MAPLEWOOD -- Following months of courtship, Maplewood and Mark Built Homes have carved out a preliminary agreement that will allow the firm to redevelop the township’s historic former police building on Dunnell Road into housing, Mayor Victor DeLuca said on Tuesday.
The parties have agreed to a sale price for the .85-acre property, DeLuca said, but must still address asbestos removal and demolition of the existing building. Those issues, as well as design matters, will be negotiated and drawn up in a formal redevelopment agreement. “I hope that we would be able to close on the property in early 2011 and have a shovel in the ground if not in late 2011, then in early 2012,” DeLuca said after making the announcement. Because they are still ironing out details, DeLuca declined to address the preliminary agreement’s details, including purchase price. He did say that any final agreement would not include a tax abatement.The Union Township firm’s concept includes a 50-foot-high building with 30 to 35 residential units and a one-story parking deck. Earlier this year, a coalition of residents urged township officials to limit the redevelopment’s footprint or risk having a large structure that clashes with the character of the Memorial Park neighborhood. The project’s parameters, though, would be subjected to planning board hearings and approvals before construction begins.A second round of environmental tests, probing deeper than testing done in April, was completed at the site on Tuesday. The initial tests revealed elevated levels of lead, mercury, benzene and other compounds on the property, attributable to two underground storage tanks which have since been exhumed. But the engineering firm conducting the tests concluded that the potential for adverse ecological effects, such as on the nearby Rahway River tributary and on wildlife, are minimal. Results from the second round of tests are expected in two weeks, DeLuca said.DeLuca said he hopes to have the formal redevelopment agreement drawn up by Sept. 7, when the township committee meets next.
Maplewood, Short Hills, South Orange, Summit, and Millburn real estate and homes for sale in New Jersey - Robert Northfield, Realtor
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