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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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quote: "And I don't care if Goldman's attorney threw you a bone....they already knew they had the case won."

From what I know of the case, New Gold Equities did NOT win the case on any merits of their arguments. They won because our councilmen caved and refused to fix a minor procedural error.

The warehouse district, and its potential to be another DUMBO or SOMA (San Francisco warehouse district, like SOHO) was one of the reasons I bought a house in JC.
I've been inside 111 First St. and it could be an amazing place to live with gorgeous loft style apts.

Goldman could have made gobs of money staying within the development guidelines of the area. And the city would have created a nostalgic oasis from the antiseptic highrise nowhere land that is Newport. Picture First St. as a pedestrian-only cobblestone square with outdoor seating everywhere, brick warehouses re-purposed to cafes, restaurants, galleries, stores, and bars on the ground level, and offices and loft apts in the upper floors. One needs only the tiniest amount of imagination to see what we have lost. But I guess some people can't see past a few more bucks in their pocket.

One of ugliest parts of the city is easily the highrise towers of apts that line Montgomery Ave. around Grove St. PATH, surrounded by wastelands of parking lots.

I too would love to see a new bldg by Koolhaas. Just not at the expense of 111 First St. Put it somewhere else.

- miles

Posted on: 2006/9/29 22:24
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Count me in!

I too am sick and tired of the same handful of people trying to dictate the agenda month after month. We need to remove these people and their agenda -

The same handful of "Sockpuppets for Developers", the Mayor, Corporate Counsel and City Council members who advance the agenda of developers, city contractors and the like by selling off city assets, mismanage the city budget, fail to enforce laws, circumvent the public process, and abuse redevelopment law with plans like the one for the PJP site.


You are right and the Hackensack River Edge Redevelopment plan if fully realized appears to provide a NET LOSS of jobs and only a NET increase in taxes of about $400k at best. The redevelopment plan, an end run around the city zoning process has provisions to take land and close businesses.

I'm in, set up the meeting and announce via jclist.




Quote:

deathmask wrote:
Thank god I'm not the only one that is sick of hearing from these people that think they know best for everyone. It truly makes me sick to see they same handful of people trying to dicate the adgenda month after month. Folks, wake up. Let's meet and remove these people and their adgenda. Please email me at mcginn63@aol.com to organize something.

Posted on: 2006/9/29 18:31
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Quote:

ccitizen wrote:
You're testing the limits of JCllist. I'm more than willing to unleash the lawyers if you want to pursue this adgenda bitch. I guess it's destiny that I will meet you in court. Well, bring it on! I can't wait to crush your ass. Get ready to spend some bucks cupcake.

P.S., don' t try to lable my disagreement with mr. James' assessment as an "attlack." i respect him and i just disagee with his conclusion, that is all . As I mentioned, he did a great job vis-a-vis, the history of the area, and he deserves credit for that. i just disagree with him on some points.

Let's go Mr. President! And you better watch your language!


You did not "disagree" with the conclusions of Mr. James. You called him a "hired gun," directly impugning the man's integrity and claiming that he only wrote what he did not based on his independent assessment, but because he was receiving money. Never mind that the district was considered eligible by SHPO as far back as 1991. Never mind that the array of professionals and citizens on HPC unanimously agreed that the district should be designated. Never mind that the city council unanimously supported the designation.

As for abusing JClist? You are the one who is anonymously using the forum to make personal attacks and repeatedly display your ignorance.. Don't worry dear, I doubt that anyone will actually care enough about your childish missives to bring a libel lawsuit against you. But I'm sure that it would give you an inflated sense of self-importance.

It's hilarious, you have attacked just about every individual and organization that has been working to make Jersey City a better place to live for its citizens, and claim that they have "done nothing." Are you at all aware of the work that Pro-Arts has done in organizing the artist's community? Are you at all aware of the work done by neighborhood associations across the city that have prevented city officials and developers from trampling over the welfare of these communities? These are people that have taken root in Jersey City, and actually made something of areas that used to be considered decrepit and uninhabitable.

Meanwhile, your "contributions" seem to be nothing more than hiding behind a pseudonym and making personal attacks on JClist. Talk about hypocrisy.

But it appears you have another anonymous troll that you can now commisserate with. Perhaps you can form one of your own citizen's groups. "Sockpuppets for Developers" or something like that.

