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Leases Inked for Huffman Koos, Funding Remains in the Air

While waiting for news about receiving financial support from the state Economic Development Authority, two leases have been signed for the former Huffman Koos site

Construction may still be months away for the former Huffman Koos site as the owners continue to await news from the state Economic Development Authority regarding financial support. In the meantime though, Route 4 - Main Street LLC has begun inking leases with and .

Plans for the site call for a trio of retail buildings on site with  moving further down towards Rt. 4 into a new 30,000-square-foot building on the property. As of this week, CVS has signed an agreement in principal to move from their current location near the into the current store. A third building, approximately 22,000-square-foot, situated in the middle of the property has not yet garnered a potential lessee. 

"My impression is that without the Economic Development Authorities funding, there may not be a sufficiant return on investment for this project to proceed," River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo said. "One qualification for the loan stipulates that the development must be in a blighted area. Now this area is not blighted, but it does border an area in town that qualifes as low and moderate income."

The Economic Development Authority has the ability to help finance suburban development projects under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) ProgramERG is considered an incentive for real estate development projects that have a financing gap, defined as having insufficient revenues to support the project debt service under a standard financing scenario. If approved, the project could receive up to 75% of the annual incremental State Tax and/or Local Tax revenue but must first go through an application process.

According to Borough Attorney Sam Cereste, the  $3 million on remediation efforts to remove trichloroethlyne per DEP requirements. The chemical compound was historically used in dry cleaning operations up until the 1970-1980s.

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Todd vandeweghe September 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Total wine and CVS are existing businesses. This is robbing Peter to pay Paul. No net benefit for River Edge beyond the cleanup that probably was the responsibilty of the Dry Cleaning establishment.
ggt September 04, 2012 at 01:51 PM
So even if it happens, we will be back to where we started from 10 to 12 years ago. The RE redevlopment dream, was simply that, a dream. Or should I say dream that turned into a nightmare, as spending decesions were made based on the premise that we would have massive commercial rateables that would come into town and pay for everything.
ggt September 04, 2012 at 03:16 PM
So there may not be a sufficient return on investment to proceed? Well that is interesting. So what would be a sufficient return on investment? 100 plus town houses or rental apartments? I hope the Mayor & Council are watching this closely. On the face of it, it does not look promising at the moment. And if the owner/developer is not confident of the return on this potential commercial development/redevelopment, than that would put to rest (finally) the notion of any other viable commercial development that would bring real rateables into town.
Peggy LaG September 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Finally just do something there and get some ratables in town before the rest of the home owners and home builders head for the hills! Ps I'd like to know what happened to the $11 million in ratable's that the former town reps were told we would reap from redeveloping the south end of town. PPS doesn't change the fact that this area is still in a flood plain
ggt September 04, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Peggy: The Mayor & Council cannot force commercial ratables into town. It simply amazes me that people actually believe this. Now grant it some in the past said they could, but any reasonable person would know that they cannot. They can help it along and smooth the process, once some commercial entity decides to come into town, but ultimately they cannot force a commercial entity to come into town. I think it is very telling that the owner/developer of the old Huff Koos property does not feel confident that the redevelopment is viable without the state aid.
ray September 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM
If the town wasn't so demanding and knit picky on certain things, there would be more businesses willing to come into River Edge. To this day I love that little town, and dedicated myself to it, up to the day i came to the conclusion that i could not afford to live there newly married and with one (Now two) kids. Taxes are out of hand, and house prices are not within reach to most newly married couples. New Businesses are supposed to bring in more money for the town, but there is talk that existing businesses are going to move there, this doesn't change anything from what it already is. Now make it worthwhile for new a business to move there, thats when it becomes appealing for everybody... it"s sad to see that the petty things are what usually ruins the chance for growth of a small town.
NO TO TAX HIKE September 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
This is not very exciting. Just wonder what this Route 4 Main Street LLC is doing. Are they marketing the place seriously? Appears somewhat incompetent for the job. Who are they? Are they approaching the businesses that the name itself will attract and bring lots of people.
NO TO TAX HIKE September 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Dot they ask people to vote for the businesses that they want to see in RE.
Concerned Citizen September 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
FINALLY!!! A bigger Total Wine! Wahoo! With our towns' (yes...Oradell and River Edge) business unfriendly position, this talk about development is getting old.....and we all will be very old by the time anything happens...so....with our aging population (remember, we are only at the tip of the Baby Boomers just hitting 66 years old.....we're all going to need an affordable place to live if we want to live out our golden years in town. RE should look to attract a developer of senior friendly housing....yes...even a nursing home.....I'll make my reservation now!
ggt September 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
No To Tax Hike: Why would a major business locate/relocate in River Edge, when they can simply go to Paramus, and capture all the potential customers on Rt's 4 and 17. It is just common sense. Grant it we had Huff Koos at one point, and those that needed or wanted to would make the detour off of the highways. I don't see any kind of big name out fit doing that today, when they can simply go to Paramus.
dougieeee September 04, 2012 at 08:37 PM
so now CVS and the old blockbuster will both be eyesores. What a joke of a town. CVS is not further from where most residents live so this is not good for most people. In addition, now we have another area that looks beyond horrible.
NO TO TAX HIKE September 04, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Hi ggt: I agree. Paramus has an advantage. RE may end up offering the location for lower rent or otherwise, perhaps must re-develop the area for something else and this is what I've been saying again and again. Malls or shopping places that look similar to the ones in Paramus does not make sense at all. Perhaps creating a nice-looking Chinese/Indian restaurants/shops is the way to go. Lots of traffic around that area will not bother most RE residents anyway.
Carol Knight September 05, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Agreed..it will be forever before anything gets done in RE & O..unfriendly business position is just not the elected ,its the townspeople as well.No ,you cannot vote on businesses,that's business discrimination.It's wonder anyone even wants a business in either of these towns.Many other nice towns are that way because the attitude is different.We are losing money everyday on our homes because of a few people running the show,especially ones that will never have to sell.Meanwhile some businesses ,the strip mall in RE,continues to look bad.Glad to have Totally in town..brings in a lot of people that might do other shopping /errands in the area.The Historical sight and McDonalds also has some plans as well.Lets be friendlier!
River Edge 06 September 05, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Very disappointing...I see this as a double negative. The same businesses are only relocating (nothing new) and it's creating a ghost town where CVS and the Blockbuster are located. I agree with No To Tax Hike. We need something that differentiates RE from Paramus.
GGT September 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM
River Edge: And we have the old vacant Sanducii's and than the vacant Dante's when they move to their new location.
GGT September 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Carol: The silly residents of Oradell led by a few loud mouth self important snobs turned down a Walgreens in town. A nice big clean rateable, that I am sure they would have blended nicely into the area. What kind of people turn that down in this economic environment?
NO TO TAX HIKE September 06, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Tear all of the down along KinderKamack and make a bike/jogging path. Bring some bike shops, rental bikes, hotdog stands and other eating places. Bring all others to the ex-Hoffman's site! Keep a few ATMs along Kinderkamack, though.

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