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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Teachers union seeks delay on Liberty Science Center plan

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 20, 2017 at 11:29 AM, updated March 20, 2017 at 11:51 AM

JERSEY CITY -- The Jersey City teachers union is joining two City Council members in urging Mayor Steve Fulop to delay a final council vote on a plan to give 16 acres of city land to Liberty Science Center for a new sci-tech complex.

In an open letter published in The Jersey Journal on Saturday, the Jersey City Education Association said it wants "a seat at the table" for any discussions on the project, SciTech Scity, which would include a K-12 public school for roughly 750 students.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... eks_delay_on_liberty.html


Posted on: 3/20 13:11
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Just a correction, you do not need to be on the speaker list to speak on an ordinance. The speaker list are for any comments. But please come to city hall and speak on this matter.

Posted on: 3/20 11:30
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Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
How can the land be estimated at $20 when developers brought land one minute by car according to the google map for $35 million? That land is 7 1/2 acres.

It's not 1 minute by car. It's more like 10 minutes.

Unless they build a vehicular bridge over the Morris Canal, there is no direct route between the LSC lot and downtown.

We see this differential in lots for sale. E.g. there's a lot at 379 Communipaw, .25 acres for $200k. Another lot is at 423 Grand is .33 acres and... $4 million.

And those two lots are only a 3 minute drive apart.

Is it news to you that in real estate, location is critical?


Silly comment. First, the projected project will have access to Johnston Avenue and Phillips Street. Second, the extension of Jersey Avenue into LSP is planned. So yes, it's a direct comparison.

As far as the 'donation', since it's being paid back-and JC taxpayers are second in line to receive funds to compensate for the still-as-yet unknown value of the land-let's do this.

The comp for the 7.5 acre plot, in 2015, was $35 million.

Let's use that as the valuation, in 2017, for more than DOUBLE the acreage.

Put JC in front of the 'donors' who want their 'donation' back first from whatever 'profits' are generated from 'whatever' profit generators are 'planned' but have JC keep title to the land until such time as the valuation is paid back.

How about that, shouldn't JC taxpayers get some relief?

And the carrot of a 'free' high school-great, they build a school. Is LSC paying to maintain the school? Paying the staff/administrators/janitors? Since we know JC school aid is frozen from the state, and likely diminish because of School Adjustment Aid reforms, what will be the cost to JC taxpayers for this 'free school'?

Posted on: 3/20 11:27
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Yvonne wrote:
How can the land be estimated at $20 when developers brought land one minute by car according to the google map for $35 million? That land is 7 1/2 acres.

It's not 1 minute by car. It's more like 10 minutes.

Unless they build a vehicular bridge over the Morris Canal, there is no direct route between the LSC lot and downtown.

We see this differential in lots for sale. E.g. there's a lot at 379 Communipaw, .25 acres for $200k. Another lot is at 423 Grand is .33 acres and... $4 million.

And those two lots are only a 3 minute drive apart.

Is it news to you that in real estate, location is critical?

Posted on: 3/20 10:24
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
Sorry, Dolomiti, I mistyped-it is 78 million. And in this link, the exec dir of the JCRA says that

'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.'

I think you're failing to understand the structure.

The $78 million being raised now are donations. Not loans, no expectation of being paid back. If it's getting reimbursed, then it's not a donation. And yes, the term "donation" is used consistently in every article I've seen on this project.

After the project has turned $78m in profits, then the city starts getting 50% of the profits until the cost of the land is repaid. After that, the city gets 20% of profits.

I have no idea why they settled on the same number. My guess is that the initial $78m goes into an endowment.


Quote:
Do we know if they're borrowing against their endowment (if they have one), or will the city float bonds for this-who gives anyone 78 million with the expectation of getting it back without a plan, and that's before JC gets the land value back.

While I understand your confusion, and think they should probably have picked another number to start paying for the land at a different number to avoid exactly that confusion:

There is no repayment.

There is no borrowing.

There is no loan.

There are no bonds.

There is a plan.

