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Town Garage ,A History of Ownership Transactions


February 17,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, reader questions the ownership status of the “Town Garage” , “Last I heard an LLC or such owned it. Did they manage to pass it off to the town w/o cleaning it? The Village would be nuts to have bought it in an “as is” condition. The owner of the Town Garage property was bought out by the LLC (?) with little or no warning. I assume he sold “as is” because he really had not planned on selling it. I hope they didn’t make a tidy profit by selling it “as is” to the town. Or worse, the Village cleaning it up for the present owners with a deal to then buy it at a reasonable price.”

One of the more effective tools on the Ridgewood blog is the “timeline ” it continues to roll and record the ups and downs of the Village of Ridgewood. Will a little search we found comments from March 1st, 2007 discussing the ownership of the Town Garage.

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

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?

And in May of 2007 we asked if the Town Garage was for sale yet again.

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?”


11 thoughts on “Town Garage ,A History of Ownership Transactions

  1. $1.865 million and even at that price you need to clean the site up and build a garage not to mention taking off the tax rolls. Has this council lost their minds. Tell whoever owns the property to get lost.

  2. Property owners should be made to clean up this ugly blight. Too bad if they are stuck with it. The rest of us could not let our property just sit neglected like that – why should this LLC get away with it? If it was purchased on speculation, too bad, LLC should go pound salt or get reasonable about a sale price.

  3. They paid $1,265MM The closing date was 11/06, just over 10 years ago. In that decade of ownership, even at the recently reduced assessment of $978k, they have paid at least $200k in taxes, presumably have also carried insurance for the property, and have not earned a dime from their investment. I am also going to guess that for that purchase price they took on some or all of the remediation liabilities. In short, the current owners have taken a bath. And realistically, they have only one likely buyer, the Village of Ridgewood. Ridgewood 120 LLC (the owner) should be on their knees begging for this property to be taken off their hands.

  4. The owner, Ridgewood 120, LLC is either owned or represented by a Burton Dorfman, ESQ. Coincidentally, he was in the new four days ago….

  5. The pollution on the site is seeping into my drinking water.
    180 days to clean the site or seize under eminent domain and deduct clean up cost from fair market value…

  6. Albert P. once said at a council meeting that he has a specific vision for the Franklin Ave and town garage property.

  7. I also recall Jeff Wells (who is/was in Rotary with Pfund) tried to push a bandstand down our throats a few years back. He also had an odd, self-serving proposal to renovate the Pease Library while having his office there rent free. This is the same guy who owned the Blauvelt Mansion when it went into foreclosure. There is an odd connection to Ridgewood, perhaps via Mr. Bolger who has a proposal for housing behind the Y, designed by Jeff’s brother, Peter and is represented by big brother Tom’s law firm. Odd how none of the Well’s actually live in Ridgewood but seem well connected.

  8. 11:06 makes sense. Something really stinks about that real estate transaction and all the connected parties. The recent indictment of Dofman says a lot …birds of a feather in that LLC!

  9. Ridgewood council members, Do not be suckered into now taking over the property until it is fully remediated. The LLC bought it assuming you would fall in line, buy it–unremediated–at their higher price. Let them be the suckers, not the Village of Ridgewood. They were so eager to steal it right from under you so now they should pay the price. Turn them in to whatever authority requires clean up and make them do it. They are just sitting on their heels confidently expecting you to buy it at the elevated price and do the clean up for them. It’s beginning to be a hazard with the bricks falling. Make them clean it up!!

  10. It’s absolutely incredible the amount of bulls**t over the years that I have read about the Town Garage property, and how much the people commenting here think they know about it that don’t have a clue what they are talking about. They also don’t know about the years of sleazy underhanded schemes the Village tried to pull off to steal the property, as well as the environmental issues that stem from town owned property next door and not the Town Garage property. Too bad the town picked another site for their abomination-when the digging started everyone would see where the issues really are.
    I happen to be the only original owner of the Town Garage property still living, so I think I’m qualified to comment. People who live in the Village are lucky they don’t know the background story, or they would be listing their homes. Be careful what you wish for.

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