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Blauvelt Mansion's $1.91 Million Mortgage Sale Set for Novemeber

While a date has been set by the Bergen Count Sheriff's Office next month for the sale of the Blauvelt Mansion's mortgage, the Oradell Council has released a survey what the borough's involvement should be

While CareOne purchased the Blauvelt Mansion property in January 2011, the issue of the outstanding $1.91 mortgage payment has loomed since then. But come Nov. 9 at 2pm in the Berge County Sheriff's Office that issue may be resolved as Sheriff Michael Saudino published a public noticeon Oct. 17 advertising the public sale of the mortgage.

The mansion, which sits on a 4-acre lot, has been the subject of several lawsuits over the years as former owner Jeffrey Wells and CareOne had twice been rejected by the Zoning Board of Adjustment to construct an assisted living facility on the front lawn. Wells later took CareOne to courtafter the company reneged on a prior agreement to continue making $15,000 a month in mortgage payments.

The mortgage sale, for a total of $1,914,275.37 with 20% down at the time of purchase, would include the Mansion and the entire property it is located on. When the Wells family left the Mansion in the spring of 2011, the property was carrying a mortgage of roughly $2.5 million and was placed in foreclosure in 2010.

As of September 17, 2012, there are no taxes due for the property. While the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum is located near the Mansion, it is not actually part of the mansion's property.

At the same time, the borough Mayor and Council released a brief online survey as part of their strategic planning initiative on the possible development of the Blauvelt Mansion and/or its Front Lawn. To participate in the survey, click here.

"The survey focuses on the different possibilities and scenarios for ownership of the property, but is not a specific plan determining the property's future use," wrote Councilman Tony Meo on Facebook.com. "The information gathered from the survey will give the Mayor and Council some direction on how to proceed going forward."

The 10-question survey asks whether the entire property, the mansion or the front lawn should be preserved or should be respected as private property. It also seeks input on if the borough should acquire the property, what are the preferred options for funding, ie only through grants or with some taxpayer funding. 

Additional correspondences related to the borough survey should be sent to "The Oradell Mayor and Council" Attn: Blauvelt Survey, 355 Kinderkamack Rd. Oradell NJ 07649 by October 31, 2012.

The borough had previously received a $1 million Historic Preservation grant from Bergen County to purchase the Mansion but later opted to not move forward. The Blauvelt Demarest Foundation, which oversees the Art Museum, had offered $500,000 toward the purchase. 

The Blauvelt Mansion was built in 1896 for Kimball Chase Atwood and was later sold to Hiram Blauvelt. In 1979, the Wells family purchased the mansion and resided there until 2011. That same year the Mansion was named one of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey.

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Sweetsue October 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM
well as much as I think the Blauvelt is a beautiful building I certainly hope the town council isn't seriously considering purchasing this property and taking this on as a town burden - How much can the taxpayers in Oradell support? I know we are struggling now and can't afford any tax increases. Please think about all the taxpayers and not just the wealthy ones that live in Oradell.
Mrs. Paul Gomez October 19, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I grew up in Oradell, and the Blauvelt mansion and property were a big part of our life. It is bad enough that Oradell allowed the Bellis property to be turned into a housing development, but now we are hearing that the taxpayers do not want to help preserve this historic property. If you moved into Oradell, it was because you learned that it was a very special town. No, not made up of just the wealthy, but of people who cared for every facet of Oradell's lifestyle. I learned, after I married and moved, that Oradell was known throughout the surrounding states. It was a prestigious town. If you decided to live in Oradell, then you should be prepared to preserve what Oradell always has been, and not turn it into something much less. My father knew the Blauvelts well and dated Ann Blauvelt, Hiram's sister, before he married my mother. Leave the mansion and its grounds alone. Preserve the history and respect Oradell has always enjoyed. People, wealthy and middle income, and below, made Oradell the best small town in Bergen County. Don't destroy it.
GGT October 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Mrs. Paul: I think your comments are a little over the top. Oradell is a prestigious town, it is known through out other states? Please! I know plenty of people in NJ who never even heard of it, and it is not one of the Wall St towns, like Ridgewood, Glen Rock, or Franklin Lakes. Thats not to say that it is not a nice town; it is But this misty eyed silly talk, and self importance, is what causes towns to make poor financial decesions. Look at River Edge to the south, and of course Oradell's rejection of Walgreens. I hope the mansion can be saved, but the burden should not be put on the taxpayers of Oradell. Residents simply cannot afford it.
Sweetsue October 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Mrs. Gomez, Yes, I clearly chose to move into Oradell, but I and many others cannot afford another hit to our property taxes. My taxes are close to $15k per year!! Given the current economic climate, where raises do not exist, costs keep rising for everything, frankly where I'm grateful to have a job, it is so pompous and insulting of you to suggest that residents should just pay whatever it costs to maintain this property. Yes, the property is beautiful, but the building is very old, I'm sure not up to code and it will cost hundreds of thousands, possible more, to renovate aside from losing the tax base. And what will the building be used for? Social gatherings? Sorry, I can't afford it. Do I wish I could? Yes but I can't. The fact that you have lovely memories of the past is wonderful, but seriously, plays no part in my financial situation. If you look at the young families in Oradell now, more and more are dual working couples. That should tell you something about the economics of the town. We have several homes in foreclosure and several that cannot pay their taxes. That is the reality of Oradell today. Sorry to burst your bubble.

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