Posted on: 3/20 9:59
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Please call the City Clerks office and add your name to the speakers list 201-547-2233.
The 2nd and FINAL READING IS CURRENTLY SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 @ 6PM.
PLEASE COME OUT you OWE IT TO YOURSELF AND YOUR NEIGHBORS.

Posted on: 3/20 9:07
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Is this give a way a done deal or can it be stopped?

Posted on: 3/20 8:58
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:

at the end and I decided to cut my loss.



That's what the Mohel said as well.


#holla

Posted on: 3/19 22:15
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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psyop wrote:
Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
Esther Wintner speaks on the 16 acres of land.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Paa0K-Amrw8


Word of advice, learn how to record audio. You are outside with wind and cars driving by and audio is so bad I stopped watching after about 30 seconds. Hard to make your point if the production value is bad enough that no one watches.


I agree, I used a wirless mic and I should have brought a mic with a wire. The wireless mic picked up noise from the cars. However, it started to snow at the end and I decided to cut my loss.

Posted on: 3/19 21:10
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Yvonne wrote:
Esther Wintner speaks on the 16 acres of land.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Paa0K-Amrw8


Word of advice, learn how to record audio. You are outside with wind and cars driving by and audio is so bad I stopped watching after about 30 seconds. Hard to make your point if the production value is bad enough that no one watches.

Posted on: 3/19 21:04
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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I don't think the skate park has been completed at Berry Lane yet.

Posted on: 3/19 19:09
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Thanks for the pics, stc4blues!

I am sure most people don't even know about it. I first stumbled upon it when, after Hurricane Sandy had washed away the stinky bridge, I decided to walk through that area to get to DT. On a second occasion, I walked by with my teenage daughter in tow. The skaters (all boys) didn't particularly like we were intruding in their turf (going by the stares) but kept to themselves and continued skating.

Have they moved over to the new Berry Lane Park (there is a skate park there, right?) or are they still hanging out in that wooded area?


Posted on: 3/19 18:38
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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bodhipooh wrote:

snip

Oh, yeah. I know that area. There's an area in the middle used by teen skaters. Pretty cool spot they have taken over and made into a sort of skating park. I wasn't aware it had been sold, or may have forgotten.


IMGP2961

IMGP3222

IMGP6502

Posted on: 3/19 17:14
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
She's correct on this, Bodi, it's the land just north of the LSC on the other side of Johnston and west of the Philips extension that leads to the stinky bridge.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7686454

Edited to add-the $35 million land sale was closed almost two years ago, so it might not be market correct-could be worth more now.


Oh, yeah. I know that area. There's an area in the middle used by teen skaters. Pretty cool spot they have taken over and made into a sort of skating park. I wasn't aware it had been sold, or may have forgotten.

Posted on: 3/19 16:32
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Posted on: 3/19 15:12
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She's correct on this, Bodi, it's the land just north of the LSC on the other side of Johnston and west of the Philips extension that leads to the stinky bridge.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7686454

Edited to add-the $35 million land sale was closed almost two years ago, so it might not be market correct-could be worth more now.

Posted on: 3/19 14:27
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Yvonne wrote:
How can the land be estimated at $20 when developers brought land one minute by car according to the google map for $35 million? That land is 7 1/2 acres.


What plot of land are you referring to in your post?


Posted on: 3/19 14:17
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Esther Wintner speaks on the 16 acres of land.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Paa0K-Amrw8

Posted on: 3/19 14:12
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Mao wrote:
Doesn't the guy in charge of this failure of a museum which closes at 4 every day, make over 400k a year?!


He does, plus another 40K+ in benefits and who knows what other perks. The COO makes 200K+ plus around another 20K in benefits and other perks. Then there are another seven or so Vice Presidents and other high level employees making well over 100-150K per year as well.

On the most recently available Form 990 tax return, the organization lists travel expenses at well over $ 100,000 (it's one location, where do they need to be traveling to so much) and also spent close to $ 200,000 going to conferences, conventions and meetings. They used to use KPMG, a Big 4 accounting firm to prepare their tax returns when a smaller less expensive firm would have done fine (fortunately, this is a change they did make last year).

