HAMILTON IS GETTING MORE AGGRESSIVE
REVITALIZING VACANT PROPERTIES WITH PRIVATE FIRM
though we have seen a considerable decrease in the number of vacant properties,
we still wanted to increase our concentration on the properties that remain
unoccupied,” explains Mayor Kelly Yaede. “We are confident that our
recent partnership with a private firm specializing in this area, along with
significant land use changes designed to make it easier to fill vacant sites,
will help us build further upon the many revitalization projects taking place
across our community.”
Kelly Yaede and Hamilton Township already are aggressive when it came to
quality of life issues, especially the revitalization of vacant properties.
Through the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP), which Mayor Yaede has made
a priority, Township officials seek to proactively identify and work
cooperatively with residents to address safety and quality of life issues. Vacant properties, many of which are owned by
banks and other financial institutions,
typically exhibit these types of violations.
Teaming Up to Rehabilitate Vacant Properties Owned by
Recently, Hamilton teamed up with Borgers, Saunders, Taylor
& Associates, LLC (BSTA), a firm that has yielded positive results in other
New Jersey towns. The company will work along with Township officials and
use the town’s registry of abandoned properties to identify and contact parties
responsible for vacant sites, which typically are banking or financial
Empowered by State and local laws, BSTA will enforce
maintenance requirements and other obligations, such as registration and vacant
property maintenance fees.
Such efforts help motivate owners and creditors to
rehabilitate properties that have languished, in addition to eliminating
Because of its commission based approach, the company only
receives compensation based upon their successful recouping of fees, of which
70 percent becomes a local revenue for the Municipal Government.
BSTA has been successful in similar efforts in other NJ
Between 2015 and 2017, the company helped East Orange
implement a Vacant & Abandoned Property program, which is credited for
bringing in $4 million in fees and fines, along with over $750 million in new
real estate investments.
Last year in Burlington City, BSTA was given two properties
with significant violations, which led to a combined total of $195,000 in paid
fines, a bank paying for an $85,000 demolition effort for one property, as well
as the abatement of violations at the other property.
Land Use Change to Revitalize Mixed Use Properties
Along Lalor Street, where Hamilton boarders the City of
Trenton, years ago several corner mixed-use properties were common – where the
first floor had a commercial use and the second floor was a residential
But in recent times, these mixed used sites have
languished. That is why Mayor Yaede proposed a land use change earlier
this year that now permits one residential unit on the first floor of such
“We would rather see these sites residentially occupied than
vacant and deteriorating,” says Mayor Yaede.
Providing More Options in Industrial and Manufacturing Zones
Providing more options for businesses in industrial and
manufacturing zones continues to be an important tool in filling vacant sites
and keeping them filled.
A change approved earlier in the year allows for contractor’s
storage to be a permitted use in these zones, provided that the stored items
stay in an enclosed building.
“We identified this additional use as something that would
assist in attracting and keeping businesses in these zones, while remaining
within the character of these types of commercial zones,” says Marty Flynn,
Director of Economic Development.