By Real Estate NJ
A narrow vote in New Milford has cleared the way for a developer to proceed with plans for a new shopping center and apartment complex in the borough, published reports said.
Multiple reports said the borough council voted Wednesday to settle the long-running court battle with S. Hekemian Group. The Englewood-based developer is now expected to build a retail complex on a 14-acre lot known as the Suez tract on River Road, anchored by a 70,500-square-foot ShopRite and a bank.
As part of the settlement, Hekemian will replace the existing New Milford ShopRite nearby with a 145-unit multifamily complex, which will include 27 low- or moderate-income units. Published reports said an ongoing court battle could have resulted in the construction of hundreds more new apartments at the Suez property instead of what will now be the shopping center.
According to NJ Advance Media, the settlement will absolve the borough of its affordable housing obligations until 2025, following a so-called builder’s remedy lawsuit that Hekemian filed in 2013 amid opposition to the proposal for the Suez site. Municipalities across the state have been under pressure over the past year to work with developers, as the state judiciary leads efforts to clear up the state’s beleaguered affordable housing policy.
NJ Advance Media also said Hekemian plans to donate part of the 14-acre lot to the borough and $800,000 for construction and maintenance of an athletic field.
For more, see Wednesday’s story by NJ Advance Media.
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