A rendering of a new mixed-use development at 200 South Second St. in Elizabeth — Courtesy: GonSosa Development
By Joshua Burd
A developer has closed on a former brownfield site in Elizabeth, paving the way for a mixed-use project that will include nearly 50 new homes.
The firm, GonSosa Development, announced this week that it acquired the 1.5-acre parcel at 200 South Second St. for $1.5 million. The site is approved for 23 two-family homes, which will be sold at market value beginning in January and will bring new housing stock to the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.
Plans to redevelop the site go back more than a decade, but the property had been in foreclosure for nonpayment of taxes, according to a news release. The development group, made up of brothers Ricardo Sosa and Alberto Goncalves, closed on the property early this month.
“There were environmental issues, then an economic downturn, so the city had to put the project on hold,” said Eduardo J. Rodriguez, director of planning and community development for Elizabeth. “The time is now right for the revitalization of the Frog Hollow neighborhood, an area that has been underserved.”
The houses are eligible for a five-year tax abatement, the news release said. The city has also supported the project through the Elizabeth Development Corp., which helped streamline approvals and permitting and assisted GonSosa in capturing subsidies and benefits such as the Urban Enterprise Zone program.
The site is also home to a 15,000-square-foot commercial warehouse that has already been leased to a nonmanufacturing tenant.
“We predict in the next 10 years the city of Elizabeth will receive an estimated $4 million in new property tax revenue from this development that they never had before and 46 new families will be moving into our district,” Goncalves said.
GonSosa also noted that the site required environmental remediation before the development could proceed. The firm did so with the help of a $400,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The developers expect to debut the property around March.
“EDC is excited to see this project move forward,” said William O’Dea, the EDC’s executive director. “It is taking a vacant brownfield site and reclaiming it as a ratable for the city that will help revitalize that neighborhood.”