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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Bloomberg News
Jersey City Developer Liberty Harbor North in Bankruptcy

By Steven Church and David Voreacos - April 19, 2012

Liberty Harbor North Inc., a developer of waterfront property opposite Manhattan in Jersey City, New Jersey, filed for bankruptcy to resolve a $21 million court judgment related to the urban-renewal project.

Company President Peter Mocco, a former mayor of neighboring North Bergen, put three companies affiliated with the Liberty Harbor community into bankruptcy to settle a legal dispute with a former landowner.

?We need the quick definitive action of the bankruptcy court to permit me to enter into a settlement,? Mocco said today in an interview.

Liberty Harbor North controls land worth $350 million, the company said in court papers filed April 17 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark. The project itself is not in bankruptcy and has adequate cash flow, Mocco said.

The development is an example of ?new urbanism,? which relies less on cars and more on public transportation in creating a sense of community, Bob Antonicello, executive director of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, said in a telephone interview.

It is monitored by more than 500 security cameras, served by two light-rail stations, and sits within walking distance of PATH trains run by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Mocco said.
Redeveloping Cities

?People have really looked at this and said this could be a striking example of how to redevelop cities,? Antonicello said.

The bankruptcy filing is ?very disappointing,? he said.

?When the developer files a bankruptcy and thinks it won?t impact the future development, that?s ludicrous,? he said. ?At the end of the day, bankruptcies have a stigma. This will be a stigma on what has the potential for being a jewel on the Hudson. This cold, calculating business move could have a very damaging effect on the city.?

Mocco said Antonicello ?doesn?t appreciate or have knowledge? of the need to settle the land dispute in bankruptcy.

?In order for me to do that, I have to take advantage of the tools the bankruptcy court has given to us,? he said.

The condominiums and town houses at Liberty Harbor sell for about $350,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $1.8 million for five bedrooms. About 650 of the units are occupied, and many of the residents work on Wall Street, Mocco said.
Four-Acre Parcel

The finished project will have as many as 10,000 residential units spread over 80 acres, Mocco said.

The legal dispute involves a four-acre parcel of industrial land once owned by Ron, Lynn and Katherine Kerrigan, he said. The family sued the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, which pursued an eminent-domain action on behalf of Mocco, Antonicello said.

A jury awarded them more than $18 million for the taking, a judgment upheld on appeal, Mocco said. With interest, their claim is now worth about $21 million, according to court papers filed with the bankruptcy court.

Mocco and his wife, Lorraine, signed a personal note and guarantee to the agency, Antonicello said. The agency is now pursuing a collection action against the Moccos in state court, according to Antonicello.
Biggest Creditors

?This bankruptcy filing has nothing to do with the economic downturn and the recession,? Antonicello said. ?This is more the result of a strategic bankruptcy where people have the resources but perhaps not the will to work through their difficult times.?

The Kerrigans and the Redevelopment Agency are listed as Liberty Harbor North?s biggest unsecured creditors. Liberty Harbor North owes creditors about $44 million, according to court papers.

The three companies that sought court protection each listed different debt figures. Some of the debt was jointly owed by at least two of the companies, including the Jersey City and Kerrigan liabilities.

The bankruptcy was first reported by the Jersey Journal newspaper.

The case is Liberty Harbor North, Inc. 12-19964, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012 ... orth-files-for-bankruptcy

Posted on: 2012/4/20 21:54
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Liberty Harbor developer Peter Mocco, the former North Bergen mayor, framed the bankruptcy filings as good news for him and for the Kerrigan family. Instead of the $21 million settlement being held up in courts for years, Mocco said, the bankruptcy proceeding could be over and done with in 60 days.

(when is anyone ever happy about bankruptcy? Shouldn?t some government agency investigate his "happiness"? I guess if you filed for it in the past it's not a big deal)


*** ****

(For those newcomers who aren?t up on Mocco?s illustrious past..here?s an interesting piece from the Hudson Reporter Nov 2000)(read the whole piece , I just listed one amazing part)


Developer has mixed record The long and twisted tale of what could become one of the waterfront's big projects

by : Jonathan Miller Reporter Staff Writer
Nov 18, 2000

***

Mocco's beginnings

Mocco was a young attorney in North Bergen when he was elected mayor of that town in 1971 on a platform to end corruption.

But in 1974, the man known for building one of the most powerful political organizations in North Hudson was indicted for conflict of interest and conspiracy charges. He was found not guilty after a trial. The charges came out of a contract awarded to service municipal vehicles at a gas station in Hawthorne, N.J., where, according to the indictment, Mocco had a business interest.

In 1975, just days after he was acquitted for that case, Mocco was indicted for allegedly keeping a dead man on the North Bergen payroll to benefit the man's widow. He was later acquitted on those charges, as well. Mocco was suspended from law practice for a year in 1978 for making misrepresentations on legal documents, which stemmed from the first conflict of interest case.

In 1978, Mocco, who also served one term as a county freeholder, survived a recall attempt on his mayoral position. He did not seek re-election in 1979.

