Over the frigid weekend, out east, local papers are reporting that the Mayor of Readington (which includes Merck’s soon-to-be-former worldwide HQ complex, at Whitehouse Station) is moderately optimistic that Merck will hold on to the smaller west office building, and only sell the one million square feet of high-end HQ offices, leaving a taxable base of almost 55 per cent of the original land holdings, still in Merck’s hands (and on the current-pay tax rolls).
Of course, the greatest proportion of the overall assessed value of the entire 1,000 acre tract is within the walls of the high end office facility — (the million square feet of luxury Class A executive office suites) — so Readington will still sorely need a buyer for that Cushman & Wakefield listed behemoth. But it is moderately good news, for the locals — and the tax base — that Merck will retain some substantial acreage there. Do go read the entire Hunterdon County Democrat item — but here is a bit:
. . . .There has been no talk of a tax abatement for Merck or a buyer, said Allen. She pointed out that Merck plans to sell about 450 of its 1,000 acres, retaining its smaller “west office building” and the remaining acreage.
“They will maintain a presence in Readington,” she said.
The entire Merck parcel is assessed at about $250 million, [Mayor] Allen said, and the township at this point doesn’t anticipate a reduction in that value, if it ever happens, for at least four-to-five years. . . .
We will keep you informed, but thus far, there are apparently no qualified bidders on the HQ itself.
Now, O/T: my advice, for the coming Artic plunges (out east, and throughout the middle of the nation)? Light a fire, make some hot fresh baked goods & strong coffee, spray your shovel with PAM® (seriously!), take your time out there shovelling (wear layers, and a rakish Samuel L. Jackson cap!). . . but mostly, stay indoors (under down comforters if need be, with a good e-book!) — that’s what most of the nation ought to do between now, and late Tuesday night. Watch “The Day After Tomorrow,” — on RedBox® or Netflix®, too! Silly story, but great visual effects. . .