Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Kings Temple Ready to Build New Homes

More than two years after receiving initial approval, Kings Temple Community Development Corp. is finally poised to take title to 13 city-owned properties where the group intends to build 10 new homes.

Click here for Plaintalker's post on the November 2007 approval.

Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson said it has taken all this time to clear the titles of liens and other problems. The group was expected to close on the properties Monday, but Williamson said closing is now expected by Thursday. If for any reason the developer defaults on the plan, Williamson said, ownership will revert to the city and the state Economic Development Authority could either develop the sites or appoint another entity to do so.

The assignment agreement is between among the city, the community development group and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, which is issuing a $700,000 loan to pay off the Bank of America and get the project going. The Bank of America had liens on the properties that had to be satisfied before the closing, Williamson said.

No representatives of the community development group were available for comment Monday night.

The 13 properties were among 67 sites given to New Century Homes of Westfield for redevelopment. New Century built homes on about half the sites before the plan failed. Before giving approval to Kings Temple in 2007, council members expressed concern that the new proposal might also fail.

On Monday, Councilman Rashid Burney said he wanted more time to review the agreement and asked whether the group had to post a performance bond. Williamson said the law firm that drew up the original 41-page agreement in 2007 would be monitoring the plan's progress.

Council President Harold Gibson said a delay would appear to be "placing at risk a major project."

Councilman Cory Storch said the city had to do something to get the properties back on the tax rolls, but asked whether a "sunset clause" could be applied to the project. Originally, the homes were to have been built by 12 to 18 months after approval. He said the excuse for the delay was inability to work out a deal with the bank, but now, he said, "The clock is ticking."

Councilman William Reid asked whether terms of the original contract could be revisited, but Williamson said, "I think it's a little late."

When it came to a vote, Burney voted "no" as he did in 2007 on the original plan. Gibson, Storch, Reid, Councilwoman Linda Carter and Councilman Elliott Simmons voted "yes." Councilman Don Davis was absent.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is this more 'affordable' housing development?

if so, I hope it falls through....

3:12 PM  

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