4B — November 10 - 23, 2017 — New Jersey — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


N ew J ersey

he New Jersey Ap- pellate Division re- cently held that the By David C. Scott, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP Recent NJ Appellate Division ruling expands eligible Parties for Innocent PartyGrants under the BrownfieldAct T

jected the application assert- ing that the LLC was not the same "person" under the Brownfield Act that acquired the property before the 1983 statutory deadline. The Appellate Division found that NJDEP had mis- interpreted the law governing innocent party grants. Based on its examination of ISRA and the legislative strategy for remediating contaminated sites, the Appellate Division determined that the state leg- islature was more concerned with having basic continuity of beneficial ownership rather than the technicalities of the legal form of ownership. Accordingly, the Appellate Division reversed the NJDEP's decision, holding that in- tra-family transfers among parents and a child through trusts were not a change in ownership for purposes of the Brownfield Act, and that therefore Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC qualified for an innocent party grant. According to the Appellate Division, the Leg- islature's intent in ISRA and the Brownfield Act was to help the owners of a contaminated property defray the costs of re- mediating contamination that was caused by another party, and that this benefit should not be lost by intra-family trust transfers. DavidC. Scott is amember of the Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP’s Envi- ronmental Department. n Team Resources inks 38,000 s/f lease in Saddle Brook Saddle Brook, NJ — Eric Lewin, Sr. executive VP, along with David Can- tor , CEO & Greg Sholom , president leased 38,000 s/f at 95 Mayhill St. in Saddle Brook to AJ Worldwide Ser- vices. Team Resources rep- resented the landlord while Jeff Chaus , principal at Chaus Realty represented the tenant in this transaction. “The convenient location and 30’ ceilings were key factors in AJ Worldwide Ser- vices decision to expand into the Saddle Brook Industrial Center at 95 Mayhill St. Like many logistic companies to- day, taking advantage of the cubic space to fit more prod- uct into a smaller footprint helps expansion be more economic,” said Lewin. n

tory deadline. The unpublished opinion in Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC v. New Jersey Department of En- vironmental Protection is sig- nificant in that by examining the definition of a "change in ownership" under the Indus- trial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) and the legislative strategy for remediating contaminated sites at the time innocent par- ty grants were established, the decision provides flexibility in an area that the New Jersey Department of Environmen- tal Protection (NJDEP) had previously strictly construed

to limit innocent party grants under the Brownfield Act to only the specific "person" who acquired the property before the statutory deadline. Under the Brownfield Act, the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund provides grants and loans to public enti- ties, private entities, and non- profit organizations for costs to remediate contaminated property. A person qualifies under an innocent party grant if they (a) acquired the prop- erty prior to the December 31, 1983 statutory deadline and continue to own the property

until the NJDEP approves the grant; and (b) did not discharge the hazardous sub- stance or hazardous waste at the property. In Cedar Knolls , the con- taminated property at issue was purchased in 1977 and was subsequently transferred through a series of intra- family trusts from husband to wife, wife to child, and child to Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC in 2006, which was solely owned by the child. When Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC applied to the NJDEP for an innocent party grant, the NJDEP re-

Brownf i e ld and Contam- inated Reme- diation Act's eligibility re- quirements for innocent party grants are flexible e n o ugh t o

David C. Scott

include intra-family trust transfers to an entity that, strictly speaking, is not the same "person" who acquired the property before the statu-

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