Two years in, Teaneck project is mere rubble

Buyer suing owner for breach of contract, putting 68 apartments in jeopardy

100 State Street (Google Maps)
100 State Street (Google Maps)

A Teaneck property has been reduced to rubble for a multifamily project that might not come to fruition.

McKarkein Capital LLC filed a complaint two weeks ago, alleging the LLC that owns 100 State Street breached its contract to buy the site. McKarkein alleges the owner canceled a $7.1 million agreement last month to “negotiate better terms for the sale of the property,” NorthJersey.com reported.

The owner proposed a 68-unit housing project at the site, including 10 affordable units. The township’s zoning board approved the project more than two years ago.

But the conditions of that approval were set to expire this past Jan. 11, something McKarkein said it didn’t know. McKarkein ultimately signed the purchase contract, agreeing it would negotiate with the township on approval extensions for the apartment building and garage.

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The parties extended the sale agreement to May 18 while that process played out, but McKarkein alleged 100 State Street managing member Leo Klein canceled the sale “out of spite” on April 18 after a co-member of the firm offered to sell a one-third interest in the property to a consultant working for McKarkein.

A sticking point in the sale appears to be a pending classification for the property as an “area in need of redevelopment.” Such a designation could raise the value of the property, as a developer would be able to negotiate terms of construction outside local limits and become eligible for tax breaks.

The township authorized a study of 100 State Street and more than a dozen other properties in January. The study is expected to be discussed at a planning board meeting next week.

Meanwhile, the office building that once stood at 100 State Street was demolished two weeks ago. The fate of the project remains unclear.

“We said once the building was demolished, we would negotiate the extensions,” Teaneck deputy mayor Mark Schwartz told NorthJersey.com. “We want to work with the developer on getting this built.”

[NorthJersey.com] — Holden Walter-Warner