Council Considers $1.1M Annual Payment Instead of Taxes for Easton Avenue Building

A rendering of the apartment building as seen from the portion of Hamilton Street closer to Rutgers University's College Avenue Campus. Credits: Collegiate Development Group
A rendering of the apartment building Credits: Collegiate Development Group

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The developer that plans to construct a nine-story, mixed-use building off Easton Avenue could pay $1.1 million each year instead of property taxes, if the City Council adopts a proposed ordinance tonight.

The developer, a subsidiary of the Missouri-based Collegiate Development Group, won approval from the city's zoning board in June to put up a 181-unit apartment building—geared toward Rutgers University students—with 9,000 square feet of street-level retail space. The site in question, 78 Easton Ave., currently houses a medical building and sits near Hamilton and Guilden streets.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the developer would pay $1.1 million annually over 30 years, upon the “substantial completion of the project,” city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw told TAPinto New Brunswick.

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As of now, the property's tax liability totals $74,727, she said. But that figure would likely climb due to development and time's effects on the property's value.

The New Brunswick City Council is slated to vote on the ordinance that would approve the long-term tax exemption and corresponding financial agreement at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Aug. 16, in City Hall. Members of the public may comment on or ask questions about the proposal at that time.

City officials are keen on the deal because it would add retail shops and apartments to the neighborhood, a highly-trafficked area in the heart of Rutgers country. In the ordinance, city officials said this would benefit New Brunswick and its residents “when compared to the cost of the tax abatement.”

What's more, the city wrote, the tax exemption is “essential to the project.” Without it, the project “would not be feasible,” according to the ordinance.

The project sits in an Urban Enterprise Zone, according to the city.

It drew much attention when first reported by TAPinto New Brunswick, mostly because the 115-foot structure is slated to take root in a busy area that has historically been home to multi-family houses rented to college students and others.

The developer intends to market the rental units to Rutgers students, but anyone can choose to live there. Indeed, the ordinance proposed tonight includes a clause barring discrimination.

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