Government Maplewood Towns

PSE&G Developer Withdraws Amid Environmental Concerns

For the second time in as many months, a developer has pulled out of a large project in Maplewood.

Parke Place, LLC has decided to sell the former PSE&G site on Boyden Avenue, which it purchased from PSE&G, after learning that environmental contamination will cost more to remediate than originally anticipated, said Mayor Vic DeLuca.

Parke Place, which is a partnership between JMF Properties and Eden Properties,  will now sell the property to Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., a large, publicly traded company that develops and manages properties on both coasts. (In New Jersey, they manage the Avalon Florham Park, among other properties.)

“We think it’s a great move,” said DeLuca. “Avalon is a huge operation with sufficient resources to make the project happen.” DeLuca said the township had been trying to get Avalon to work in Maplewood for some time. “This project is right in their sweet spot,” he said.

The Maplewood Township Committee will discuss designating Avalon as the new developer on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The meeting’s entire agenda can be found on the township website.

Parke Place decided to back out after they learned test results of environmental damage related to underground storage tanks on the property, said DeLuca.

Maplewood Township plans to give the new developer the same financial incentive it was going to offer Parke Place: a 30-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) at 10% of construction costs, which are estimated to be roughly $40 million.

The new developer will also be expected to follow the same plan originally approved by the Maplewood Planning Board, a 223-unit, high-end apartment complex (with six units set aside for affordable housing).

DeLuca said having Avalon Bay develop the property is a “terrific opportunity” because it is a much larger company than Parke Place, with “thousands of apartments” on the East Coast and Pacific Northwest in its portfolio.

“They know how to run and build” similar developments, DeLuca said.

Last month, the township announced that L&M Development Partners was pulling out of a deal to redevelop the site of the Maplewood Post Office. The township said it would interview other candidates and enter into a negotiation period on October 7.

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