For anyone following public affairs or property taxes in South Orange, the continuing Beifus property foreclosure saga is about to add a chapter. On June 1, there will be a sheriff sale.
Behind the fence, and next to the train station is continual vacancy, dispute and lost revenue for the town. Before being demolished six years ago, it was the home of Beifus Mercedes, a car dealership. Hopefully now there will finally be a break in the legal, financial and political inertia that has deadlocked this prime piece of property for nearly 10 years.
Nearby are the possibilities of what could be. On the other side of the train station are the new luxury condos on Vose, Eden Gourmet and the rooftop restaurant, Above. But at 9 West South Orange Avenue, the weeds grow and the fence has worn down. With the property now in foreclosure, the courts are in charge. Andrew Beifus Jr., 67, the property’s owner and developer has received the lion’s share of the anger over the project and he has since moved from the area.
In hard times, when the village relied on $750,000 in extraordinary aid to help balance its municipal budget, the Beifus project represented more than just an eyesore, but a massive loss of revenue in the form of property taxes and economic activity.
The property was also an integral part of the village’s redevelopment zone, a central business district development plan created by the Township of South Orange Village in 1994. Since then the stops and starts have been too numerous to detail here. For more details on the foreclosure and sheriff sale please see the link below.