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Re: The Beacon
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In my condo in Paulus Hook, every subsequent buyer pays higher tax/pilot than the previous owner. The tax/pilot is recalculated based on the new price. I don't know what happens when the price drops.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 13:01
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Re: The Beacon
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in nj, abatement/pilot on luxury high-rises are usually the same or more expensive than actual property tax, and it's only deductible on the federal return.

the upside is the payment should be fixed for x number of years, so you dont have to worry about annual increase or assessment for the duration.

It's usually 1.65% of the first purchase price(new construction), after that all the subsequent owners pay that amount.

So if the first owner bought at 400k at the market top, second owner buys it for 300k, he's still paying 400k*0.0165 a year until he petitions to have it removed.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 5:22
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Re: The Beacon
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No, PILOT fees are not taxes, they are Payments In Lieu Of Taxes. I'm not an accountant so I can't come up with an exact definition but they go to the City rather than the others that taxes go to, like schools and the county and they are based on a small percentage times your purchase price. I have my PILOT fees escrowed so I really don't know what they are, I'd have to look it up and I'm not home. I bought more than 2 years ago. But if you are really interested in Pilot fees and costs at the Beacon a quick visit to the Sales Office or BeaconJC.com to contact them would answer most all of your questions. I'm not a realtor either, I just live there. The amenities are a full gym, 2 hot tubs, an indoor pool, male and female steam rooms, pool room, poker room, library, dog run, indoor kids play room, theater. Deli on site. Hair & Nail Salon on site, "free" shuttle bus (covered by maint.) Water, heat and HVAC covered by maint fee (but NOT the electric fans that bring hot and cool air to your unit). Free buffet from time to time scheduled as part of Club Aqua events, like the Super Bowl Party. A private Club, open to residents and their guests will be opening this Fall as well as a school. Parking is extra, as is a storage locker.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 20:18
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Re: The Beacon
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"Not near any transportation"? Really? The highway on ramp is just at the bottom of the hill down Montgomery(about 3 blocks). Makes it easy to get out of town going East, West, North or South. The Beacon shuttle bus to downtown is every 15 min during rush hours and every 30 min before and after that (part of your maint fee). There are buses on Baldwin, and some residents walk to Journal Square every weekday, so that's not far either. We've been over the "people died there" BS a while back. I'll say it again for the slow and new, if you are living in a building built before the 1920's then people died where you live too, likely in your bedroom. People were also born at the hospital, and sick people got better. Plenty of good Karma there. The Beacon buildings, with the exception of the first floor are TOTAL gut jobs. Nothing left on the floors would be recognized by anyone who worked at the hospital, except for the 3 layer exterior. When Verizon did their commercial the condo association got a nice fee. Same with the music videos that were shot at the Beacon. it will hel keep maint. fees down. The Beacon is not freaky scary to anyone who has actually been there. It is a quality rehab and rebuild project, full of marble, granite, slate and hardwood. My one bedroom's maint fee is less than $700 per month which includes some utilities (not electricity) and the spa/gym and the bus, plus other amenities. We don't pay taxes, we have an abatement for the next 30 years, so we pay PILOT fees.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 14:34
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Re: The Beacon
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Does anyone have a handle on the monthly carrying costs of an average one-bedroom and two bedroom, including taxes and condo fees?
Is anything extraordinary included in the fee, like electricity, central heating, gym, hot water, cable, internet?

Are the walls between the apartments masonry (quiet) or just drywall (noisy?)

I love real estate auctions, even if I don't buy so I'll probably look into it.

Posted on: 2009/5/25 12:12
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Re: The Beacon
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Anyone see this ad in the Saturday NY Times - it's on the inside front cover (page 2) of the Real Estate Section:

Click image for larger size...
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Posted on: 2009/5/23 14:02
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Daily News: The Beacon: Lofty Plans
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Lofty Plans

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by Jason Sheftell
Daily News
Friday, March 27th 2009

When George Filopoulos saw the ruins of the Jersey City Medical Center from the state turnpike in 2002, he didn?t know a quick glance while driving would lead to the largest historic residential restoration in the United States and, quite possibly, his legacy as a developer.

Looking at the hulking mass of beige concrete comprising 10 high-rises on a hill that resemble a miniversion of Rockefeller Center, Filopoulos, 39, drooled over development possibilities.

While most real estate developers proposed tearing down the 1931-constructed Art Deco structures that once housed the finest neo-
natal care unit in the country, Filopoulos thought he could make history again. After his restoration plan was accepted by Jersey City officials and approved by state historic boards in 2003, he paid $25 million for the property, ironically the same amount it took to build the facility 70 years earlier.

?We had to replace 25% of the brick on the buildings? facades and do paint-chip analysis to match the exact color on the inside ceilings,? says Filopoulos, who at 6-foot-7, with size-14 shoes, is imposing and humorous. ?At the beginning, this was a labor of love, then it was pure labor,
now it?s love again, but mostly it?s been fun.?

