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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

Bobblehead wrote:
Can residents of a city sue its government? Because that seems to be the way to get them to listen. . . . .


No-
FIRST call 547-5000 and put your name on the list to speak at the City Council meeting on Wednesday
NEXT
Call the following people and tell them how you feel about this deal
Mariano Vega, Jr.
Council President (201) 547-5268
Gregory Malave (201) 547-5458
Willie Flood
Councilwoman-at-Large (201) 547-5134 Doris Smith (201) 547-5108
Peter Brennan
Councilman-at-Large (201) 547-5319 Maureen Bellucci (201) 547-5363
Steven Fulop
Ward E Councilman (201) 547-5315 Tracy La'Bad (201) 547-5283
NEXT attend the Council meeting and speak out

AND NO MATTER HOW IT TURNS OUT- BE SURE TO VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION

Posted on: 2006/6/26 20:10
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Hey, but they'll be building a facade that will maintain the hip streetscape the city was attempting to create.

Oy, vey!

Can residents of a city sue its government? Because that seems to be the way to get them to listen. . . . .

Posted on: 2006/6/26 18:02
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

alb wrote:
Quote:

AlanSommerman wrote:
okay, I'll bite - why is this a terrible time to start a tower project?




- The adjustable rate mortgage crisis of 2007 could cause some big headaches for anyone trying to sell any new real estate in 2007 and 2008.

- There are tons of other towers around Newport, Paulus Hook, Harsimus Cove and Hoboken with "for rent" or "for sale" signs up.

- You can't walk down a block in brownstone land downtown without tripping over an open house sign.

- I think the Hudson Reporter's huge open house listing section is a sign that real estate agents are having to work a lot harder to sell homes of any kind around here.




I think the reason for the above statements is more because of the rise in crime in the area and the fact that people are trying to sell their homes before the housing bubble completely bursts.

Posted on: 2006/6/26 3:09
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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From A Warehouse To A Skyscraper

Jersey City ready to sign a deal with developer for First Street project, to dismay of some

Sunday, June 25, 2006

BY STEVE CHAMBERS

Star-Ledger Staff

After a fierce struggle with a billionaire developer, a colony of artists was forced to move last year from a historic warehouse they turned into a warren of studios near the waterfront in booming Jersey City.

Now, following a year of tense negotiation and legal wrangling, the city is poised to sign an agreement with developer Lloyd Goldman that will allow him to build at least one and possibly two high-rise residential towers through the middle of 111 First St. One of the towers could be 40 stories high.

The agreement -- which will be considered this week by the city council -- also will allow the developer to build another high-rise next door, on the site of another warehouse he tore down.

Supporters of the agreement say it has provisions that will preserve the historic nature of the district while resolving costly and risky litigation, but opposition is already bubbling among the ranks of historic preservationists, artists and new district residents.

DEFENDING THE PLAN

Council President Mariano Vega defended the settlement as the best deal for the city, something that will end expensive litigation and pave the way for a special piece of architecture on the site.
"We have worked feverishly to protect the city's interests and accomplish the values we set out for the district, while not giving away the store," he said. "We have a reasonable settlement."

Community activists are livid, however, that Goldman will win and, in their mind, the Powerhouse Arts District will be corrupted.

"It's a drag to see that someone with so much money and power can basically impose himself on an entire city," said Jeff Baker, a former resident of 111 First St. who restores and builds historic doors. "Jersey City is such a great city, but it's growing so fast that I see a great void in arts and entertainment."

Joshua Parkhurst, president of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, was similarly appalled.

"I think the city has to show it is serious about defending its ordinances," he said. "I'm not opposed to compromise, but on these terms it's more like capitulation."

Vega said the city forced concessions from Goldman that will protect the district and be good for the city. He said the developer will donate $1 million to the arts, set aside 117 of perhaps 1,000 residential units for lower-income residents and preserve a facade that will maintain the hip streetscape the city was attempting to create. He said a major gallery and performance space will be included in the project.

