The beleaguered former Herbertsville Deli property will continue to languish at least through January, partially-demolished, following a failed attempt to raze the building earlier this fall.
In October, following months of due process and a final determination by the township’s Property Maintenance Board, the township council voted to solicit bids for a demolition company to tear down the structure, located at 403 Herbertsville Road. The township, considering the building unsafe, has the legal ability to order a demolition and place a lien against the property for its cost. But days after the council vote, a private demolition firm arrived on-site and began the process of taking down the building, only to find that asbestos was present, necessitating a stop-work order from a state inspector.
From there, communication seems to have deteriorated. Brick Township Business Administrator Joanne Bergin said a representative from a demolition company called town hall as a courtesy and advised the township’s construction code official that the owner of the property was unwilling to pay for the required remediation and was no longer communicating.
“We’re going to put it back on the next Property Maintenance Board agenda for demolition,” said Bergin. “But the issue is, we don’t meet again until January on that board.”
Essentially, the process will pick it up where it left off, however the board will need to re-order demolition and new bids will be solicited by the governing body.
The Property Maintenance Board first made its decision on the deteriorating structure in February 2022. According to an inspector’s report, its roof was in a dangerous state of disrepair, windows were broken, pieces of the building were half-torn-off and flapping in the breeze, and graffiti was beginning to appear on the exterior walls. Pursuant to state land use laws, the property owner, an LLC based in Saddle Brook, N.J., was notified of the hearing before the board, then notified of its decision and the opportunity to appeal. They were also notified of the vote in October, however no one appeared on the business’s behalf.
The company which owns the building, 430 Brick Realty LLC, is in turn owned by Mukesh Papaiya, of Mahwah, N.J., according to state business records. Multiple attempts to contact Papaiya were unsuccessful.