Headaches, too. Shortly after he bought the property, Filopoulos saw a television show on geology demonstrating that the Palisades Ridge, the development?s location, was composed of bluestone, a rock almost as hard as diamonds.

?Here I was trying to relax for a moment and something on television tells me this property is built on the second-strongest stone in existence,? he says, laughing. ?I had to dig into that for plumbing? Nothing was going to be easy.?

Six years and $150 million later, Filopoulos has completed two buildings and closed on more than 75% of the available units. He built a five-star amenity center ? used daily by current residents ? with saunas, hot tubs and an indoor pool. The restored marble hallways inside the buildings are as wide as streets and as smooth as sparkling glass.

The valet parking and resident shuttles to the nearby PATH stations run close to clockwork. Little girls come up to him in the lobby, saying thank you for building them such a home. At its height in October 2005, 50 to 60 units were selling on a monthly basis for prices starting at $375,000.

Then the economy took a hit, and things slowed down. The real estate market tumbled and homeowner values decreased. Fortunately, all his construction loans were in place, but Metrovest Equities, the development company Filopoulos founded, had eight more buildings to restore, 1,000 more units to lay out, and an on-site retail piazza overlooking Liberty State Park and New York Harbor to build.

more...
http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estat ... 09-03-27_lofty_plans.html

Posted on: 2009/3/28 3:07
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Re: The Beacon
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I have been staring at this post for hours... actually the thread... I live literally 5 blocks up from here.... I AM LOW INCOME and not afraid to admit it.

I do not live in the projects but you pay more in maintenance then I do for my monthly RENT.... I work my ass off, I am a good tenant, I don't "commit" crimes... I have friends who live in those projects... who also are just like me, who have lived in JC all their lives... so now... in order for you to have a more aesthetically pleasing view of your new half million dollar condo... we have to up and leave??

Or because we can't afford to live downtown or in Beacon, we are ghetto, no class, crack-head whores??

I walk my dogs at 1, 2am... in the GHETTO, and guess what?
I love it... my neighbors are nice and not uppity, everyone looks out for each other... I live in the Ghetto... places where some of you would not walk in the day-time.. I left my window open on my brand new Jeep... (all the way down) and not one soul touched my car because everyone looks out for each other... were a community and we deserve to be hear just as much as you, (if not more) do.

Posted on: 2008/8/11 20:29
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Re: The Beacon
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Never had a problem and my hubby walks the dogs on Montgomery up until 11:30 p.m. Anyway, if folk are that squeamish (I will admit a certain contempt for folk who move somewhere they claim to be afraid of) they can stay inside the complex we have a deli and all the previously mentioned amenities and a valet brings us our cars.

AND I have lived in hoity toity locations where I wouldn't trust my neighbor or leave my door open for sure! People are the same everywhere they just dress nicer.

Posted on: 2008/8/11 19:00
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Re: The Beacon
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How's the crime over there next to Montgomery Gardens? Location, location, location!!!

Posted on: 2008/8/11 18:51
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Re: Update on The Beacon
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thanks for the update! it's refreshing to hear from someone who's satisfied with where she lives.

Posted on: 2008/8/11 18:35
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Update on The Beacon
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Hi all! This is the first lady of The Beacon--my hubby and I were the the first people to move in last July 19th. Haven't seen any posts lately so just want to update folk on the progress. First check out the Verizon commercial with the two little boys coming down the long shiny hallway and the verizon customer and network coming down from a hall on the side. Those beautiful shiny original hallways are the first floor of The Beacon. That is where you will also find our large deco theater and pool hall as well as poker room, library, and piano. Our first floor deck is now open and every weekend, and most weekdays, a bunch of us are out grilling and catching rays and at night gazing at the fire pit. The first weekend the deck was officially open our spa management team gave free bbqs with great vittles and refreshments. Also open are our incredible 18th and 19th floor observation/sun decks. Unbelievable views! Our concierge service has been open for two months, they p/u d/o dry cleaning and can get you services like cleaning, food shopping, private jets (yeah I am going to rent one this weekend, in my dreams). Every Tuesday there are free salsa lessons in the great room and the spa has a bunch of free exercise and yoga classes. They may begin free swimming lessons in the pool, though our jacuzzis are so big they could have some in them! The massage room is lovely, wish massages were free :) And the spa management also hosts monthly karoke nights with free refreshments. The next building they (Filopolous) are working on has a basketball court and a bowling alley. Lucky for us that mayor Hague had a unique take on what hospitals should be stocked with. So the Beacon continues to be the most lavish yet affordable lifestyle in the tri state area. Ciao for now.

