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Borough makes progress with affordable housing plan

Officials approve Snowden Avenue construction of 20 units

Haddonfield’s board of commissioners approved the purchase of 26 Tanner St., which contributes to the eight off-site units needed for the Snowden Avenue affordable housing project. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

Haddonfield commissioners introduced on first reading the issuance of $3.25 million in bonds or notes for a settlement agreement with 2 Hopkins LLC, the former redeveloper of the Bancroft site, at their July 10 work session.

Though the settlement agreement was conditionally approved in June, the  commissioners adopted a formal approval at the session in addition to introducing the bond ordinance. 

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The agreement ends the redevelopment agreement and removes 2 Hopkins  Lane LLC’s rights to the property and the redevelopment project giving the borough the right to sell the property for redevelopment or redevelop on its own.

Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich said next steps will be outlined after the finalized settlement agreement has been signed for both parties.

“2 Hopkins Lane LLC, they also have to finalize it, so that’s been going back and forth between council,” she noted, “and once it’s been signed and the ink is dried, then we’ll be able to talk more about it.”

Solicitor Salvatore Siciliano anticipated an update by the time of the next commissioners’ meeting. Commissioners also approved the aggregation of bonds into a single issue, a technicality, according to Borough Administrator  Sharon McCullough.

“When you actually go out for permanent financing, you merge those who haven’t been permanently financed into one item, because investors don’t want to buy small amounts,” McCullough explained. 

“They’re not going to want to buy your million dollars that you do each year, they’re going to want to participate in something larger,” she added. “We generally wait until we hit around $6 to 8 million, and then we go out to permanent financing.”

Commissioners also approved the purchase of 26 Tanner St., which contributes to the final two units of eight needed for the Snowden Avenue affordable housing project. Since the number of units went from 28 to 20, eight had to be sourced offsite, with the last two on Tanner Street. 

Siciliano said the borough hoped to close on the land purchase by Monday, with  affordable housing construction moving forward. The commissioners approved a  temporary construction easement to develop the Snowden project. Construction is expected to be finished in a year and a half.

The next commissioners meeting will be on Monday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.

 

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