A major developer is looking to offload a Downtown property with an approved site plan and has ordered the immediate sale of the land at an auction that’s set for next month.
The site in question, at 270-272 Newark Avenue, is not without controversy. Formerly home to a three-story building with apartments and a storefront, The KABR Group won approvals from the planning board early last year for a new five-story mixed-use development with 1,100 square feet of retail on the ground floor. The company then proceeded to demolish the structure on the land, which had stood there for almost 150 years.
While some questioned whether tearing down the historic building was necessary, KABR was within their rights to do so at the time. The property is surrounded by the Harsimus Cove, Van Vorst Park, and Paulus Hook Historic Districts but does not fall within any of them, being zoned for NC – Neighborhood Commercial. A new law the council passed last year requiring all property owners submit to a historic preservation review when seeking a demolition permit hadn’t yet taken effect.
After the demolition, the land was listed for sale last July at $2.99 million, confirming to observers that the project was indeed a “flip.” KABR apparently never found a buyer at that price and the investment fund behind the property has now ordered the vacant parcel to be auctioned to the highest bidder.
The approvals for 270 Newark Avenue include two one-bedroom units on the second floor and three three-bedroom units on the building’s top three stories. The property is being sold as is and the winning bidder must sign a contract of sale immediately upon the conclusion of bidding. All bidders must pre-register and are required to have a bank cashier’s check in the amount of $50,000 made payable to themselves and endorsed to escrow holder after completion of the auction.
The auction will be held on March 14 at 1 p.m. More details about the public sale, which will be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, can be found through auction house Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Company.