It has been seven months since the full River Edge Council heard an on the Transit Village project between the borough and New Jersey Transit. Council liaison John Cannon met with NJT back in December to interview six interested developers.
"Each company had the opportunity to review the redevelopment plan," Cannon said. "These were very preliminary presentations but there were a lot of similar themes."
The Transit Village project has a proposed three mixed-use buildings consisting of 130 residential units, about 35,000 square feet of retail space, 70,000 square feet of office space and a parking garage for up to 900 vehicles near the New Bridge Landing train station, near Kinderkamack Road and Grand Avenue.
According to Cannon, the main issue that was brought up was the proposed parking garage on site for 900 vehicles. The six developers had expressed concerns about the cost of the parking garage. The second concern dealt with the size of the building, a proposed 14 stories which would require concrete which is costly.
"With the residential component, all of them pretty much had some issues with our redevelopment plan that was done in 2007 and called for a much larger building," Cannon said. "All of them mentioned that a six story building would be the most feasibly in this economy. They also felt that the retail/commercial aspects of the plan, were not aggressive, but not feasible in the present economy, especially with the proximity to Paramus."
The scale of the project may be adjusted to potentially remove the parking garage and minimize the size of the building down to six stories.
According to Cannon, additional concerns raised during the interview process is the property's proximity to Coles Brook, being located in a flood plain and the current railroad track layout.
Going forward, a Request for Proposals will be sent to the final four developers by the end of the month. After that a second round of interviews and presentations will be held between Cannon and representatives from NJ Transit, who will then narrow the pool down to two developers. The final two developers could give a public presentation sometime later this year.