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Plans for Township-Owned Strip Mall Up in the Air

No interest by real estate brokers in the site in latest bidding process

Civic Plaza in Brick (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Civic Plaza in Brick (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick officials are open to either leasing or selling a township-owned strip mall on Chambers Bridge Road after learning that no bidders responded to a search for real estate services.

The township council sought bids for professional real estate services on Dec. 10, 2013 and Jan. 24, 2014 for Civic Plaza, but received no responses, according to Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.

Last week, the council voted in favor of allowing Pezarras' office to negotiate directly with real estate agencies, allowable under state law when a bidding process does not draw interest.

Civic Plaza, located east of the township municipal complex off the eastbound lanes of Chambers Bridge, is a strip mall owned by the township. The site has been a subject of debate in township government over the past several years, as to whether or not the site should be sold or leased out to generate recurring revenue.

"I don’t think we can discuss at this time what the solid plan is, because I’m not positive if there is a solid plan on the future of Civic Plaza," Council President Susan Lydecker said at the Feb. 18 council meeting.

Township officials said they would be open to either leasing or selling the property, depending on which option generates interest.

"If we have a licensed real estate service, a broker, and somebody’s interested, we have an avenue to get that rented out or purchased," Lydecker said.

Mayor John Ducey said one of the building's tenants had not paid rent for years but moved out Jan. 31, making way for a leasing opportunity in a prime location in the strip mall, facing the street.

"They finally moved out," said Ducey. "We want to see if that draws a tenant in there which may fill up the rest of the units."

The lack of action at the building drew ire from one resident at the council meeting.

"That’s becoming another Foodtown, period," said George Scott.

In the past, township officials have estimated the building could produce as much as $400,000 per year in revenue, but contracts with real estate brokers with the aim of leasing storefronts at the site have never panned out.