Posted on: 2006/9/29 15:58
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Thank god I'm not the only one that is sick of hearing from these people that think they know best for everyone. It truly makes me sick to see they same handful of people trying to dicate the adgenda month after month. Folks, wake up. Let's meet and remove these people and their adgenda. Please email me at mcginn63@aol.com to organize something.

Posted on: 2006/9/29 8:11
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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You're testing the limits of JCllist. I'm more than willing to unleash the lawyers if you want to pursue this adgenda bitch. I guess it's destiny that I will meet you in court. Well, bring it on! I can't wait to crush your ass. Get ready to spend some bucks cupcake.

P.S., don' t try to lable my disagreement with mr. James' assessment as an "attlack." i respect him and i just disagee with his conclusion, that is all . As I mentioned, he did a great job vis-a-vis, the history of the area, and he deserves credit for that. i just disagree with him on some points.

Let's go Mr. President! And you better watch your language!

Posted on: 2006/9/29 6:24
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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You've demonstrated your ignorance of the history of the warehouse district and the groups that worked for over a decade to take a decrepit area and make it something special. The aritists, the preservationists, the neighborhood residents.

But now you've personally attacked my colleague Richard James. It is no exaggeration to call your statements libelous.

Mr. James is a long time resident of Jersey City who has tirelessly worked for neighborhood improvement. He is not a full time professional consultant, although I believe he receieved modest compensation for his work (though not all that he was entitled to). He did not nearly receive the "market value" that the "rent a consultants" developers hire have done. He did this because he believed in the historic district and the value thereof.

(You have also demonstrated stunningly poor reading comprehension skills, as the nomination discusses not just the features of the buildings, but the history of the companies and their work performed in Jersey City).

The warehouse district was going nowhere fast. It was only when groups such as Pro-Arts began to work with the city to create the arts district that the properties began to have any value. So some unscrupulous owners decided to take advantage of the increased value (after letting their property rot for years), then claim that the plan, which in fact helped them, was a "violation of their civil rights."

111 First Street had for decades been zoned for Industrial use ONLY. Only under twisted logic could it be a violation of property rights to UPZONE the property to allow for residential and commerical use.

Goldman's "attorney" did not throw anyone a bone. His HP consultant, under questioning from the HP commission, admitted that the building had significant history that met the criteria for significance under the standards for landmarks. And the case was hardly "won." Goldman was vehemently fighting the designation and the redevelopment plan. The only reason he "won" was that Judge Gallipolli ruled a year later that the HPC was not properly constituted at the time, and he explicitly invited the city to re-do the same designation with the new commission. The designation and zoning in this case were clearly defendable, so long as the political will existed.

It is absolutely outrageous that you attack and smear individuals and groups that are volunteers who want nothing more than a nice place to live. But generally, such sentiments come from a) anonymous cowards like yourself.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/9/28 13:59
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Mr. President,

Beyond pointing it out I won't bother disputing your revisionist history regarding no one objecting to higher density being built along the waterfront. That is laughable.

You are harping on "professionals" deeming these properties historically significant as providing the reasoning for granting these buildings landmark status. Give me a break, even in Rick James' paper on the district he just points out the architectural aspects of the individual buildings. He doesn't even mention what each building was used for. Besides the point, guys like James are hired guns. While he has done a good job pulling together the history that is a "puff" piece of the first order. The language is laughable and could only be swallowed by a true zealot.

ULI? I've been a member of ULI for years and they would sell their mothers down the river for a buck. They spit out documents just like a consulting firm working for Enron. They know what their audience wants to hear and they produce it.

And I don't care if Goldman's attorney threw you a bone....they already knew they had the case won.


4 historic districts is enough. The groups I discussed are groups like yours that believe they have more rights to someone else's property than the owners do. That violates everything I believe in, as well as the the basic priciples of the Constitution.

It's one thing when someone buys a property that has already been deemed a landmark (probalby without just compensation to its original owner) but when it is used as an almost de facto weapon of eminent domain it really pisses me off. That has happend more than once in this town.

Posted on: 2006/9/28 6:10
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Quote:

ccitizen wrote:

What was the legislation Landmarking the Warehouse District but an effort to preserve "every" building?



It was an effort to preserve the contiguous district that remained. No one objected to the fact that much of the area was developed with higher density. But what remains fits the criteria for a historic district. No one ever disputed that. Not even the developer who sued.

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And the fact that you and your ilk feel you lost the battle years ago does not change the fact that TODAY only a handful of buildings in what remains in those couple of streets have any architectural merit.


