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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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I don't think the developers are building the school. They're expecting the State to but the State may not even want that location as every student would need to be bused.

The Jersey Avenue extension has been talked about since 1998. It would dump more traffic onto Grand Street, where Mayor Fulop plans to add protected bike lanes. It'll become more dangerous.
Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
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.

Yes, I was measuring the time to drive from Phllips to Grand; it's around 10 minutes.

I've heard talk of the extension. But it obviously does not currently exist; is not a done deal; and there is no ETA. And I see little indication that its planned existence is included in the property values in the surrounding neighborhood.

And again, if the city sells it to the highest bidder, what will be put there? 10 or 20 story condos? A casino? A big conference center? How much do you think those projects will push for big abatements?


Quote:
As far as the 'donation', since it's being paid back....

Incorrect. Yet again, there is NO repayment. They are donations.


Quote:
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'?

Why gosh, let's think about this.

Let's say I give you a car. You then pout and proclaim "It's not free, because now I have to pay for the gas, insurance and maintenance!" Does that sound right to you?

The developers are building a public school from scratch, at no cost to the city or its taxpayers. I'd say that qualifies as "free."[/quote]

Posted on: 3/22 15:41
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Forgot another NYC tax --- the Realty Transfer Tax which NYC has its own. The rate is from 1% to 2.65%. That must generate hundreds of millions of dollars for NYC. The NJ Transfer Tax generated by Jersey City real estate buys and sells is shared between the State and Hudson County! Jersey City gets 0$!

As former Mayor Tony Cucci used to say, Mocco got that land for less than the price of linoleum. It happened under the McCann administration when the city didn't have the money to pay for their pension contributions. That was in the mid-1980s'. The Cucci administration lost the lawsuit... Jersey City has a history of transferring wealth from the taxpayers to developers. Fulop is NO exception.

Mao wrote:
Mia's invocation of Mocco is apt. That was some sort of give away to Peter Mocco in the waning hours of the Cucci administration. The City spent years litigating it- won it, only to have politics or something settle it, I think, for almost a give away a second time.

Mia is also directly on point with all the other taxes that NYC has (occupancy tax, portion of sales tax).

I could get a devloper in there tomorrow to devlope it.

Don't we have a hot shot new city planner from Harvard who should be able to structure this. Also, I suspect, the Liberty Harbor Plan itself would permit good commercial developemnet.

And yes, the appraisal will not be worth the paper it is written on. [/quote]

Posted on: 3/22 15:21
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I gotta say I'm not seeing a great argument against the leasing idea even if the payment is only nominal. In the event the whole thing goes under, covenants attached to the sale seem to be much harder to enforce than terms of a lease.

Posted on: 3/22 15:19
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The value of the land depends on what you're allowed to build on it.

Posted on: 3/22 14:39
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@dolomiti, if it's not a loan, why does whoever put up the $78 million get it paid back (ahead of the city, who is giving up a very valuable piece of land without which the project is impossible?)

If it's a donation it shouldn't need to be paid back out of the 'profits' that may or may not ever come to fruition, right?

As far as the costs of operating a school, if only the building is 'free' shouldn't JC project what the other costs are-certainly having fair market value for the land would be a good start to pay for chairs, desks, labs, teacher/admin salaries . . .

Posted on: 3/22 14:14
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Mia's invocation of Mocco is apt. That was some sort of give away to Peter Mocco in the waning hours of the Cucci administration. The City spent years litigating it- won it, only to have politics or something settle it, I think, for almost a give away a second time.

Mia is also directly on point with all the other taxes that NYC has (occupancy tax, portion of sales tax).

I could get a devloper in there tomorrow to devlope it.

Don't we have a hot shot new city planner from Harvard who should be able to structure this. Also, I suspect, the Liberty Harbor Plan itself would permit good commercial developemnet.

And yes, the appraisal will not be worth the paper it is written on.

Posted on: 3/22 13:11
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Newport (600 acres), all of Harsimus Cove, Colgate Redevlopment east of Hudson at the very least, all of Libery Harbor North and all devloment around the Morris Canal, all of LSP, all of the golf course, and all of Port Liberte are or were derelect and contaminated industrial sites built on fill. This 16 acres comes late to the game where there should be no question of its value.

Posted on: 3/22 13:06
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The numbers are realistic.

A neighborhood that mixes medium and low rise like Liberty Harbor North (these 16 acres are part of Liberty Harbor Redevelopment Plan).

Well houses downtown are being sold for up to 3.5 million now. So can we say that the average row house downtown (average being noting special, 18 ft wide, four stories, brick, goes for 1.2).

