On Monday June 10th, 2019 the Mayor & Council held a meeting at Tice Center so that the public could hear three Affordable Housing Proposals. The property to be developed is located on Broadway and Highview.
As part of the Borough's Fair Share Housing Settlement, WCL is required to build only 16 family rental units to comply.
Please note that although the WCL settlement was for 16 units, the request for proposal was sent out to the developers specifying a "MINIMUM" of 16 Affordable Units vs the agreed upon "16 Units" in the Affordable Housing Settlement. Therefore, several proposals were presented that exceeded the 16 unit compliance.
The first developer, the Alpert Group proposed to build 16 affordable units with access from Broadway only. They plan on building 2 two-story affordable housing buildings with 8 units in each; and allowing for ample green space. Each building will have 4 units at ground level for easy access for those with disabilities. They presented their preliminary designs and plans. The Alpert Group presented their financing plan to the board and answered questions regarding the project feasibility. They noted the address of one of their recent affordable housing projects, similar to what they are proposing for WCL Broadway, which they completed in Franklin Lakes; 720 McCoy Road - Franklin Lakes on the corner of McCoy and Colonial Roads. The Alpert Group will be able to build the 16 affordable housing units without any additional market rate or group home buildings.
The other 2 developers proposed additional Affordable units in EXCESS of the agreed upon 16 units; and one with additional market rate units with access from both Broadway and Highview.
Nouvelle proposed a total of 26 affordable units which would include a 10 unit group home. They proposed 3 buildings: 2 on Broadway and 1 on Highview. The 2 buildings on Broadway would be 11 units each with additional commercial space in one of the buildings. The proposed building on Highview would be a 4 bedroom group home. The board members questioned the need for a Group Home and Commercial space required to build 16 Affordable Units.
The Greater Bergen Group presented two proposals. Both included 9 Market Rate Properties and 16 Affordable Units. They proposed an intricate financing plan which would require the building and selling of the 8 Market Rate units before building the 16 Affordable Units. Their timeframe for project completion is about a year longer then the Alpert Group. Their financing plans envisions selling each of the Market Rate at approximately $800K each. The board members questioned the financing feasibility, process and timeframe. If these Market Rate units do not sell at expected prices, the town could incur financial burden. The Greater Bergen Group stated that it was not financially possible for them to build 16 affordable housing units only. However, the Alpert Group countered that it is possible and they have the proof with their Franklin Lakes project on McCoy Road.
Since the Settlement Agreement requires that WCL build only 16 units, we urge the Mayor and Council to select the Alpert Group for this project. Alpert Group was the only developer who proposed the MINIMUM units. Their vision for the project is aesthetically pleasing and they have successfully built similar projects in neighboring suburban towns like Franklin Lakes and River Vale.
Some of the residents have visited the Alpert Group's project at 720 McCoy Road in Franklin Lakes. They were pleased with the appearance and quality. The units blend in the with surrounding area and provide ample green space for the tenants to enjoy. The quality and density of these units are the least likely to lessen WCL property values.
While our neighbors in Park Ridge and Montvale are faced with having to build hundreds of units, WCL's Affordable Housing Committee (made of Council members and residents) were able to negotiate a much more realistic settlement for the borough. We do not need nor are we legally required to build one more unit above the 16 along Broadway.
We urge all WCL residents to email the Mayor & Council and tell them we do not need any additional development in WCL beyond what is required.