The Township of North Bergen is seeking to make 85th to 87th Bergenline Avenue an area of redevelopment based on a measure approved by the board of commissioners last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The designation is based on a redevelopment study that was previously authorized by the North Bergen Planning Board.
The area contains a vacant lot that has previously been approved for a mixed-use development, a condominium building that has fallen into disrepair, and an adjoining retail space.
“This planned redevelopment will rehabilitate and revitalize an area that genuinely needs it through beautification efforts and infrastructure improvements, which will also result in increased tax revenue for the community and significant job creation,” Township Administrator Janet Castro said in a statement.
“Now that the commissioners have approved this designation we can move to the next stage of planning these improvements that will greatly benefit the local community as well as the township as a whole.”
According to the redevelopment study, 8515 Bergenline Ave.currently contains a five-story, 20-unit residential building known as the Mariah Condominiums, which were constructed in 1950.
The building has had multiple, ongoing reports of non-functional basic utilities such as heat, hot water, an elevator that has been non-functional for years, and multiple fire safety violations which have remained outstanding for more than a year.
As a result, the township has been forced to address a number of these life safety issues such as paying to repair the chimney and boiler.
These costs were then assessed as liens against the owners of the building, however they have not been paid and the total amount of the liens currently exceeds $30,000.
Additionally, the property also currently has a lien from the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority in excess of $100,000 due to nonpayment of water fees.
The building’s condition continues to deteriorate, with there being visual signs of structural problems, and the township regularly receives numerous complaints illustrating a pattern of sanitary, safety, and accessibility violations that have not been corrected by the property owners.
These include, but are not limited to, a lack of heat and hot water, a need for chimney and boiler repairs, infestations of mice and roaches, a lack of preventive maintenance and testing of fire alarms, extinguishers, etc., combustibles near an egress, and a non-operational elevator.
For these reasons, and others, township officials are considering entering into condemnation proceedings on this property to proceed forward with redeveloping the entire zone.
Also included in the redevelopment zone is 8619 Bergenline Ave., which is an undeveloped lot that has been approved for a 10-story, mixed-use development with two ground floor commercial spaces, garage parking, and upper floor residential units.
The other property isi 8505 Bergenline Avenue, which contains two attached commercial retail buildings: a two-story and one-story structure.