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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Agreed with this 100%


Agreed with this 100% as well. There will be little or no spillover impact to the closest neighborhoods. The place will be a self-contained type of destination and it will be like the casinos in Atlantic City - people will drive right up to it, stay on the site the entire time, and won't leave until it's time to head home and will never venture into the surrounding neighborhoods. Just like Atlantic City. We see how that turned out.

Although the city is ultimately getting paid for this land, who knows how many years that will take. Remember that Journal Square project that the city was supposed to give a low-interest loan for? We saw how that was going to turn out. Oh, and per the earlier post in this thread, I'll go with option #4 as well. Works for me.

Posted on: 3/15 23:04
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mia wrote:
4: Lease the land and use the annual proceeds for the benefit of the taxpayers. Pave the streets with the annual lease $$$.

Every single parking lot in the City of Santa Monica is owned by the city but are managed by outside companies such as SP+ Parking. Let's stop this give away of city assets with these phoney financial arrangements that no one at City Hall has the skills to manage. The City's finance people can't keep track of the tax abatements and the taxpayers don't even get full value of them! Ask Mayor Fulop about Steve Sirocki and his accounting of the tax abatements for 20 years.
_________________________________


brewster wrote:
Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?
[/quote]

Do you have any reason to believe that your 4 doesn't lead to 3 same as 2 does? Leasing or financing to buy amount to the same thing cashflow wise.

Posted on: 3/15 22:21
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Can't it just stay a swamp? I like the swamp.

Posted on: 3/15 22:08
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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4: Lease the land and use the annual proceeds for the benefit of the taxpayers. Pave the streets with the annual lease $$$.

Every single parking lot in the City of Santa Monica is owned by the city but are managed by outside companies such as SP+ Parking. Let's stop this give away of city assets with these phoney financial arrangements that no one at City Hall has the skills to manage. The City's finance people can't keep track of the tax abatements and the taxpayers don't even get full value of them! Ask Mayor Fulop about Steve Sirocki and his accounting of the tax abatements for 20 years.
_________________________________


brewster wrote:
Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?[/quote]

Posted on: 3/15 20:15
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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I'd actually give Steve props if he came out and said 'This is a project I fully support, I feel it will be an overall plus for Jersey City, and damn it, we're giving them the land for free. You elected me, now deal with it'. This pipe dream that the city will see any money back is just that-otherwise we'd have something even approaching a 'back of the envelope' business plan, which this doesn't even have.

It'll be his vanity/legacy project one way or the other, for good or bad.

(And his point about a free school, when $50 million has been spent recently on JC schools-not exactly anything saved, since the state picked up the school building costs anyway, right??)

Posted on: 3/15 17:50
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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<< Last I heard, LSC is going to pay for the land. It'll be assessed before the sale. If you set up something to advocate an earlier assessment, that sounds fine to me. >> Love to see the latest LSC’s FY 2016 audited statements rather than here say. There’s nothing posted on their website nor in GuideStar. Why doesn’t the City just lease the land like the State of NJ does to the Liberty Science Center? It’ll be decades before there’s an operating profit to get a partial payment of the land value to the JC taxpayers. It wouldn’t surprise me that once the JCRA has the land assessed, it’ll be low balled. Many of the office buildings in downtown Manhattan are on LT leaseholds owned by Trinity Church! Here’s an example of the JCRA dealings with Peter Mocco / Liberty Harbor North. The settlement in 2012: “The largest unsecured claim against one of the debtors, Liberty Harbor North Inc., stemmed from an $18.6 million judgment for Ronald Kerrigan, Katherine Kerrigan and Lynn Kerrigan, whom the JCRA hit with a condemnation action in 2004 for their property within the redevelopment area. The Kerrigans' claim against the JCRA translated into a claim against the Liberty Harbor companies based on the redevelopment arrangement.” The family sued the JCRA and Jersey City in state court last year for payment of the condemnation award, and the JCRA in turn sued Mocco to compel the Liberty Harbor companies to cover the judgment. The parties reached the settlement following a June mediation session in state court, with Mocco and the Liberty Harbor companies agreeing to pay the Kerrigans $22.4 million, which includes interest and a $1.4 million bonus payment in lieu of interest that would accrue on the judgment during the payment period. https://www.law360.com/articles/360928 ... o-settle-condemnation-row Wonder how much in legal fees that cost the taxpayers of JC? As for visitors going to restaurants in Downtown JC, you have to have parking! Soon only those in walking distance and LIFT/Uber users will be patrons.

