Excerpts reproduced from The Record

Thursday, August 25, 2005

by Michael J. Wildes, Mayor, City of Englewood

2-10 N. Van Brunt Street

Englewood , NJ 07631



Mayor Wildes Wins $5 Million to Lessen Burden on Taxpayers


ENGLEWOOD - Hundreds of condominiums could be built south of Route 4 following a Planning Board vote Tuesday night that was pushed for by Mayor Michael Wildes.

A deal struck between the city and developers MDK and S.Hekemian Group on the long-debated proposal makes all of the 399 residential units condominiums. Previously, 274 of the units were to be rental apartments…

…The board voted 7-2 in favor of the deal, which could net the city an additional $2 million in revenue each year…

…Wildes repeatedly called the deal a financial "windfall" for the city's overburdened taxpayers. Condominiums generally generate higher property taxes than rental apartments, and Planning Board members had been pushing for more condominium development through two years of hearings.

The developers' financial witness, Richard Reading, testified that building all condominiums, office space and a hotel would bring $4.9 million annually into the city's coffers, instead of $2.9 million with the mix of condominiums and rentals…

…On Wednesday, Wildes said that he did meet with the developers in his Manhattan office last week. Former City Manager Robert Benecke, now a consultant for the Englewood Economic Development Corp., also was present, Wildes said.

"I'm the mayor," he added. "I'm supposed to meet with people and arrange things that suit the city's interest."…

…"It was a huge compromise on our part, the city's part and it was meant to happen last night," said Peter Hekemian of the S.Hekemian Group of Paramus…

…"It's a $5 million surplus," he added. "I imagine the citizens of Englewood should tip their hat to the Planning Board."



Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer