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.
CITY OF HACKENSACK
John Labrosse, Mayor
City Council Adopts Ordinances To Help Propel Redevelopment
(January 28 2014) The city council approved two ordinances last night that will help propel redevelopment in the city’s downtown area. One ordinance allowed the city to formally adopt the Lot C Redevelopment Plan.
Lot C is a 4.3 acre city-owned property that was designated as an area in need of redevelopment in 2013. The area is currently comprised of underutilized surface parking. The proposed Redevelopment Plan calls for multi-family residential development, but would also require the provision of public parking for adjoining parks.
The adoption of the Lot C plan allows the council to begin advertising for a developer for the site with the hope that plans would be presented in a few months.
The second ordinance adopted by the council provides short-term tax incentives for developers and residents who build or make improvements in the 39-block Upper Main Street Rehabilitation Area. The ordinance sets specific criteria that developers must meet to obtain a tax abatement.
Interim City Manager and economic Development Director Anthony Rottino said the abatement ordinance provides the city with a tool to attract significant investment in the area. He said ultimately the tax incentives will generate more revenue for the city than the short term tax abatements will cost .
“The ordinance is very specific about what a developer needs to do to even be considered for an abatement,” said Rottino. “Our objective is to attract substantial developments, such as mixed use projects, that will be benefit to the residents and enhance the character of the community.”
Mayor John Labrosse said the with approval of the two ordinances, “the city council is laying the foundation for substantial economic growth initiatives that will provide jobs and tax revenue for residents.”
“I feel confident in saying that we are at the beginning of a economic boom that will change the landscape of Hackensack in a very positive way for decades to come,” added the mayor.
Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said she is hopeful that the Lot C plan will attract developers of merit who are willing to invest in the long-term economic health of Hackensack.
“We want to work with top notch developers who recognize the benefits of investing in Hackensack’s future,” said Canestrino. “The developments we are seeking have to be mutually beneficial to the developer and our residents.”
Hackensack, NJ- On Friday, April 14, the City of Hackensack was informed that it has been selected to receive an ‘Achievement in Planning’ award from New Jersey Planning Officials and will formally receive the honor on May 3. Every year, New Jersey Planning Officials recognizes projects both large and small, that reflect good sense in planning, dedicated individuals whose planning efforts result in an enhanced quality of life, agencies on every level of government generating model approaches to planning, and organizations and initiatives that promote the ideals of sound planning.
“This award is recognition that the ‘Rehabilitation Plan’ is working,” stated Mayor Mike Melfi. “We are currently at the defining moment of the ‘Plan’, and I am pleased to report that redevelopment is moving forward in Hackensack.”
‘The City of Hackensack Rehabilitation Plan for the Main Street Area’ encompasses 163 acres on 39 city blocks and 389 individual properties. It provides a clear vision to transform the existing downtown area. The goal of the plan is to strengthen and enhance the City’s existing assets while providing opportunities for new mixed-use urban development that will encourage the realization of an authentic downtown environment, which will once again become the cultural and economic heart of Bergen County.
“We have put a lot of time, energy, and focus into creating the ‘Rehabilitation Plan’, and I am sure New Jersey Planning Officials noticed this in our submitted materials,” said City Manager Stephen LoIacono. “It is the attention to detail that communicates the City’s strong commitment to transform the downtown area of Hackensack into a walkable, livable, and sustainable urban environment, guaranteeing that no stone has been left unturned in our plans. This is why the plan will be successful in restoring Hackensack to a ‘City in Motion’.
New Jersey Planning Officials is a non-profit organization that provides educational services, support and information to municipal planning boards, zoning boards of adjustment and elected officials. The organization was formed by, and is still led by, citizen planners and local volunteer residents appointed by governing bodies to serve on planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment. New Jersey Planning Officials is an affiliate of the New Jersey Association of planning and Zoning Administrators.
CONTACT: Ryan Cangialosi (551) 427-1496
by Hannan Adely
(HACKENSACK) - The City Council is taking steps to approve parking and financial agreements to make it easier for a North Jersey developer to build a 222-unit apartment building downtown.
The council introduced ordinances on Tuesday night to designate Meridia Metro Urban Renewal as the redeveloper of a portion of State Street and to allow a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and parking lease for the project, to be called Meridia State. City officials say the incentives are needed to make it viable and to pave the way for the first development in a part of downtown that the council has marked for rehabilitation.
Meridia, a subsidiary of Capodagli Property Co. of Pequannock, plans to construct a six-story building including a ground-floor garage with 141 spots and five floors of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The project, between Warren and Bergen streets, will cost an estimated $19.2 million.
One ordinance would name Meridia as the redeveloper for 90 days, during which the company and city can negotiate a redevelopment agreement.
The council is also weighing a change to the city’s code to allow the leasing of municipal parking lots and garages, and to approve one such agreement with Meridia. Under the agreement, the developer would lease 120 non-assigned parking spaces in the Atlantic Street Parking Garage for its residents at a cost of $64,800 annually for the first five years, with increases in years to follow.