Posted on: 3/15 17:37
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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It would be nice if the 'give away' had a clause that somehow had a condition that it would have to benefit the community / citizens of Jersey City; either by (mandating) employing a % of locals or having some direct or indirect benefit to them (locals).
The highest price wins, often means little or no community benefit with the only benefit going to a buyer ... and then cityhall offers tax abatements!

It would be better, I feel, to direct city owned land to better QOL enterprises or enterprises / businesses that benefit the community or draws in tourists etc, instead of adding to the demand or added pressure to our infrastructure and services.

Could the land be used to build a new library, police station, city run daycare, community hub, city run aged care day centre, city offices for an expanding employee base, fire station, city / charity / community run medical clinic, local parkland, city dog run etc etc.

Posted on: 3/15 17:29
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?

Posted on: 3/15 17:08
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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It's a 9/10 of a mile drive to the Liberty National Golf Course, where the membership fee when it opened years ago was $500,000! All of the land in that area has some contamination and some land fill! The JC Medical Center was built on contaminated land but they spend $11Million+ to remediate it! A few years back they paid $23 million for 2.5 acres.

Posted on: 3/15 16:33
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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terrencemcd wrote:
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Monroe wrote:
So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.


It was not explained to me the way Donnelly explained it. The city told me, after speaking with the LSC CEO, that LSC is going to tap into its donor base for the $78M they believe it will take to get the project off the ground. The way they see it, they are diverting that $78M from LSC, so once SciTech Scity is built and starts making money, SciTech Scity, which will have profit-generating features like a hotel, is going to "pay back" LSC the $78M.


Thanks. I would love to see the financials for LSC. I bet they're too optimistic. Not against this proposal. I just want to make sure it gets built and generates enough revenue for it to work.

Posted on: 3/15 14:21
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Monroe wrote:
So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.


It was not explained to me the way Donnelly explained it. The city told me, after speaking with the LSC CEO, that LSC is going to tap into its donor base for the $78M they believe it will take to get the project off the ground. The way they see it, they are diverting that $78M from LSC, so once SciTech Scity is built and starts making money, SciTech Scity, which will have profit-generating features like a hotel, is going to "pay back" LSC the $78M.

Posted on: 3/15 14:17
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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@Dolomiti

Donnelly said the science center is currently raising $78 million of the $280 million cost, and that would have to be paid back first from revenue generated.

“After that is paid off, then the city would get 50 percent of the net profits until the land is paid for,” Donnelly said. “After that, the city will continue to collect 20 percent of the net profits, forever.”

Although LSC is a not-for-profit organization, portions of the project will have profit-making components, similar to its current gift shop, which will generate revenue as well as pay local taxes.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Tech village clears council Liberty Science Center will pay city for 17 acres of land


So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.

So we don't know the value of the land, we don't know the revenue stream the LSC will tap to pay for the land, we don't know how long that will take (if ever)-sounds like Nancy Pelosi talking about Obamacare-you have to pass it to know what's in it!

Posted on: 3/15 13:45
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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StevenFulop wrote:
This info was provided to the council and some advocates per their questions.

Thanks for sharing the info here, by the way. Very useful info about the project.

Posted on: 3/15 13:11
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN...

LSC is in charge, and have appointed trustees. They are raising money already for the project. It's a bit early for too much more than a master plan.

Oddly enough, Fulop hated the 2008 loan, and is backing this plan. Go figure.

I also have to say, I vastly prefer to the previous plan, which was a 10 story hotel and conference center. Don't you?