Discussion with neutral engineering consultants hired by the city supported Goldman's contention that the building was unsafe, Vega said. He said it's likely the building will be torn down and the facade re-created with the original bricks.

Goldman argued it could cost tens of millions of dollars to renovate the building, and district restrictions meant the project would be a money loser. He threatened to mothball the building and wait out the administration.

Instead, Vega said, Goldman has agreed to hire a world-class architect who will work to make the skyscraper project something special.

"The mayor wanted a world class architect, and that means much more money has to be spent by the developer," Vega said. "We want something that will help define the zone and certainly allows it to be distinguished from any other high rise."

But at a community meeting Thursday night, about 50 residents of the district blasted the proposal.

Robert and Carrie Chu, who in November moved into 140 Bay St., the first converted warehouse in the district, said new residents were sold on the notion they were moving into a special district with height restrictions on buildings.

"These high rises will cut us off from the view and the connection with the powerhouse," a vacant historic building at the edge of the district, she said. "This could cause a domino effect with all the plans being overturned."

AGGRESSIVE AT FIRST

The city initially took an aggressive stance with Goldman, but things did not go well.

The city charged the developer allowed 111 First St. to deteriorate and threatened to fine him $75 million for fire-code violations. But Goldman sued the city for $100 million, saying it was denying his rights to develop his property.

Judge Maurice Gallipoli ordered the parties into mediation, weakening the city's position by throwing out its historic ordinance protecting the warehouse properties.

The neighborhood is on the edge of booming residential construction, most notably two towers soaring 50 stories and higher that are being built beside the powerhouse by Donald Trump and Hoboken-developer Dean Geibel.

The arts district was designed to fill the void described by Baker, an area where artists could live and work, display their creations and create some of the night life and cultural buzz lacking in the booming city.

But Vega said it would be unrealistic to think 111 First St. could ever be re-created once the artists had moved on.

"There was a magic chemistry in that building, but Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall," he said. "You couldn't put it back together again."

Steve Chambers covers land-use issues. He may be reached at schambers@starledger.com or (973) 392-1674.

? 2006 The Star Ledger

? 2006 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

Posted on: 2006/6/26 2:04
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

AlanSommerman wrote:
okay, I'll bite - why is this a terrible time to start a tower project?


Maybe it's actually good to get all the permits lined up right before the market is about to crash, so that you can get a building up right when the market starts to recover, but it does look as if there are a lot of reasons that market is about to run into trouble.

Because

- The Federal Reserve Board will probably have to raise rates sharply to keep inflation under control, which could hurt Goldman's efforts to get financing and his customers' efforts to get mortgages or pay high rents.

- The adjustable rate mortgage crisis of 2007 could cause some big headaches for anyone trying to sell any new real estate in 2007 and 2008.

- There are tons of other towers around Newport, Paulus Hook, Harsimus Cove and Hoboken with "for rent" or "for sale" signs up.

- You can't walk down a block in brownstone land downtown without tripping over an open house sign.

- I think the Hudson Reporter's huge open house listing section is a sign that real estate agents are having to work a lot harder to sell homes of any kind around here.

- Who knows what Wall Street will do, but it does seem likely as if we're about to go into at least a moderate slump.

- The apartments in the towers downtown were famous for saddling the tenants/condo owners with $700 utility bills even before utility rates started going up. That means that Goldman either will have to spend a lot more on energy-efficient construction.

- Battery Park City has an obvious apartment glut and at least one excellent public grade school. For parents who will be stucking paying $1,000 to $1,500 per month for a private school in Jersey City, a Battery Park City rental unit that comes with one or two years of move-in incentives is comparable in turns of monthly costs to an apartment in downtown Jersey City.

- I spend a lot of time both in Newport and Hoboken. I love both places, but Newport seems to be much more of a back-office kind of place, and I think that will put it at a disadvantage in competing with Hoboken for residential and commercial tenants during a downturn.

