PARSIPPANY — At the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council meeting held on Tuesday, September 25, a resolution was passed amending the redevelopment plan for property located at 1515 Route 10. The original redevelopment plan was passed by the Township Council on August 22, 2017.
Council voted 4-1 in support of the resolution, with Council Vice President Janice McCarthy voting against the project.
The previous redevelopment plan adopted on August 22, 2017 passed 5-0 with former Council President Louis Valori, Council Vice President Robert Peluso, Councilman Michael dePierro, Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., and Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani all voting for the redevelopment plan. That redevelopment plan was adopted and still is in effect.
The original plan announced by Stanbery Development was to build a 50-room hotel, 90,700 square feet of retail space, 45,000 square feet of restaurant space, 61,500 square feet of office space and 180 one-bedroom units and 62 two-bedroom units. Part of the property is in Hanover Township. It is anticipated that a redevelopment plan will ultimately be prepared for the balance of the Redevelopment Area, which is identified in Hanover Township as Block 303, Lots 13 and 14.
The revised redevelopment plan approved on September 25 is for construction of 100,000 square feet of retail space and 441 residential units. “What we have here is an opportunity to transform a 1980s vacant office building into a really vibrant, extraordinary mixed-use project, which we called The District at 1515,” said Mark Pottschmidt, a co-founder of Stanbery Development. Stanbery Development also is the owner of The Shoppes At Union Hill, on Route 10, Denville.
According to Brandon Nutting, a representative of Stanbery Development, the property will be developed in two phases. Phase I would consist of 64,000 square feet of retail space and 273 residential units. Phase II would add 36,000 square feet of retail and an additional 168 residential units, for a total of 100,000 square feet of retail space and 441 residential units.
“We are actually working on the unit mix now but generally the market rate units will be in the neighborhood of 60% one-bedroom and 40% two-bedrooms. The Affordable unit mix will be driven by COAH and will include some three-bedrooms,” stated Mark Pottschmidt.
Under Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regulations, developers must agree to build a fixed percentage of affordable units—usually 15 (for rental units) to 20 percent (for units for sale)—of the total constructed on the site, to market to low and moderate income households and to maintain affordability for 30 years. The complex will be required to build 68 COAH units. Stanbery plans to build 34 units, and will pay Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Affordable Housing Trust for the other 34 units. It is estimated they will pay $2,550,000 to the Affordable Housing Trust.
Stanbery Development, LLC., paid $14.1 million for property in March 2015.
Council members questioned township Financial Analyst Mike Hanley about the complex financing involved with the project, which includes a PILOT program that offers “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” by the developers.
“My concerns were related to the financing needed to move the project forward and how the financing is structured with the PILOT and the redevelopment bond. I would have preferred a more substantive presentation on COAH including the “set aside” per unit fee and a more comprehensive explanation on how the Affordable Trust funds would be used. Also, I would have liked to have seen a year to date accounting of the existing Trust Fund and how funds were used to create affordable housing units,” said Council Vice President Janice McCarthy.
In an email request to former Council President Louis Valori requesting comment on the recent approval his response was “Frank Cahill do not email me again. I already warned you. Your behavior is sickening.”
Resident Bob Venezia said “I can see where this project helps the developer makes money. I can see where it helps Millennials, some housing, but I don’t see anything that Parsippany as a town gets. According to a newspaper article, it says this, this project will be the densest housing development ever in Parsippany. It sets a precedent for other developments. Congested traffic, overcrowded schools.”
Council President Paul Carifi, Jr., stated “The location of the project and the Road improvements that will be made to Dryden way will keep traffic off Route 202 which is very congested. Most of the traffic going to and leaving this area will go directly on and off Route 10 close to Route 287. Although this project has 441 units in total between both phases the majority of those units will be studio or one bedroom geared towards millennials. This intern means that it will not add a lot of school aged children burdening our school systems.; The money that the township will be receiving to go into our Affordable Housing Trust Fund can be utilized to subsidize apartments for affordable housing that already exist in town. Therefore cutting down on additional development that may be needed to meet whatever Parsippany’s COAH obligation is. (We are still waiting for our number of affordable housing units that the town must plan for.)”
“In addition by approving this plan the Township will get up to three credits for every unit we subsidize for affordable housing. Plain and simple the way the current plan would go we would be able to use this trust fund money to subsidize 34 units and could receive up to approximately 100 credits (units) of affordable housing; The developer has agreed to maintain all streets in the development including snow plowing as well as maintenance and garbage pick up. Therefore saving the township money and time versus other possible developments that could eventually go there; This development will have some very nice retail and restaurant services for our residents. The Township will also be able to use the courtyard area for such things as farmers markets as well as other events,” said Carifi.
Stanbery Development must submit site plans to The Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board to receive approvals.
Currently in the main building on the property, it has three stories plus a lower level. The gross floor area is 237,300 square feet. It was built in 1984. Almost the entirety of the building is unoccupied.
The second building, to the south of the main building and connected by a second story walkway, is three stories and has a gross floor area of 71,231 square feet. It was built in 1999. There are 1,091 parking spaces on site around the perimeter of the buildings, more than 700 parking spaces located on Lot 1.02. The remaining 320 parking spaces are located on Lots 13 and 14 of Block 303 in Hanover Township.