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HOLMDEL, NJ–Back in the 1980s, Chase Manhattan Bank bought a 416-acre tract in this then-rural Monmouth County township for $23 million, intending to build some offices. Chase received preliminary approvals, but the project never happened.

Now, Chase is looking to sell the property, and the logical use would be some sort of commercial development. But officials in Holmdel, which is now decidedly suburban, are looking to keep the township’s last large undeveloped tract just that way. The township committee has approved a bond ordinance for $500,000 as its share of the cost of buying the property from Chase, and has passed a resolution indicating a willingness to go as high as $4 million.

The township is part of a consortium of state and county agencies, including the state Green Acres program, which combined expect to meet Chase’s price, said to be in the area of $25 million. If the sale goes through, intended uses include open space or parkland, or even returning it to farmland.

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