I think the problem is that you are imputing motives to people that don't exist. No one involved in advocating for the warehouse district considered the development of the waterfront a loss. Definitely some missed opportunities. Definitely some corrupt bargains. But no one said the entire waterfront and environs should not be developed.

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I know all about the history of the area. i've read the rick james paper on the district as well. But no architectual merit = No Landmark.


I think there's another problem as well, which is that you don't understand the standards for what constitutes a landmark. Architecture is only one factor in determining what constitutes a landmark. Buildings or sites can also be deemed historic based on events that occurred or their role in the history of the area.

In any event, plenty of the buildings had architectural merit as well. The Powerhouse and the A&P are already on the national register of historic places. Others, including 111 and the Butler Brothers warehouse, would stand a good chance of making it on their own.

The other buildings, even if not landmarks on their own, have enough significance to be part of a district. A single 19th century rowhouse might not be significant, especially if it's decayed and deteriorated. Several blocks of them are significant and can create a historic district. The warehouse district was clearly large enough to qualify for protection.

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As such, I have no problem with a handful of buildings being deemed landmarks, but other than that I might think there is another agenda. Perhaps a self-aggrandizing, elitest organization trying to increase it's influence and own adgenda removed from common sense and current reality.


I'm not sure who you could be referring to here. There were several organizations, who far from being removed from reality, were instrumental in promoting the district and actually making it work.

There was Pro-Arts, an all volunteer group of artists, several of whom lived in the district itself. There was the Urban Land Institute, a respected research and education organization that came in as an outside consultant and determined that a historic district and an arts district was the optimal use for the area.

Later in the day, there was the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, which was founded by a local resident who took off time from his job to single handedly prepare a national register nomination over the objections of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It's board consists of local residents, all volunteers, who find a few hours each month to advocate for the preservation of historic landmarks.

Most recently, there was the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association, the residents who actually bought into the district. People who put their money where their mouth was, because they believed the city would, you know, actually DEFEND IT'S LAWS! (I know, that's REALLY out there).

All these people and more worked together, with developers, with city officials, to create a vibrant district out of a place that was going nowhere and had been underutilized for decades. And of course, it worked. But one developer decided that it was a violation of his civil rights to pass a redevelopment plan which actually UPZONED his building and potential uses!

So there was not "a" organization behind this. There was an incredibly diverse group of indivduals and organizations that proposed something that actually worked. Most of them who didn't receive a penny in return and never expected to.

We are living in Bizzaro world when these groups are called "elitist" and "self-aggrandizing" by people who shill for multi-million dollar developers.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/9/28 2:20
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
Every professional that reviewed the application for historic status agreed that the district met the criteria for a historic district. New Gold's OWN CONSULTANT admitted that the building had historic significance. He just lamely claimed that it's ability to project that significance was "impaired" due to the building's decay.

There's a glaring contradiction in ccitizen's post. He/She first claims that the area in question was not large enough to constitute a historic district. Then claims that the preservationists are retarding progress by demanding that we preserve "every" building.

Except, of course, that no one ever asked for that. The warehouse district was originally twice as large. Much of it was razed for development. Nearby, the entire waterfront was given over the LeFrak to build Newport. The neighboring "Hudson Exchange" district allowed hi-rise luxury housing.



What was the legislation Landmarking the Warehouse District but an effort to preserve "every" building?

And the fact that you and your ilk feel you lost the battle years ago does not change the fact that TODAY only a handful of buildings in what remains in those couple of streets have any architectural merit. I know all about the history of the area. i've read the rick james paper on the district as well. But no architectual merit = No Landmark.

As such, I have no problem with a handful of buildings being deemed landmarks, but other than that I might think there is another agenda. Perhaps a self-aggrandizing, elitest organization trying to increase it's influence and own adgenda removed from common sense and current reality.

Now that's what I call chutzpah!

Posted on: 2006/9/27 21:39
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Every professional that reviewed the application for historic status agreed that the district met the criteria for a historic district. New Gold's OWN CONSULTANT admitted that the building had historic significance. He just lamely claimed that it's ability to project that significance was "impaired" due to the building's decay.

There's a glaring contradiction in ccitizen's post. He/She first claims that the area in question was not large enough to constitute a historic district. Then claims that the preservationists are retarding progress by demanding that we preserve "every" building.

Except, of course, that no one ever asked for that. The warehouse district was originally twice as large. Much of it was razed for development. Nearby, the entire waterfront was given over the LeFrak to build Newport. The neighboring "Hudson Exchange" district allowed hi-rise luxury housing.

