How low will they go? Frelinghuysen officials hope the third time will be a charm when 30 acres of township-owned land are put up for auction on a lower minimum bid on May 15th.
Previous auctions on February 15th and March 22nd failed to produce any bids although several potential buyers had submitted registration forms to be eligible.
The property, 30.68 acres located at 720 Route 94, just south of the county line, was rezoned earlier this year for commercial research, office and manufacturing. The property has 1,383 feet of frontage along Route 94 and is mostly farmland.
Mayor Keith Ramos said that while there had been interest shown in the property, he felt the bidders needed more time to consider.
Several residents at a February 15th township committee meeting later that day were skeptical of the $2 million minimum bid. The minimum bid at the March 22nd auction was $1.8 million, according to the bid specifications while the minimum bid for the May 15th round will be $900,000.
“I cannot imagine where that number came from,” said one resident who owns property near the Route 94 lot of the $2 million.
Ramos said the $2 million minimum bid was calculated by the real estate agency handling the sale.
“This is our piece of property that we want to try to move it and we want to try to get the top value for it,” Ramos said.
Ramos added that the township has made several attempts to sell the property over the years. Frelinghuysen came into possession of the tract in February 2015 for $1 after a tax sale. Before the zoning change in November, it has been zoned as non-commercial.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.