Posted on: 2006/6/25 22:13
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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okay, I'll bite - why is this a terrible time to start a tower project?

Posted on: 2006/6/25 21:28
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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DanL wrote:
Only in Jersey City, could the city use what has been described as a can't lose lawsuit to destablize the land use law of the entire city.


Also: it seems pretty clear that this is a terrible time to start a new tower project. I think Goldman must be planning to go ahead with this just out of spite.

Posted on: 2006/6/25 20:56
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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So is this thing a done deal, or can it be fought?
Is there a plan for citizen action?

Posted on: 2006/6/25 19:26
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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There is also an article Todays's Star Ledger here.

The PAD Neighborhood Assoc meeting is also mentioned in the 25mc blog -- http://www.25mc.com (better to view the blog in Firefox or Opera).


Quote:

DanL wrote:
Thank you to the JC Reporter for getting the settlement out in the public.

Only in Jersey City, could the city use what has been described as a can't lose lawsuit to destablize the land use law of the entire city.

If the administration is unable or unwilling to enforce the laws of the city, an administration that won 80% of the wheeling and dealing vote, there needs to be public awareness and outcry.

Hopefully, the PADNA group will find widespread support throughout the city as this is not just about their neighborhood but the future of Jersey City, its quality of life, its financial future.

Posted on: 2006/6/25 17:00
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www.25mc.com Blog
www.25mc.org Web Site
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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NYC has about 8 million people, not 18 million. The metropolitan NYC region, including JC, has 18 million.

Posted on: 2006/6/25 15:56
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Thank you to the JC Reporter for getting the settlement out in the public.

Only in Jersey City, could the city use what has been described as a can't lose lawsuit to destablize the land use law of the entire city.

If the administration is unable or unwilling to enforce the laws of the city, an administration that won 80% of the wheeling and dealing vote, there needs to be public awareness and outcry.

Hopefully, the PADNA group will find widespread support throughout the city as this is not just about their neighborhood but the future of Jersey City, its quality of life, its financial future.

Posted on: 2006/6/24 17:53
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Reality hurts

I've just read that they expect a population of 20 million in NYC within 5 years at the moment it is at 18 million.

As I see it NYC is full and the next place to fill is JC - it's close and a 8min ferry commute to Downtown NYC.

It appears that most of the highrise apartments are full and a lot more is in damand in JC.

It appears without much question that in time a family / artist / student will need to generate 100 thousand to live here in JC.

Progress and population growth is going to force this issue with the help of developers and Government - the more people in, the more taxes for JC and the higher the apartment building on the smallest amount of land to more profits for all.

Unfortunately the only artists that will survive will be the successful ones with the others fighting to struggle and exist just to make rental payments.

After travelling and living in a number of countries, this is happening in most major cities - JC is just to close to NYC for this not to happen - the developers would not invest millions if the need and profits were not here and they are here.
There would also be other developers just waiting and seeing what happens before they commit.

But smile this is all just speculation!


Posted on: 2006/6/24 17:00
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Goodie!!
No more sky to have to look at.
Yippie!!
No more daylight to brighten the drab downtown.

There's nothing like several more unsightly, unnecessary, outsize
condo buildings for plastic people to dorm in to make one wish and pray
for a small tsunami that would overwhelm the water-front
and return it to its pre-McCann condition of lovely derelict
swamp -- which is what God intended.

Five years ago was the time to say Bah, Humbug to
waterfront rape and "development". Now, the moment has passed and it is too late. The
virus has caught hold and is most likely unstoppable.
Too bad.
From now on in, when we all look east what we will see
is a high rent version of Starrett City. Oy vey!!

Posted on: 2006/6/24 16:37
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Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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110 and 111 First St. - Towers?

