A presentation and hearing on the financial and redevelopment agreements reached between the Village of South Orange and the developer of Village Hall has been moved from November 9 to Monday, November 23, as some final aspects of the agreement are hammered out.
According to South Orange Village Administrator Barry Lewis:
“The Public Hearing on Ordinance # 2015-20 Approving Financial Agreement, Board action on Resolution # 2015-246 Approving a Redevelopment and Sale Agreement with Landmark Hospitality for the Adaptive Re-Use of Village Hall, and the Comprehensive Public Presentation on these issues is being adjourned from tonight to Monday, November 23, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. to due to the finalization of the last remaining items relating to parking and access and to allow for a full presentation to the public with materials posted to the website in advance of that presentation.”
In June, the South Orange Village Board of Trustees voted 6-0 to designate Landmark Hospitality Group as the conditional developer for the adaptive re-use of Village Hall, marking the first step toward the town’s sale of the historic structure to a private entity. Landmark plans to develop the building as a restaurant.
The Trustees voted unanimously in October to introduce the ordinance on the financial agreement for the sale of Village Hall.
The financial agreement with Landmark entails a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes — or PILOT — program. The payments would begin at $35,000 per year in Year 1, rising to roughly $100,000 by Year 20. Village redevelopment counsel Joseph Baumann explained to the Trustees in October that the payments would be inclusive of the land taxes. When asked by Village President Sheena Collum, Baumann said that purchase price would be discussed with the full presentation of the agreements in November.
Baumann added, “The real meat and potatoes is the redevelopment agreement that deals with everything on how this building gets built …. historic standards, project schedule, deadlines, restrictions in the deed to maintain the character of the building.”
The financial agreement is on file at the Village Clerk’s office at 76 South Orange Avenue (it can also be found at southorange.org appended to the meeting agenda).
In October, Village Administrator Barry Lewis told the Trustees, “I know the public has been interested in the process and the numbers behind [it]. That will be a part of my presentation.”