There are plenty of criticisms that can be leveled against this development. Giving away tax abatements, the hideous architecture of most of these buildings, the complete isolation of the development from other neighborhoods.

Nevertheless, no one, certainly not preservationists, objected to this development per se. It was necessary for "progress." The one thing we did ask is that those few historic landmarks that were remaining receive protection and be incorporated into redevelopment.

Sorry, the "compromise" was made some time ago, when everything else was given away. And of course, now that the compromise is made, people like "ccitizen" claim that there is not enough of our history left to protect. So we don't object to the development of parts of the area, and are now told that the rest is not enough to be worthy of protection.

Where I come from, the word for that type of reasoning is "chutzpah."

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/9/27 18:29
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:

There was simply no need to tear the heart out of the historic district. It was working quite well.



First of all, I don't care how many times you say it, it's not true. A 2 block by 2 block area is not a "district." Just because a handful of mostly old, ugly buildings are still barely standing does not make the area "historic." By that standard, nothing old could ever be removed and the city would never be able to grow. Every old building necessarily has history - that doesn't mean though, that every old building should be able to stop modern progress.



With regard to the westside, as I mentioned in another post, look at the site from google earth. Within less than half a mile from the site is the huge Lincoln Park, another park with at least a half a dozen baseball fields, and across the street from that is a golf driving range. How much open space do we need in JC vs. productive tax producing property? In a city of 250,000 we probably have more open space than Manhattan that has a population of 1.5 million.

People need to be realistic about the need to create jobs. You are not living in the suburbs. Yes, there will be trucks but the place is going to be run 24/7 so the trucks will be staggered and won't need to operate only during rush hours.

People are always complaining about abatements. Well this place will be bringing in about $1,000,000 a year in taxes and create approx 300 blue collar jobs.

It's tough to enjoy open space, when you are broke and out of work.

Posted on: 2006/9/27 18:08
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Woulda, coulda. I agree that 111 First should've been maintained/restored, but that's all in the past. I'm just waiting for this skeleton of a building to fall, and for this new Koolhaas structure to rise.

Posted on: 2006/9/27 16:07
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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140 Bay Street (J. Leo Cooke Warehouse) was also considered to be an ugly eyesore.

Then it was restored acccording to Secy of Interior guidelines and it became the jewel of the district.

111 was ugly because it was actively neglected by the owner. It too could have been restored and been a centerpiece of the historic warehouse district.

Rem Koolhaus could have been a great pick to, say, construct one of the nearby skyscrapers going up in the adjacent district. If the city really felt the need to compromise, it could have allowed NewGold Equities to build up on the site of the former 110 First Street, while restoring 111.

There was simply no need to tear the heart out of the historic district. It was working quite well.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/9/27 16:00
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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I am all in favor of historic preservation, but to be frank, I always thought 111 First was sort of ugly. Jersey City is not a museum and I think the city must progress. The city has so much underutilized poetential if they can ever start to get things right. A nice Kookhas building is a good start and the other towers going up are positives, but the sidewalks all seem to be too narrow and there is a serious lack of greenspace which is where people congregate, play, eat, etc. - look at union Square.

As for the west side, i think they need to reach sometype of compromise so that they can build a smaller warehouse but also have sufficient greenspace for parks, etc.

Posted on: 2006/9/27 14:05
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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Posted on: 2006/9/27 8:04
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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But clearly JC is far closer to Manhattan than some parts of Brooklyn that have made themselves destinations. Heck, Chelsea wouldn't have been much of a definition a few decades back either.

I don't understand why anyone would actively oppose the idea of JC making itself a destination when it's in such a prime location to do so, being 15 minutes from Manhattan and in the middle of one of the most densely populated and affluent areas in the country.

As for (the old) 111, well, I have mixed feelings about what went down there, but it's over. Ideally, I'd prefer to see a Koolhaas building AND a warehouse full of artist studios. But I'd rather have a Koolhaas building than a decaying, vacant warehouse, no matter how scummy the owner is.

Either one is better than a Powerhouse wasted on a Barnes and Noble and a sportsbar.

Posted on: 2006/9/27 1:26
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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The Power House Arts District should be the center city "destination" that Jersey City lacks, and needs desperately. It should be the place where people come to find art and entertainment

Actually, I believe that's why God made Manhattan.

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Posted on: 2006/9/26 23:09
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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CivicJC wrote:
This is a tale of two warehouses.