Posted on: 2008/8/11 18:31
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New York Times: They’re All Connected -- www.BeaconOwners.com
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ONLINE James Keating (left, with pool-playing neighbor) created a message board for the Beacon, in Jersey City.

They?re All Connected

By LISA KEYS
The New York Times
Published: May 18, 2008

WHEN James Keating moved into the Beacon, a 10-tower residential conversion in Jersey City, in August, he found a cascade of e-mail messages circulating among the new residents. Some had questions about amenities, some wondered when construction projects would be completed and others just wanted to get to know their neighbors.

Mr. Keating, the vice president for marketing of ShopWiki.com, an online shopping search engine, found the seemingly endless forwarding of those messages inefficient and time consuming.

To streamline things, he founded an online message board, BeaconOwners.com, where residents can post messages about everything from poker games to elevator noise.

?For $9, I bought the domain name,? said Mr. Keating, who is 38. ?For free, I downloaded the software. Two hours later, we had a message board. It was amazingly easy to do.?

Electronic communication in residential buildings has gotten a lift in the New York region in recent years with so many new condominiums hardwired for the Internet.

But the means to connect residents in buildings of any age can be as simple as creating a Google or Yahoo group, building a group on social networking sites like MeetUp or Facebook, or joining a site like LifeAt.com, which allows members to post profiles and pictures. Another Web site, MeetTheNeighbors.org, is free to join and largely functions as a message board for people who live in the same building or the same neighborhood.

The buildingwide systems have allowed residents to get to know one another, to communicate with building management, to request and track repairs that must be made and to settle disputes.

LifeAt is used in 149 buildings in Manhattan, according to the company. Buildings pay a one-time fee of $6,000 for access to the site. Residents can post personal profiles and classified ads that can be seen by others in the same building, as well as rate local businesses and receive coupons from national retailers like Kohl?s and Sears. The building?s staff members can also contact residents through LifeAt.

In January, Ryan James, 29, moved into Eleven80 ? a 317-unit luxury rental at 1180 Raymond Boulevard in Newark that opened in August 2006 ? and signed up for LifeAt.

?I was surprised with the level of participation,? said Mr. James, who is vice president for financial services at Unity Financial, on Wall Street. ?It goes to show that people are willing to extend, if not friendship, some level of acquaintance and familiarity. In all the buildings I lived in, particularly in New York City, people kept to themselves.?

On his profile, Mr. James describes himself as a ?single, fly-by-night kind of guy? whose hobbies are politics and sports. ?I did go on there to see what kind of ?companionship? the site offered,? he said. ?There are some cuties in my building, yeah.?

And while he said he was still working up the nerve to contact them, he attended a football playoffs party, held in the building?s media room, that he had discovered through the site.

LifeAt also offers a message board for resident-to-resident chats. ?In the beginning, a lot of developers said, ?We don?t want them to communicate with each other,? ? said Matthew Goldstein, the chief executive at LifeAt. ?Our response was that they?re doing it anyway ? they?re going to Yahoo and Google and creating groups. Here?s a way to be able to monitor it, maintain it and react to problems and issues instead of hiding behind them.?

Some groups are set up before buildings are even finished.

At the Gantry, a 47-unit condominium in Long Island City, Queens, Yvan Chu, who owns a unit there, started a Google Group in early 2006, before the building opened later that year.

?With new construction, there?s such a long lead time between contract and closing; I thought it would be a good place to sort of get together,? said Mr. Chu, 35, a real estate lawyer. ?We all wanted to know about each other, what expertise we could lend each other.?

Susan Burns, a Gantry owner and president of its board, said that in the building?s preclosing days, the Google Group was an excellent source for real estate advice. ?It was a great way of sharing resources and sharing information.? At the time, said Ms. Burns, 44, a vice president at Sard Verbinnen & Company, a financial public relations company, future residents exchanged messages about painters, real estate lawyers and home insurance.

Mr. Chu, who serves as the assistant treasurer of the Gantry board of managers, said that activity on the message board had died down somewhat, now that residents can easily knock on one another?s doors. Nonetheless, it remains a tool for communication.

Recently, messages from a few residents regarding custom window screens developed into a conversation about aesthetics of the building?s exterior and, eventually, a group order of screens.

?We were able to get everything done collectively, in one day,? Mr. Chu said. ?Everyone was happy, everyone was getting a lower price.?

As technology becomes more prevalent, some buildings use multiple systems simultaneously.

Last Wednesday, for instance, the Beacon in Jersey City added something beyond BeaconOwners.com: Vertalink, an Internet-based system that allows residents to book spa treatments or order food via computer or touch-screen hardwired into the building.

Also, the Gantry has gone beyond the Google Group to add BuildingLink.com, which allows paperless communication among building residents, staff members and managers.

?The Google Group is more informal ? let it all hang out and share,? Ms. Burns said. "BuildingLink is the official channel."