Outside of downtown, average house goes for say 500K. So yea, I overestimated post reval bill which will probably range from 10k to 40k. I guess in suburban NJ (Montclaire etc) this counts for not being overtaxed. However, Jersey City really competes with NYC where these rates are outrageous. Residential tax rates in NY are minimal- NYC getting its revenue from commercial real estate and its income tax.

Please note that 44% of the city is already tax exempt. So yes- the City should not create any more untaxed land.

The City should also seek to get a payroll tax. Whitman changed the legislation to screw Schundler so that only Newark has the ability. This needs to be changed and JC needs to adopt it. If JC adopts a 1% payroll tax, that still leaves us very compeetitve since NYC's graduated rates start at 2.9 and go to 3.64. Also, Newark has a 2$ payroll tax.

Other things that need to be done is reduction of payroll, especially in the Fire Dept. and Police.

Posted on: 3/22 13:01
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Quote:

Mao wrote:
16 unimproved acres fronting on LSP would net at a minimum $80 million. Maximum maybe $160 million in current market.


What's your basis for making this claim?

Quote:

Around 1998 or so, I was involved in a deal with Fisher Brothers who negotiated the sale of one acre in the Colgate Redevelopment zone for $11 million, a record at the time. I hear the going rate would be at least 20 million now for that area. Using the conservative market value of $80 million, if it were developed properly, it’s value would clearly be over one billion in ratables.


How is the Colgate Redevelopment area in any way related to this swampy land in the middle of nowhere, without access to the waterfront?

Quote:

After the reval, the average homeowner will be paying $20k in annual property taxes.


FALSE. This is a 100% made up claim.

Posted on: 3/22 12:49
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Tonight, ordinance 17-023 is up for a 2nd reading and a vote. Any member of the public can speak on the ordinance, which will probably be up about 6:30 PM. The ordinance transfers 16 acres of very valuable city-owned land at Liberty State Park to the JC Redevelopment Agency for $10. Then the JCRA sells the land to the Liberty Science Center's developer of their choice to build the $276 Million Tech Center. The land will be appraised by the JCRA after the City transfers the land to them. I’ll bet the value of the land will be low balled as the case with some homeowners who sued the JCRA, the City of Jersey City and Peter Mocco on the Liberty Harbor North development. "The settlement in 2012: “The largest unsecured claim against one of the debtors, Liberty Harbor North Inc., stemmed from an $18.6 million judgment.... 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.... 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. Wonder how much in legal fees that cost the taxpayers of JC?

Today’s email from Mayor Fulop states there’s no other option offered but there is. 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. The City has done a poor job in billing out the step-ups on the tax abatements let alone making sure they get their fair share. Make it simple, lease the land. Many of the office buildings in downtown Manhattan are on LT leaseholds owned by Trinity Church! The City of Santa Monica owns every parking lot in that city but leases them to private parking companies to run. The Port Authority holds the lease on all the land in Battery Park City in Manhattan and it’s fully developed.

The City of Jersey City needs to bring in other forms of revenue besides property taxes and state and federal aid & grants. It’s all the talk in Trenton for the state to slash JC’s school aid of $419 million annually, which will then be made up by the property tax payers but NOT the abated properties. Mayor Fulop compared Jersey City to what New York City, with its $85 Billion budget is doing to promote tech. Keep in mind that NYC has an income tax for all residents and businesses. Jersey City has none. NYC receives 4.5 % of the 8.875 % sales taxes collected in NYC. Jersey City gets none, all goes to the state. NYC has a Manhattan Commercial Occupancy Tax for all tenant businesses south of 96th Street at the rate of 6%! That’s huge considering Manhattan rents. Jersey City has none. NYC's property tax, which for commercial properties is high, has 4 classes with different rates. Jersey City has one rate for commercial and residential, which falls heavily on the 1 to 4 family homeowner. Homeowners in the boroughs of NYC have always enjoyed low taxes subsidized by commercial properties and the income tax so as to retain their working and middle classes. That was a political decision made decades ago. Jersey City gives away their prime land with 20 to 30-year tax abatements even when facing a reval after 30 years, that will devastate many non-abated 1-4 family homeowners!


Posted on: 3/22 12:33
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Interesting post Mao. Putting aside the reality of those numbers, I have to ask is maximizing ratables really the highest priority we have? We could do that also in other ways, like by doing away with R-1 zoning, but no one is on board with that. So clearly there are other factors to consider. Does JC really want a new forest of high rises bordering LSP there?