Why not also include a hotel and conference center on a portion of the site if it makes the project and Sci-Tech City more economically feasible.

10 story hotel and huge conference center is not a good fit for the site in general.

That said, it sounds like the site will have a small conference center, and 50 units of temporary housing for visitors.

It's also a little difficult to have a big hotel and conference center occupying the same space as a project that combines commercial, residential and a school.

Posted on: 3/15 13:10
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Monroe wrote:
What is the current profit stream of the LSC?

It's a non-profit.


Quote:
What is the projected profit stream, how long will it take for the initial $78,000.000 loan to be repaid before JC can receive even a single penny towards the (untold) valuation of the land being given?

What loan? They are raising funds from investors.

As Fulop posted, the city is not taking any direct financial risk in connection with this project.


Quote:
Other than 'gift shop' revenue/profit, what other profit streams will be in place? If the property is valued at, say, 22 million-how long will it take for LSC to generate the 100 million it will owe the stakeholders and JC?

EdgeWorks: Office space for science and technology startups; includes a small conference space and theater; may offer some programs for the public

Scholars Village: 266 housing units. 154 are for graduate students in STEM programs. 50 units are short-term for visitors.

https://jerseydigs.com/liberty-science ... ech-scity-in-jersey-city/

I wouldn't expect it to be profitable any time soon. They're investors, they take their risks, that's how capitalism works. More or less.

Posted on: 3/15 13:07
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Yes, that is currently true. Which is why I suggested something that businesses do to get customers: "Marketing". Most of them probably don't know that there's a booming restaurant district with a huge variety of choices a 10 minute drive away.

Posted on: 3/15 12:57
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN...

LSC is in charge, and have appointed trustees. They are raising money already for the project. It's a bit early for too much more than a master plan.

Oddly enough, Fulop hated the 2008 loan, and is backing this plan. Go figure.

I also have to say, I vastly prefer to the previous plan, which was a 10 story hotel and conference center. Don't you?


Why not also include a hotel and conference center on a portion of the site if it makes the project and Sci-Tech City more economically feasible.

Posted on: 3/15 12:07
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Agreed with this 100%

Posted on: 3/15 12:04
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.

Posted on: 3/15 8:26
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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What is the current profit stream of the LSC?
What is the projected profit stream, how long will it take for the initial $78,000.000 loan to be repaid before JC can receive even a single penny towards the (untold) valuation of the land being given?
Other than 'gift shop' revenue/profit, what other profit streams will be in place? If the property is valued at, say, 22 million-how long will it take for LSC to generate the 100 million it will owe the stakeholders and JC?

Posted on: 3/15 7:43
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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This info was provided to the council and some advocates per their questions. Hopefully this clarifies where we are and corrects those that are putting misinformation out in the public.

Steven M. Fulop
Mayor
Jersey City, NJ

On Mar 14, 2017, at 1:09 PM, Steve Fulop wrote:

Let me know anything else but these are the questions we have had so far.

Question: What is LSC relationship to Jersey City?
LSC is invested in Jersey City
• Employs 101 Jersey City residents (33% of total labor force)
• 1,935 Jersey City families have LSC memberships
This will expand of course with SciTech city.

Question: What is the current relationship with the Jersey City schools?
• 30,500 Jersey City students visited in 2016 (82% of student population)
• Provides free STEM education programs to 5,740 Jersey City students
and teachers by obtaining $465,000 in grant funding
• 100 Jersey City teachers participate in LSC professional development
programs annually

Question: Is this a gift to the Science Center?
No. This is a shared venture that the city benefits from as PARTNERS. The project will generate revenues for the non-profit (operating income, ground lease income etc.). If the income exceeds expenses, the excess income (or surplus) must be used on other programs by the non-profit. Over time, if you add up this surplus each year when it exceeds the amount of money raised in donations for this project. At that moment this surplus will begin to be shared 50/50 with the City until the City receives its appraised value. Once the City receives its appraised the split is reduced to 80/20 nonprofit/City forever. So over time the City will eventually get more than its appraised value for the land. This is truly a joint venture but City is protected in every scenario including ultimately getting value for the property beyond all of the other important benefits (school etc.). The appraised value is really just a way to indicate when the split goes from 50/50 to 80/20.

