BRIDGEWATER – Revised plans to convert the Route 22 Hotel into 128 apartments now include 40 affordable units.
Incorporating affordable units into the Hyatt House redevelopment solves the problem for Bridgewater.
At the place settled a lawsuit with Advance Realty Investors regarding the development of the former Sanofi campus on Route 202-206it solved one problem but created another.
When plans to build 400 apartments were abandoned, the township faced a dilemma over where to place the 40 court-ordered affordable housing units that were included in the plan.
Last August, the City Council voted to pay $590,000 to GCP Bridgewater, the owner of the Route 22 property, to “incentivize” the inclusion of 40 affordable apartments in proposed conversion.
The money will come from the township’s affordable housing fund, which is separate from taxpayer money.
The council also approved an ordinance to rezone property west of Country Club Road in the eastbound lane of Route 22.
If the Council could not find a site for 40 affordable units, Bridgewater could be subject to a Builder’s Remedy lawsuit, in which the developer would be allowed to build a 400-unit community with a 10% margin for affordable apartments.
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In December 2018, BRE NE Hospitality HH Bridgewater sold the 5-acre Route 22 property to GCP Bridgewater for $13.5 million. The quarterly property tax on the lot is $70,672.80.
City officials say that once the hotel is converted into apartments, property tax revenue will increase.
The hotel has 128 rooms in five three-story buildings and one two-story building. The current configuration has 71 one-bedroom units, 38 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom units, all with kitchens. One-bedrooms are 576 square feet, and two-bedrooms are 864 square feet.
The hotel has a swimming pool, a barbecue area and a sports ground.
A Planning Board public hearing on the redevelopment is set for April 25 at 7 p.m.
A variance is requested because 196 parking spaces are provided when 242 spaces are required.
Mike Dyck is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. For unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account.