The developer of the former Wheatena property on Elizabeth Avenue paid $4.7 million for the collection of parcels where 489 rental units are planned, according to property transaction records.
Meridia Brownstones Urban Renewal, LLC, part of Capodagli Property Company, recently of West New York and now based in Linden, acquired three lots from the David and Sylvia Weisz Foundation: Block 226, Lot 1; Block 227 Lots 1, and Block 228, Lot 1. The Los Angeles-based foundation bought the properties in 1985 for about $2 million.
The sale closed on May 7 and the deed was recorded by the Union County Clerk’s office on June 5.
In total, the three lots are almost 8 acres, assessed at $2.45 million, with property taxes of about $152,200. Block 228 Lot 1, encompassing 1829 and 1905 Elizabeth Avenue, is the largest of the three lots at 6.7 acres and assessed for$2,253,600 and a property tax bill of almost $140,000.
Block 226, Lot 1 is a 0.7-acre parking lot on Elizabeth Avenue. It’s assessed for $130,500 with taxes almost $8,100. Block 227, Lot 1 is a 0.4-acre lot, assessed at $65,900 and taxes of almost $4,100.
The Redevelopment Agency earlier this month modified the per-unit payments that it will get from the developer after the firm requested a reduction due to extraordinary costs. Early estimates for environmental remediation costs were more than $1.3 million. Under a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) approved by City Council last summer, the project will pay about $30 million over 30 years.
Construction could begin before the end of the year, or at the latest by May 2016. The project would be completed in four phases and last five years, culminating in April 2021. Phase one would consist of about 300 units, scheduled for completion and leasing by the first quarter of 2018, with the remaining units in the second phase by the first quarter of 2019.
Here’s a timeline of how the project came together under the current developer:
- January 2010: Previous developer Matzel & Mumford determines the previous plan for 130 for-sale condos is not economically feasible.
- August 2012: Capodagli Property Company presents a concept plan for The Brownstones to the Redevelopment Agency.
- September 2012: Redevelopment Agency appoints Capodagli Property Co. as redeveloper of Wheatena site.
- August 2013: Redevelopment Agency approves redevelopment agreement for Meridia Brownstones.
- August 2014: City Council approves 30-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT).
- December 2014: Planning Board unanimously approves preliminary and final major site plans.