Real Estate: Lot To Love?


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26 Crestmont Road, a 4.3 acre lot, has been listed for $1.6 million.
26 Crestmont Road, a 4.3 acre lot, has been listed for $1.6 million.
Verona is often described as a town that’s fully built. Unlike suburbs to the west and south of us, we’re told, there’s no open space for a big development.

But a new listing this weekend could put that to the test. There’s a 4.3 acre lot at the northern end of Crestmont Road and it has been put on the market for $1.6 million. The listing says that the lot “needs to be subdivided” and that it is “perfect for approximate 4 residential lots”.

The listing comes just days after the Town Council approved a change to the zoning of a lot near the Claridge towers that could open the way for new construction by those properties as well. The Town Council decision changed the zoning of 1 and 3 Claridge Drive from A-2 high-rise to A-3, which allows townhouse construction. Part of the parking loop at Claridge I abuts the northern edge of the Crestmont property, which is almost completely landlocked by existing homes on Vincent Place and Amy Court. The property’s entrance is along the edge of Kip’s Castle, a park now owned by Essex County

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There is little that could stand in the way of some sort of development of the heavily wooded Crestmont property, which is currently zoned as R-100 and sits on the same ridge as Kip’s Castle. (R-100 is the lowest density of Verona’s residential designations; a minimum 12,000 square foot lot is required.) Verona does not prohibit the cutting of trees on private property and Town Manager Joe Martin has for years resisted any effort to have the Council vote on a request by the Verona Environmental Commission for a so-called steep slope ordinance, even though sections of Verona’s master zoning plan are predicated on the existence of such an ordinance. A steep slope ordinance would set rules on construction according to a property’s grading. [Full disclosure: This reporter has served on the VEC since 2009.]

There is, of course the chance that 26 Crestmont could be bought for a single residence. In 2011, 6.1 acres on Belleclaire Place in the Afterglow section went on the market for $5 million. A section of that property at 17 Belleclaire Place was purchased and a single family estate is being built there now.

Here’s what else is happening in Verona real estate this weekend, from lowest priced to highest in each category:

New Listings
54 Park Avenue #8: 1 bed, 1 bath condo. Newer bathroom. $160,000.
23 Franklin Street: 3 beds, 1 1/2 baths. Split-level, new tiled bathroom. $454,000.
26 Crestmont Road: 4.3 acre undeveloped lot. Can be subdivided. $1,600,000.

Open Houses
18 Floyd Road: 3 beds, 1 bath. $389,000. Open floor plan, deck, patio. Open house Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.
19 Franklin Street: 3 beds, 1 1/2 baths. Family room and finished basement. $399,999. Open house Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
188 Claremont Avenue: 4 beds, 2 baths. Brick ranch. New windows. $419,000. Open house Sunday 2 to 4 p.m.
27 Lakeview Place: 4 beds, 2 1/2 baths. Fully renovated, opposite Verona Park. $449,900. Open house Sunday 2 to 4 p.m.

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Price Changes
2 Claridge Drive #7ME: 2 bed, 2 bath condo in full-service building. Renovated kitchen, new windows. Cut $40,000 to $449,000.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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