Another proposed ordinance would offer a 30-year tax abatement on the State Street property.
For the first six years, the developer would pay either $1,200 per unit for a total of $266,400, or 2 percent of the total project cost, whichever is greater.
The payment would increase incrementally over the remaining years of the agreement.
In Years 7 to 11, the developer would pay the greatest among those two options and a third option — 20 percent of the property taxes that otherwise would have to be paid. In subsequent years, the third option would grow to 40 percent, then 60 percent, then 80 percent in the final eight years.
If the City Council approves the tax abatement agreement, as expected, it will go to the state Department of Community Affairs for final authorization.
The city now gets less than $80,000 in taxes for the properties in the State Street redevelopment area, said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. All the properties have been bought by Meridia, which is preparing to build soon.
On its application, the developer estimates that construction could start in June if approvals are in place by then, and would run until January 2015.
Meridia would be the first project to break ground since the city adopted its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in June. The plan eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39-block area known as the Main Street corridor to make it easier for developers to build downtown.
Last month, the council designated part of State Street as an “area in need of redevelopment” to allow a mixed-use project with up to 230 residential units.
Council members said they were willing to offer incentives and to compromise on taxes in a bid to transform the run-down block.
“We want to spark redevelopment,” Mayor Michael Melfi said. “This person is willing to take a chance and develop in this area.”
Councilwoman Karen Sasso said she hoped it would build momentum for all of the city’s Main Street corridor.
“Once this gets built and completed,” she said, “I think more people will come in here over time and look to make an investment in the community.”
Hackensack, NJ- The Hackensack City Council voted unanimously earlier tonight to adopt the Hackensack Parking Study, developed in consultation with Bier Associates to “effectively address and fund the present and future parking needs of downtown redevelopment, residents, shoppers, and business owners.”
“We have no doubt that the path we are taking with the Redevelopment Plan will mean more restaurants, residences and retail opportunities in downtown Hackensack,” stated Mayor Mike Melfi. “By looking ahead we are doing what we can to make sure no one can ever say ‘Hackensack is a great place to live and visit but there is no parking’”
Among other things, the Hackensack Parking Study proposes that the City of Hackensack evaluate implementing new parking technology including the use of electronic meters, pay by cell and credit card enabled parking meters; maximizing the utilization of off-street parking facilities by offering overnight and off peak parking permits to downtown residents and central business district employees; and improving parking management and operations by centralizing all parking management within the Parking Utility.
In offering his own endorsement of the plan City Manager Stephen LoIacono said that “the vision this Council has put forward for the future of Hackensack is about more than bricks and mortar, this plan gives us some of the tools we will need to make sure residents and visitors can actually get to where they want to go.”
Contact: Steve Lenox (973) 715-7330
You can download a copy of the parking study below:
On March 1, a panel representing the City of Hackensack will present the City’s new model for reviatlization at the New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum. More than 500 attendees are expected at New Jersey Future’s largest event of the year, which will take place in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown New Brunswick.
Steve LoIacono, City Manager of Hackensack, Karen Sasso, Councilwoman, Francis Reiner, PP, LLA, DMR Architechts, and Nancy Kist, Decotiis Fitzpatrick and Cole LLP will present the session, “Creating a New Model for Revitalization in Downtown Hackensack,” which will focus on proven strategies and mechanisms implemented in Hackensack to promote market-driven revitalization of its downtown, without the use of eminent domain.
The same panel will also present at the quarterly meeting of the New Jersey Real Estate Lenders Association on March 21 in Hackensack, discussing how the City has position itself to promote revitalization and redevelopment opportunities in its downtown.
For more information regarding the New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum, please click here.
Meridia Metro Hackensack Proposes 222 Residential Units
(Hackensack, NJ) – On Thursday, February 7, the City of Hackensack held a meeting of the Pre-Application Review Committee (PACRC) to discuss Capodagli Property Company’s proposal to undertake a project in the State Street Redevelopment zone. This meeting was the first of the PACRC, conceived by the recently adopted Main Street Rehabilitation Plan to expedite applications and reduce development costs by engaging in a dialogue with a developer in the early phases of a proposed project.
This project, referred to as Meridia Metro Hackensack calls for the construction of 222 residential units and is expected to be formally reviewed and considered by the City’s Planning Board within the next 90 days.
“The need to convene this first meeting of the PACRC is further proof that the recently adopted Main Street Rehabilitation Plan was the missing link to our City’s efforts to rehabilitate our once thriving downtown corridor.” stated Stephen LoIacono, City Manager. “By continuing to have these conversations with potential developers at an earlier stage we will see that applications will be expedited more efficiently and development costs will be reduced, both attractive to those considering new investment in Hackensack.”
