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Re: New Redevelopment Plan coming for downtown???
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Since it was me and my associates who bought all of the tax liens on the buildings on the south side of Newark Avenue, I had an advantage in guessing about the redevelopment. So far I have signed up a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker to rent space in my development - Sommerman Centre Pointe Harbour Citi. Bendel's declined, but Barney's will be opening up shortly. In keeping with our concern for historic continuity they have agreed to call this branch C.H. Martin Barney's. I am also negotiating with NJ Transit to run a spur from the Harborside Station up Columbus and Newark to terminate in front of the soon to be fully restored Loew's. Stations will be named after many JCList contributors - Alb Station, ECH station, F.Eddie Station and of course Rabbit Rabbit Station (we may drop the t's if we can get a synagogue built at that station). There will be BIG signs on this spur saying: Please behave and don't beat the crap out of anyone.

Actually, the above is not exactly true, I just wanted to ask what Steve Fulop's web site was and got carried away.

Posted on: 2006/11/15 0:43
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan coming for downtown???
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Lets be fair before we start jumping to conclusions on this and assuming things that are not based in fact.

Yes, I am certainly very involved in this process and yes I do communicate with the stake holders to the best of my ability although I am certainly not perfect at this. Generally speaking, if you have a question about Ward E issues ask me as it is generally easier for me to know what interest specific people have and respond

In the past year between Van Vorst Dog Run moving forward, Hamilton, Park renovation moving fast, Colgate Park renovation, Owen Grundy Pier renovation, the fourth corner of Paulus Hook (moving slowly), Street Paving more than anywhere else, day to day constituent maintenance, signage, development issues, and the most proactive legislation of any ward... I think we are doing quite well. I do need a little trust though because it is physically impossible for me to communicate every detail about everything to everyyone as it is just Tracy and I. I do go too most community meetings every single month and I try to streamline information that is most relevant but as many of you know we have a ton of ?balls in the air? and I try to be results oriented. I do make mistakes but I don't hide anything - so just ask.

Tonight, when I get the chance I will post on my website rendering of the streetscape plan and the tentative goal with the redevelopment plan so you all can see the thought process. I fully expect push back from some as I am learning this is the nature of some who have an axe to grind more with me than the process - no matter what I do (see Sonia or DanL if you would like info on how to join this team).

Newark Avenue - Just think, last year with restaurant row the fight and energy that we went through to change a silly ordinance and today the only result is positive - Maggie is opening a second restaurant (albeit slowly), a Thai restaurant is renovating, LITM has a full menu, and 1st/Grove will see another restaurant shortly. I expect this overall structural plan to set positive momentum as well

For the plans discussed on this thread - I will post pictures and renderings this evening on my website but they are tentative and conceptual. It is an important step but certainly it is not finalized. I think Alan Sommerman did a good job of guessing where we are going with this overall. Once again, one favor, lets not assume different aspects of the redevelopment process as it is way to early for that.

Three final points you will see from the drawings ? we are focused on the blighted one story buildings on the southside of the street, we are focused on a seperate streetscape for Christopher Columbus where the mural is, and for the final streetscape plan everything in the plan is LEED certified to insure environmental awareness and to help us with pursuit of grants.

The SID and I are trying to be as careful and thoughtful with this as possible but the end goal is simply progress and making a better Jersey City

Steven M Fulop
Councilman WARD "E"

Posted on: 2006/11/14 21:23
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan coming for downtown???
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I remember finding out (to my shock) years ago that the owners of the majority of buildings on the south side of
Newark from Grove to Jersey hadn't bothered to pay
taxes in years and years and had essentially been
forgiven by the city from the burden of having to make
any contribution to the general municipal kitty.

Now, maybe, after the Schundler purge of tax deadbeats and
freeloaders, some of the owners are officially on the tax
rolls, but I wouldn't be too sure, and I certainly would not
be too solicitous of their welfare. The ground floor rent incomes
have been an endless cash cow to the owners for years and years,
and the reason that stores only survive a few months is
the onerous rent burden. Now the owners probably feel
that it is Christmas every day of the year because of
the new buildings going up and all the supposed
big spenders who will be moving in. All the more reason
to do nothing to improve the buildings and let
ground floor retail renters do all the work and
pay huge rent at the same time. God, how I wish
I owned some of those buildings!!


If there is a chance to get those buildings away from
the current owners , and to upgrade and improve the structures, I'm all for it. At the same time, I'm not
up on pedestrian malls and how they do and do not
work. Just having affordable retail space and decent
stores would be so nice. Enough of the nail salons
and cell phone joints. I don't need a Bendel's but I
would like a stationer or a good coffee place or a
pastry shop or etc, etc. Take a look at Montague St.
in Brooklyn Heights. It can be done.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 21:13
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan coming for downtown???
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I suspect it is much easier to fight eminent domain when people's homes are at stake - I wouldn't be that surprised if the owners of buildings on the south side of Newark sided with the city on the blight study. They get fair market value for buildings that they have barely maintained. The lessees get screwed, I guess, but fcuk em - what have they ever done for me?

