Friday, September 8, 2017

Warehouse tax abatement considered for ex-U.S. Pipe site

Former U.S. Pipe site in Burlington, NJ could become a mammoth warehouse 

David Levinsky reports for the Burlington County Times:
BURLINGTON CITY (NJ) — The city government is planning to vote later this month on a proposed multimillion-dollar tax abatement deal with a Middlesex County developer interested in building a mammoth 1-million-square-foot warehouse at the former U.S. Pipe and Foundry property.
The proposed agreement with Matrix Reality Inc. spares the company from having to pay property taxes based on the assessed value of the property for 20 years, but it would require Matrix to pay service fees, also called payments in lieu of taxes or PILOT, to the city to help cover local services such as police and fire protection and trash collection at the redeveloped site.
Numerous other redevelopment projects, including several in Burlington County, have entered into similar agreements.
"Just about every warehouse in New Jersey has a PILOT," Mayor Barry Conaway said Thursday, adding that he was convinced the agreement was the right thing to do so the property could be redeveloped.
None of the PILOT revenues are required to go to the school district, but Conaway said he hoped the City Council would agree to share some of the PILOT revenue with the district.
The council introduced an ordinance to enter into the agreement Tuesday. A public hearing and adoption vote are tentatively scheduled for Sept. 19.
The warehouse project is expected to generate about 600 year-round jobs and 300 or more seasonal positions at the former foundry site off Pearl and Jones streets.
The property is in need of some environmental remediation and has been dormant for most of the last two decades. City officials said the tax abatement was needed to assist Matrix in redeveloping the site, which spans into Burlington Township.
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