BuildingLink is used in some 375 residential buildings in the New York City area, according to the company. With the system, which charges $13 per unit per year, everything from work orders to package deliveries is recorded online. (Residents receive e-mail messages when packages are received; signatures are recorded electronically.)

?Our biggest fans are doormen,? said Fran Besdin, BuildingLink?s marketing manager. ?We have streamlined their operations tremendously.?

One of BuildingLink?s clients is the Albanese Organization, which uses the system in all its residential developments, including the Visionaire, a new Battery Park City condominium scheduled to open this summer. ?It adds tremendous value, as it helps us efficiently manage a property,? Mr. Albanese said.

The Visionaire will also be testing a service that will allow residents to order hotel-like amenities, like wake-up calls from the front desk.

Internet-based systems can bring even older buildings into the digital age.

At Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, two adjoining developments along the East River, built in 1947, with 110 buildings and more than 11,000 units a new residents-only Intranet will start in August.

Among its many applications, the site will allow residents to make and track maintenance requests and to keep abreast of events around the complex. This is an upgrade of an existing resident portal, CommunityNET, which alerts residents of news and events.

The new system ? which will be more user-friendly than the current system, according to its developers ? is separate from the online message board that is independently run by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

?With the emphasis on online interaction these days, it was a natural fit for us,? said George Hatzmann, a managing director at Tishman Speyer, which bought the complexes two years ago.

Another, perhaps unintended, effect of buildingwide communication is that it?s easier to grouse as a group, too.

?There?s a lot of collective complaining that happens on the Web site,? said Mr. Keating of the Beacon. ?But, interestingly enough, it?s been constructive as well.?

Cathy Chin, the Beacon?s property manager, said that when residents have a problem, they are more likely to go online than pick up the phone. ?As long as we have a place where we can access complaints and react to them, it certainly makes our job easier,? she said. ?We?re able to know sooner if there are any problems arising and we can correct them before they become an issue.?

As a result of complaints on the message board, residents were able to persuade Metrovest, the Beacon?s developer, to increase the size of the shuttle bus to the PATH train and increase frequency of service.

Like a lot of Internet chatter, conversations on individual building sites can become less than civilized. ?People say things online that they would never say face to face,? Mr. Keating said.

He said a fellow resident began calling him names after an online discussion about enforcing the cellphone ban in the building?s gym. Many residents rushed to his defense, Mr. Keating said. Nonetheless, it has made for awkward encounters in the mailroom.

"Anonymous or not anonymous, it doesn?t seem to make a difference as far as I can tell,? Mr. Keating said. ?People just seem to forget that what we say online gets carried into the hallways."

Still, he said, sometimes the simplest applications are most rewarding.

Thanks to the owners? Web site, ?I get instant feedback: This is what the community wants,? said Mr. Keating, who also serves on the Beacon?s board. ?It?s great for me to send a question out there and get responses right away. Normally, with a condo association, you could only do that when you have a meeting. In this way, I could hold virtual meetings online.?

Mr. Keating added, ?It was the best $9 investment I ever made.?

Posted on: 2008/5/17 17:24
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Re: The Beacon
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It's pretty diverse - although tilted towards young single people. But we have families with young children like ourselves, older adults, disabled people, people who like big dogs, people into loulou dogs, etc., and it's surely ethnically diverse. But like you said, this is purely based on my own observations - based mostly on people who take the shuttle at the same time I do and/or occasionally use the amenities.

I do think sometimes there's a weird "renter vs owner" vibe - but from management, not from the residents. I just think they can be short-sighted and forget that a renter today might be tomorrow's buyer, particularly with the third building coming in line.

Posted on: 2008/4/3 2:38
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Re: The Beacon
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What are the general demographics of the current Beacon residents (from observation)? I looked at the website and it seems to target young homogenous couples--to the extent you have noticed, is there an open attitude toward older, single, gay, diverse (etc) people.

Posted on: 2008/4/2 21:12
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Re: The Beacon
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I am pretty sure when the guy was peeking around the marble column in that clip/video it was one in The Beacon.

Posted on: 2008/4/2 18:54
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Re: The Beacon News
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Quote:

billc wrote:
Today the Beacon scored another commercial being shot in it's unique art deco first floor. This time it's Verizon. Can you hear me now?


Yeah, I got to exercise my acting chops as one of the many Verizon "network" people following around Paul the "can you hear me now" guy. The Beacon was very impressive. They have really brought a sparkle back to the old detail in the building we were shooting in. I didn't get to see any of the units but the over-all impression was that they are not doing shoddy work. They even had elevator operators and a screening room for the residents. Yes, the surrounding neighborhood can be dicey but so too can the one around Van Vorst Park. I guess condo sales are down all over the country so adding the rental option will certainly not hurt. If I still had that pioneering spirit I would not hesitate to give the Beacon a shot. Well, I'll take a brouchure...... BTW Look for the Verizon spot with the guy doing laundry and the two creepy kids alla "The Shining".

