11/19/75 by Gordon Sharp
Groundbreaking is expected to take place shortly for the $16 million, 67-acre North Oaks planned unit development, which will have frontage on both outer Livingston Avenue and Route 1.
Joseph E. S.hamy, a principal in the North Oaks Development Corp., today indicated work on the project could begin “sometime this week.’ The architect, Joseph P. Albanese of New Brunswick, has put the work out for bids, said Shamy.
Albanese was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman in his Church Street, New Bruns-, wick, offices said the development would consist of 50 acres
o residential housing and 17 a res for commercial facilities.
The residential section would contain 272 townhouses and 196 garden apartment units, he said, with about seven stores, a movie theater and a bank branch in the commercial portion. So far, he said, no major department store is earmarked to come into the development.
The start of construction win mark the end of a .year-long struggle by the developers to overcome opposition from neighbors of the PUD site. The success of the project also appeared jeopardized by a declining economy, but Shamy said financial problems have been overcome.
North Oaks Development Corp, property was listed this week on a tax sale legal notice by the township for non-payment of $21,591 in back taxes. But Shamy said the delinquent account would be paid well before the Dec. 9 deadline.
“We faced a tight financial market and we ran a little short of money,” observed Sha-my. “But we will definitely pay th| taxes within the next couple of weeks.”
The corporation last summer was unsuccessful in asking the township for a bonding reduction and relaxation of drainage requirements, pleading financial hardship. The township planning board refused to grant the developers’ request to run drainage water through open ditches rather than pipe.
The board gave tentative approval to the development’s multihousing plan in September 1974 and again last April, but was greeted with a neighborhood group’s suit attempting to void the approval.
The neighbors and the adjacent Brown-Boveri Corp, on Livingston Avenue contended the proposed development violated the township’s master plan.
Under a court-ordered review, the planning board last month amended the township master plan te include the planned unit development and bring it into conformity with changes in the township’s land-use plan.
No less than 13 board hearings were held on the development proposal last year.