Long-Running Union, NJ Site Dispute — With Kean Family And Kean University, Against Developer Russo — Is Settled

Many will recall that over the last five years, we have covered the dispute over the legacy Schering-Plough Union facility property on Morris Avenue — and all the land grant deed’s twists and turns, originating from Kean family provisos, of around 83 years ago, now.

But first, a hat tip to the erstwhile commenter “Jesse,” here, on the backup site — for alerting me to this development. My commenters make this site infinitely more readable, and interesting. Thank you all. It looks like the people of Union will preserve a relatively large chunk of the taxable base they so desperately needed. So — here is the local news item — do go read it all, but here’s a bit:

. . . .The agreement effectively ends the litigation between the parties as to ownership of the 52 acre Merck site and defines a path for the site to be redeveloped. . . .

Kean University will receive 13 acres of the parcel, nine of which will be sold to them from Russo Development, with an additional four acres retained by Russo Development for the purpose of using it for parking by Kean University.

Kean University will pay the Township of Union approximately one hundred thousand dollars per year in lieu of taxes for the use of the 9 acres. . . .

John Kean, who contested ownership of the parcel and Merck’s right to sell the land, has agreed to drop all claim of ownership moving forward. . . .

Russo Development has expressed a desire to develop the remaining 39 acres, adjacent to the Union Train Station, for mixed use development, with luxury rentals, restaurants, and service-oriented businesses on the site. Russo has initially agreed to fund all traffic improvement along the Morris Avenue corridor between North Avenue and Lehigh Avenue, a long time traffic bottleneck for drivers along Morris Avenue. . . .

This is very good news for the people of Union, New Jersey. Onward, on a clear cool summer morning. . .

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