West New York considers affordable housing on Washington Street

The town has recently purchased property for that purpose

West New York is getting ready to build affordable housing on Washington Street.

At a meeting on Wednesday, September 28, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt and ordinance authorizing the purchase of a number of properties on the street for that purpose.

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The ordinance okayed the purchased of 5906, 5910, 5912, and 5914 Washington Street. Those properties include a residential property with a driveway at 5906 Washington Street, an abandoned two-story residential building at 5910 Washington Street, and two empty lots at 5912 and 5914 Washington Street, at the corner of that street and 60th Street.

The properties were listed for sale. Subsequently, the town had determined that they were suitable for use by the town to provide affordable housing, according to the ordinance. 

Under state law, the town can acquire land and buildings “necessary and suitable for the performance of its functions and for a municipal public purpose.” To do so, the town must pass an ordinance to authorize the purchase of property.

As such, the town is paying $1,850,000 to purchase the property through the ordinance. Without any discussion, the board voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance, which was previously introduced at a meeting on September 7.

Read the ordinance online at: westnewyorknj.org/_Content/pdf/ordinances/Ord2622-Property-Purchase-5914-Washington-Street.pdf.

Property also acquired for new library

At the same September 28 meeting, the town moved to acquire property at 5712 and 5714-5718 Bergenline Avenue in order to relocate the municipal library and offices. 5712 Bergenline Avenue is currently an abandoned property that used to be a Valley National Bank, and 5714-5718 Bergenline Avenue is former Modell’s Sporting Goods at the corner of that street and  58th Street.

The board adopted an ordinance authorizing the acquisition of the property and authorizing the commencement of eminent domain proceedings. The town has engaged an appraiser and will make an offer to the property owners in accordance with statutory requirements.

Through separate funding devices, the town has already appropriated $6,510,000, which it estimates that to be fair compensation for the acquisition. In the event the offer of compensation is not acceptable, the town will initiate condemnation proceedings through the use of eminent domain.

Read the full story at: hudsonreporter.com/2022/09/29/west-new-york-to-acquire-property-for-new-library-or-satellite-municipal-offices.

This came after West New York appropriated $6,810,000 for the acquisition of the properties earlier in the year. The town issued $6,469,500 in bonds with a $340,550 down payment via an ordinance that was introduced in April and adopted in May.

Read the ordinance online at: westnewyorknj.org/_Content/pdf/ordinances/ord0622-2.pdf.

The bond ordinance also follows the town previously appropriating $17,000,000 for the library’s construction in 2021, a portion of the then-estimated $25,000,000 cost of the project. At the time, West New York bonded $4,500,000 toward the cost, with $12,500,000 of the appropriations covered by the New Jersey State Library via the state’s Library Construction Bond Act.

Back in 2021, officials were looking to have the library at 5602 Kennedy Boulevard, the former home of the Board of Education’s Special Services Department. Now, it appears the town is looking to relocate the existing library at 425 60th Street to the Bergenline Avenue properties.

Read the full story at: hudsonreporter.com/2021/09/16/west-new-york-bonds-millions-for-new-library.

Other recent purchases

In July, the town also moved to authorize the purchase of property at 111 60th Street. This came after the property was listed for sale and West New York determined that it is suitable for use by the town.

It is not clear what that use would be, however. Town officials failed to respond to multiple requests for comment and more information by the Hudson Reporter.

Regardless, the town has allotted funds for the purchase totaling $800,000. The board voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance on July 27, after it was introduced earlier that month at the July 13 meeting.

Read the ordinance online at: westnewyorknj.org/_Content/pdf/ordinances/Ord1922-111-60th-Street.pdf.

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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