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Re: Heights - The Price of New Construction?
#1
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Xerxes: not to pull punches, but you need to do your homework. Check out the plans at the JC Library rare room. For instance, our whole block was in place by 1885.

RE: Asbestos: talk to any abatement specialist. It is better to leave as is than disturb.

Posted on: 2007/10/30 21:32
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Re: Heights - The Price of New Construction?
#2
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The historic preservation, if you note from the original letter, is just one of many problems that these new constructions pose.

To address the historic issue: most homes in the Heights date from 1860 - 1920, much like other parts of the city. While many are covered in aluminum, most are full of architectural detail, as I noted in photos of 76 and 78 Booraem before demolition.

To propose that the new builds are an improvement is incorrect. First, they do not remotely approximate the design standards the city put forth and poorly upholds, and consequently, they are total eyesores, made with cheap materials. Second, they do not follow basic zoning requirements, as suggested in other responses here. Most are illegal 3 apartments in 2-family zoned areas, and when two houses are squashed on a double lot, you get parking and environmental nightmares. Greenspace, not only a beauty issue, but also one to control toxic runoff into our sewers, is never integrated into planning.

Most important, for all of us whether we live in the Heights or not, is the issue of the environmental impact of tear downs. In the Heights, many homes are covered with asbestos shingle, and are often full of asbestos tiling and glues indoors. Builders do quick, illegal, and non-State compliant demolition without notification to neighbors, and in the case of the house photos attached here, backfill was actually quickly placed over the tear down site to cover the toxic waste produced during demo.

So in answer to the question here, no, indeed the new construction is not an improvement on any front. See photos. This is an example of a house that was torn down. Note the details inside and the probable asbestos shingles outside. There was no neighborhood notification, no proper asbestos testing, and they were built with illegal basement apartments. Just click, don't sign in.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLand ... p%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0

Posted on: 2007/10/28 15:58
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Re: Million dollar settlement over 111 First Street to benefit arts - $330G goes to Museum
#3
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Quite a regular


Quote:

loucheNJ wrote:
Just a quick aside - anyone know why the JC Museum wasn't moved to the PAD when it left the library?

Many of us have probably taken effective listening techniques classes as part of some management development series. In JC the important course is effective seeing techniques. Ignore what they say, watch what they do.


Pretty sure it had to do with the gift, or cheap price of the building they are currently housed in.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 16:19
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Re: Million dollar settlement over 111 First Street to benefit arts - $330G goes to Museum
#4
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Couldn't have said it better, JaneGeorge.

I take issue with the amount of contribution. The not for profit sector, and arts sector in general are riddled with less-than-actually-needed gifts. If you've ever worked one of these orgs, you'd see that $330,000 is actually chump change in the big picture.

For a developer reputed to be a billionaire or darn close, the city really dorked out by accepting a million as settlement. Who was the negotiator on that one?

Posted on: 2007/2/23 16:10
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Re: Jersey City's Leaning Green
#5
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Thank goodness for the preservation of Reservoir 3. However, without being a pessimist, the passive park was considerably cheaper (by 5 or so million). Those interested in Embankment preservation may need to look at a variety of influences in the city. It was clear to me that not all of the council people supported Reservoir 3 sans ballpark, in fact, encouraged little league groups to petition to be integrated into the Reservoir plans.

Posted on: 2007/2/20 20:20
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Re: Fulop: Vega and Lipski rake in developer $$$
#6
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Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:
NNJR - i think you're almost right - as i understand it, the developer would be barred from making donations for a minimum of one year from selection as designated developer, and throughout the entire period of the development project.

somebody tell me if i've got it right:

if i am joe q. lefrak, and i want to be a designated developer, i cannot have made a contribution within 1 year of that consideration. If i am selected, i am then forbidden from making any political contributions throughout the life-span of the development project (let's say 18-36 months for an average project).

Then, if i want to still be eligible for consideration for being a designated developer, i must keep my hands 'clean', i.e. i am forbidden from making a contribution within a year. rinse and repeat.

do i have it right? anybody?


Yes, you got it. And to sum up Lipski and Brennan's "concern": it would unfairly gum up the developer's works, thus stalling all the fabulous money trickling down so adequately to the citizens of JC.

Posted on: 2007/1/25 2:24
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Re: Fulop: Vega and Lipski rake in developer $$$
#7
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Having fairly recently gotten involved with neighborhood meetings and with zoning/building issues, I have to report that Lipski shocks me. It's not what he says, it's what he doesn't. When I asked straight up why there probably isn't a developer in the entire Heights that complies with zoning and building ordinances, he doesn't respond. As in, total silent treatment.

