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Hackensack council takes new steps toward redeveloping city-owned parking lot

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A parking lot in downtown Hackensack will be put up for auction later this year, with an eye toward mixed-use redevelopment as the city continues its push to revitalize its main business district.

Developers will be able to bid on the 4.3-acre site in about three months, according to a news release from city officials. On Tuesday, the city council adopted changes to a redevelopment plan for the underutilized lot, paving the way for a project anchored by rental apartments.

The so-called Lot C site is just off River Street and along Midtown Bridge Street, sitting at the western edge of Hackensack's 160-acre rehabilitation district. City officials in 2012 adopted a sweeping plan to revitalize its ailing downtown, following decades of decline around assets that are normally attractive to developers.

The Bergen County seat was featured in this week's NJBIZ Real Estate Report as a town that's now just starting to catch the interest of developers.

The city council first adopted the redevelopment plan for Lot C in late January, but planners tweaked the framework ahead of Tuesday's meeting, the news release said. The changes include restricting the number of small studio apartments to 25 percent, limiting the number of units over 1,200 square feet to 10 percent and setting the range for total units at 240 to 440.

The council also will require a developer to complete the project in no more than two phases, with parking included in the first phase.

In a prepared statement, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said the changes "give the city much better control over what gets built on Lot C, how the development will look and how the developer has to proceed."

Interested bidders can obtain detailed information about the property and the auction starting next month, the release said. Anyone wishing to be eligible to bid on Lot C must submit a conceptual redevelopment plan 15 days before the auction and make an escrowed deposit of $200,000 to the city.

Other projects already are in the works in Hackensack. In June, Capodagli Property Co. broke ground on a 222-unit residential property on State Street, in the first of what city officials hope is a string of new development.

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