The strangest tale of those days comes from the 1976 Democratic primary for Congress, when the state Division of Criminal Justice charged that 89 percent of North Bergen's 1,200 absentee ballots had been tampered with. As reported in The New York Times in 1981, the state Commission of Investigation concluded that some 40 to 50 workers had holed up on election night in the house of the mayor's brother, Town Clerk Joseph Mocco, and steamed open nearly 300 ballots. The director of the state's Division of Criminal Justice called the scandal a "shocking abuse" of election laws, but determined that state absentee-ballot regulations were so vague that nothing illegal had been done. Joseph Mocco was not convicted in the case, but later served time in the 1990s for an unrelated illegal dumping scheme.

As the '80s dawned, Mocco turned his eye toward development.

Mocco's construction career began in the Middlesex county town of Sayreville. There, he pitched several plans that won approval, and he subsequently sold the land to other developers. He then began a string of successful residential developments Downtown in Jersey City, and he now owns land throughout the city. Mocco also constructed the Hamilton Park Health Care Center, a nursing home at 533 Monmouth St., where it has stood for 13 years. The center has run smoothly and has been problem-free.

Mocco made millions of dollars in development, but in the 1980s, he tried and failed to develop an area in North Bergen near the confluence of Routes 3 and 495, just outside of the Lincoln Tunnel. A prime piece of real estate, it was a disaster for Mocco.

Mocco built the shells of condominiums at the site, but then ran into financial problems. The site fell out of his hands and into the Federal Deposit Insurance Company. The condos became homeless magnets, burned in 1994 and were eventually torn down. The site, known now as Columbia Park, was later developed by the Englewood-based Real Estate Equity Company. It is now a flourishing shopping center and a stadium-style movie theater.

In 1995, Mocco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

***

full Hudson Reporter piece?.

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... waterfront-s-big-projects

Posted on: 2012/4/19 3:04
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Quote:

vindication15 wrote:
So JPHUrst, what you are saying is

LIBERTY HARBOR NORTH URBAN R., LLC (listed as owner on tax records) are different from the following companies:

Liberty Harbor Holding LLC, Liberty Harbor II Urban Renewal Co. LLC and Liberty Harbor North Inc

I find that hard to believe but maybe you are right.


That's exactly what I'm saying.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 19:12
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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So JPHUrst, what you are saying is

LIBERTY HARBOR NORTH URBAN R., LLC (listed as owner on tax records) are different from the following companies:

Liberty Harbor Holding LLC, Liberty Harbor II Urban Renewal Co. LLC and Liberty Harbor North Inc

I find that hard to believe but maybe you are right.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:55
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Quote:

SRhia wrote:
What does the bankruptcy mean to the unsold units at Gulls Cove (assuming it is related to Mocco) and at Liberty Harbor north?

Actually, what does it also mean to current owners at liberty harbor north?

You should contact your attorney, it also depends on whether they filled for chapter 11 or 7 bankruptcy.
Prob should look at the history of Porte Liberte, the developers went bankrupt at least twice. In the short term it will have a negative effect on RE values, long term prob not.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:43
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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I suspect this is merely a legal proceeding intended to discharge some debts, provide liquidity, and leverage the power of the separate LLCs to protect the various investors from the litigation and debts accrued.

All of which is to say, it probably won't change anything except maybe deprive the JCRA from receiving a payment and denying contractors certain debts payments.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:42
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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vindication15 wrote:
On the Hudson County Tax records, http://www.hudsoncountytax.com/html/taxAppealFAQ.aspx

Left hand corner, enter jersey city, 201 marin blvd as address, and click to show 1000 records.

You will see that the not yet purchased properties are owned by LIBERTY HARBOR NORTH URBAN R., LLC which is one of the companies that went bankrupt.

So unless the tax records are wrong, I assume GC is somehow affected.


It's a separate LLC. Mocco has no involvement.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:40
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Great questions. if you find the answers please let us know. I am assuming you live in GC so maybe you can ask the management company

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:29
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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What does the bankruptcy mean to the unsold units at Gulls Cove (assuming it is related to Mocco) and at Liberty Harbor north?

Actually, what does it also mean to current owners at liberty harbor north?

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:25
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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On the Hudson County Tax records, http://www.hudsoncountytax.com/html/taxAppealFAQ.aspx

Left hand corner, enter jersey city, 201 marin blvd as address, and click to show 1000 records.

You will see that the not yet purchased properties are owned by LIBERTY HARBOR NORTH URBAN R., LLC which is one of the companies that went bankrupt.

So unless the tax records are wrong, I assume GC is somehow affected.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:17
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Mocco has no part in Gulls Cove. The buildings along Marin Blvd are included in the Liberty Harbor North redevelopment plan, but not part of the Liberty Harbor development.

Gulls Cove is only affected to the extent that if Liberty Harbor doesn't develop as expected then the neighborhood isn't what was expected.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 18:11
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... controlled_by_libert.html

Does this affect Gulls Cove residents? - Developed by metrohomes but I am assuming Liberty harbor also has some part in it...

Posted on: 2012/4/18 17:46
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Re: Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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where was the story posted?

Posted on: 2012/4/18 17:03
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Liberty Harbor Developer Companies Declare Bankruptcy
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Some of Mocco's companies filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The article is subscription only so I cannot post it.

Posted on: 2012/4/18 16:07
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