COUNCIL FINE-TUNES DEVELOPMENT PLAN
The area known as “Lot C”; is an underutilized surface parking lot owned by the city. Earlier this year it was declared an Area in Need of Redevelopment, according to the criteria set forth by the state redevelopment law.
The Redevelopment Plan for Lot C proposes that the site be used for high density, mixed use development with a diverse residential population. The site offers easy access to the city’s downtown area as well as the Bergen County government offices and the county courthouse. Mass transit facilities are also conveniently located nearby.
The Lot C Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the city council on January 28. Last night the city planner Fran Reiner introduced several changes to the Lot C plan that would better reflect the city’s redevelopment goals. Among the changes to the plan are restricting the number of small studio apartments – between 500 and 600 square-feet — to 25 percent of the total units on the site; limiting to 10 percent the number of units over 1,200 square-feet and setting the minimum number of residential units at 240 with a maximum of 440.
The changes approved by the council also require that the redeveloper complete the redevelopment project in no more than two phases so long as parking is included in the first phase.
Other changes to the plan govern on street parking and materials that can be used on the building facades in the area, including any parking structures. Brick and or glass must cover a minimum of 75percent of each building façade and vinyl siding is prohibited.
Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said the changes recommended by city planner will improve the aesthetics of the development and provide a better mix of housing for the city.
“I believe these changes give the city much better control over what gets built on Lot C, how the development will look and how the developer has to proceed,” said Canestrino.
Redevelopment attorney Brian Nelson said Lot C will be offered for sale at a public auction in about three months. Interested bidders will be able to secure detailed information regarding the property and the auction in April.
Anyone wishing to be eligible to bid on Lot C must submit a conceptual redevelopment plan to the city 15 days before the auction and make an escrowed deposit of $200,000 to the city. The successful high bidder must submit a check for not less than 10 percent of their bid price the day the auction is concluded.
Councilman Leo Battaglia said he is excited at the prospect of seeing the long vacant parking lot become an income producing site for the city. “The sale of Lot C will be a big step in the city’s redevelopment efforts and will lead to quality development elsewhere,” said Battaglia.
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