I say this with real indignation: I just don't understand how these guys get away with what they do.

Posted on: 2007/1/25 2:23
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Re: Buying a condo in JC Heights - anything I should know?
#8
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Welcome, you'll find there are quite a few of us on this board, and the numbers are growing.

Things are changing, but the fact is, your new neighborhood does have crime issues. It depends on exactly where you are, but Palisades has definite gang activity. You will note, however, that there are many new condo projects, and the light rail has been making the neighborhood evolve quickly. We are by Pershing Field, and despite some dicey moments, feel safe and pretty quiet on our block.

We lived Downtown for a long time before we bought up here two years ago. We really like the neighborhood feel. I highly recommend getting involved with a neighborhood group--we found that really put us in touch with both the new families, and people who have been here for a long time.

Don't miss Rizzos for pizza and cappuccino on Central by Pershing Field!

Posted on: 2007/1/14 0:46
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Re: Greenville and West Side: Planning aims to save large Victorian homes - by increasing min. lot s
#9
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Quite a regular


Quote:

worm wrote:
Quote:
Well legally he could only get 4 apartments out of the 2 houses, since R-1 is a 1-2 family zone.


Yes this would be true legally. But this guy manages to work around the law. The house that suffered a fire recently (that he also owns) was some how zoned a three family, and even then he had a fourth couple living in the basement. When questioned about it, he claimed they were family and they did not have a stove down there.

Quote:
The way I interpret it, if the R1-A zoning had already been passed, you'd need a bit more than a triple lot (80 feet instead of 75) in order to easily subdivide. Someone trying to build on a 25 foot lot in R-1A would need a zoning variance, which would (at least theoretically) only be approved if the applicant proved to the city that their plans fit within the neighborhood.


I hope that I am mistaken and that you are correct. I would hate to see the property owners to the right of this new brick box decide to do the same thing and get away with it.


Legally speaking, you may be right. Zoning, however, never upholds even the most basic rules. Two families never go in, they are illegal threes. Zoning variances are hardly necessary, zoning doesn't even do adequate site inspections. Buildings doesn't require notification or visible permits.

This issue is about the rampant abuse of power by developers who more often than not either work for the city, or have good friends on council.

Posted on: 2007/1/12 18:59
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Re: Jersey City's Parks and Open Space Master Plan
#10
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Quite a regular


Quote:

Lindad wrote:

I looked at the plans for Reservoir 3 and while I would have liked to see less active space in Plan A, it definitely beats Plan B with its baseball and football fields. It would also cost the taxpayers considerably less -7,115, as opposed to $12,175 of Plan B. And don't forget, if Plan B goes through, maintenance is going to run much more, what with the playing fields needing to be resodded and all.

Assuming the city doesn't hassle the JC Reservoir Preservation Alliance the way they did last year and the group is able to open it in April, you all should really come and see it. It is gorgeous - looks just like the Powers that Be decided to pick up part of the Delaware Water Gap and drop in an urban shopping zone for laughs. .And for those of you who either don't have cars or who don't want to lose parking - I can give you great directions by public transportation or bike.


Get on the Reservoir Alliance website for information and how to give support! http://www.jcreservoir.org/

Posted on: 2007/1/12 18:53
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Re: Jersey City's Parks and Open Space Master Plan
#11
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As Aunt Linda from SNL would say, "Oh, Brother" on Reservoir 3. I just don't get it. How do either of the plans (the baseball and football field one particularly idiotic) reflect anything whatsoever of the public outcry for preservation and passive space? 9 acres were designated for open space after years of fighting, so now that can get translated into ball fields? So here we go again, starting the fight from scratch to try and protect it.

Man, I'm getting really tired.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 3:35
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Re: Developer Pay-to-Play Press Release- Steven Fulop
#12
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Citizens hire lawyers all the time when the rule of the land isn't upheld. Of course it shouldn't happen, but it does. The city should have upheld zoning and building requirements in many cases where citizens hired lawyers to reopen cases here in Jersey City. Problem is, the just don't.

