Civic Plaza is no longer for sale.
The township-owned shopping plaza on Chambers Bridge Road, which currently houses the recreation office, was put up for sale in January, but negotiations with a potential buyer fell through, officials said this week.
Now, the decision has been made to retain the strip mall.
"We're going to rent it out at market rate," Councilman Jim Fozman said this week, adding that the township may also look to relocate the senior center there from its current location at the VFW hall on Adamston Road.
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said this week, however, that moving the senior center there is "not something we're absolutely going to do," and he may favor renting the entire strip mall out to tenants at market price.
Until the debt service on the building is paid for later this year, Acropolis said, units in the shopping center cannot be rented out since the building was paid for with tax-free bonds. But after it is paid off, the township can rent space to whoever it wants.
"Whatever we do is probably going to happen this year," the mayor said, adding that leasing space in the building could generate up to $400,000 in income each year.
The township currently pays about $40,000 to the VFW for housing its senior center there, which includes a Meals on Wheels program.
If the senior center was moved to Civic Plaza, a commercial kitchen would have to be installed there, said Acropolis. Another option could be relocating the seniors to the Brick PAL building on Drum Point Road, which is already owned by the township and has a working kitchen.
Civic Plaza was purchased by the township about a decade ago for $960,000. Though no exact figures were made public, officials hinted at the time they put the building up for sale that an appraisal indicated it could fetch in the $2 million neighborhood today.