Total management cesspool with bloated overhead (which used to be worse) that has a long way to go before they can be in the hotel/convention center business - God only knows how bloated things will become and what accounting tricks they will try to hide and/or justify certain costs when that happens.

But it does stay open until 530 on weekends.

Posted on: 3/18 19:10
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Sorry, Dolomiti, I mistyped-it is 78 million. And in this link, the exec dir of the JCRA says that

'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.'

That's what needs to repaid before the city gets a dime.

'Raising' and 'paid back'. Does that sound like a one way donation from supporters?

Do we know if they're borrowing against their endowment (if they have one), or will the city float bonds for this-who gives anyone 78 million with the expectation of getting it back without a plan, and that's before JC gets the land value back.

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... y_top_story#ixzz4b5OgoHst

Posted on: 3/18 18:45
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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How can the land be estimated at $20 when developers brought land one minute by car according to the google map for $35 million? That land is 7 1/2 acres.

Posted on: 3/18 16:58
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
I respectfully disagree. They haven't put a value on the land.

It's estimated at $20 million. They just haven't had it formally appraised yet.


Quote:
They don't have a single projection of what, if any, profit will be realized.

Yes, probably because that doesn't matter much. Getting the school, plus a better project than a bunch of condos, is a decent deal -- even without getting direct revenue any time soon.

I mean, really. Would you feel better if the city told you it'd be repaid in 20 years? Would that give you the warm fuzzies?

You do understand that the goal is to help the project succeed, rather than treat it like a revenue generator?

Or, let's compare this to a similar project. NYC had around 14 acres of unused space on the south end of Roosevelt Island -- and I'm guessing that's worth more than $20 million. Instead of selling it to the highest bidder, they donated the land and $100 million to Cornell University for a $2 billion science and technology graduate school.

So instead of thinking of this as lost revenue, or being utterly mercenary about every public project, think of it more as a (hopefully) good project that benefits JC as a whole, far more than a one-time sale.


Quote:
Without the value (cost basis), and the payback plan (what is the expected revenue from the gift shop/other 'profit' generators?)

good grief

Again, the revenues will come almost entirely from rents on the commercial and residential parts of the project. Not from a non-existent gift shop.


Quote:
How long will it take to 'pay back' the borrowed $85 million, before JC gets a cent back from the 'profit' generators?

What are you talking about? What $85 million loan? Where did you get this from?

They're raising $78 million in donations -- not loans, not credit, not venture capital. Donations. There is no requirement for that to be paid back.


Quote:
I'll repeat what I've said-I'd give Steve props if he just came out and told us the truth-the $ don't make sense, but he wants to do it anyway. If all these donors are waiting to jump aboard, let them pay fair market price for the land.

I have no idea what he does and doesn't know, and of course there is more to this than a few paragraphs on a local web forum. However, there certainly is a plan, and we seem to know most of the critical elements. I see no indication that he's leaving a bunch of sneaky clauses out. Rather, I see what could be a good project that enhances the city, and in particular benefits our students.

Posted on: 3/18 16:21
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Doesn't the guy in charge of this failure of a museum which closes at 4 every day, make over 400k a year?!

Posted on: 3/18 15:51
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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JCGuys wrote:
I don't disagree with any of your points, Dolomiti. I'll clarify my point: I don't believe Sci-Tech City, as originally planned, is economically feasible and thus will never be built or significantly scaled back from the fancy renderings we're seeing now.

I see no reason for such dire pessimism, especially since this is the kind of project that tends to draw big donations - and LSC has lots of corporate donors, and was able to raise $110 million just to renovate the existing building.

And I'm not sure what will happen if the project completely and utterly fails, but I doubt that LSC will be allowed to scrap the deal, and sell the land to a casino instead.


Quote:
The entire site is 16 acres. Three or four or those acres will need to be sold to traditional developments to maximize the highest and best use of the land in order to fund the other improvements, in my opinion.

That's nice, but your opinion seems to have no basis in fact, or in any description I've heard of the contracts.


Quote:
Please, someone, prove me wrong and demonstrate that Liberty Science Center has the financial capacity to carry out SciTech City as planned.

