Edgewater Development Will Provide Many Benefits…

From 615 River Road Partners

Edgewater Development Will Provide Many Benefits To the Borough While Providing Desired  Improvements   At No Cost To  Taxpayers

Mayor, Council Seek to Condemn Valuable Waterfront Property

For Immediate Release                                                   August 21, 2017

(Edgewater, NJ ) If the Borough of Edgewater follows through  on its plans to condemn 18.7 acres of riverfront property slated for redevelopment, it will be turning its back on a project that will provide a tax revenue windfall to the borough along with many amenities that will serve the residents for decades, say the developers of  a mixed use development known as 615 River Road.

The developer — 615 River Road Partners LLC – says the Edgewater mayor and council are rejecting  a project that will add  $12.3 million  a year in taxes to the borough coffers, and provide the borough with  two  multi-acre public parks, a riverfront promenade with a cafe and shops, a bus super stop and ferry service to Manhattan.

“This 18 acre site is the most valuable piece of developable property left on the Jersey Gold Coast. It is unfathomable how the mayor and council of Edgewater can in good conscience reject this project without even coming to the table to talk to the property owners about the tremendous benefits it will provide to the community,” said Thom Ammirato, a spokesman for the developer.

“The mayor and council are walking away from significant property tax relief for their residents and shunning amenities for the borough that the mayor and council say they want — and that could be provided to the borough at no cost to taxpayers,” added the spokesman.

The council entertained the second reading of a bond ordinance on Monday, (August 21)  allocating $25 million for the purchase of the site through an attempted eminent domain condemnation proceeding.

Ammirato said the borough council’s allocation is far short of true market value of the waterfront property. The mixed use development proposal would be built on the former  Hess Corporation’s petroleum terminal  site, which was acquired by 615 River Road  Partners and  responsibly remediated to the highest residential standards.

TAX RELIEF

“For some unexplained reason the council is being encouraged to follow a path that will force the borough to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars  to try to stop a project that would put an end to the towns’ escalating property tax increases,” said Ammirato”.

Property taxes in Edgewater  have climbed from an average of $6,782 per household in 2012 to $8,183 per household in 2016,  an increase of more than 20 percent.  Condemning the River Road property will eliminate the tax revenue the borough now receives from the property owners. approximately $400,000 and eliminate any future tax revenue from the site.

Ammirato said Mayor Michael McPartland’s stated intention to take the valuable waterfront property to be used the future home of a new borough  public works garage is difficult to accept at face value.

“It makes no rational economic sense for an elected official to support spending  tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to buy a piece of land to erect a public works garage for a town that has only 13 public works employees,” said Ammirato. “With the revenue generated from the proposed development the mayor and council can build  a new public works garage anywhere they wanted.”

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The spokesman added that not only would the proposed project give the borough the open space  and waterfront access that the mayor and council want, but would also help the borough meet is state mandated affordable housing obligation.

New Jersey’s  Fair Share Housing Center has been critical of Edgewater’s efforts to meet its affordable housing  requirements and has accused the borough of undermining its affordable-housing obligations by attempting to condemn  the 615 River Road property. Edgewater, like many Bergen County municipalities is  working with a court-appointed master to determine how much affordable housing it must provide.

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