NJRA Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program

Governor Phil Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver recently announced $5 million in funding for Phase 2 of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program.  This commercial rent relief program provides grants up to $10,000 for COVID-impacted small businesses and nonprofits located in NJRA’s 66 legislatively designated communities.  The NJRA designated communities are listed here:  https://www.njra.us/media/SBLEAGP/Eligible%20Municipalities.pdf.  Applications for this program open Monday, February 22nd, at 9:00 a.m. at https://www.njra.us/ and are on a first-come-first-served basis.  Eligible applicants include small businesses leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings, small businesses leasing space in commercial buildings, small businesses leasing space to operate a storefront business, and small businesses occupying no more than 5,000 square feet of space.


Whatever questions you may have regarding the NJRA Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program or any other matter that you believe impacts you or your business, our attorneys are ready to guide you and may be reached at 201.487.3800.

Building Bergen December 2020 Newsletter

An Interview with Deirdre Dillon, Mayor of Ramsey

For Deirdre A. Dillon, Mayor of the Borough of Ramsey who has been in office since 2015, governing during the COVID-19 pandemic has involved a lot of coordination, communication, and community cheerleading with her 14,000 residents.  She stays in constant contact with the President of the local Chamber of Commerce while sharing with local business leaders the information she receives from the Governor’s office and other sources.

The Borough has worked with the Borough Health Inspector to facilitate restaurants’ efforts to offer outdoor dining and other dining alternatives.  For restaurants that did not have readily available outdoor locations, Mayor Dillon was able to offer a Borough parking lot as an alternative.  Outdoor dining has been extended until December 31, for restaurants that have invested in tents and heaters.

Local zoning regulations does not permit drive-in movie theaters, so the Borough Council passed a special resolution not to enforce the prohibition, thereby allowing the local movie theater to show drive-in movies in the middle school parking lot.

Overall, the Mayor and the Borough Council are trying to make it as easy as possible for businesses in their community. To date, says Mayor Dillon, most local stores and restaurants have remained in operation.  While there are several empty storefronts in the community, most of those predated the pandemic.

Building Bergen Talks with Dr. James W. Hughes

Bruce R. Rosenberg, a Principal at Winne Banta Basralian & Kahn, P.C., recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. James W. Hughes, Ph.D. on changes that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Bergen County and New Jersey.  Dr. Hughes, who is a nationally known expert in Urban Planning, is a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Policy Development and Dean Emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.  Dr. Hughes said that the economic world we knew in February has disappeared, but while Northern New Jersey was hit harder than the nation initially, the area is bouncing back a little better. While New York City had driven much of the regional growth before the pandemic, there has been a reversal, and New Jersey is more of a growth leader.  This may herald a comeback for the suburbs in commercial real estate.  Dr. Hughes described a “hub and spoke” model, in which corporations are headquartered in New York City, but they are establishing more satellite offices in the suburbs.  To view the interview, click here.

Until we can renew our traditional Building Bergen in-person programs, we look forward to providing you with additional virtual interviews in the near future.

Bergen’s Residential Sales Market Remains Hot

By Robert Abbott

The residential sales market in Bergen County is still considered very hot. The recovery from the peak of the pandemic in the spring is eye-opening. The number of units sold has already surpassed the 2019 year to date numbers: 6,195 units have closed this year which reflects a 3% increase over last year’s closed units! Sales volume for those units has increased by 15% for year to date. This reflects the fact that higher-end properties are also selling in this market. The number of days on market has decreased by 5% which is now showing 57 days from list to contract. The median sold price is up 11% which is up to $555,555.

The biggest issue now is lack of inventory for homes below a $700,000 price point. This is proven because inventory is down by approximately 22%*. Overall, it is a sellers’ market in select price points. Now that the election has passed us, I believe the market will maintain its strength in Bergen County. Buyers staying on the sidelines and not getting into this market are making a huge mistake. Interest rates are at an all-time low and properties are appreciating at such a high rate, why wouldn’t they want to jump in?

If any prospective buyer or seller wants an individual evaluation of a specific town or property, we are more than happy to offer a market overview.

*All data taken for this article was provided by New Jersey Multiple Listing Service Residential Property Statistics.

Robert Abbott is Broker/Owner with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors.  He can be reached at bhhsabbott@gmail.com or (201) 891-2223.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers award

U.S. News – Best Lawyers has awarded Winne Banta Basralian & Kahn the highest ranking, Tier 1, in the Metropolitan New Jersey area for its Commercial Litigation and Real Estate practices and recognized the firm as well for its Real Estate Litigation and Labor & Employment Litigation practices.


