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Long-vacant “Town Garage” back on in the news again

town_garage_theridgewoodblog

As previously reported in reader commentary  : Urbanization of Downtown Ridgewood is coming

Massive development set to take place in the Central Business District

http://theridgewoodblog.net/reader-urbanization-of-downtown-ridgewood-is-coming/

 

Long-vacant “Town Garage” back on in the news again

THURSDAY JULY 26, 2012, 1:49 PM
BY DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITER
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Village Council members are expected next month to resurrect a discussion initiated by the Ridgewood Planning Board, which has asked the governing body to review the stipulations and intentions of the North Walnut Street Redevelopment Area and Redevelopment Plan.

The Village Council will reopen discussions next month on what to do with the Town Garage property.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/163887616_Long-vacant_lot_in_Ridgewood_is_back_on_table_for_discussion.html

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens June 18 at Universal Orlando® Resort

From printed page to the silver screen, you’ve shared his many adventures. Starting next Friday, you can join Harry PotterTM and his friends as you step into the magic and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM at Universal Orlando Resort.

Inspired by J. K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films – this completely immersive environment will bring the wonder and magic of the Harry Potter books and films to life.

From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature:

*The Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade station

*Dragon Challenge including a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament

*The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog’s Head pub serving traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice

*The Owl Post which will send letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and will sell official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

*Zonko’s, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes

*Ollivanders wand shop, an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard

*Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction, located in Hogwarts castle, which uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters, and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before imagined.

For more details, speak with a travel professional at:

The Travel Center / American Express

50 E. Ridgewood Ave.

Ridgewood, NJ 07450

(201) 447-3311

[email protected]

Or look for Universal Orlando Resort vacation packages and tickets on our NEW website:

http://www.thetravelcenterae.com/

Now – Ridgewood’s ONLY travel agency

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Parking Garage Will Cost $6+ Million to Build

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The Fly has just learned that it will cost at least $6 million to construct the proposed 300-space municipal parking garage on North Walnut Street. This estimate excludes related property acquisition costs (add at least another $1.245 million) and site remediation costs (unknown at this time).

The projected costs are based on the currently accepted industry standard construction rate of $20K per parking space. However, since there are already 100+ surface parking spaces on North Walnut Street, construction costs will substantially exceed $20K per parking space when viewed on a “net spaces gained” basis.

Furthermore, an Executive Vice President of one of the most prominent commercial real estate development firms in North Jersey recently advised The Fly that estimated annual carrying charges for such a facility could approach $1 million (includes salaries, utilities, debt service, insurance, etc.).

The Fly continues to question the wisdom of constructing a multi-million dollar parking facility, several blocks from Ridgewood’s train station, on a “Field of Dreams” basis. Are Village Council members absolutely certain that when they build it, people will come?

The Fly thinks that this project has all the potential of becoming “Ridgewood Village Hall, The Sequel.” That is, a fully taxpayer funded money pit.

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Is the former Town Garage property for sale, again?

Village Council members met behind closed doors on Wednesday evening to
discuss possible options for acquiring 120 Franklin Avenue, formerly home of
the Town Garage. Acquisition of this property is key to the planned
construction of a municipal parking garage at the northwest corner of North
Walnut Street and Franklin Avenue.

It is now rumored that Ridgewood 120 LLC, the site’s current owners, have
offered the property for sale to Village officials at a price much higher
than the $1.265 million paid in November of 2006. Scuttlebutt is that
Ridgewood 120 LLC’s asking price is at least $1.865 million, and possibly as
high as $2.265 million. The current owners have made no improvements to the
property since purchasing it from the Agnello family late last year.

Council members must decide whether to: 1) pay the asking price, or 2) enact
the right of eminent domain, or 3) revise parking garage building plans to
eliminate the need for that parcel. Still unanswered is the question: “How
did Village Council members manage to get themselves in such an expensive
jam? In other words, how was a real estate investment group able to acquire
the Town Garage property from right under the Council’s noses?”

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The Town Garage, 120 Franklin Avenue; the eye of the storm . . .

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The current hot discussion topic among those who monitor Village Hall happenings is how an out of town firm was able purchase the Town Garage property from right out under the noses of Village Council members. Village ownership of the subject property (see posted photo) is seen as key to the successful construction of a municipal parking garage.

Reportedly, Village officials had offered previous owner Richard Agnello more than the $1.265 million sale price. However, it is being reported that Mr. Agnello refused to sell until the Village found a suitable location nearby for him to relocate his motor vehicle repair facility.

So the fly would like to know: 1) How was the Wells partnership able to buy the property for less than what Village officials had offered Mr. Agnello? 2) Will Mr. Agnello be closing up shop, or has the Wells partnership found a location for him to move his operation to? And, 3) What prompted the Wells partnership to purchase a piece of property destined for involvement in eminent domain proceedings?