Posted on: 2006/11/14 20:03
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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Hey you guys should contact the Castle Coalition, they are a nonprofit group that sued and won an injuction against the City of Long Branch, New Jersey when the city tried to take away an entire African American neighborhood by eminent domain so that it could be redeveloped as luxury condos and shops. It turns out that Long Branch used a very loose definition of "Blighted" in a biased Blight study to take the homes of middle class people to give away to corrupt and connected developers.


"Castle Coalition: Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain AbuseA national coalition of citizens fighting against eminent domain abuse. FAQ, success stories, news and resources."

www.castlecoalition.org/

We need to pass an amendment in the Jersey City Charter to protect property from eminent domain abuse like this.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 19:51
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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I obtained a copy of the resolution passed by city council, it authorized the Planning Board to conduct what is known as the blight study to deterimine if the area is in need of redevelopment. This is the first step to create a redevelopment plan.

As I mentioned in my original post, early on in the redevelopment process, the City Planning Dept usually reaches out to stakeholders which in this case has yet to occur. Of course there have been other redevelopment plans that were fast-tracked and developer driven that seemed to be done in ways to avoid public input. These latter plans generally were not developer neutral and developers were designated without going through a "request for proposal" process.

Based on the numerous comments posted on this thread, there should be an opportunity for public participation early on in this possible (likely) redevelopment plan.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 19:07
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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Quote:

fasteddie wrote:
Newark Ave. is one of the few major east/west arteries running through the city into downtown. It makes no sense at all to consider a pedestrian mall there.


Somebody who makes sense. *sigh*

Posted on: 2006/11/14 17:12
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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omg. omg. a pedestrian mall?! NO!
can anyone think of a pedestrian mall that works?! especially in a climate that has such extremes? other than in europe?
if there isn't already an insane amount of foot traffic businesses located on pedestrian malls suffer, (rush hour foot traffic i don't think would be enough) and doesn't this area already look pretty dead after dark? with no cars whatsoever occasionally passing at night pedestians in this area would be even more terrified to be there.
i love the idea of strolling freely from shop to shop or bar to bar in an ideal world, but i'm not convinced it would work here.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 17:11
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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A mall might be more than necessary, but I've been saying for years it needs to be one way from Jersey to Grove. Cars & trucks illegally parking on the S side force cars and bicycles into dangerous traffic. Also, doubling the available meters would be a boon to businesses. If I'm in my car rather than on foot or bike I'll go elsewhere, rather than waste time with a futile search for parking there.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 16:46
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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I think a pedestrian mall would be great but there needs to be several magnets to attract people to the pedestrian mall, like maybe a movie theater. Also, I think the use of eminent domain would be a gross abuse of power since there are numerous viable businesses on newark avenue; the area is not full of boarded up crack houses.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 16:09
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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Newark Ave. is one of the few major east/west arteries running through the city into downtown. It makes no sense at all to consider a pedestrian mall there.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 15:56
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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I would love to know more! Does Steve Fulop know anything?

I must say I would love to see Newark Ave as a pedestrian mall -- it does sound nice -- but I think I would be happy with it being just a one way street with trees, parking and a nice big bike lane

Quote:

DanL wrote:
...There has been talk of streetscape improvements...even suggestions to turn Newark Ave into a pedestrian mall...


I must say I am against most use of eminent domain -- we need some laws passed against it in NJ!

Posted on: 2006/11/14 15:48
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Re: New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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I have no idea what is being planned, but I would love to see that whole block demolished and replaced with small retail on both Newark and Columbus and medium rise residential above. Except for the John Mullins building and maybe something hidden behind NJ Brickface the block has little to recommend itself architecturally. This would be a great opportunity to have an architectural competition to see how to build something new that complements the North side of Newark.

The longer I live here the more I want to see results not process.

Posted on: 2006/11/14 15:38
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New Redevelopment Plan comming for downtown???
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I noticed in the Jersey Reporter's coverage of last week's city council meeting a resolution either approving a blight study to be conducted or approving and accepting a blight study declaring the area in need of redevelopment for the area btwn Columubus and Newark bounded by Grove and Jersey Ave.

Since this was a resolution, it does not appear on Councilman Fulop's website (only ordinances) and City Council agendas are not placed on the city website (no surprise).

At the last Harsimus Cove Assn meeting on October 18th, Councilman Fulop provided an update on a number of items he thought of interest to the neighborhood, but no mention of creating a redevelopment plan for this area.

I have not noticed anything relevant to this on Planning Board agendas (which are emailed to neighborhood groups and posted on the city website).

There has been talk of streetscape improvements, blockfront improvements, changing zoning to permit the buildings on the south side of Newark Ave to split and have storefronts on Columbus, even suggestions to turn Newark Ave into a pedestrian mall, but nothing of completly rezoning the area and potentially using eminent domain to take properties here.

While, many wish for improvement in this area, redevelopment plans irrevocably rezone/upzone areas, grant the city right of emminent domain to achieve the plan, open up redevelopment to tax abatements / pilot contracts etc.

There are numerous business that have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their storefronts (including the long awaited Thai restaurant), now a redevelopment plan can shut them down and take it away from them.

Something of this magnatude should have gone public before the redevelopment process is started and involved all stakeholders.

Given all this, is anyone in the know about what is being planned?????

Posted on: 2006/11/14 3:12
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