Although the law governing a redeveloper’s right to intervene in redevelopment matters is not well developed, the courts that have addressed this issue have generally ruled that a redeveloper has no standing to participate in a challenge to a redevelopment area designation or valuation proceedings. Although the trial court in Mulberry Street Area Property Owner’s Group v. City of Newark (an unreported decision issued October 20, 2006) recognized the significant investment often made by private redevelopers in redevelopment projects it opined that this alone is not sufficient to confer standing upon a redeveloper to litigate the validity of a local redevelopment determination. An appellate court came to a similar conclusion in City of Asbury Park v. Asbury Park Towers – a valuation case – saying, among other things, that a contractual obligation to pay an award of just compensation under a redeveloper agreement does not create an interest in the property being acquired and, as such, this circumstance does not afford a redeveloper the right to intervene in a condemnation action. The Asbury Park Towers case has been approved for publication and is officially reported at 388 N.J.Super. 1 (App. Div. 2006).
The rationale behind these decisions is predicated upon the notion that redevelopment is a matter of public concern, which should not be prejudiced by the private interests of a redeveloper. Therefore, unless it is demonstrated that the redeveloper’s interests in a given project are being jeopardized by the actions or inaction of the redevelopment entity and intervention is necessary to protect those interests it is unlikely that a court will permit a redeveloper to participate in redevelopment matters.