Sitting fallow for 25 years, the former River Edge Department of Public Works may see new life as the third of an acre property betweenKinderkamack Road and Grove Street could be rezoned and sold for potential commercial development.
During Monday's Mayor and Council meeting, borough attorney Sam Cereste proposed merging the property under the commercial zone rather than it being currently split between commercial and residential.
"You could then offer it to one of the neighboring commercial owners first for development," Cereste said. "The property fronts onto Kinderkamack Road but then there is a 15-foot drop down in the rear towards Grove Street."
The borough, which paid $130,000 for the property, would need to first have the land assessed as it currently stands and a proposed assessment for what it could be once it was developed before moving forward.
According to Cereste, the property could be sold for $500,000 to $600,000 but the final number would depend on the assessment. Once developed it could bring in an estimated $40,000 in taxes per year.
"Based on how the area is situated the most likely development situation would be a two-story building," Cereste said. "The first floor could be something similar to a 4,000 to 5,000 square foot restaurant and then above that a 3,000 square foot office space. The best option for parking would be a parking garage underneath due to the sloping down to Grove Street."
At one point DPW Superintendent John Lynch had proposed creating a satellite location for his office during times of emergency following the lasting effects of Hurricane Irene, he later reversed that direction, stating that his concerns of vandalism and the upset residents outweighed any benefit.