Meridia Officially Named Conditional Developer Of Sullivan Property Development

Capodagli Property Company (CPC), under the corporation name “Meridia At Park Square, Roselle Park, LLC” was unanimously approved as the conditional developer for the property located at 10 West Westfield Avenue at the September 20th Mayor & Council meeting. The 17-minute discussion and vote addressed the Conditional Redeveloper’s Agreement between the borough and the developer who already is constructing another development about half-a-mile west along the state highway.

Matthew Jessup from the law firm of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC which was hired by the municipality as special counsel for redevelopment was on-hand to address concerns from the governing body.

This is the next stage in having construction begin at the property on Westfield Avenue at the intersection of Chestnut Street which is more commonly known as the Sullivan property. The first part was designating the property as an area in need of redevelopment. The second step was approving the redevelopment plan which defines the limits of what the governing body would like at the property. That was approved at the September 6th municipal meeting by a vote of 5-1. The only ‘no’ vote came from Councilman-At-Large Joseph DeIorio who stated as part of his reasoning, “I like some aspects of it . . . I still can’t get over the density and the height issues.”

Although this resolution at the September 20th meeting made the appointment official and, officially, there was no developer in mind when creating the redevelopment plan, a rendering of a six-story 380-unit development with the first floor dedicated to commercial and/or retail use has been in circulation for months and was part of negotiations for the redevelopment plan.

In explaining this part, Mr. Jessup stated, “The conditional redeveloper’s agreement conditionally designates the developer as redeveloper of the redevelopment area conditioned upon, among other things, successful negotiation, approval by the governing body, and execution of a redevelopment agreement.”

In other words, Meridia At Park Square will be removed as the developer if a redevelopment agreement is not reached within three months.

Fifth Ward Councilman Thomas ‘Thos’ Shipley started the discussion by requesting that sections 3 and 4 of the actual resolution (#280-18) be changed to include council – in addition to the mayor – have authority to execute the agreement and other necessary documents.

Councilman-At-Large DeIorio suggested that ‘may’ be changed to ‘shall’ in section 1.04 of the agreement. He said, “It’s a statement that says we’re not going to negotiate commercial or retail out of this agreement.”

The council-at-large also wanted to explicitly clarify that the affordable housing component would be preferential to veterans. He stated, “It’ll be clear that our goal is veteran’s preference, not some miscommunication regarding what affordable is and what affordable’s not.”

Additionally, Councilman DeIorio pointed out that – in the agreement – while the developer was given 120 days to complete their obligations, the municipality was only allotted 90 days. He commented, “I find that a little bit difficult under the circumstances that we’re going to have a discussion about PILOT as stated by the mayor. We’re going to have like a townwide meeting. It gives the opportunity for the developer to present themselves, too, to the public to talk about the project on a bigger scale – not specifically with the PILOT. And it also doesn’t get us into a situation where we’re scrambling to get our professionals in place because that was the criticism the last time around that we couldn’t get everyone scheduled.”

The same time limit of 120 days was given to both parties with the understanding that a clause exists to renegotiate this term if both parties agree.

Finally, Councilman DeIorio asked that section 4.01 have the ownership infrastructure of CPC be included in the agreement.

Council unanimously approved all amendments and the resolution.

The next step is to complete a redevelopment agreement by January 18, 2019.

Once or if it is agreed upon by all parties, then the developer would go before the Municipal Land Use Board to present their detailed application of what would be constructed.

A copy of the Conditional Developer’s Agreement for Meridia @ Park Square is available below:

Download the Conditional Developer’s Agreement for Meridia @ Park Square