Question: What is the risk to the city?
None. The city is a partner in revenue and in the case of any violation there are reverter clauses if they don’t build the project, violate terms of the agreements or property is transferred to, or ever owned by, a for-profit entity then the entire property returns to the city.

Question: Will this be a traditional Jersey City Public School?
Yes. This will be a Jersey City traditional public school. Cost of schools recently constructed in Jersey City have been more than $50million. This will be at no cost to tax payers.

Question: I heard LSC is losing money. Is that accurate?
No. $4.5m in operating funds generated in FY16. After debt service, capital investments in facility etc, lsc has $1.4m in net revenues from operations.

Question: What is the attendance at LSC?
During the past four years, LSC’s attendance has grown 53%, to more than 650,000 visitors annually, making the Center the fastest growing established museum in the United States. That growth should continue with the opening at LSC in December 2017 of the biggest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, which will draw tourists to Jersey City and serve as an unparalleled educational resource for students and families in New Jersey

Question: The city gave LSC a loan in 2008. Was this load repaid?
Yes. LSC borrowed $2.5M from UEZ; the loan was fully repaid by 9/1/2011. There is no current debt to the city or state on the LSC balance sheets. Since this point almost the entire board and leadership has been changed

Question: Why not sell the property?
Selling the property for maximum dollars as some proposed would mean high rise condos in this location which we don't believe is in the best interest of all residents with regards to the potential we have in creating a citywide asset like SciTech city at this particular city site. While previous administrations would probably have sold this for short term gain we are trying to invest in a city asset, build a new school and a new science hub for generations of Jersey City residents to come.

Question: What will this mean to Ward F?
This will take vacant property and turn it into a $280 million dollar investment in Ward F that will create permanent jobs, construction jobs, and define Bergen Lafayette as the home of the premier science center in the region. It will create a new public school and inspire generations of future leaders who will surrounded by some the sharpest minds in the world.

Will any board member or any affiliate of lsc be a developer of this project?
No.

Posted on: 3/15 4:12
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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caj11 wrote:
LSC brings people into New Jersey, but I don't think it brings many people specifically into the surrounding Jersey City neighborhoods to spend money.


Not a bad point by itself, though not a reason to crap on LSC. If the many family friendly DTJC restaurants were smart they'd do a discount promotion with LSC.

Posted on: 3/15 1:20
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The City loaned the LSC $2.5 million in 2008 as they were strapped. Who knows if they ever paid it back!


[quote]

Did they ever pay back the $ 2.5 million loan, by the way? Does anyone know? Once the loan was approved by the city council, nothing was ever said about it again.

I've expressed my opinion about LSC on other threads and don't feel the need to repeat myself, but I will say that LSC should not be subsidized by Jersey City for several reasons 1) the 100+ "jobs" held by Jersey City residents are mostly dead-end low paying positions. i.e. cashier, janitor, exhibit technician, 2) per the Form 990, none of the highest paid independent contractors are based in Jersey City and 3) if the place ever has serious financial problems to the point where it could be closed, I don't think the State of New Jersey would let that happen. Let the state subsidize that place - LSC brings people into New Jersey, but I don't think it brings many people specifically into the surrounding Jersey City neighborhoods to spend money.

Posted on: 3/15 0:18
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mia wrote:
On March 22nd, ordinance 17-023 is up for a 2nd reading and a vote. This is a short 11minute video that you can watch on YouTube . The ordinance transfers 16 acres of very valuable city-owned land to the JC Redevelopment Agency for $1. Then the JCRA sells the land to the Liberty Science Center's redeveloper of their choice to build the $230 Million Tech Center.

Last I heard, LSC is going to pay for the land.

It'll be assessed before the sale.

