Somerset Development has entered into a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to purchase the 473-acre Crawfords Corner Road property in Holmdel for an undisclosed price, Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said Wednesday night. The closing date is Dec. 31.
Somerset will develop the property in accordance with the township's Redevelopment Plan adopted in May if the deal is sealed, Impreveduto said.
"I'm really excited -- excited we are moving forward," said the mayor, who met with Somerset's Ralph Zucker and his associate at Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
The new agreeement with Somerset was confirmed by Alcatel Lucent spokeswoman Denise Panyik-Dale. "We can confirm a new contract has been signed with Somerset Development," she said Wednesday night, adding that Somerset agreed to follow the Redevelopment Plan adopted by Holmdel in May, 2012. She could not offer further details.
According to Impreveduto, the deal with Elsie Sterling Howard Oversight officially fell apart last week.
"We had known that Elsie Sterling had put down a significant amount of money, but Elsie Sterling had missed a payment in August. They had tried to work it out with Lucent. As of last week, it feel apart," he said.
Ralph Zucker, who had been one of several developers working with Sterling Oversight to develop the vacant 2-million square foot building "jumped right in, and offered Lucent a contract last week," said the mayor.
Somerset Development already knows its way around the property, as the company had previously worked for many months on a mixed use plan in consultation with Holmdel Township officials until Sterling Oversight suddenly stepped in and contracted for it in February.
The Somerset plan broadly focused on enhancing ratables, mitigating the impact on the surrounding residential areas, preserving the architecturally significant Bell Labs building, creating a vibrant public space and retaining the open space on the property in agreement with Holmdel's priorities. Much of the Redevelopment Plan (see document attached to this article) reflected its ideas.
Zucker was traveling Wednesday night and could not be reached for comment.
Impreveduto said Holmdel's next step is to get a Redevelopment Agreement in place with Zucker. "The lawyers will be drawing it up," he said.