(08) Elite Properties Project (MONDELLI property)
182 Plainfield Avenue - Block 614 lot 3
Total Number of Units -(Affordable Housing)
Types of Units
|10 Rental Units (2 AH)|
Formerly known as "Vito Mondelli’s"
Resources & Documents
- Draft architectural plans here
- Draft Mondelli Park landscape plans here
- Planning Board Resolution approving application by Elite
- Mondelli Redevelopment Plan (see highlighted portions re: park)
Mondelli Park was the vision of Vito Mondelli, a long-time resident of Berkeley Heights. Vito was born and raised in Berkeley Heights, worked in the Department of Public Works for 31 years, and retired as its department head. His father started a farm stand on their property adjacent to the train tracks on Plainfield Avenue. In the 1950s, Vito joined his father in operating the stand, which was open year-round, selling shrubs and seedlings in the Spring, corn, fruit and vegetables in the Summer and pumpkins, stalks of corn and fall shrubs in Autumn. In December, they made Christmas wreaths and grave blankets. Vito’s stand was referred to by many as the “Heart of Berkeley Heights”.
His property of approximately 28,750 square feet was a triangular lot located at 182 Plainfield Ave consisting of a residence, nursery and landscaping business (“Project Site”). Abutting Vito’s land is the New Jersey Transit railroad. Vito was given an easement by New Jersey Transit to use some of their property.
December 29, 2015
Vito’s business ceased operations upon his death on this day. It was Vito’s desire to create a permanent park on a portion of his property and to sell the major portion of the property to fund his Estate. Ultimately, Vito’s last Will and Testament bequeathed a portion of the property to the Township to be subdivided and dedicated as a public park.
February 9, 2016
The Township agreed to accept the donation. The building of the park and its maintenance was left to the Estate. The Estate contracted to sell the property to Elite Properties on the condition that Elite build and maintain the park in accordance with Vito’s request.
May 30, 2018
Township and Elite entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which said:
- Elite would purchase Vito’s property subject to the terms and conditions of Vito’s will. This included:
- the dedication of the Park to the Township
- acceptance of the obligation of Vito’s Estate to perpetually maintain the park.
- Outlined the terms of using the remaining portion for an inclusionary multifamily rental development with a maximum of 10 units.
May 26, 2020
- Township Council designated Elite Properties as Redeveloper of the Mondelli site and authorized the execution of a Redevelopment Agreement for the planning, construction and undertaking of the site in accordance with the Redevelopment Plan.
- Elite agreed to design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain:
- a development - a multifamily rental housing building with 10 residential apartment units, two of which will be very low- and moderate-income households
- a public park
- onsite parking
- onsite and offsite infrastructure and related site improvements
In order for the Town to own the park, Elite sold it to the Town for $1.00 and agreed to construct the park, dedicate it to the Township and repair and maintain the park, including but not limited to, landscaping, snow removal and minor capital improvements - in perpetuity.
July 15, 2020
The Planning Board approved Elite’s application to subdivide the Project Site into two lots:
- Lot 3.01, which will occupy 10,450 square feet and be a public park; and
- Lot 3.02 which will occupy 17,415 square feet and will be improved as a 10-unit inclusionary multifamily development.
In addition, several off-site improvements were approved, including:
- Six-foot-tall metal fences and landscaped buffer areas along the entire northern lot line to provide separation and screening from the train tracks.
- Streetscape improvements to Plainfield Ave, including the installation of new granite block curbs and street lampposts in accordance with Downtown design specifications.
- The Public Park will include a semi-circular pedestrian walkway connected to a frame gazebo in the center.
- Walkways will feature pavers and will be lined with benches, bike racks, and bollard lights.
- New landscaping will be provided around the perimeter of the park, by the gazebo and adjacent residential building entrances.
The Park is expected to be completed at the end of the 2021.