If you set up something to advocate an earlier assessment, that sounds fine to me. Calling the whole thing off? Not so much.


Quote:
The City loaned the LSC $2.5 million in 2008 as they were strapped. Who knows if they ever paid it back!

They got a loan in 2008, when the entire US economy was in a tailspin. It was a bridge loan, due in 2010. It was a whopping 10% of their operating budget, and they asked for it because the state slashed its grant to the LSC. (Fulop opposed the loan, by the way.)

Oddly enough, they haven't asked for additional loans since then.

If you're trying to tar the LSC as fiscally irresponsible, you're going to have to do more than say "they took out a small loan 9 years ago!!!"


Quote:
Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN...

LSC is in charge, and have appointed trustees. They are raising money already for the project. It's a bit early for too much more than a master plan.

Oddly enough, Fulop hated the 2008 loan, and is backing this plan. Go figure.

I also have to say, I vastly prefer to the previous plan, which was a 10 story hotel and conference center. Don't you?

Posted on: 3/14 19:16
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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iGreg wrote:
So you'd pass on the $1 sale price ?


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bodhipooh wrote:
While I think the SciTech idea is downright silly, your claim about that plot of land being "very valuable" is almost as goofy. It is contaminated marsh land, sandwiched between an industrial service road and the turnpike extension, and during most of the year it stinks terribly.





The land has value. The city should be compensated for it. The tax payers should not be free bring this project. Maybe they can rent the land.

Posted on: 3/14 18:43
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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So you'd pass on the $1 sale price ?


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bodhipooh wrote:
While I think the SciTech idea is downright silly, your claim about that plot of land being "very valuable" is almost as goofy. It is contaminated marsh land, sandwiched between an industrial service road and the turnpike extension, and during most of the year it stinks terribly.




Posted on: 3/14 15:06
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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While I think the SciTech idea is downright silly, your claim about that plot of land being "very valuable" is almost as goofy. It is contaminated marsh land, sandwiched between an industrial service road and the turnpike extension, and during most of the year it stinks terribly.

Posted on: 3/14 15:00
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Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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On March 22nd, ordinance 17-023 is up for a 2nd reading and a vote. This is a short 11minute video that you can watch on YouTube . The ordinance transfers 16 acres of very valuable city-owned land to the JC Redevelopment Agency for $1. Then the JCRA sells the land to the Liberty Science Center's redeveloper of their choice to build the $230 Million Tech Center. Their latest 990 tax return available @ June 30, 2015 shows that after 17 years, as the original LSC was built in 1998, they had $22.1 million in revenues but lost $1.9 million! The City loaned the LSC $2.5 million in 2008 as they were strapped. Who knows if they ever paid it back! Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN... This smells of a huge land grab of taxpayers assets, which will make some developer rich. Watch the video and contact your Councilperson and SAY VOTE NO! Only Councilmen Boggiano & Yun voted NO on the introduction. We need 3 more NO votes...

Posted on: 3/14 14:03
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
What a load of crap. JC will get back money, an unknown amount, IF profits are generated AFTER $78 million is paid back from these 'profits'? Just how much merch do they sell now from the gift shop?

A good accountant can structure this so the LSC won't make a profit for a hundred years, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that JC will continue to subsidize it-now they expect it to pay back $78 million of profits, when JC has been throwing money at it for years??


+1. I couldn't have said it better myself, other than the fact that they couldn't even run the place when it was just a museum, how can LSC run a hotel, school, condos and whatever other crap they think they're going to build there?

Can't wait to see what kind of cost overruns alone this place has when they build it.

Posted on: 3/13 11:15
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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What a load of crap. JC will get back money, an unknown amount, IF profits are generated AFTER $78 million is paid back from these 'profits'? Just how much merch do they sell now from the gift shop?

A good accountant can structure this so the LSC won't make a profit for a hundred years, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that JC will continue to subsidize it-now they expect it to pay back $78 million of profits, when JC has been throwing money at it for years??

Posted on: 3/12 12:39
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