According to Mayor Richard Turner, the Township Council agreed that the township will share the cost of the demolition of the two vacant factories with developer Grandview Towers LLC of Hoboken, as well as the cost to build the parking lot, slated to be ready within the next six months.
The township and the developer will equally share the $1.8 million cost for purchasing the site, which is located directly across Hackensack Plank Road from the proposed Grandview Towers complex, located at the site of the old Reinier Building, which was a clothing apparel factory in recent years.
As per the agreement, the township will own the land, with the developer maintaining the property throughout the terms of the deal.
Turner said the deal enables Grandview Towers to meet the parking requirements it needed to develop the 20-unit project, while also creating more parking spaces for public use in an area already facing a parking dilemma.
"The Reinier building is being rehabbed," Turner said. "They wanted to build a parking structure on the first floor, but the Board of Adjustment wouldn't allow them to build higher than the existing buildings in the area, like Gregory Commons [the luxury condo complex located directly adjacent to the property along Gregory Avenue]. So they were facing a parking problem. They needed parking to convert the building."
Added Turner, "This way, we're able to get rid of two vacant factories that were vacant for a while, that were deteriorating, that were firetraps and eyesores. We were trying to acquire the property where the two factories stand for quite some time, but the price was too substantial. We couldn't afford it. So we spent a lot of time working on this partnership agreement."
Turner said the vacant buildings were causing existing property values to decrease as well.
The mayor also said the township will raise the necessary funding, approximately $900,000, needed for the demolition and construction of the parking lot.
Two hundred thousand dollars will come via Community Development Block Grants, along with some funding left over from other improvement projects, and a short-term financing plan will cover the rest of the cost.
"We should be able to pay off the note on the bonds within three or four years," Turner said. "So there will be no increase in debts and we're hoping to do this at zero cost to the taxpayers. There's no way we could have afforded $1.8 million ourselves. This way, we own the land, they'll have 30 parking spaces for their residents, we'll have 35 to 40 spaces for public use and they'll pay the yearly maintenance of the lot."
Turner said there is a stipulation in the agreement that the township could build a multi-level parking garage on the site if they choose to.
Turner said that the agreement also calls for attractive landscaping to be situated around the lot in order to keep the atmosphere of the neighborhood intact.
"This is a win-win for everyone," Turner said. "The two old eyesore factories will be demolished. We needed to have a parking lot in that neighborhood. The restoration of the Reinier Building into housing units will clean up that corner. It will have a positive effect on the property values of the entire neighborhood."
Turner said the developer plans to have the restoration completed within the next two years, but the parking lot could be done by the summer months of 2004.