What proof would you accept?

Posted on: 3/18 15:41
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
While I appreciate Steve coming here and giving his 2 cents, it's clear that there isn't a plan, but there is a dream.

Sure sounds like a plan.

They have a master plan; programming; a purpose; a board of directors; a structure for repaying the city for the land. They have more than enough of a plan to fundraise.

Given that construction won't start until at least late 2018, and it won't open until around 2021, how much more of a plan do you expect to see at this point?

LSC also has numerous corporate donors. Johnson & Johnson, United Airlines, Bloomberg, Pfizer, PSE&G, Bank of America, BASF... the list goes on. While this certainly does not guarantee they will raise the funds they want, it doesn't make sense to assume it's doomed from the start.

Sorry, but your comments just sounds like just sour grapes.


I respectfully disagree. They haven't put a value on the land. They don't have a single projection of what, if any, profit will be realized.

Without the value (cost basis), and the payback plan (what is the expected revenue from the gift shop/other 'profit' generators? How long will it take to 'pay back' the borrowed $85 million, before JC gets a cent back from the 'profit' generators? Will JC get interest on this delayed payback? There is no plan, at least not that anyone has seen. And I'd imagine it's for good reason, as JC will never see a dime for this land.

I'll repeat what I've said-I'd give Steve props if he just came out and told us the truth-the $ don't make sense, but he wants to do it anyway. If all these donors are waiting to jump aboard, let them pay fair market price for the land.

Posted on: 3/18 15:40
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
While I appreciate Steve coming here and giving his 2 cents, it's clear that there isn't a plan, but there is a dream.

Sure sounds like a plan.

They have a master plan; programming; a purpose; a board of directors; a structure for repaying the city for the land. They have more than enough of a plan to fundraise.

Given that construction won't start until at least late 2018, and it won't open until around 2021, how much more of a plan do you expect to see at this point?

LSC also has numerous corporate donors. Johnson & Johnson, United Airlines, Bloomberg, Pfizer, PSE&G, Bank of America, BASF... the list goes on. While this certainly does not guarantee they will raise the funds they want, it doesn't make sense to assume it's doomed from the start.

Sorry, but your comments just sounds like just sour grapes.

Posted on: 3/18 15:29
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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While I appreciate Steve coming here and giving his 2 cents, it's clear that there isn't a plan, but there is a dream.

Sorry, dreams without a plan (especially a dream that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars) don't work. How the city could hand over a plot of land worth millions of dollars for nothing would get someone fired in the real world.

Posted on: 3/18 7:21
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
Quote:



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?


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.


I don't disagree with any of your points, Dolomiti. I'll clarify my point: I don't believe Sci-Tech City, as originally planned, is economically feasible and thus will never be built or significantly scaled back from the fancy renderings we're seeing now. This reliance on philanthropic dollars is fantasy and the rushing through of this without an appraisal of the land reeks of something.

Don't get me wrong, the land could be worth $100 million. I still think it's a great project. I just lack confidence that the appropriate funding is in place without tapping into that land value by selling a portion for traditional development with proven track record of producing income (i.e. offices, residential).

The entire site is 16 acres. Three or four or those acres will need to be sold to traditional developments to maximize the highest and best use of the land in order to fund the other improvements, in my opinion. I hope my opinion is wrong, but I just don't see Liberty Science Center's board pulling this off.

Please, someone, prove me wrong and demonstrate that Liberty Science Center has the financial capacity to carry out SciTech City as planned.


Posted on: 3/18 0:08
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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135jc wrote:
Not likely. A day at the liberty science center with lunch and parking is already an arm and a leg



It's an embarrassment when taking guests with their kids to visit and parking, admission with IMAX film for 5 ppl costs over $150 - hard to explain it's a private "Not For Profit" and they arbitrarily can charge whatever they want.

Can someone pull the salaries for these folks, they work for a NonProfit ya know:



http://lsc.org/about-us/our-leadership/senior-management/


Posted on: 3/17 23:47
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Not likely. A day at the liberty science center with lunch and parking is already an arm and a leg

Posted on: 3/17 23:00
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