Relic of the last bubble

From the Daily Record:


The Rev. Donald Bragg, of Parsippany Presbyterian Church, said he spent a lot of time attending board of adjustment meetings last year to see whether something finally would be done about the four-story steel skeleton of a building next door.

The rusting hulk has been sitting there for two decades.

Once, it was supposed to be part of an office complex, with a marble exterior, but the market for office space dried up, construction was halted, the owner was busy working on other projects, and the result has been an eyesore that stands behind Bennigan’s restaurant on Route 46 East. It is especially noticeable to anyone driving on nearby Route 80.

A group of Asbury Park developers proposed building 100 units of condominiums on the site and had a conditional contract to purchase the property — subject to getting a variance to build a residential project. But they withdrew their application months ago, township officials said, and now the future of the property is unclear once again.

That would come as good news for people who drive past the site on Route 80, and who have been wondering about the partially-built structure for decades.

“We see it when we go to the Rockaway mall, every time we go to Route 287,” said George Laiks, of Parsippany, a reader who submitted eyesore nominations that included the steel skeleton. “It has to be a desirable piece of land to put something in there.”

“I’ve always wondered what was going on with that,” said Charles Wood, 33, of Jefferson, during an informal survey this week.

Dunn said Foody’s family wants to get some construction started at the site of the steel skeleton. Foody gave up on building offices there when the market suddenly dried up but now, decades later, Dunn said discussions could lead to a project that needs no variance, and which is close to the original concept.

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