EDISON – Last week, Mayor Jun Choi accepted a developer’s fee from Hartz Mountain Industries – the redeveloper of the former Ford Motor Co. plant – that will go toward tax relief.
Hartz President Emanuel Stern presented Choi with a $1.5 million ceremonial check, written out to the “Taxpayers of Edison” and with “For Tax Relief” penned in the memo.
Edison has already received $1 million from Hartz and will receive the second installment of $500,000 on June 8. The total $1.5 million is in addition to a donation of 7.5 acres of land adjacent to Paterniti Park on the site’s Vineyard Road border.
“The $1.5 million will immediately go toward much needed tax relief during these difficult economic times,” said Choi. “As this major redevelopment project comes to fruition it will create local jobs, boost the local economy and increase revenue that will help stabilize taxes.”
The ceremonial check presentation came at the end of Choi and Stern’s visit and question-and-answer session with students in Edison High School’s Civics and Justice class.
In April, the Township Planning Board granted final approval for Edison Towne Square, the 98-acre mixed-use redevelopment of the former Ford Plant on Route 1. Hartz purchased the site in 2004 and designed the Towne Square concept consistent with Edison’s master plan.
This summer, Hartz is expected to begin construction on the major redevelopment project, which is slated to include retail stores, restaurants/cafés, hotel, entertainment venues and office space.
Phase One of Edison Towne Square will include the widening of Route 1, permanent 50-foot buffers on Vineyard Road and 35-foot buffers on Route 1 will be installed, as well as road and drainage systems, including the site’s retention basin.
“We expect Edison Towne Square, with its excellent demographics and location on Route 1, will generate more development and jobs for the surrounding area as the economy recovers,” Mr. Stern said. “We are preparing the site and placing all the infrastructure needed, and we will be able to deliver the remaining phases of the development.
Choi stressed the importance of using Edison’s redevelopment opportunities to benefit taxpayers and the community. “Edison is a great place to do business and, as a township, we need to get the most for our taxpayers when it comes to the redevelopment opportunities have.”
Mayor Jun Choi (holding check, left), Hartz President Emanuel Stern (holding check, right) and students from Edison High School’s Civics and Justice class display the ceremonial tax relief check. (Photo courtesy of Edison Township)