concept to build several hundred residential units at the former Wheatena site has discovered some issues in the title search but also estimates environmental cleanup costs could be more than originally expected.
In his report submitted to Redevelopment Agency ahead of their scheduled May meeting, Executive Director Peter Pelissier updated commissioners on the proposed Brownstones development targeted for the former Wheatena site at West Grand and Elizabeth avenues. Continue reading Proposal for Wheatena runs into ‘issues’
The developer behind two downtown projects is close to acquiring properties comprising the former Wheatena site for a possible 400-unit development.
Capodagli Property Company is building the 108-unit Meridia Water’s Edge and the 115-unit Meridia Lafayette Village. The West New York-based developer presented a 400-unit concept plan for The Brownstones in August 2012 and last summer the Redevelopment Agency approved a redevelopment agreement for the property.
Redevelopment Attorney Frank Regan told commissioners at their meeting Wednesday night that representatives of Capodagli Property Company told him that the deal was imminent with terms are all but agreed upon.
The Redevelopment Agency on Wednesday approved a resolution amending the redevelopment agreement with Meridia Brownstones Rahway, LLC, allowing another six months. The redevelopment area includes Block 226, Lot 1, Block 227, Lots 1-7 and Block 228, Lot 1.
Amendments approved to the redevelopment agreement extend certain timelines another six months, Regan said, though he does not expect six months will be necessary, “but just to be prudent in case it drags on.”
Approximately seven acres across three lots along Elizabeth and East Grand avenues are owned by David and Sylvia Weisz Foundation, which had also been in discussions with American Properties. The Redevelopment Agency earlier this year discussed potentially pursuing condemnation on the properties, if necessary.
Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier said at January’s Redevelopment Agency meeting that American Properties, which had a letter of intent to purchase the Wheatena properties, was being shown various properties for possible redevelopment that could be acquired, including the Post Office on Main Street, the Monroe Street substation area across the river from Luciano’s, as well as the Edge building on Irving Street which has been for sale for some time, most recently listed for $1.295 million.
A judgement by the state Tax Court resulted in a 2-percent reduction for one of the city’s largest taxpayers in the 2010 tax year, but no change in the property’s overall assessment.
The City Council approved resolution AR-230 at its Oct. 15 meeting, authorizing a $7,001 credit for the overpayment of taxes to Renaissance at Rahway, LLC, which does business as Meridia Grand. The building was constructed in 2010 by Capodagli Property Company, which sold it in 2011 for $19 million.
The 88-unit Meridia Grand on Monroe Street and East Grand Avenue is assessed at $5.362 million, for a property tax bill of about $324,420 last year. A $7,001 reduction is about 2.16 percent. The size and nature of a tax appeal can determine what venue it’s decided in and larger tax appeals can take longer to resolve.
The number of tax appeals filed doubled in 2010, and it was the same year that Merck initiated a massive tax appeal on its property, which resulted in a settlement and multi-year reduction. Renaissance at Rahway/Meridia Grand was among the top 10 property taxpayers in the city that year.
The City Council also approved refunds for 2013 tax appeals, which will be detailed in an upcoming post.
The Redevelopment Agency last month authorized a redevelopment agreement with Meridia Brownstones Urban Renewal as redeveloper of the Wheatena and Quinn & Boden properties along Elizabeth Avenue.
Capodagli Property Company of West New York presented a concept plan to the Revelopment Agency in August 2012 to develop a residential project of 450 units called The Brownstones and later that year was named redeveloper of the site. The company also is building the 108-unit Meridia Water’s Edge and 115-unit Meridia Lafayette Village.
Redevelopment Agency commissioners earlier this year discussed options on what to do about the Wheatena site, including possible condemnation, as negotiations by the property owner with two interested parties dragged on.
As negotiations over acquisition of the former Wheatena property slow down, the Redevelopment Agency is waiting but keeping its options — including condemnation — open.
The developer of two downtown projects under construction presented a new concept for the former Wheatena site at the corner of Elizabeth and West Grand avenues.
Continue reading Concept for ‘The Brownstones’ at Wheatena site
The state’s suspension of the red light camera system isn’t stopping Rahway from capturing violators because the city’s two cameras had been in compliance, according to Police Chief John Rodger. State Department of Transportation officials said 63 of the 85 cameras in the state had not been tested to check that yellow lights were timed correctly (one second for every 10 miles per hour), according to this report from nj.com last month.
|St. Georges Ave at Maple Ave|
Rodger said the state’s blanket suspension of the red light program doesn’t affect Rahway because the timing of the city’s existing cameras (at Routes 1/9 at East Milton Avenue and St. Georges Avenue at Maple Avenue) were certified. Violations are still being captured — as they are in other towns that are in compliance — and once the suspension is lifted, violations will be issued. Rodger said the department has 90 days to issue a violation and expects the statewide suspension to be lifted shortly. He estimated about 1,000 violations monthly at Rahway’s two intersections.
Meanwhile, two more cameras are set to be installed later this summer, at Inman and St. Georges Avenues and Routes 1/9 and East Grand Avenue. After a 30-day test and evaluation period, Rodger expects they could be operational by sometime in September.
The $55 fine is split between Union County and Rahway, which receives another $18.50 for court fees (for a total $46). An additional $55 goes to the State Highway Trust Fund, according to Rodger, and the Safe Corridor violation (along Routes 1&9) is $140.