At the Parsippany-Troy Hills Council meeting of Tuesday, March 19, Board Attorney John Inglesino presented a letter he received from the RD Realty attorney regarding the redevelopment of Block 421, Lot 29, also known as Waterview Project. You can come to your own conclusion.. Was this a threat? Approve the overlay zone, or this is what you are going to get instead? Let’s hear your comments…
March 18, 2013
John P. Inglesino, Esquire
Inglesino Pearlman Wyciskaia & Taylor, LLC
600 Parsippany Road, Suite 204
Parsippany, NJ 07054-3715
Re: Block 421, Lot 29 – Waterview Boulevard and US Route 46, Parsippany-Troy Hills
Dear Mr. Inglesino:
This firm is counsel to RD Realty, LLP (“RDR”). RDR is the contract purchaser of certain property, located in the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills (the “Township”), identified on the Township Tax Maps as (the “Property”). The Property is located at the intersection of Waterview Boulevard and US Route 46, and consists of twenty-six and forty-eight hundredths (26.48) +/-acres.
The owner of the Property is Belle Meade. Belle Meade has made a final decision to sell the Property, and in furtherance thereof, has entered into an agreement of sale with RDR which provides RDR with substantial flexibility with regard to development options and time.
Prior to entering into the said contract, RDR and Belle Meade explored options for the development of the Property. RDR is in the business of real estate development and property management. It has extensive experience and a substantial portfolio. The current zoning of the Property, Planned Office Development (POD), allows for offices as the permitted use. After diligent investigation, RDR has determined that there is no current market for such use, and there is little likelihood that a market will exist for the indefinite future.
RDR would develop the Property in conformity with the existing zoning if that were possible. It is not. Effectively, the current zoning has zoned the Property into inutility. Since such development is out of the question, alternative uses must be explored and a realistic zone plan adopted.
Recognizing the futility of pursuing a development under the current zoning, RDR thoroughly and deliberately considered development options. In so doing, RDR assessed and acknowledged the. realities of the marketplace prior to entering into the said land contract Realistically, those options ranged from retail to residential, or some mix of the two.
The current market for exclusive residential use on the Property and at this location would be extremely profitable and would support a rental, apartment complex, at a realistic density of twenty (20) units per acre. This would achieve up to five hundred thirty (530) units. Higher densities could be achieved with a four (4)-story or greater product.
Such a development, of course, would be constructed as an inclusionary, affordable housing development and, as such, also would benefit the Township by providing up to a twenty percent (20%) setaside of the unitsthat would be affordable to low/moderate and work-force households. Given the inherently beneficial nature of such a development, regardless of municipal Mt. Laurel compliance, a municipal decision to rezone for such a use would be supported by recent precedent. Homes of Hope v. Tp. Of Eastampton, 409 N.J. Super. 330 (App. Div. 2009); and Estaugh Commons v. Bor. of Haddonfield L-2473-10 (Law. Div. 2011).
On the other hand, RDR is seeking an amicable resolution of the need to amend the zoning ordinance and does recognize the preference of the Township now to minimize additional multifamily, garden apartment development. In light of that, RDR determined, initially, to defer on the residential option. Instead, RDR sought what it believed would be the most appealing development product – a mixed use development of Class A retail and upscale townhouses. We believe this ‘establishes locational compatibility and supports adjoining land uses.
Thus, RDR determined to deliver a development that precisely fits the profile which it assumed that the Township and adjoining neighbors would have hoped to achieve. This is exemplified in the current proposal for the rezoning and development of the Property. As an indication of the desirability of the proposed use and the location, RDR now has a commitment from Whole Foods to anchor the retail space.
Frankly, while RDR recognizes that any proposal will face some resident opposition, it believes that this is the best development option for the Township and the regional area, one which will have significant tax benefits to the municipality and provide extremely desirable services to the region.
There should be no doubt as to RDR’s commitment to this site. It does not intend to simply make a proposal and terminate its land contract if that proposal is rejected. If this option is rejected, RDR will pursue alternative development avenues. Not developing the Property is not an option.
Please advise if you need anything additional from RDR in support of the Township’s consideration of the rezoning of the Property.
Very truly yours,
BISGAIER HOFF, LLC
Carl S. Bisgaier
Councilman Michael dePierro asked questions at the end of the meeting regarding buffers on Intervale Road, and then requested the Council table the ordinance known as 2013:08, “An Ordinance of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Chapter 430 of the Township Code Entitled “zoning” to created an RCR Planned Retail/Commercial/Residential Overlay District for Property Identified as Block 421, Lot 29 on the Official Tax Map of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills which property is located within the Township’s POD Planned Office Development Zone and to Amend the Township Zoning Map to Reflect the Creation of the RCR Planned Retail/Comercial/Residential Overlay District.
The council approved to table the ordinance and will revisit the ordinance at it’s Tuesday, April 9 meeting which will be held at Parsippany High School, 309 Baldwin Road at 7:30 p.m.