Here is a general description of what occurs and has occurred in the First Phase of Cardinal Capital Management’s (CCM’s) plan for the development of independent, state-of-the-art housing for persons who are Deaf, hard of Hearing, DeafBlind and Late-Deafened.
Phase 1 in this initiative is to identify and purchase a suitable site on which to build this development. Phase 1 will end the instant that goal is accomplished. It’s that simple…and that challenging.
Phase 1 Activities
This phase has included the following activities:
· Jim has regular weekly and occasionally more-often-than-weekly contact with our Weichert realtor whose office is located in Union County, regarding the availability of sites, whether listed for sale or where the realtor has reason to believe the owner may be willing to discuss a sale.
· When properties are brought to Jim’s attention, he immediately conducts an assessment of those sites for suitability. Jim informs the realtor of our interest in those sites that are deemed viable, and authorize the realtor to contact the property owner on our behalf.
· Since last August, it began to become apparent that we had exhausted every viable possibility…at least for now…for finding suitable property in Morris County. Jim broadened our focus to other counties surrounding Morris. As a result, we are now scouting for property in Bergen, Union, Essex, Passaic and Somerset counties This process has been ongoing since Jim started with CCM and will continue until a site is found and purchased.
· At least once every 6-8 weeks since Jim began with CCM, he has traveled to New Jersey for meetings with staff and officials he has contacted and asked to assist us in finding a site.
· Jim spoke to the members of the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey (SHA-NJ – CCM is a member) when he was in New Jersey last October and put out the call for them to help us find a site.
· Jim also spent an entire week in New Jersey last September not only meeting with state and local officials, but with our realtor, with whom he spent 6 hours in a car and traveled at least 150 miles through each of the counties identified and inspected parcels of property that had previously been suggested and/or that were newly identified.
· Erich and Jim are working with Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, to set a date for them to come out to tell them about us and ask for the same assistance in finding a site. Jim expects that date will be sometime in early February. Practices like these will continue until a site is found and purchased.
· Jim makes follow-up calls to all other contacts with whom he has established relations and provides me with leads concerning properties that are or may be for sale. This practice has been ongoing since Jim started with CCM and will continue until a site is found and purchased.
What Is A “Suitable Site?”
We have not yet begun the task of designing the facility, since we do not know how much space we have to build on and what the zoning restrictions may be. Designing at this point is an expense we cannot afford to incur in the absence of a site that we own. In addition, defining exact building specifications – e.g., # of dwelling units, square footage, number of stories, etc. – is also premature. However…
· In general, a potentially suitable site would be a parcel 1 to 3 acres in size. A lot size that is 1/4 of an acre or smaller is in all likelihood unworkable.
· Ideally the site would be within walking distance to public transit (either or both bus and rail transit), and near grocery and shopping.