Posted on: 2008/4/2 16:55
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Re: The Beacon News
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I would just call the sales office, they have no problem giving a quote I am sure. And if you buy preconstruction (they are working on the third building now) it should be good. They can be reached from the website at beaconjc.com. Sales office is 201-716-3000.

Posted on: 2008/4/2 16:40
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Re: The Beacon News
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Does anyone know ball park what a 1 bedroom at the Beacon would go for?

Posted on: 2008/4/2 16:26
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Re: The Beacon
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'Black Widow' breaks in Beacon's billiards room with amazing display

Saturday, February 09, 2008
By PAUL KOEPP
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Professional pool star Jeanette Lee wowed a crowd of about 50 residents of The Beacon Thursday night with a dazzling trick-shot demonstration.

The "Black Widow," dressed in black from head to toe - as usual - helped inaugurate the billiards room in the former main lobby of the old Jersey City Medical Center.

Lee, 36, a native of Brooklyn who became the world's top-ranked player in 1994, just a year and a half after turning pro, also took on a number of challenges from Beacon residents, and emerged unscathed.

"There's something about beating men that never gets old," Lee said, as she schooled Patrick Healy, a Jersey City firefighter and son of Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.

Alex Stavrinoudis acted as a prop for one of Lee's trick shots, holding a piece of cue chalk with his teeth to steady a ball that she struck out of mid-air and into a pocket. Her performance was "phenomenal," he said. "We really have great events here."

Lee has suffered from severe chronic back pain since she was a child, undergoing nine surgeries, including the insertion of two 18-inch metal rods in her back.

She serves as a national spokesperson for the Scoliosis Association.

Still, she keeps up a busy schedule, traveling all over the world to compete and do exhibitions. Lee was impressed with the Beacon's billiards room, which features a bas-relief by artist A.G. Newman. "The room is beautiful. They've done some great things here."

A Beacon spokeswoman said the Rialto and Capitol buildings are about 80 percent full, with over 200 residents moved in, and a third building, the Mercury, will be open soon.

Beacon developer George Filopoulos was among those cheering Lee's every shot. Michael Cox said he was excited to be one of the residents who won a chance to play against Lee.

Asked if he was a fan of hers, he said, "I am now!"

PAUL KOEPP can be reached at (201) 217-2400.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 18:14
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Re: The Beacon
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From today's Daily News

Manhattan's Metrovest Equities, developers of The Beacon in Jersey City, knows how to take advantage of its top amenities. Residents recently competed in a Nine-Ball tournament where four winners got to take on one of the best billiards players in the world.

Jeanette Lee, otherwise known as "The Black Widow," appeared last night for three hours in the Billiard Room at The Beacon, where she performed pool tricks, gave pointers and went head-to-head with the local winners. Located in the ex-lobby of the Jersey City Medical Center, the Billiard Room has two regulation-size red felt pool tables, leather club chairs and, on the walls, sculptural art panels depicting the chronology of mankind and valued at over $800,000. The complex also sports an Aqua Grotto lounge with hot tubs, saunas, juice bar, yoga studio and indoor pool.

The Beacon is the largest historical restoration project in the United States. Prices start in the mid-$300,000 range for studios, with two-bedrooms going for $495,000.

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Posted on: 2008/2/8 13:38
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Re: The Beacon
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We rent at the Beacon and I must say we are VERY happy with our decision... Yes, the fire alarm got us a couple of times already, but I know it's not an unusual thing to happen to new buildings - in fact, a friend who lives at Grove Pointe says that they've had their fair share of fire alarms going off for no reason, and the townhouse complex where I previously owned in another state also had the same problem right after we moved in.

Nothing is perfect, but all in all I think we got a good deal and the amenities and the details inside the apartments are great. We're looking at this renting period as a trial run and when the time is right I can see ourselves buying a unit here.

Posted on: 2008/1/29 3:37
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Re: The Beacon
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Nothing like coming late to a conversation! I should have joined JCList a long time ago, and not lurked like I did. Disclaimer: I live at the Beacon - moved in the middle of August 07 - fled the ever rising prices in Manhattan for JC.

It's interesting to see the criticism of the place dissipate now that it's been open a few months on this list. Yeah, not everything went perfectly on the opening, and yeah, there's a few things that are still in progress, but overall, I'm very glad that I bought here.

We also have a web board dedicated to just conversation about The Beacon: http://www.beaconowners.com/phpBB2/
I administrate it (another disclaimer).