Bergen County’s Top Lawyers 2020

Winne Banta Basralian & Kahn, P.C. is proud that 21 of its attorneys have been designated as “Bergen County’s Top Lawyers 2020,” spanning 14 areas of law, including:

Appellate Practice – Gary Redish

Banking – Joseph Basralian, Thomas Cangialosi, Richard Kahn

Business, Corporate & Commercial – Robert Kleeblatt, Gary Redish

Chancery Practice – Kenneth Lehn

Commercial Litigation – Michael Cohen, Kenneth Lehn, R.N. Tendai Richards

Education – Robert Jacobs

Environmental – Michael Stingone

Labor & Employment – Kenneth Lehn

Matrimonial & Family – Ronald Abramson, Dennis Harraka

Municipal – Frank Scangarella

Real Estate – Joseph Basralian, Richard Kahn, Ian Kleeblatt, Robert Kleeblatt, Bruce Rosenberg, Richard Wolloch

Taxation – Doris Brandstatter, Arthur Goldberg

Trusts & Estates, Wills & Probate – Peter Bakarich, Doris Brandstatter, Martin Dever

Zoning, Planning & Land Use – Joseph Basralian, Bruce Rosenberg, Michael Stingone, Marla Wolfe Taus

Winne Banta scores Appellate Division victory on behalf of local sewerage authority

Winne Banta attorneys R. N. Tendai Richards and Michael J. Cohen scored a victory in the New Jersey Appellate Division after the court affirmed a trial court ruling on behalf of the firm’s client, the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, against a developer.  The developer, which demolished an existing structure on the Weehawken pier, and constructed a new 236-unit residential building in its place, challenged the sewerage authority’s assessment of a $1.15 million sewer connection fee.  According to the developer, the Sewerage Authority was not authorized to assess a connection fee because the demolition of the existing structure and construction of a new building constituted only a change in use or an increase in sewerage flows, neither of which warranted such a charge.  The Appellate Division disagreed, and recognized the firm’s argument on behalf of the sewerage authority that a sewer connection fee has two components: the cost of the physical connection and an amount representing a fair payment by the connector toward the cost of the system.  Moreover, the Appellate Division agreed that the developer’s rationale would lead to absurd results, and would allow developers to game the system, while simultaneously depriving sewer authorities of the capital necessary to operate their systems. This is because, under the developer’s logic, once a property is connected to a sewerage system, the sewerage authority can never again assess a connection fee, regardless of further development on the site. Thus, a developer that acquires an old shanty located on valuable waterfront property, so long as the shanty was once connected to the sewer system, could never be charged a connection fee by the sewerage authority, regardless of what the developer ultimately builds in its place. This would place other users of the authority’s system in the position of subsidizing the developer, rather than the developer paying its proportionate share of the system’s cost.

Winne, Banta, Basralian, & Kahn, P.C. is proud that five of our attorneys — Joseph Basralian, Richard Kahn, Kenneth Lehn, Gary Redish and Bruce Rosenberg — have been included in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America

  Joseph Basralian (Real Estate Law)

Richard Kahn (Real Estate Law)

Kenneth Lehn (Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Litigation – Real Estate)

Gary Redish (Commercial Litigation)

Bruce Rosenberg (Land Use and Zoning Law)


Winne Banta’s Joseph Basralian & Bruce Rosenberg Obtain Site Plan Approval

Winne Banta’s Joseph Basralian and Bruce Rosenberg have done it once again.  They obtained yet another site plan approval and this time by virtual meeting with the City of Hackensack Planning Board.  This approval involves an assemblage of 8 separate parcels of land and development of 270 residential units plus 10,000 square feet of retail space on Main Street.  Since the Hackensack redevelopment area was established, Winne Banta has secured approvals for over 1,300 residential units plus retail space and has at least 1,000 more residential units in the approval and planning stages.


Planning Board Approval

Winne Banta’s Bruce Rosenberg  has successfully secured site plan and sign variance approval before the planning board of Park Ridge for a new LIDL grocery using a fully web-based virtual public meeting .

COVID-19 Winne Banta is Ready to Assist You Navigate These Uncertain Times

We understand the pandemic’s disruption to the lives and businesses of our clients has been substantial and the social isolation and uncertainty of its duration has led to a historic level of anxiety. In response, we have been closely following the action of both our national and state governments and assembled a team of seasoned attorneys who are actively advising clients to navigate this unprecedented event.

Winne Banta has served our clients since 1922 through peaceful and tumultuous times alike and attributes its success and longevity to its steadfast commitment to placing our clients’ interests above all. Throughout the years we have guided our clients through complex state and federal programs by providing effective counsel for their needs.

By monitoring applicable legislation and its impacts on our client’s personal and business lives since the outset of the pandemic, we have been able to advise clients as to strategies to maintain continued operations. We have been monitoring H.R. 748 (the CARES Act) since its introduction to congress and passage on March 27, 2020, and are reaching out to clients to ensure they are informed and prepared to secure the assistance necessary to aid in their recovery.

You should be aware that applications for financial relief under the CARES Act, specifically the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, are now being accepted and we know there is already a high demand for funding. We encourage you to discuss your eligibility with a member of our team and move quickly to apply for assistance to support your business during this very difficult time.

Whatever questions you may have regarding COVID-19, the CARES Act or any other matter that you may believe impacts you or your business, please call Frank Scangarella at (201) 562-1002 to discuss. As always, we are here to serve you.

Be healthy and be safe.

Winne Banta Basralian & Kahn, P.C.