What we found is, complaints are really pretty worthless. Lawyers still instill some fear.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 23:04
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Re: Has anyone used any of these dentists?
#13
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Quite a regular


Can you get coverage for Lustiger on Exchange Place? Best dentist I've ever been to, hands down.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 22:41
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Re: Developer Pay-to-Play Press Release- Steven Fulop
#14
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Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:
Quote:

hero69 wrote:
Somehow we [the Citizens] need to set up a mechanism whereby we can sue the city, city officials and perhaps developers when they knowingly ignore/break the law. That's the only way things are ever going to change. I will gladly donate to such a fund that would be run by one or several of the neighborhood organizations.


Most "neighborhood organizations" are 501 (c)3 non profits which under IRS regs could not do what you propose under IRS guidelines.

However, 501 (c)4 organizations "may" be able to do this as they are allowed to support specific candidates, etc. The only 501 (c)4 group in this forum is Civic JC's and they can be found at www.civicjc.org. so I suggest you contact them per your suggestion.


On the other hand, there's nothing keeping a group of concerned citizens from banding together and hiring a lawyer. An easier task, I believe, but more individual liability. I would check into the specifics.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 22:28
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Re: Developer Pay-to-Play Press Release- Steven Fulop
#15
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It certainly is, Mr. Fulop, let's hope.

When I brought up a developer running amok (in violation of a litany of zoning and general legal regulations) at our neighborhood meeting I was met with, "Oh, Billy!" I was basically asked to deliver a "hello" to the guy. Everyone knows council is in bed with the developers.

Zoning and Buildings should all be fired. Did all of you know that new construction is required to provide 60% greenspace? And that is due to environmental runoff considerations as well as beauty? Of course you didn't. Zoning never upholds it.

All I got out of my complaints to Buildings was a call ON MY CELLPHONE to request a review of my water heater. That's, right, the cellphone # came from my complaints about the developer. Buildings never called back about my concerns for the developer ripping down a house full of asbestos.

The unaccountability of these departments and their council lackeys is truly shocking.

Posted on: 2007/1/3 19:22
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Re: Jersey City artist certification
#16
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The artist certification is based on the famous model put forth by the Department of Cultural Affairs in NYC. It was made so that artists could live legally in those SoHo lofts back in the day when the place was a cesspool, but full of big, commerical spaces.

DCA even admits that its certification program is all but moot at this point. In Jersey City, where "affordable" for artists means somewhere in the $300,000 and up range, you'll see why Philly is becoming the next big thing on the art scene.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 13:01
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Re: JC Design standards, anyone?
#17
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Brewster,

Good question. We got a copy from the lawyer we worked with, they are actually called Design Standards. They are not Zoning Standards. I bet Dan at Historic Preservation, or JParkhurst would know where to get a copy.

They do seem to be downplayed big time. I just can't figure out what exactly their purpose is, since no one pays any mind to them.

Another add on: no one seems to pay any mind to "quality of life" concerns either as pertains to new development. For instance, cut ins on the parking side.

Posted on: 2006/12/11 16:01
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Re: JC Design standards, anyone?
#18
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GP, the whole point of the design standards is to integrate, not defy the general look of a neighborhood. It also answers some quality of life issues, too. Believe it or not, cut ins and garages on the bottom floor are discouraged. Scale is to be taken into account. Planting greenery is a must.

I would say we'd be hard pressed to find even one new construction that complies.

Posted on: 2006/12/11 15:35
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JC Design standards, anyone?
#19
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This may be a shoutout to Parkhurst...here's the thing. The city drew up design standards. If you haven't seen them, you might be shocked. What it basically points to is every new construction, particularly in the Square and Heights, being in radical violation.

Here's the big question: 1. Why did the city bother to draw up design standards when they aren't enacted? 2. What does it take for citizens to have them upheld, if that's even possible?

Posted on: 2006/12/11 15:01
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Re: Best pizza in JC????
#20
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I will say it loud and proud: Rizzos. I have family coming from South Jersey just to get some.

Posted on: 2006/12/6 15:55
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Re: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Cool by Now -- New York Magazine (REPOST)
#21
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Quite a regular


Quote:

JSalt wrote:
BTW, a few NYC people pointed out to me that the biggest barrier to JC for them is not the name but the 2x/hour late night PATH service and lack of cabs. Which I kind of agree is a big drawback. If that changes, the mass exodus will begin.


With due respect, these NYCers are full of donkey dust. I spent years partying late at night waiting for hours on G, N, R, 4, 5, 6, and F lines. As for cabs, wasn't like getting one in Greenpoint was any easier than at the PATH stations.

