When I moved to Holmdel about 5 years ago and looked around for ways to get involved I met some people concerned about land use. As a planner, homeowner and family man I expressed curiousity about the Lucent property. Essentially I was "shouted down" in soft tones and told that there was a process underway...people on the case...lots had been done...and I was new and did not know the whole story.
Five years later there have been many changes in the economy and world at large but Lucent sits there. I realize there is a plan and a contract purchaser. I am fluent in the redevelopment process in general, not limited to Holmdel and the Lucent property. I am fluent in areas in need of redevelopment and the adoption of a plan.
What concerns me is the age restricted component of the plan. On its face it is housing that does not bring with it school-aged children that may overburden our excellent schools. My concern is that in NJ specifically, a developer/property owner with age-restricted housing that it cannot sell/rent is able to approach the State of NJ and plead economic hardship. In the State of NJ there is a change of use provision that allows age-restricted housing to be converted to low-income/affordable housing since the state of NJ has such expensive real estate in general and is always looking to encourage low income/affordable housing development.
So, my concern is that in NJ, where there is a clear oversupply of age-restricted housing, that the units to be located on the Lucent property would not sell and the owner would be able to convert them to low income/affordable in direct conflict with the goals of Holmdel. We would not get an increased tax base. We would not get residents that would contribute to the economic vitality (seniors) of the area but without school impacts.
We may get a low income development on the lawn of a 2 million square foot landmark design by Eero Saarinen and a population Holmdel is ill-equipped to serve far removed from the commercial district along Rt 35.