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North Bergen considers more redevelopment on River Road

The commissioners backpedaled and added eminent domain as a possibility

7700 River Road, as seen via Google Maps in 2021.

North Bergen is taking the first steps for the redevelopment process of properties on River Road.

Board of Commissioners passed a resolution at its Feb. 9 meeting to study 7700 and 7800 River Road, and 7701 Marine Road as potential areas in need of redevelopment. The sites currently consist of various commercial buildings.

The board previously authorized a redevelopment study at a November meeting in 2021. More properties were added to the study at a December 2021 meeting.

However, those resolutions were worded so that the township so that it was “excluding” the use of eminent domain. This resolution changes the word to read “including,” thus allowing the township to exercise eminent domain if the study area is designated as an area in need of redevelopment.

The aforementioned properties, if designated such by the study, will be now considered a redevelopment area susceptible to eminent domain. In response to resident Hailey Benson’s questions about the study, Township Administrator Janet Castro explained the resolution.

“That would be the area right next to the Waterside,” Castro said.

The Waterside is located at 7800 B River Road. Benson asked if this meant the sites would be redeveloped, to which Castro said the redevelopment study would decide that.

“That’s the goal of the study, is to determine if it will be redeveloped,” Castro said.

“The study looks at what to do,” Township Counsel Tom Kobin added.

Redeveloping River Road

The move to redevelop the property follows the move to grant a 30-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement between the township and 7711-7815 River Road Associates, LLC. The lots are currently vacant, sitting near the border of North Bergen in Hudson County and Edgewater in Bergen County.

The financial agreement supports a planned 12-story mixed-use residential and commercial building at 7711, 7801, and 7809 River Road. The redevelopment will be home to 133 residential units, 161 off-street parking spaces, and 3,000 square feet of commercial space. Two levels will consist of the parking garage and the other 10 will consist of the residential units.

In recent years, the surrounding area has been hit with a wave of redevelopment. Previously undeveloped land in the area was transformed with the construction of buildings like the Duchess at 7601 River Road at the Solaia, just off of River Road at 8701 Churchill Road.

It appears the township is forging ahead with building out the area. More action may be taken at a future meeting following the completion of the redevelopment study.

The next North Bergen Board of Commissioners meeting is on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. in the Municipal Building at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.org.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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