Posted on: 2006/12/5 3:31
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Re: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Cool by Now -- New York Magazine (REPOST)
#22
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Quite a regular


It's great if you are an owner, it'll definitely ramp up home value. Good luck for the renters. As for the "oh so hip" come hither, hmm. As MCA mentions, he really didn't cover developer blighting of the art/culture scene.

But what do you expect from NY Mag.

Posted on: 2006/12/4 18:49
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Re: New York magazine article on downtown Jersey City
#23
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ECH,

The artists were here in the 80s, buying houses on Jersey Ave for $10,000. They sold their places to the "brownstoners" for 40x what they paid. Now they are in Harrison, Newark, Philly, even Easton.

These new "artists" are not exactly what I'd call artists. There's no decent loft space to be had in JC anymore.

Posted on: 2006/12/4 18:46
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Re: New York magazine article on downtown Jersey City
#24
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Minnie,

That's great, but be careful who you are addressing. I make a decent, modest wage, and never, not even 8 years ago, had the requisite $25,000+++ to put as a down payment.

So, great if you bought downtown. But there still are, and always will be, middle-income folks (some with families) who will rent and not buy.

Pricing out is a national trend that progressive thinkers need to address. The demise of Sty Town is an indicator that we need to revisit the whole issue.

Posted on: 2006/11/21 18:08
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Re: New York magazine article on downtown Jersey City
#25
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Well said, ECH.

I've talked on this list about arts and "jumpstarting" cities back to life (Jersey City seems to be one of the few with so much to offer, and so little commitment to the arts). I've been traveling a lot for work, and I can say that for sure, the wealthy are coming back to the cities all over America, "Luxury Lofts" are big in Dallas and Nashville, too and as Spitzer put it so gently, "the 'burbs are for the middle class." Thanks, especially with those rising gas costs.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but folks are getting downright panicked on the trains in the morning. And everyone knows it is because of all the new building. It's already too much, and with all these new highrises, I really wonder, has a plan been laid out? They just can't run more PATHs in the AM.

Posted on: 2006/11/20 14:46
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Re: "A" Condiminium Pricing
#26
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Lothar, I don't think it's negative, I think it's fabulous to see this math.

When everyone was in the buying craze, I always figured that it just ain't that easy to make a fortune, even break even sometimes! A lot of folks are freaking about the slumped market. I just looked at the whole buying thing more holistically as a learning process, enjoyment of owning something, and if we make any money at all, it's gravy.

Of course, you have to be smart. Modesty does sometimes help, not taking a loan according to what the bank says you can afford does, too.

Posted on: 2006/11/7 17:19
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Re: "A" Condiminium Pricing
#27
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Yes, but don't forget that standard deductions often compete with itemized if you own a reasonably-priced unit and don't have lots of other holdings.

But at the end of the day, it's always been about having lots of assets.

Posted on: 2006/11/7 15:04
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Re: "A" Condiminium Pricing
#28
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Lothar, it's an interesting issue. I think the tax margin in JC has precluded the "get back in rent" idea for some time. With jumps of up to 35% in any given year, you could be in the clear one moment, gone the next. I think folks have to rethink the "always cover yourself with renting out" backup. Home equity possibilities and loving where you live may have to be enough.

Posted on: 2006/11/7 14:49
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Re: The Heights: Grocer shot in the head & died instantly -- G&P Deli @ 55 Webster Ave for thirty ye
#29
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Quite a regular


Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:
thanks, elgoodo -- doesn't sound like the death penalty "lessons" anybody's tax burden!


It indeed doesn't. Anyone who argues otherwise just hasn't done the homework. As for the "inefficiencies" argument--easy out. I guess for cleaning up those inefficiencies, we'll just cut to the chase, speed up the legal process and kill 'em faster.

I've sworn off these political debates, but I just can't tolerate quick, unsubstantiated statements against "liberals". It totally lacks the point of dialogue!

Posted on: 2006/11/1 18:04
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Re: The Heights: Grocer shot in the head & died instantly -- G&P Deli @ 55 Webster Ave for thirty years.
#30
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Quite a regular


Actually, I'd like to write in and defend the posting of these types of events. This would be a serious hunt through the Journal or Reporter, and I feel very glad that I can go to this post for info on everything from crime to mortgages. I think like most,I'm not reveling in the event, but wanting to see how I can get involved in decreasing this kind of crime and speaking out.

I live a couple of blocks from here. Now, I'm going to write my council person about crime in this area.

Posted on: 2006/10/31 12:52
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