In May of 2013, Avalon Bay Communities secured planning board approval to build a 350 unit high-end apartment complex on the 16.63 acres of the former Ashland Chemical property, located east of Wootton Street on the Division Street “extension” in an official redevelopment zone.
The office building currently on site will be demolished. The complex will include a swimming pool and a parking garage for 387 cars as well as surface parking for 182 cars. The apartments will all be rentals and consist of studios (26), one bedroom (132), two bedroom (154) and three bedroom (38) units. No affordable housing was included in the approval.
The property needs remediation estimated to cost between $11 and $17 million dollars. In June 2016, Avalon Bay reached a final agreement with the current owner to purchase the property. Their construction plans remain on hold until the remediation issue is resolved.
(Boonton had an agreement for Avalon Bay to fund the purchase and repair of the Main Street boardwalk once development actually commenced. However, the boardwalk property has since been purchased by a private developer so the boardwalk situation is currently undetermined.)
In the first quarter of 2017, the governing body approved an agreement to proceed with the Avalon Bay's 2011 approved development to be built where the Drew Chemical Building once stood on Division Street. He is a Q & A to provide further details.