I think anyone who is considering owning or renting there should cruise through what current residents think of the place. Some of the information is a little old, since it complains about amenities not yet open, that are now open. There's also an "Owners only" section of the site to help current owners and those in contract communicate. I was pleased that Metrovest even decided to use a section of it to communicate with the 140+ members that live at the Beacon.

I'd be eager to help answer questions here as it relates to living at the Rialto and Capitol (the two buildings currently open). I admit to not using much of the local business (found a few, but not many), as I still mostly use restaurants in Manhattan after work, and a few around Grove St. I have hope that it improves, but am realistic hat it won't happen overnight (or even in one year).

Posted on: 2008/1/27 21:02
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Re: Beacon developer, Santa answer touching letters
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January 13, 2008
In the Region | New Jersey

Condos With Deco in the Details

By ANTOINETTE MARTIN

JERSEY CITY

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/rea ... ref=realestate&oref=login

CONSIDER the process involved in the historical restoration of just one detail ? the gilding on beams and moldings in the theater ? at the former medical center here, now being transformed into the Beacon residential complex.

?Paint ages over time, and it discolors,? said Ulana Zakalak, a restoration specialist who is a consultant on the project.

Because the eight Art Deco buildings at the complex are designated landmarks, and the developer, Metrovest Equities, is applying for historic preservation tax credits, it was essential to discern and reproduce precisely the original colors and sheens, Ms. Zakalak said.

?For every surface, an X-Acto blade was used to carve out a small sliver of paint, down to the wood,? she said. ?The paint sample was pasted in Lucite and filed down to the edge to get a stratification of the layers. The cross section was put under a microscope to examine every paint layer, and matched to a color guide for modern paints.?

?The gilding was the most tricky to match,? Ms. Zakalak said, because it was not true gold leaf, but some sort of alloy.

The towering medical center buildings were built during the Depression ? at the behest of the legendary Jersey City mayor Frank Hague, who leaned on his ?good friend,? Franklin D. Roosevelt ? at a time when gold was too precious to use as mere d?cor.

The paint and plaster foreman, Johnny Hilares of Evergreen Studios, experimented for weeks with various mixtures and glazes before he hit on the right formula, Ms. Zakalak said.

Meanwhile, the chipped and crumbling plaster moldings on the theater?s ceilings and walls each had to be repaired or reproduced, and the bronze Deco light fixtures ? some painted over and covered with globs of melted plastic that had replaced the original glass ? had to be cleaned, reglazed and rewired.

Today, the theater looks resplendent ? as it did 70 years ago, Ms. Zakalak said. Beacon residents use the once bedraggled space, which served as a makeshift triage center after Sept. 11, for community events.

Two hundred people are now living in the first building restored at the complex, set atop the Palisades ridge near Journal Square. Seventy more have signed purchase agreements for condominiums in the building, which is 90 percent sold, according to Metrovest?s chief executive, George Filopoulos. Sales are to open soon for a second building.

Eventually, 1,100 units will be created inside the tall stone structures ? some of them rentals ? and 80,000 square feet of retail space will be added. This makes the Beacon the largest historic renovation project currently under way in the country, according to officials with the National Park Service, which oversees the federal tax credit program.

?The project is both monumental in size and intricately detailed,? said Mr. Filopoulos, whose company began the restoration effort four years ago. ?It can be overwhelming at times.?

But, in the words of Ms. Zakalak, who bought a condo at the first building shortly after she began working on it, ?it gets under your skin.?

She and Mr. Filopoulos imagine this must have been the case for the workers and artisans who created the original buildings.

A magnificent bas-relief frieze, circling the walls near the ceiling of what is now the Beacon?s billiard room, was recently cleaned and restored.

The sculpture, called ?From Myth to Medicine,? has hand-carved images ranging from cavemen to Pandora opening her box, from the grim reaper to the foo dog, from the Native American medicine man to the hospital surgeon.

Fashioned by out-of-work artists hired through the federal Works Progress Administration, the bas-relief was evidently unsigned ? as was the custom with W.P.A. work.

?It is such an incredible piece, though, we constantly looked for a name,? Ms. Zakalak said. ?All during the cleaning process, over four years, we looked.?

Then, literally at the last moment ? 8 p.m. on a Friday, when the work was being given a final dusting because of a public event scheduled the next day, and Mr. Hilares was up on a lift checking for errant specks ? he spotted a minuscule signature carved in script at the edge of the image of a cloud: Allen George Newman.

Mr. Newman was a prominent sculptor in the 1920s and ?30s. He created the Henry Hudson monument that stands at the corner of 72nd Street and Riverside Drive in New York City, as well as various war memorial statues for cities around the country.

?Obviously,? Ms. Zakalak said, ?he put his heart and soul into this project ? done in anonymity, too.?



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Posted on: 2008/1/13 8:34
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Re: Beacon developer, Santa answer touching letters
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Quote:

MrWolf wrote:
Nice to see the Beacon developer do something positive in the community .... also did something similar next door at Montgomery Gardens for about a hundred kids (not reported).



