CLARK — On Monday, during a special meeting of the Mayor and Council, Clark officials voted by unanimous consent to introduce a 30-year tax abatement in connection with a new storage unit facility slated for construction on Raritan Road.
According to Township Ordinance 23-11, the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement is necessary in order to defer “the high costs associated with the development and construction of the project and the real estate taxes that would otherwise be levied upon [it].” The terms of the financial agreement, which will be discussed in greater detail and presented for an official public hearing at the next regular council meeting, dictate that the redeveloper (Raritan Road Holdings Urban Renewal LLC) will pay either a designated percentage of its annual gross revenue or a minimum annual service charge to the township for the duration of the 30-year abatement.
“[This project] benefits the town in a couple of ways,” Councilman Steve Hund said, noting that the vacant property, which backs up against protected wetlands, is currently “being underutilized.”
Once complete, township officials noted via the ordinance, the proposed 95,839-square-foot facility is expected to meet an evident need for storage in the area while simultaneously helping to revitalize the area, drive commerce to the community and create new employment opportunities.
“In a highly competitive market for self-storage space, the price per square foot of construction and land taxes can be the deciding factor for market absorption,” the ordinance reads. “Without the tax exemption granted herein, it is highly unlikely that the [redeveloper] would have proceeded with the project.”
Financial projections surrounding the project and its potential payments to the community were not immediately available at the time of publication.
At the conclusion of the special meeting, the council moved on to its regular workshop agenda and began to address lingering parking issues on Bartell Place from King Street to Lakeside Boulevard.
“During our campaign last year, we received numerous complaints about [traffic congestion and parking] near Riverside Park,” said Councilman Brian Toal, who suggested that the council draft an ordinance similar to the one that requires residents to obtain a permit to park along Byron Place.
“I’m asking for residential parking only for these areas,” Mr. Toal said of certain sections of Bartell Place, adding that numerous residents have reached out to him asking for a solution to the street’s existing challenges.
One of the residents who originally voiced their disdain for the lack of available parking spots, Colleen Nemeth, expressed her gratitude at the meeting.
“Good evening, I’d like to say thank you to Councilman Toal and Bill Smith for taking many of my calls,” Ms. Nemeth said. “Thank you for listening to me and I’d like to personally say thank you to everybody for helping us with this.”