Thursday, October 26, 2006

Housing - Ledger - Hovnanian cancels senior housing

Hovnanian cancels senior housing dev
Builder won't pursue senior homes project

Star-Ledger, Tuesday, October 10, 2006

MOUNT OLIVE: The would- be builder of 372 age-restricted homes off Route 46 has withdrawn its application, claiming the development is no longer financially viable.

K. Hovnanian contracted to buy the land for the development in 2002, and the property was rezoned for the Four Seasons at Mount Olive project about six months ago, said company spokesman Doug Fenichel.

But "economic times have changed, and when we reviewed the numbers ... they didn't make as much sense as they did when we began the project several years ago," Fenichel said.

He cited the land's rising price, traffic improvements the company would have to make and regulatory costs. Plus, the housing market has softened.

"The demand isn't as high as it was," he said. "It makes us look at the numbers differently. The company pulled the applica tion on Friday, he said.

It had worked for 3 1/2 years to have the township rezone the land and faced the process of se curing approvals from at least four levels of government, Feni chel said.

The project abutted a former landfill between Route 46 and Gold Mine Road, which was removed from the federal Superfund cleanup list in 2004.

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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.