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Rivercove Sold to Creditors, Back Taxes Paid Off

GE Capital bought the property at a U.S. Marshal's sale last month, and has brought the property up to date on PILOT and tax payments.

The slate has been wiped clean at the .

After close to a year of wrangling between Grove Street Urban Renewal, the now-former owners of the complex, and the township over potentially lifting age restrictions to help save the owners, creditors have stepped in, bought the property and paid off the bulk of back taxes and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments, West Deptford officials announced Thursday night.

GE Capital, the mortgage lenders on the property, bought the property for $25 million at a U.S. Marshal’s sale in March, after an original marshal’s sale in February was postponed.

And as of Wednesday, a total of $1.5 million in PILOT and tax payments had been sent out by GE to bring the property up to date, according to West Deptford’s special counsel for redevelopment, Mark Cimino.

“We’re literally waiting for the money to hit the bank,” Committeeman Sam Cianfarini said.

But besides the revenue flowing into township coffers, GE’s purchase of the property preserves the age restriction on the complex, something the previous owners had fought against over a six-month period last year.

The sale brings to an end a process that began last May, when a bankruptcy proceeding was dismissed and GE moved to begin foreclosure proceedings against Grove Street Urban Realty. A month later, Grove Street’s managing member, Thomas Hedenberg, , which he called at the time key to the complex’s survival.

The planning board moved that idea up to the township committee, which would’ve had final say on the age restriction, but no action came on that until September, when the township committee .

Meanwhile, GE shifted the property into receivership in August, as the foreclosure proceedings ticked forward. On Oct. 11, , which owed $34,574,558 to GE at the time—more than $2 million more than what the original loan was for.

Over the four years Grove Street controlled the property, not a single PILOT payment was made, despite the agreement with the township that payments would start as soon as tenants occupied the building, back in October 2009, Cimino said.

“Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned,” Cimino said.

Before the March marshal’s sale, Grove Street made a pair of last-ditch pitches, , and claimed they could pay $1 million in PILOT payments if the age restriction was lifted, Cimino said.

GE was satisfied with keeping the age restriction, Cimino said, after a 140-page appraisal indicated it was still a feasible option, though the company was advised to reduce the rents—just 34 of 199 apartments were filled at one point last year—and aggressively market the complex.

The overdue PILOT payments and back taxes, along with the taxes remaining to be paid through the rest of this year, could have a significant effect on this year’s budget, potentially reducing the projected tax increase.

Cianfarini indicated the PILOT payments and 2012 tax payments combined could knock 6.25¢ off the 15.3¢ per $100 of assessed value tax increase the township committee said would come as a result of .

tellthetruthB May 04, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Just curious, wasn't there other positive news that came out of the committee meeting last night?
Bill Bondar May 04, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Glad to see this place is back on its feet again. Instead of 55+ apartments, I always thought that it would make an excellent Assisted/Independent living complex, similar to the Mews in Woodbury. I understand they originally planned to build one on that site in the past. There are waiting lists of seniors waiting to move in to those type of facilities. You can be guaranteed it would be 100% occupied so West Deptford can receive is share of the taxes. Thank you GE and the Township Committee.
Bill Bondar May 04, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Bryan posted this article at 1am .. Give the guy a chance to get some sleep.. He will be reporting shortly about the insurance savings, awards given, etc and don't forget the WWF Smackdown spectacle between a committee member and a resident.
Bryan Littel (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Absolutely - plenty more coming out of the meeting. As Bill said, a guy's gotta sleep some time.
quick draw May 04, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I was just waiting for Donna to walk out great representation of the democratic party.IT'S MY FOOTBALL I'M GOING HOME WAH WAH WAH.Donna grow up. don't you just love grandstanding.It just goes to show you how little Donna and denise know about politics.They don't do anything good for the taxpayers of this township but turn everything down.those two are a big problem and they have to be removed.Hunter you should have been selected.Oh don't forget DENISE was appointed not elected by the residents.You are a appointee not an ELECTED OFFICIAL.
William Libby May 04, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I heard it was the old bitty who was grandstanding. Typical representation from the Grand OLD Party!
tellthetruthB May 05, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Thanks Brian, looking forward to it.
WDNeedsHelp May 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM
A taxpayer was commenting to Denice about her constant "Grandstanding" from the bench (which she should not be doing, Hopefully Mayor Chintall will put an end to this soon) and Donna decided to butt in and frankly yell at the woman. Even after the Mayor asked her to stop and called her out of order she still felt she needed to rant like an idiot. Hopefully Donna will finally see without her Dem buddies up there she is in way over her head and leave for the good of the Town.

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