Wheatena project ‘economically infeasible’

Developers of the proposed 130 units at the former Wheatena/Quinn & Boden facilities on Elizabeth Avenue want to build the project — just not in this real estate market.

Redevelopment Agency attorney Frank Regan emphasized to commissioners at their meeting Wednesday night that Matzel & Mumford is still committed to the project as approved but could not sell the condos for what they needed to. The city will continue to update the redevelopment study for that redevelopment area, which they hired an consultant for last fall, funded by Matzel & Mumford.

Market conditions, “coupled with the continued unrealistic expectations of the property owners within the redevelopment area, as well as other prohibitive costs and constraints have, unfortunately, rendered this project economically infeasible at this time,” wrote Carl Erler, attorney for Matzel & Mumford, in a Dec. 4 letter to City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier.

A market study for Matzel & Mumford by East Brunswick-based Otteau Valuation Group in November pegged the average overall selling price at $294,000, with condos ranging from 1,646 to 2,306 square feet, with an average 2,041. Carriage Park at Rahway would consist of 72 “stacked” and 58 “traditional” townhouses. The plan was scaled down in 2007 from 300 units (264 condos/36 townhouses).

Representatives of Matzel & Mumford met last month with Mayor James Kennedy, Pelissier and Regan to discuss the timing of the project and current conditions of the real estate market.

“We have a significant amount invested in this project and we remain confident that the project will be viable when the market conditions improve,” Erler said in his letter.

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MyCentralJersey.com had a writeup of tomorrow’s First Thursday (Jan. 7), including an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rahway Art Hive on East Cherry Street.

4 thoughts on “Wheatena project ‘economically infeasible’”

  1. "continued unrealistic expectations of the property owners" … yeah, that pretty much sums up where things are in NJ at this point. It's going to get worse before it gets better, ladies and gents …

  2. That comment stuck out to me, too. When we first looked to buy in Rahway, we were looking at small buildings along Cherry St. The sellers there were acting like the place was Westfield. Completely unrealistic.

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