Mounds of tires and trash fill one building, a tree grows through a hole in the roof of another building, and abandoned trailers are lined up outside another building at a former industrial site on Enterprise Avenue, tucked away in a far corner of Lawrence Township.
But Lawrence Township officials are banking on those conditions to change, since it declared the 16-acre parcel at 40 Enterprise Ave. to be a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment. It is located in southern Lawrence Township, bordering Hamilton Township and the City of Trenton.
Taking the next step toward redeveloping the site, the Lawrence Township Council approved an ordinance adopting the Enterprise Avenue Redevelopment Plan at its Nov. 4 meeting. The plan offers guidelines as to how the property at 40 Enterprise Ave. should be redeveloped.
The township takes its authority to do so from the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. The law allows towns to determine whether an area is in need of redevelopment, and then to adopt and implement a redevelopment plan.
According to the redevelopment plan adopted by the council earlier this month, the goal is to revitalize 40 Enterprise Ave. The process to declare it as an area in need of redevelopment was made at the request of the property owner, township officials said.
The Lawrence Township Council authorized the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation and recommend whether 40 Enterprise Ave. should be designated as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment. The Planning Board studied it and made the recommendation to declare it as an area in need of redevelopment.
The Lawrence Township Council accepted the recommendation, and asked the Planning Board to prepare the Enterprise Avenue Redevelopment Plan. The council the plan at its Nov. 4 meeting.
“What is there now is a calamity waiting to happen” from a public safety perspective, said Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski. It is a nightmare waiting to happen for firefighters, if they are called to respond to the site, he said.
The buildings are in poor condition, but once the site is cleaned up and redeveloped, it will generate property tax revenue for Lawrence Township, Nerwinski said.
“This is a great site,” Mayor Jim Kownacki said. Once it is cleaned up, it will look much better, he said.
The Enterprise Avenue Redevelopment Plan states that the 16-acre parcel “is envisioned as a modern industrial use that meets the emerging needs of the current industrial market (and) which would not only serve Lawrence Township, but the region as well.”
A redeveloped property at 40 Enterprise Ave. will serve as a transitional area between the heavy industrial uses found in Trenton and the residential uses in Hamilton, according to the Enterprise Avenue Redevelopment Plan.
Under the redevelopment plan, the permitted uses include office, light industrial uses, wholesale distribution centers and warehouses, research and engineering offices and laboratories, and governmental uses – but it is not known at this time how 40 Enterprise Ave. would be redeveloped.