The Power House Arts District should be the center city "destination" that Jersey City lacks, and needs desperately. It should be the place where people come to find art and entertainment and will also discover a sense of the unique history and the character of this place. This vision requires protecting the majestic warehouse buildings there, nurturing the core community already living there and working to make the dream a reality. This course is charted very clearly in a detailed report by the prestigious Urban Land Institute; a report commissioned, paid for and repeatedly approved by the same politicians who are now abandoning it. It calls for a reuse of historic industrial buildings that has been at the heart of the urban renaissance in Minneapolis, Lowell, Albany and dozens of other cities.



www.CivicJC.org


So we are supposed to believe that a refurbished 111 First would have more attaction than a Rem Koolhass building? You want arts, you have to do something bold. I think this new property is going to have approx 16000 sf for galleries. That's enough for 16 different galleries in one building.

"majestic warehouse buildings?" With a couple of exceptions, the handful (it's more like 2 blocks than a "district") of warehouses down there are of the most pedestrian nature you can imagine.

Posted on: 2006/9/26 20:07
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Re: Tale of Two Warehouses....
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ugh, man you are a broken record. yes, we know..you're all for development as long as it lives up to your impossible standards of "responsible development, blah, blah, blah."

listen to yourself. won't provide jobs for unskilled labor? what jobs are they qualified for? jobs in the Home Depot that you also opposed?

CivicJC? I can see the membership now. Probably the same 6 loudmouths that have to fire off on every issue under the sun. Face it, your time is past. New blood = new reality.

Posted on: 2006/9/26 18:09
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Tale of Two Warehouses....
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This is a tale of two warehouses.

The Jersey City administration is promoting a misguided plan to build a vast new warehouse on the west side, while it surrenders the 111 First Street warehouse in the Power House Arts district to rapacious development. The result is that a throwback industrial zone is being created on the Hackensack River where is does not belong, while the invaluable historic warehouse district on the Hudson River, with its potential for generating tourist dollars and jobs is being dismembered. The proposed AMB warehouse on the PJP site is a vivid example of "the wrong place at the wrong time." The abandonment of the PAD is exhibit A for the mind-boggling failure of vision that characterizes this administration.

The Power House Arts District should be the center city "destination" that Jersey City lacks, and needs desperately. It should be the place where people come to find art and entertainment and will also discover a sense of the unique history and the character of this place. This vision requires protecting the majestic warehouse buildings there, nurturing the core community already living there and working to make the dream a reality. This course is charted very clearly in a detailed report by the prestigious Urban Land Institute; a report commissioned, paid for and repeatedly approved by the same politicians who are now abandoning it. It calls for a reuse of historic industrial buildings that has been at the heart of the urban renaissance in Minneapolis, Lowell, Albany and dozens of other cities.

That is the vision. The reality is that our city government is rubber stamping the march of developers from the Hudson River to the historic districts. Their plan for PAD is to tear down the historic buildings and erect high rise towers surrounded by sterile concrete "empty space." In 2004, Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for the New Yorker magazine called Newport "a dreary assemblage" and "an incoherent splatter of buildings." This is what will replace the irreplaceable. With the ink barely dry on the settlement with New Gold Equities to build towers up to 60 stories high at the 111/110 First Street sites, another 40 story tower is now proposed for the nearby Manischewitz property. The city promised no "domino effect", but the dominoes are already falling. Jersey City's best shot at greatness is being squandered.

Over to the Westside. A huge tract of undeveloped land under the Pulaski Skyway is about to be developed. The Westside also has a waterfront, on the Hackensack River, which like the Hudson is a natural magnet for residential and small business development. The site known as PJP and adjacent sites should include residential and small business development suitable to a twenty-first century urban environment. It should be anchored by a river walkway and significant adjacent open space. There is a pressing need for active recreation fields, and this is the place for it.

The city's plan is to put a vast high cube warehouse there which will bring some jobs, but few for the local unskilled workers who need them most. It will also bring nightmare big truck traffic headaches. It's a vision for city planning half a century behind the times.

Also, troubling is the division among citizens on the rezoning of the PJP site that emerged at the August Council meeting. Some groups support the City's plan citing jobs and tax revenue; however most citizens living near the site prefer residential, small business and recreational use. CIVIC JC opposes the AMB high cube warehouse proposal. The promise of jobs appears to be a largely empty one. Tax revenues and jobs would also come from more appropriate development. Citizens need to get together and seek common ground and the right direction, because our government is leading us in the wrong one.

www.CivicJC.org

Posted on: 2006/9/26 17:45
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