Special Meeting To Discuss PILOT For Meridia Development Set For April 6th

A special meeting regarding PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) for the Meridia development on West Westfield Avenue is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 6th, in council chambers of the Roselle Park Municipal Complex. The meeting will provide information on the developer’s outlook for completing the apartment complex as well as an update on the progress of the project so far.

Meridia on Westfield Urban Renewal, LLC, is part of Capodagli Property Company (CPC), the developer of a proposed 213-unit apartment complex along West Westfield Avenue where the old Domani’s/Yesterday’s restaurant used to be before it burned down in 2009. The development was approved by the Municipal Land Use Board (MLUB) in June of last year (link).

The complex, called Meridia At Westfield, is separated into two buildings – each six-stories high – with two floors of parking and four (4) floors of apartments. The first floor of one of the buildings will have a little over 5,000 sq ft of retail space with a restaurant, at this time, being focused on as the tenant. About 35% of the apartments will be one-bedroom apartments, 23% will be one-bedroom units with a den, and 42% are two-bedroom units.

As referred to in a community meeting held on September 29th last year (link), the developer will be negotiating for PILOT. At that meeting, CPC representative Craig Ryno stated, when asked if the tax abatement program was to be considered for the project, responded, “Yes, most of our projects will have PILOT.”

PILOT is a tax abatement program that allows for a developer to make a payment to a municipality that is less than would be paid through taxes, which benefits the property owner. This type of program is welcomed by a municipality because even though less is paid for the property, more is paid to the municipal government. By way of a very basic example, if a developer pays $1 million in taxes, around $350,000 would go to the town, about $550,000 would go to the school district, and the rest would go to the county and open spaces. Under PILOT, a property owner might pay $700,000 but the municipality would receive 95% of that payment – $665,000 – and the county would receive 5% or $35,000. PILOTs have different percentages – between 10% and 15% of income from annual rentals or 2% of construction costs – and various lengths in duration – up to 30 years.

The 6 o’clock meeting will have two public comment portions – one before and one after the information session from representatives for the developer is given.

It will be followed by the regular scheduled municipal meeting at 7 p.m.

The Roselle Park Municipal Complex is located at 110 East Westfield Avenue.