BTW, the "average" JC homeowner will not be paying $20k, just the Downtowners with properties worth over $1m. The "average" JC home is worth far less. As I've said many times, our tax rate is perfectly average for our area, we are not highly taxed.

Posted on: 3/22 12:16
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16 unimproved acres fronting on LSP would net at a minimum $80 million. Maximum maybe $160 million in current market. This is per my discussion with people involved currently in redevelopment. I briefly was a redevelopment lawyer before the insiders circled the wagon. Around 1998 or so, I was involved in a deal with Fisher Brothers who negotiated the sale of one acre in the Colgate Redevelopment zone for $11 million, a record at the time. I hear the going rate would be at least 20 million now for that area. Using the conservative market value of $80 million, if it were developed properly, it’s value would clearly be over one billion in ratables. The City should be looing to Battery Park City, Hudson Yards, etc for examples on how to do this. Again, using conservative figures, if the value of this 16 acre neighborhood was a billion, that would generate $20 million in property tax revenue yearly, or about 4% of the budget! 44% if Jersey City is already tax exempt. No more land should be allowed to be tax exempt! After the reval, the average homeowner will be paying $20k in annual property taxes. We will have moves like this to blame.Also, the LSC is a dysfunctional entity that does a very mediocre job so it is unlikely to perform well in this agreement
As always, cui bono?

Posted on: 3/22 11:32
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What entity comes to own the land under the city plan?

Land that will run a 'for profit' hotel and some residential housing
as proposed.

Smart thing to do would create a land lease to the developers or
quasi corporation and Jersey City retains ownership.

The meeting tonight should be interesting.




Quote:

terrencemcd wrote:
Quote:

K-Lo2 wrote:
Yvonne, can you be more specific about what type of public school? Magnets and charters are public schools.


The city told me it would be a traditional public school.

Council President Lavarro said the JCRA would possible vote to amend the redeveloper agreement with SciTeh Scity tonight (6 pm, 30 Montgomery) to make that specific in the agreement.

Posted on: 3/22 11:19
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I cannot be specific because during the caucus meeting the public cannot ask questions, it was only stated it would be a public school.

Posted on: 3/21 12:45
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Quote:

Monroe wrote:
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.

Yes, I was measuring the time to drive from Phllips to Grand; it's around 10 minutes.

I've heard talk of the extension. But it obviously does not currently exist; is not a done deal; and there is no ETA. And I see little indication that its planned existence is included in the property values in the surrounding neighborhood.

And again, if the city sells it to the highest bidder, what will be put there? 10 or 20 story condos? A casino? A big conference center? How much do you think those projects will push for big abatements?


Quote:
As far as the 'donation', since it's being paid back....

Incorrect. Yet again, there is NO repayment. They are donations.


Quote:
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'?

Why gosh, let's think about this.

Let's say I give you a car. You then pout and proclaim "It's not free, because now I have to pay for the gas, insurance and maintenance!" Does that sound right to you?

The developers are building a public school from scratch, at no cost to the city or its taxpayers. I'd say that qualifies as "free."

Posted on: 3/21 11:56
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Thanks

Posted on: 3/21 10:37
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K-Lo2 wrote:
Yvonne, can you be more specific about what type of public school? Magnets and charters are public schools.


The city told me it would be a traditional public school.

Council President Lavarro said the JCRA would possible vote to amend the redeveloper agreement with SciTeh Scity tonight (6 pm, 30 Montgomery) to make that specific in the agreement.

Posted on: 3/21 10:23
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Yvonne, can you be more specific about what type of public school? Magnets and charters are public schools.

Posted on: 3/21 9:06
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At the caucus meeting, it was mention that it will be a public school.

Posted on: 3/21 8:15
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Friends of LSP supports the project and Sam Pesin plans to speak at the City Council meeting in favor of moving forward.

Posted on: 3/21 8:03
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Monroe wrote:
In a perverse kinda way, the fact that the schools suck so bad here means that anyone with kids who can afford to move to the burbs does just that, unless they can afford private school. I'm not even sure what JC HS is local to Newport-where do those kids go?

Newport kids would go to Ferris unless they joined a magnet program to get into one of the other public high schools (if that still exist).

Posted on: 3/21 0:10
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Going back to one of the original articles in the thread.

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

"The council's unanimous action amends an existing zoning plan to create what the city calls a "science and technology district." The changes allow for construction of research and development facilities, labs, hotels, office space, restaurants and more."

I find it unbelievable that Boggiano and Yun voted to rezone, and now claim that they have to oppose a "giveaway" of "prime land."