DEAR SANTA...

Beacon developer, Santa answer touching letters

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

By PAUL KOEPP
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The North Pole came to The Beacon in Jersey City yesterday afternoon, as 200 Jersey City schoolkids had some of their Christmas wishes fulfilled.

Some of their other wishes, which no Santa could put under a tree, brought tears to the eyes of those who read the "Dear Santa" letters.

Each student wrote a letter to Santa Claus asking for a gift, and Beacon developer Metrovest Equities helped provide the gifts.

As fourth-and fifth-grade students from Kennedy School sat on the staircase in the ornate Art Deco lobby of Murdoch Hall, which was used in the filming of "Quiz Show" and other movies, Santa appeared on the balcony above. Defying his age, old St. Nick bounded down the stairs, exchanging high-fives with the excited youngsters.

Manuel Ramos, a fourth-grader, got the Jets football jersey he'd wanted. He said he'll wear it while he cheers for his favorite player, Chad Pennington. "My whole family watches the Jets games," Manuel said. "I feel really happy about it."

Aliz? Pizarro, a third-grader, called her new VTech Nitro Notebook "awesome."

"It's like a computer, so I can type on it."

Other gifts were not so easy to provide.

"My first thing I want is to make my grandmother better," wrote Darius Hemingway, who noted in his letter that his house burned and all his things were destroyed.

"My last, but not least, present is a bouquet of flowers for my grandmother's grave. I miss her," wrote Thomas Melendez, a fifth-grader.

Other kids like Shantasia Moreland, a fifth-grader, asked for food, clothes and medicine for people who can't afford them.

As the gifts were handed out, the band and choir from Lincoln High School performed. Metrovest President George Filopoulos, wearing an elf hat, and Mayor Jerramiah Healy were on hand as kids received their gifts from Santa.

"Ever since Metrovest came to Jersey City, they've been very generous," school board member Suzanne Mack said. "It's nice to see a developer give back to the community."




? 2007 The Jersey Journal
? 2007 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.



George Filopoulos,(owner of Metrovest) has been doing things like this for many years. I met him in 99/2000 when we were hit with a last minute request to help 14 special needs children. This was 4 days before Christmas and we were tapped. I called him via a mutual friend and not only did he jump to the opportunity to help,I faxed him the letters/wish lists and he personally shopped for each child.

We gave them a private party attended by George and his staff. I was completely blown away by the amount of items purchased not only did he buy the "hottest" xmas toys, he also bought special learning toys/electronics based on that child's individual needs.

There was this one girl who we were told rarely spoke and like Dora the Explorer. She was given the Dora singing doll with the microphone attachment, when she opened the gift her face lit up and George helped he mother assemble this toy. The little girl started to sing along with Dora, her therapist was in tears, so was I and when we looked over at George his eyes were filling up with tears...that moment I knew this was one special person!

Well done George Filopoulos and the employees of Metrovest!

Posted on: 2007/12/21 2:18
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Beacon developer, Santa answer touching letters
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Nice to see the Beacon developer do something positive in the community .... also did something similar next door at Montgomery Gardens for about a hundred kids (not reported).



DEAR SANTA...

Beacon developer, Santa answer touching letters

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

By PAUL KOEPP
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The North Pole came to The Beacon in Jersey City yesterday afternoon, as 200 Jersey City schoolkids had some of their Christmas wishes fulfilled.

Some of their other wishes, which no Santa could put under a tree, brought tears to the eyes of those who read the "Dear Santa" letters.

Each student wrote a letter to Santa Claus asking for a gift, and Beacon developer Metrovest Equities helped provide the gifts.

As fourth-and fifth-grade students from Kennedy School sat on the staircase in the ornate Art Deco lobby of Murdoch Hall, which was used in the filming of "Quiz Show" and other movies, Santa appeared on the balcony above. Defying his age, old St. Nick bounded down the stairs, exchanging high-fives with the excited youngsters.

Manuel Ramos, a fourth-grader, got the Jets football jersey he'd wanted. He said he'll wear it while he cheers for his favorite player, Chad Pennington. "My whole family watches the Jets games," Manuel said. "I feel really happy about it."

Aliz? Pizarro, a third-grader, called her new VTech Nitro Notebook "awesome."

"It's like a computer, so I can type on it."

Other gifts were not so easy to provide.

"My first thing I want is to make my grandmother better," wrote Darius Hemingway, who noted in his letter that his house burned and all his things were destroyed.

"My last, but not least, present is a bouquet of flowers for my grandmother's grave. I miss her," wrote Thomas Melendez, a fifth-grader.

Other kids like Shantasia Moreland, a fifth-grader, asked for food, clothes and medicine for people who can't afford them.