The property was purchased by the township about a decade ago for $960,000. Brick currently owns the site free and clear - there are no mortgages or bonds associated with the site that remain.
jerseytomato February 24, 2014 at 07:23 AM
Who was the tenant that 'hadn't paid rent in years?' Family member of a BOE member? Whooooo was it?
mom in brick February 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Agreed- I also would like to know tenant it was? How did the town let that happen?
MOONPOOL February 24, 2014 at 01:17 PM
Funny in retail a triple net lease if you miss more then three months of rent. The landlord can chain the doors and hould your equipment in till paid I believe the tenant was a Democrat family member just like Newman who screwed the rate payers out of $80.000.00 water. if it were a Republican they would post the name all over the site and in the election that past???
J.JONES February 24, 2014 at 03:24 PM
Wow sell that property and Food town lot and that would take a big chunk off of our taxes ...and on top of liq. license up for bid we would be in the black ..
WMS826 February 24, 2014 at 05:10 PM
If it were worth anything private industry would be all over it. No one wants, we have too many old and outdated properties that people ask too much money for. name one store that we are missing here, and forget Wegmans, they aint coming!
KC February 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM
This is such a depressed town. This is the legacy of Acropolis and those who voted him in. Nothing here but strip malls full of junk stores and abandoned stores. It is so depressing. The city of Newark for example looks better than this rag tag town does now. I wish I saw some light, but every day there is nothing but bad news here. I used to like it, but now dislike living here. Move, you say? Can't move - four other homes up for sale on my street - three of them for over three years now. I really see no solution to this broken down pot holed mess. Next there will be a tax revolt.
KC February 24, 2014 at 10:13 PM
WMS826 I can name a lot of stores we don't have! Wegmans, Trader Joes, Lord and Taylor, Cracker Barrel and I could go on and on. Any store with any class does not come here, on that we can agree. I too would like to know the tenant. This Patch does a half-fast reporting of a story.
BBW February 25, 2014 at 02:14 PM
I'm wondering if when Brick purchased the property they had an inside track and it's payback time or is there's a deal going down between Brick and a deal with a real estate outfit with a fast track with Pezarras or some one in the administration past or present? Just thinking out loud.
BBW February 25, 2014 at 02:22 PM
The town should not be in the real estate business. Wonder what the upkeep is on the property and how we pay for it? If a real estate agency gets involved it's like paying for another employee or just some fast money magic. I never kept up with it, what happened with the skate rink property?
BBW February 25, 2014 at 02:27 PM
Regarding some of the other posts, someone not paying rent on property the town owns is a little like kaka in our faces. What would happen if we didn't pay our home tax bill. If the town makes money on rent or leases does the town pay taxes? Never thought about that. Someone educate me on that!
BBW February 25, 2014 at 02:33 PM
I know the town has been trying to steal the volunteer ambulance service property for years by undermining them into billing for services like the paid police EMS. Yes, though they are not supposed to charge residents ...... they do!
WMS826 February 25, 2014 at 11:23 PM
The volunteer EMS should just fold...we do not need them when we have paid people on duty 24 hours a day. Let them volunteer elsewhere.
BBW February 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM
WMS826, did you get thrown off the volunteer squad? Is a family member or you a paid EMT? We pay the town EMS and the town bills us for services. Unfortunitly a lot of the paid EMS only work as an underpaid part of the town employees because they can't get jobs in an area that only employ people that work for Brick or work in a mall store making even less. If the paid EMS could get a good paying job they would have left the Towns Bricks EMS squad and if they had brains they would have left Brick a long time ago.
NJS455 February 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM
WMS826, Wow what a great idea lets get rid of our volunteers who are just trying to help and reduce response time and pay more PD EMTs to make up for them not being around! GREAT IDEA!!! Talk about ways to waste money
WMS826 February 26, 2014 at 03:44 PM
Many of the paid EMT personnel are higher lever paramedics working as lower level EMTs. Paramedics in the state of NJ must work for a hospital which has no pension and crappy benefits so they take the job for the township at a lower level as an EMT which are a dime a dozen. Take the time to meet the volunteer EMTs or watch them in Walmart when they have their jackets on and then tell me who you want to show up when you call 911
BBW February 26, 2014 at 08:35 PM
WM826.... you sound like an underpaid EMT getting a little more from the Town then working for MONOC. You still didn't address the questions. Since you can only roll bandages while working for the town your telling me that your bandages are better? If Medics are needed they still roll MONOC in. How many of the paid EMTs started out as volunteers? You want a good job with good pay find a real job if you can but stop busting on volunteers. Why not take a job with GEM part time if you get my meaning? Poor you, hanging around waiting for a call and getting paid.
BBW February 26, 2014 at 09:05 PM
Not for nothing but EMTs, Paramedics are underpaid the volunteers don't get paid. That being said doesn't mean that either groups are better people then the other. The paid squad members forgets their roots and the people who over the years did the job without pay. The "Town" politics got so bad that they locked the volunteers out of their own building during "Sandy" and took over the building for themselves instead of following emergency protocol of the Office of Emergency Management.
WMS826 February 26, 2014 at 09:50 PM
85 to 90 thousand people and more during business hours. Do you really think volunteers can handle that. EMTs are a dime a dozen. That is why they make so little, there is no shortage of people with stethoscopes around their neck looking to be important. The town did the right thing since they owned the building and not your group.
WMS826 February 26, 2014 at 09:51 PM
Use the paramedics on Brick staff as PARAMEDICS...one medic..one EMT on a rig.
BBW February 26, 2014 at 11:08 PM
WMS826, I don't have a group. You don't own the building. That little house of turds on Lanes Mill Rd belongs to the volunteers and I believe the town leases that building from the original squad on Herbertsville Rd. and the town owns the land. the last thing I heard was the building on Aurora Drive belongs to the volunteer squad unless the town squeezed it out of them after Sandy. Of course I could be wrong but I don't think so. Though I think you may be a jerk to some degree because you admit EMTs are a dime a dozen and validate what I'm talking about, but I agree that the town should have a paramedic on board the ambulances. Find a real job........ but don't look in Brick.
NJS455 February 27, 2014 at 12:25 AM
I find this argument irrelevant to this article but I do find it quite funny. In the state of NJ while on a BLS ambulance regardless of your title you can only act as BLS protocol states which does not allow medics,doctors,nurses to do anything that an emt is not allowed to do while on a BLS rig. What I do find relevant is the fact that the paid ems now has an office in this strip mall which is another loss of possible rent from a renter. Why cant they operate from their building or even an office in town hall? I am not a member of either but what I can say is I worked with the volunteers on a particular call who were very professional and outgoing. One volunteer was a medical student while the other was very knowledgable in the medical field and a college student for a different major and these guys were fantastic.
WMS826 February 27, 2014 at 01:11 AM
The building in question is still needed I believe. Maybe the county could use it for a satellite office. The fire districts we pay tax to rent space on Brick Blvd, why are they not in this building for free or reduced rent. If the EMS people need it then let them use it. That is what the building was supposed to do, add office space to the town.
BBW February 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM
NJS455, the posts like some took a turn. Sometimes these posts take a twist and bring out the good and bad.. In this case we got stuck with WMS826 who as he said is just another EMT with a stethoscope. I am not a volunteer but the only reason we really needed a paid EMT is the amount of senior citizens in this town and the need for increased emergency medical transport. We once paid Alert Ambulance to handle day calls but I guess that didn't work out as Alert pulled crews from our area to cover other calls. I think the town got greedy about getting money from medical insurance. Never found how much that paid off for the town. But I didn't know that the Paid squad is taking up space at the Center. Now that is interesting regarding the strip mall that we own. It even creates another bone of contention. By the way, the senior citizens are not to blame, but old age has created increased need for medical care opening up local medical care as a new industry. While NYC is closing hospitals, the areas in NJ and other states with retirement areas are building hospitals and care centers. Maybe the discussion over ambulance needs to be put up on a separate board. But I think that would bring out the worst of the posts like WMS826. By the way WMS826 is not a paramedic, he is just a Basic.
BBW February 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM
NJS455, the posts like some took a turn. Sometimes these posts take a twist and bring out the good and bad.. In this case we got stuck with WMS826 who as he said is just another EMT with a stethoscope. I am not a volunteer but the only reason we really needed a paid EMT is the amount of senior citizens in this town and the need for increased emergency medical transport. We once paid Alert Ambulance to handle day calls but I guess that didn't work out as Alert pulled crews from our area to cover other calls. I think the town got greedy about getting money from medical insurance. Never found how much that paid off for the town. But I didn't know that the Paid squad is taking up space at the Center. Now that is interesting regarding the strip mall that we own. It even creates another bone of contention. By the way, the senior citizens are not to blame, but old age has created increased need for medical care opening up local medical care as a new industry. While NYC is closing hospitals, the areas in NJ and other states with retirement areas are building hospitals and care centers. Maybe the discussion over ambulance needs to be put up on a separate board. But I think that would bring out the worst of the posts like WMS826. By the way WMS826 is not a paramedic, he is just a Basic.

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