Appraise the property? Sure. Make sure LSC can make good on its commitments? Sure, and the contract has provisions for that. Consider other options? Done already. Proposals for residences, hotels, and a convention center have all been floated and received no traction.

Do this by RFP? Why we LOVE RFPs! Except when they come out with results we don't like, such as the Ambulance contract, or the bid for Loews Jersey. Then, RFP's "don't take the important community connection into account" or something.*

(* With respect to the above, I actually think the city made the wrong decision in those two instances. The ambulance contract likely ran afoul of federal law, and the Loews had a lease upheld in court. Nevertheless, the RFPs came up with results that opponents would prefer to ignore.)

I fully understand concerns about the administration seeking to chase the shiny ring. While due diligence before and after the deal is necessary, the proposal is better than anything that comes along to date.

Posted on: 3/20 22:48
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Monroe wrote:
In a perverse kinda way, the fact that the schools suck so bad here means that anyone with kids who can afford to move to the burbs does just that, unless they can afford private school. I'm not even sure what JC HS is local to Newport-where do those kids go?


Sadly, this is entirely too true. I know many, many couples that have left Jersey City after having kids. And, honestly, it is hard to fault them: paying for a private school, on top of paying a ton for property taxes, is simply not feasible for a lot of young families. Heck, I know a couple (currently paying for private pre K) that is already planning to move out if their kid that is about to enter elementary school is chosen to be bussed instead of getting to attend the one down the street from their place in Hamilton Park.

Posted on: 3/20 22:34
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379 Communipaw is 25 x 100 which is about 4 times smaller than .25 acres

Quote:

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?

Posted on: 3/20 21:52
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In a perverse kinda way, the fact that the schools suck so bad here means that anyone with kids who can afford to move to the burbs does just that, unless they can afford private school. I'm not even sure what JC HS is local to Newport-where do those kids go?

Posted on: 3/20 21:11
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Yvonne wrote:
No, I think they are opposed because they were not contacted. I have always said one acre should be given to the local school system because there is a need for a school, especially a high school. Development has brought in a lot of school children that the current administration ignores in tax abatements hearings. A typical tax abatement hearing might show only 4 students on a 100 unit building. Those numbers are not realistic.


You love to make this claim, but guess what: I think you are just making it up. I am now living in my second development in which an abatement was granted (both developments had 20-year abatements, and both were 100+ units, one in BeLa, and the other in DTJC) and they were both almost entirely devoid of children, particularly school-age kids.

When in BeLa, I resided at the same building for almost nine years, and in all those years, I can only recall two families with one kid attending schools. Everyone else was single adults, or couples without kids, and the few that ended up getting pregnant and having kids, soon moved out and went elsewhere. At my new development (also 100+ units) there is one unit with one kid in high school (not sure if attending public schools in JC, but I am almost positive that is not the case) and a handful of families that have recently had kids and are looking at future options, including moving elsewhere.

My point is that the abatement studies may not be as far off as you claim: I am sure my experience is not that unique. I have friends in other abated buildings and their experiences are similar in that their buildings have almost no kids, and most families with newborns end up moving elsewhere.

Posted on: 3/20 21:07
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Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:
Interesting that the teachers union would suddenly oppose this project. Such a move is more likely to make me want to support the project.

But, seriously, why the sudden interest and apparent opposition?


Since so little is known about the project I'd guess and say they're terrified the onsite school would be charter based.


That's exactly what I am thinking. But, as far as I know, there is no indication the school is slated (or, expected) to be a charter school, but the idea does have merit if it is tightly integrated into the SciTech institution, as a sort of "engineering" high school, a la Brooklyn Tech.

Posted on: 3/20 20:57
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No, I think they are opposed because they were not contacted. I have always said one acre should be given to the local school system because there is a need for a school, especially a high school. Development has brought in a lot of school children that the current administration ignores in tax abatements hearings. A typical tax abatement hearing might show only 4 students on a 100 unit building. Those numbers are not realistic.

Posted on: 3/20 15:56
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bodhipooh wrote:
Interesting that the teachers union would suddenly oppose this project. Such a move is more likely to make me want to support the project.

But, seriously, why the sudden interest and apparent opposition?


Since so little is known about the project I'd guess and say they're terrified the onsite school would be charter based.

Posted on: 3/20 15:41
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2008/8/12 14:31
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Interesting that the teachers union would suddenly oppose this project. Such a move is more likely to make me want to support the project.

But, seriously, why the sudden interest and apparent opposition?

Posted on: 3/20 15:32
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