The city is looking to borrow $1.98 million from the state’s Unsafe Structures Demolition Bond Loan program to demolish 24 hazardous structures scattered throughout the Silk City.
The city is requesting the loan for a 10-year period for 1-percent interest rate, said economic development director Ruben Gomez. 4-percent is the fixed interest rate per annum for loans issued through the program, according to the state. 77 rural and urban center municipalities are eligible for loans through the program.
The 24 structures “pose an imminent hazard to the public health and safety,” according to the city’s application to the state.
Business administrator Nellie Pou said the city will place liens on the properties after the structures are demolished. Only two of the structures are owned by Paterson while the other 22 belong to private owners, according to city records.
Pou said the liens will allow the city to potentially recover the money spent to demolish them.
Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, looked at the properties the city is looking to demolish. He pointed to a structure located at 102 Madison Avenue which will cost $708,118 to demolish. It is “excessive,” he said of the price to demolish the structure.
Jackson said it takes this much money to erect a structure.
Gomez said the structures become magnet for crime and drugs. “When you have an empty lot you don’t see derelict space. It’s about perception, it’s about getting rid of blight,” he said.
The empty spaces can also be used to build in the densely populated city, said Gomez.
Tammori Petty, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs which runs the loan program, said the fund is a reimbursement program. This means the city will not be getting $1.98 million in advance after a successful application, but the money will be accessed by submitting invoices for demolition works that were approved as part of the application and award process.
The state sent eligible municipalities notices of available funds on March 14th and 28th, 2016. It also hosted information sessions for interested rural and urban municipalities.
Gomez said there’s $8 million available through the program. He said the city has a good chance of receiving an award.
Deadline for the application is May 9th, 2016, said Petty.
Paterson is looking to demolish the following structures:
- 102 Madison Avenue
- 63 Clinton Street
- 222 Hamilton Avenue
- 205 West Broadway
- 32 Mercer Street
- 20 East 19th Street
- 452 Ellison Street
- 395 Ellison Street
- 18 Arlington Street
- 55 Pennington Street
- 208 Railroad Avenue
- 60 Plum Street
- 24 Pearl Street
- 154 North 4th Street
- 77 Jersey Street
- 2 Holsman Street
- 285 Hamilton Avenue
- 113 Gray Street
- 215 Rosa Parks Boulevard
- 217 Rosa Parks Boulevard
- 267 Fair Street
- 598 East 23rd Street
- 191 12th Avenue
- 26 Chestnut Street.