FLEMINGTON, NJ – The borough’s redevelopment agreement for the Union Hotel is “on track” Councilperson Brian Swingle told Flemington Community Partnership at its board meeting yesterday.
The board that manages the district is funded by a special property tax assessment on businesses located within the identified areas, which include both the downtown and highway business zones. Its goal is to help revitalize business in the borough.
Swingle said officials are taking a two-track approach to the agreement, which designates Jack Cust as the redeveloper for the area that includes the hotel and surrounding properties.
One track includes responding to a temporary denial issued by the state’s Historic Sites Council. The denial – issued last month – addressed only the proposed changes to the “bank building” at 90 Main St., but the circa-1870 building is critical to Cust’s redevelopment plan.
The denial sought a structural analysis of the building, an initial archeological assessment, details on how the size and scale of surrounding buildings could affect the building and assessment of the building’s interior and exterior.
Swingle said that the borough and Cust are submitting “all the additional information the Historic Sites Council requested ... we’re making sure that we’re covering our bases, doing everything that’s requested.”
Swingle noted that the final status of the denial hinges on the Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, the umbrella agency of the Historic Sites Council, which itself can only issue a recommendation. Swingle said that he expects to get a final determination on the fate of 90 Main St. before the end of the year.
The other track requires completing the redevelopment plan, which Swingle said he expects will be done next month. It will then go to the borough’s Planning Board for review.
That plan will include proposed changes to borough ordinances that would be consistent with the redevelopment project. Those ordinances will require Borough Council approval, something Swingle said he believes can be completed before the end of this year.
All the other agencies involved have already accepted the Cust plan.
Swingle said that although a lot of work remains, “We’ve never made it this far. We’re in new territory.” Redevelopers previously designated by Borough Council weren’t successful.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a typographical error.