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.