(08) Elite Properties Project (MONDELLI property)

Mondelli Visual

Address

182 Plainfield Avenue - Block 614 lot 3

Total Number of Units -(Affordable Housing)

Types of Units

Amenities

10 Rental Units (2 AH)
  • 5 one bedroom
  • 4 two bedroom
  • 1 three bedroom
  • Developer will build and maintain a park next to the property
  • Interior parking

Other names

Formerly known as "Vito Mondelli’s"

Resources & Documents

Property History

Mondelli Park was the vision of Vito Mondelli, a long-time resident of Berkeley Heights. Vito was born and raised in Berkeley Heights, worked in the Department of Public Works for 31 years, and retired as its department head. His father started a farm stand on their property adjacent to the train tracks on Plainfield Avenue. In the 1950s, Vito joined his father in operating theMondelli House 2016 stand, which was open year-round, selling shrubs and seedlings in the Spring, corn, fruit and vegetables in the Summer and pumpkins, stalks of corn and fall shrubs in Autumn. In December, they made Christmas wreaths and grave blankets. Vito’s stand was referred to by many as the “Heart of Berkeley Heights”.  

His property of approximately 28,750 square feet was a triangular lot located at 182 Plainfield Ave consisting of a residence, nursery and landscaping business (“Project Site”).  Abutting Vito’s land is the New Jersey Transit railroad. Vito was given an easement by New Jersey Transit to use some of their property. 3-vitos-farm-stand-beth-ferris-sale

December 29, 2015

Vito’s business ceased operations upon his death on this day. It was Vito’s desire to create a permanent park on a portion of his property and to sell the major portion of the property to fund his Estate. Ultimately, Vito’s last Will and Testament bequeathed a portion of the property to the Township to be subdivided and dedicated as a public park.  

February 9, 2016

The Township agreed to accept the donation. The building of the park and its maintenance was left to the Estate. The Estate contracted to sell the property to Elite Properties on the condition that Elite build and maintain the park in accordance with Vito’s request.  

May 30, 2018

Township and Elite entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which said:

  • Elite would purchase Vito’s property subject to the terms and conditions of Vito’s will. This included:
    1. the dedication of the Park to the Township 
    2. acceptance of the obligation of Vito’s Estate to perpetually maintain the park. 
  • Outlined the terms of using the remaining portion for an inclusionary multifamily rental development with a maximum of 10 units.

May 26, 2020

  • Township Council designated Elite Properties as Redeveloper of the Mondelli site and authorized the execution of a Redevelopment Agreement for the planning, construction and undertaking of the site in accordance with the Redevelopment Plan.  
  • Elite agreed to design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain:
    1. a development - a multifamily rental housing building with 10 residential apartment units, two of which will be very low- and moderate-income households
    2. a public park
    3. onsite parking
    4. onsite and offsite infrastructure and related site improvements 

In order for the Town to own the park, Elite sold it to the Town for $1.00 and agreed to construct the park, dedicate it to the Township and repair and maintain the park, including but not limited to, landscaping, snow removal and minor capital improvements - in perpetuity. 

July 15, 2020

The Planning Board approved Elite’s application to subdivide the Project Site into two lots: 

  • Lot 3.01, which will occupy 10,450 square feet and be a public park; and
  • Lot 3.02 which will occupy 17,415 square feet and will be improved as a 10-unit inclusionary multifamily development.

In addition, several off-site improvements were approved, including:

  • Six-foot-tall metal fences and landscaped buffer areas along the entire northern lot line to provide separation and screening from the train tracks.  
  • Streetscape improvements to Plainfield Ave, including the installation of new granite block curbs and street lampposts in accordance with Downtown design specifications. 
  • The Public Park will include a semi-circular pedestrian walkway connected to a frame gazebo in the center. 
  • Walkways will feature pavers and will be lined with benches, bike racks, and bollard lights.  
  • New landscaping will be provided around the perimeter of the park, by the gazebo and adjacent residential building entrances. 

The Park is expected to be completed at the end of the 2021.

 

Status

Date

Updated Status

May 2021
  • Construction continues
  • BH Township Council introduced an ordinance to enter into a license with NJ Transit allowing developer Elite Properties to expand the size of the park adjacent to the building. 
January 2021
  • Footing and foundations are in; construction kicks off
November/December 2020
  • Developer applies for first round of permits, working with Building Department on applications.
July 2020
  • Township adopts resolution approving Park Maintenance Agreement.
  • Township Council adopts ordinance approving Financial Agreement (PILOT).
June 2020
  • Site Plan application to be submitted early in the month.
May 2020
  • Area in Need of Redevelopment designation approved.
  • Council approves Redevelopment Agreement and Consistency Review for the Mondelli Redevelopment Project, finding that the project plans are consistent with the Redevelopment Plan and Agreement.
  • Architectural plans and park design plans continue to be reviewed. 
  • PILOT financial agreement drafted; tentatively scheduled to be placed on June 9 Council agenda. 
March/April 2020 
  • Negotiations ongoing re: redevelopment agreement and financial agreement.
  • Negotiations ongoing over Mondelli Park maintenance.
January/February/March 2020
  • Negotiations ongoing re: redevelopment agreement and financial agreement.
  • Easement plans submitted to NJ Transit.
Fall 2019
  • Site plans submitted by developer to Township for review. 
  • Plans for Mondelli Park reviewed, negotiated between Township and Developer to ensure Vito Mondelli’s wishes are adhered to.
  • Working out easement issues regarding NJ Transit.
October 2019
  • Planning Board review of redevelopment plan.
  • Council approval of redevelopment plan on 10/29/19.
September 2019
  • Council adopts resolution referring Redevelopment Plan to the Planning Board for Review.
July 2019
  • Deemed an area in need of redevelopment