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Update of Dunnell Road Redevelopment

Mayor will update the public on development proposal on Sept. 6.

Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca may have been on vacation in late August, but he reports that he was still working on a deal for 125 Dunnell Road.

DeLuca told Patch that he was in email contact with , the designated developer for 125 Dunnell, which is the former site of the Maplewood Police Department. DeLuca was also in touch with the town's redevelopment attorney.

"We are still negotiating the final language for the redevelopment agreement," wrote DeLuca in an email. "Things are on tract to get the site plan to the Planning Board by the end of the year. We will be extending the exclusive negotiating period with Petrucci on the September 6 Township Committee meeting."

By unanimous vote, the Maplewood Township Committee resolved on June 21 to select J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc. of Asbury, N.J. for exclusive negotiations for the redevelopment of the former police station site at 125 Dunnell Road. 

Petrucci proposes building a 50-unit apartment building that will include a mix of one and two bedroom units. The plan is for 46 market-rate units and four affordable housing units. The proposed building is four stories high, with ground-floor parking and three residential stories above.  

There will be 60 on-site parking spaces — meeting the 1.2 per housing unit requirement in the . The building will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. 

At the Township Committee meeting on June 21, Mayor Vic DeLuca stated that no tax abatement will be granted for the development, and that, as a rental property, the building will pay an assessment as part of the Maplewood Village Alliance Special Improvement District.  

While negotiations are ongoing, DeLuca added, discussions will take place regarding the final design of the building and the site plan. (A conceptual design and site plan are attached here.) DeLuca said to expect that "both will be modified as architectural and engineering work move forward." He also said that the purchase price for the property has been agreed to but is not being made public until the negotiations are concluded. Said the Mayor: "The Township Committee wants to protect its negotiating position in the event a final deal is not reached with Petrucci." He added that, after a agreement is reached, the town would announce the sale price and all the particulars of the deal.

DeLuca briefly recapped the recent history of the site. After , the Township published . Three developers responded and were interviewed twice each by the Economic Development Committee, which then made a recommendation to the Township Committee last Thursday.

Mark Built had before reaching an in summer 2010 for the purchase of the property. But the developer and the town had difficulty resolving issues related to responsibility for environmental cleanup of the site, which featured underground oil tanks and asbestos in the basement of the 1930s-era main building. DeLuca has when it became apparent to town leaders that Mark Built's intention was to flip the property. The town has appropriated more than $500,000 for environmental remediation and demolition at the site.

The old police station site has been a point of interest and controversy in town dating back to at least 2009 when some nearby .

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