“… Iron Mountain Information Management v. Newark, A-100-08, raises this question: When property is taken under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, is a commercial tenant with an option to purchase and right of first refusal in its lease agreement entitled to the same notice as the property owner?
The appellant is a tenant in a vast warehouse in a downtown section of Newark that the city designated as a blighted area as the first step toward redevelopment. The tenant had a right to fight the blight designation but missed the deadline for doing so and claimed the failure was caused by a lack of notice.
But the appeals court ruled the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law doesn’t require towns to give notice of blight designation to commercial tenants, even to ones like the plaintiff that have an option to purchase the property.
Appellant lawyer William Ward of Carlin, Ward, Ash & Heiart LLC in Florham Park, N.J., says it’s true the tenant still retains the right to object when the property is condemned. But to make a tenant wait until then without giving adequate notice of the blight designation “unreasonably places that tenant under a cloud of condemnation, and leaves it at risk of losing its interest in the property without having had a fair opportunity to contest the basis for the taking,” Ward says in his petition for certification.