The needler in the haystack.

Monday, August 4, 2014

PSEG project overshadows Housing Authority plans

What is going on at West Second and Madison Avenue?

Activity at the vacant lot at West Second Street and Madison Avenue caught my attention this past week. What was going on?

The lot is one of two parcels involved in the Plainfield Housing Authority's scheme to funnel the properties to unnamed developers (though folks think they know who is involved) by way of a conveyance by the city which has been fast-tracked by a Council majority.

When I saw a large tree on the lot being cut down early in the week, my curiosity was piqued.

Then on Thursday a front-end loader and other equipment materialized, along with a large pile of earth where the former grass had been obliterated and piles of large corrugated piping.


Turns out the lot was leased -- after some negotiations -- this past March to PSEG to use as a staging area for the upgrade of the substation between the Bilingual Day Care and the Sutphen House.

Frank Cretella of Landmark Developers had once proposed moving the Sutphen House, which is landmarked, to this vacant lot. No moves were ever made publicly to carry this out.

Then the Housing Authority of Plainfield involved itself in an imbroglio over a proposed ordinance intended to convey the vacant lot and Public Lot 9 at Central and West Second to itself to pass along to developers.

That ordinance is slated for second reading and adoption at the August business meeting of the Plainfield City Council.

Whether or not the property is conveyed as planned, PSEG is in place through at least March of 2015, overshadowing any plans the Housing Authority or the unnamed developer may have.

But the city will benefit from the approximately $35,000 rent it negotiated plus some street repairs in the area that PSEG has promised.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The "shadow" is only 6 months long. Sadly, this may not alter the "railroading" of the property
by the City Council. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next Council meeting.

Bill Kruse

Bob said...

I'm glad someone is looking out for the city. It is obvious that some on the City Council aren't.