As the gifts were handed out, the band and choir from Lincoln High School performed. Metrovest President George Filopoulos, wearing an elf hat, and Mayor Jerramiah Healy were on hand as kids received their gifts from Santa.

"Ever since Metrovest came to Jersey City, they've been very generous," school board member Suzanne Mack said. "It's nice to see a developer give back to the community."




? 2007 The Jersey Journal
? 2007 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

Posted on: 2007/12/21 1:34
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Re: Questions For Current Beacon Residents
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The commute is quick & easy. The shuttle bus (there are two) leaves every 15 min between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Mid-day and other weekday/night times the town car is available (the shuttle & town car are "free"). I take the Path from Exchange Pace to WTC which is 4 min. then I take the "E" line to 53 & 7th, which takes about 30 min. then I walk 2 blocks. My total commute is about 50 to 55 min. which is comparable to my old commute. When I come home I go to Grove Stree because the shuttle only stops at Exchange place once every trip, but stops twice at Grove Street. I've only used the towncar once, but it was nice. The only problem I've heard is that once a person was kept waiting at Exchange Place because the car stopped at Grove Street first and was full, otherwise the car has been a hit from the first day it started operating. Haven't heard anything about the daycare facility, but I don't have any children (by choice) and I really haven't seen too many around. With new construction you can't be sure of any dates to completion to I can't give you dates for a daycare facility or retail. There is no retail on site. There is a services group, Services On A Grand Scale that provides dry cleaning, maids and other services, but they are not in their permanent space yet, so they are operating at a reduced level. I use a local dry cleaner that picks up and delivers and a few other people that moved in early, before Services On Demand was ready, also continue to use the drycleaners we started with. The basic amenities are part of your monthy maint., if you want extras like a massage or a personal trainer, that's available, but for an additional fee.

Posted on: 2007/12/4 20:27
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Questions For Current Beacon Residents
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Hi,
We are thinking of renting a 2bed/2bath at the Beacon and had a few questions to those of you already there...

- Commute: does it get old? How long, say, to Grove and/or Exchange Pl PATH on rush hour?
- Shuttle: are you satisfied with how often they run? Is the car service during "dead" hours really free and does it take forever?
- Have you heard anything about the day care? Is it really coming this year?
- Amenities/retail - slow in getting up and running? Is there a dry cleaner at this point or at least word as of when it will open?
- Do you have to pay any type of amenities fee?

Thanks in advance, guys!

Posted on: 2007/12/1 22:27
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Re: The Beacon
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Jersey Journal slideshow NEW LIFE TO OLD MEDICAL CENTER Monday, November 12, 2007 PAUL KOEPP JOURNAL STAFF WRITER Life is being breathed into the old Jersey City Medical Center, Mayor Frank Hague's Depression-era model for medical services for the poor. George Filopoulos, president of Manhattan-based Metrovest Equities, recently gave city officials a tour of the Beacon condo complex after they attended a ribbon-cutting for the new police motorcycle garage around the corner on Cornelison Avenue. The developer spent $1.4 million to build the garage and is leasing it to the city for $1 a year for 10 years. Prices are a bit steeper at the Beacon, with one-bedroom condos starting at $370,000 and two-bedroom units at $550,000, plus a $550 monthly maintenance fee. The penthouse of the Capital building has already sold for $2.3 million, Filopoulos said. Workers were polishing floors and doing exterior work at the Capital and the attached Rialto. Of the two buildings' 315 units, 275 are under contract and 200 are occupied, Filopoulos said. The first phase of the project also includes 103 units in the Mercury building expected to be ready in late 2008 and going on sale next month, and 110 units in the Orpheum, slated for completion in 2009. The entire project will eventually have 1,200 units in 10 buildings at a cost close to $400 million, according to Filopoulos, who said the hardest part is fixing the buildings' facades. "Until you strip away the brick, you don't know how much brick you have to replace and how much steel you have to replace," he said. Metrovest is trying to recapture the buildings' Art Deco feel by restoring the original 1930s light fixtures and paint colors in the halls and lobbies. A refurbished bas relief made of 24 marble panels weighing 800 pounds each adorns the walls of the former Rialto entrance, now a billiards room. Down the hall, Mayor Hague's office is being turned into a poker room and the old auditorium has become a great room and events center. The complex offers high-end amenities like a spa, indoor grotto and shuttle service to the Journal Square PATH station. Other articles about The Beacon

Posted on: 2007/11/14 0:24
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Re: The Beacon
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Hi! Thanks for posting the article. I have always run my NGO from my home as our work is done at other locations and we communicate and send in most of our articles on line. My two priority personal goals are to become more computer savvy, as far as applications, and get in great shape in the gym. Think Linda Hamilton in T2, well that is more like a dream than a goal :)

Posted on: 2007/7/30 19:07
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