Flemington Borough Main Street Stakeholder Opinion Survey
In 2015 Flemington adopted a master plan that calls for redevelopment of the Union Hotel and nearby historic buildings through adaptive reuse – saving the best of the old and making it part of the new. The adopted plan also allows for major redevelopment, with buildings as tall as 5 stories. This adopted plan - designed to retain historic structures and respect the historic character and scale of the Borough – nonetheless permits massive new construction in the hotel block.
Despite having a redevelopment plan that builds on the history and tourist interest that is reviving small and large towns all across America, Flemington has never requested qualifications or proposals from responsible redevelopers with experience doing this type of development.
A local accountant has somehow convinced the Borough Council and Planning Board that they should allow him to tear down the Union Hotel and adjoining historic buildings and fill the block with a 7-8 story behemoth and 900 car parking garage – twice what the master plan proposes. He says unless he does this, there is no hope for Flemington. Yet, even booming Somerville - with lots of great restaurants and a commuter train station - is not redeveloping at such a high-rise scale.
This is cause for concern, since, to date, the hopeful redeveloper has produced:
- No proof that there will be a market for what he wants to build
- No proof that Flemington can accommodate the traffic it will bring
- No proof that Flemington residents and businesses will not be forced to pay for his tax breaks
- No proof of the developer's financial capabilities or ability to finance the project
This survey asks whether county residents and business owners want to see local history and culture remain a key part of Flemington’s future and whether they think massive high rise development is right for the Hunterdon County Seat.