Harrison redevelopment project halted

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
1 Apr 2008

Harrison redevelopment work halts on judge’s order

by Maura McDermott/The Star-Ledger

Monday March 31, 2008, 7:11 PM

“Redevelopment work in downtown Harrison was at a standstill today after a Superior Court judge issued an order halting the project.

 The work cannot resume until it is clear whether the Harrison Redevelopment Agency had the right to condemn properties there, Judge Maurice Gallipoli ruled Friday in Jersey City.

Gallipoli’s stop-work order affects properties near the Harrison PATH train station, where Steve Adler owned parking lots and industrial buildings, said Anthony Della Pelle, Adler’s attorney.

Today, the Harrison Redevelopment Agency filed papers asking the state appellate division to allow the redeveloper, Harrison Commons, to continue its work, said Gregory Castano Jr., the agency’s attorney.

“The main thing that has been going on is the remediation of the properties so there’s really no reason to stop that,” Castano said.

The appeals court could rule on the emergency request as soon as Wednesday, he said.

The redevelopers are spending $15 million to clean up contamination at Adler’s properties, said Paul Fernicola, an attorney for Harrison Commons, which is building nearly 500 residences north of the PATH station.

Adler and three other landowners have been fighting Harrison’s condemnation of their properties, saying the town did not give them enough warning that their land could be seized.

In February, a state appeals court ruled in the property owners’ favor and sent the case back to the lower court. Gallipoli, who ruled in favor of the town more than a year ago, has scheduled another hearing in May, Della Pelle said. A new trial could begin after that, he said.”


McKirdy & Riskin’s Edward McKirdy and Anthony Della Pelle, www.mrod.law, serve as special condemnation counsel to the property owner, Steven Adler and his family, in this dispute.