Wheatena development scrapped

Due to unfavorable market conditions, the developer of the former Wheatena site on Elizabeth Avenue issued a notice to terminate the redevelopment agreement.

Matzel & Mumford, a K. Hovnanian Company, “does not foresee any reasonable prospect of being able to move forward with the development during the next year,” according to a resolution passed this month by the Redevelopment Agency acknowledging receipt of the notice.

The redeveloper had been working for more than a year to come up with a new timeline for the project, already realizing it was “economically unfeasible.” The notice to terminate was issued Oct. 31. They met with the Redevelopment Agency on Nov. 14 to discuss the matter and reasons why the redeveloper cannot move forward with the development and reasons for termination.

File photo

Plans for the 130-unit Carriage Park at Rahway consisted of 72 “stacked” and 58 “traditional” townhouses, which was scaled down in early 2007 from 300 units (264 condos/36 townhouses). It would encompass Block 228, Lots 1-6, and Block 227, Lots 1 and 2, and Block 226, Lot 1, which includes both the former Wheatena oatmeal factory at the corner of Elizabeth and West Grand avenues and the former Quinn & Boden site further east along Elizabeth Avenue.

The biggest parcels (Block 228, Lot 1 and Block 227, Lots 1-2) are owned by the David and Sylvia Weisz Foundation in Los Angeles, Calif., which acquired them in 1985 for more than $2 million, according to property records. The roughly 8 acres are assessed at more than $2.3 million and pay almost $150,000 in property taxes.

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