First step towards project approval in the Main Street Corridor
(HACKENSACK,NJ) – At the December 18, 2012 Hackensack City Council meeting Ordinance No. 464-12 was introduced to designate several blocks on State Street between Warren Street and Bergen Street as an area in need a redevelopment. This is the first step prior to project approval and construction on Main Street in Hackensack. This area is entirely within the
boundaries of the Main Street Rehabilitation Plan approved by the City Council in June 2012. This designation paves the way for a project with high-density residential and mixed-use components in line with the goals set forth in the Rehabilitation Plan.
“This is the first step towards seeing shovels in the ground and real change happening on Main Street,” stated Mayor Mike Melfi. “I am confident that in the coming months we are going to be announcing new projects that will transform our downtown and really begin the process of returning Hackensack to the center of activity in Bergen County.”
Following unanimous approval from the Hackensack Planning Board on this designation, the City Council will vote on the ordinance at its January 8th meeting. The State Street Redevelopment plan allows for up to 230 residential units and includes requirements for a variety of amenities, including roof top terraces. The project will be the first substantial residential development in Hackensack’s downtown in over thirty years.
“We continue to make progress in revitalizing our Main Street Corridor with unanimous consent on our plan to move Hackensack forward,” stated City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. “My office is speaking daily with a number of developers interested in investing in our city. We are going to see real change in the coming months that will get the people of Hackensack excited about the future of our City. Residential development remains a core part of what we are trying to accomplish on Main Street, and this is a first step in that goal.”
CONTACT: MATTHEW P. JORDAN, (973) 714-6115
New procedures will increase efficiency and lower costs for developers
(HACKENSACK, NJ) – The Hackensack City Council submitted an ordinance for review by the Planning Board at the August 21, 2012 meeting to streamline the application process for developers and lower costs for those looking to invest in Hackensack. It is the first step towards making Hackensack more efficient and will aid in spurring investment in Hackensack’s Main Street corridor. The process is intended to provide applicants with a clear, defined set of parameters and requirements for the various application types to expedite the submittal, review and approval process.
“Our objective with this new streamlined process is to cut the red tape for developers in Hackensack to promote growth and investment in the Main Street Corridor,” stated Hackensack Mayor Mike Melfi. “Hackensack is continuing to update our procedures to 21st century policies that can allow us to really jumpstart progress in our downtown. I am confident these new measures will be well received by our Planning Board and potential investors in our city.”
As part of the streamlined process, an applicant appearing before the Planning Board or Zoning Board would benefit from the use of newly adopted forms and checklists that provide step by step guidance concerning information that must be provided prior to an application being presented to the Planning Board or Zoning Board. Additionally, the City has revamped its fee structure to align Hackensack’s fee structure with the fees charged in New Jersey communities that are seeking to encourage growth and development.
Additionally, a “Pre-Application Review Committee” (PACRC) will be created whose purpose is to informally review proposed projects that developers voluntarily present to the Committee. The PACRC will consist of the following city representatives:
The purposes of the PACRC are to expedite applications and reduce development costs by engaging in a dialogue with a developer in the early phases of a proposed project which will enable City representatives to provide information and insight concerning opportunities and constraints upon development resulting from existing conditions and regulations. An applicant may request a pre-application conference with the PACRC prior to making a formal application to either the Planning Board of Zoning Board of Adjustment.
“Following the blueprint set forth in our recently adopted Rehabilitation Plan for Main Street, Hackensack is going to continue its aggressive efforts to court new developers into our community,” stated City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. “This is another important step showing the development community that we are open for business in Hackensack and ready to form mutually beneficial partnerships to our city and prospective developers.”
CONTACT: MATTHEW P. JORDAN, (973) 714-6115
Will serve as a hub of information for developers, residents, and property owners
(HACKENSACK, NJ) – Today, the City of Hackensack launched a new website – www.MainStreetHackensack.com – to market the city’s downtown to potential investors, provide important information to developers, and keep residents informed about the progress and plans for the Main Street Corridor. The website gives people easy access to the recently passed Rehabilitation Plan and interactive graphics for what projects will look like, where the plan is being implemented, and design standards moving forward.
“With the Rehabilitation Plan now in place with strong community support, we are going to be aggressive in reaching out to partners in the private sector that can help us transform Main Street,” stated City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono.
“Throughout this entire process transparency has been a hallmark. We want everyone to know – from residents to property owners to prospective investors – that Hackensack is open for business.”
The Main Street Rehabilitation Plan received unanimous support from the Hackensack City Council and Planning Board and strong endorsements from the business community. Spanning 163 acres, 39 city blocks, and 389 properties, the plan will promote mixed-use development with active streets, outdoor dining, and new development opportunities.
“This website is the beginning of a marketing and outreach campaign to bring new investment into Main Street,” stated Mayor Michael Melfi. “This Rehabilitation Plan is the first step in attracting new mixed-use residential and commercial projects that will expand our tax base and revitalize our downtown. We are going to seek out partners who share our vision and want to reestablish Hackensack as the center of Bergen County.”