Saturday, January 24, 2015

Motion For Reconsideration Filed: In Former Union Facility "Real Estate Tax Rolls" Dispute

Apparently, the Kean interests do not intend to back away, until the last dog is hung.

Two weeks ago, we reported that the Russo entity had secured a trial court level order awarding it the property -- for a local commercial real estate development project. That would mean that the parcel would stay in Union's tax base.

But the interests seeking to return it to an untaxable status -- legacy members of the Kean family, and the University that bears its name -- have asked for a reconsideration of the judge's ruling. They call it "palpably incorrect". I palpably disagree.

The path of the law (as it has evolved, since the middle of the last century) has generally disfavored these sorts restrictions on the alienability of title to real estate. And at issue here is a 1925-era restriction upon which the Kean interests base their claim. Moreover, apparently it is an entirely oral claim, at that -- no writing gives the right of reverter/option back to Kean, post the Schering-Plough 1986 transaction, as I understand it. So, all I can say is. . . good luck with that. There must be some statute of repose on these matters in New Jersey, as there is in Illinois and New York. In any event, here is, on it all:

. . . .Union Township officials challenged the university’s claim to the property. Township officials say they receive an estimated $4 million in property taxes from the tract annually, and allowing the university – which is exempt from paying property taxes – to take ownership would take away that revenue.

Township officials today issued a statement condemning the university's motion to have Dupuis reconsider her ruling, saying the university is extending the legal battle and costs of litigation.

“The land does not belong to Kean University,” Union Township Mayor Manuel Figueiredo said in a statement. He said the court decision “was decisive and left no room for misinterpretation.

“The complete and total disregard for the people of our community who have worked in partnership with the university over these past years is almost incomprehensible,” Figueiredo said. . . .

As I say -- I think the property will ultimately be ruled to belong to the Russo interests -- and remain taxable. These are just the death rattles of those opposing that process.

Now, on a much lighter note, we wish all young hoopsters nationwide the best of luck this afternoon. Do let the divisional playoffs begin!


Bearwalk said...

As a minor (and irrelevant) point, i don't believe this is the former SP property in Summit. Isn't the subject property on Morris Avenue in Union, NJ instead? Inam curious what will happen to the mega property at the Summit campus.

Condor said...

Thank you -- quite right!

Fixed it -- and I too await word on the Summit property... Just needed more... coffee, I guess!


Anonymous said...

The Whitehouse Station main building was vacated as of the end of 2014. All personnel based there have moved to other sites.

[That would mean the legacy S-P HQ in Kenilworth now houses the executive corps. . . .]