City close to settling with real estate mogul, may forgive millions of $$$ in fines

Ricardo Kaulessar - JC Reporter 06/23/2006

MEETING ON 111 – Members of the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association (PADNA) listening to Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop speak about 111 First St. and the settlement with Lloyd Goldman.
A legal settlement is apparently in the works between the owner of 111 First St. and Jersey City government that could allow the landlord to build luxury apartment towers and escape millions of dollars of fines.

Lloyd Goldman, the owner of the former artists' residences at 110 and 111 First St., has a lawsuit pending against the city for $100 million for stopping his intended demolition of the one million square foot 111 First St. building in order to build new housing on the site.

At the same time, Goldman has to contend with over $70 million in fines levied by the city's Fire Department for various building code violations.

City Council President Mariano Vega said on Friday that the City Council at their next meeting this coming Wednesday may approve a resolution for the two parties to drop any litigation between them and come to a settlement.

What the settlement would entail

Vega said the settlement would call for amendments to the city's Powerhouse Arts District (in which both properties are situated) that would allow for three 40-plus story towers to be built, with two on the 110 First St. property and one on the 111 First St. and other measures.

The city's top lawyer, Bill Matsikoudis, and the attorney for 111 First St. owner Dan Horgan, both declined comment last week because there is ongoing mediation regarding the legal disputes between the two parties.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy said he couldn't comment on a possible settlement because of the ongoing mediation.

However, some residents and politicians in recent months have had private discussions with Matsikoudis about a possible settlement. Some of them are speaking up against it.

Also, Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop on Thursday addressed questions and concerns on the future of 110 and 111 First St. at a meeting of the recently formed Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association (PADNA).

Vega: Fines would be forgiven



Vega has been privy to the negotiations, which have taken place since late last year, according to various sources.

Vega said the settlement would call for amendments to the Powerhouse Arts District to allow Goldman to build the towers, since current zoning prohibits such height.

"This has to come to an end sometime soon. There's too money and too much time being spent on this issue," said Vega. "But I think there's a settlement that will be beneficial to all sides."

Vega said the settlement would call for fines to be forgiven, for a 30 percent discount on any luxury apartments in the towers if they were built to accommodate artists, and at least a million dollars to be paid to the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, as well as affordable housing units to be built within the towers.

He also said that at Mayor Healy's request, a "world-class architect" would be retained by Goldman to design the towers.

When asked about his reaction to the settlement idea, Vega said that this is what is best for the city.

"At the end of the day, I know there will be displeasure especially from the residents who live in the Powerhouse Arts District," he said, "but I have to look out for all the residents not just a narrow band of people."

A Powerhouse of frustration and anger

Charles Kessler has lived in Downtown Jersey City with his wife since 1982. Kessler has been involved in the Jersey City arts scene for over 20 years and has worked with city planning to create what is now the Powerhouse Arts District (see sidebar).

He says he would not like to see the end of an area that could be a showcase for the city.

"The city should be defending their zoning," said Kessler. "The thing that bothers me is that the Powerhouse Arts District will be thrown out the window, and it is thriving now."

Kessler cited new residents moving into the recently opened buildings in the district, such as 140 Bay St. and 150 Bay St., as well as two art galleries. Also, there are future projects approved by the Planning Board for the area.

Another major concern is that allowing Goldman to build the towers would send a signal to other developers who are planning to build in the district that they should also be allowed to build highrises instead of complying with the zoning.

Kessler said much of what he has learned about the pending settlement has been from Matsikoudis, with Kessler coming away frustrated whenever he tried to impress upon Matsikoudis the need to save the district.

"There were two one-hour conversations and several informal conversations, and it seemed to me when we were talking, that he was practicing his arguments for court," said Kessler. "I would tell him 'Bill, you are not listening.' " But Kessler conceded that Matsikoudis may have his hands tied by Mayor Healy and by the lawyers for Goldman. He complimented him for beating Goldman in court last year when Goldman was pushing to get 111 First St. demolished.

Powerhouse neighborhood organization

They may have only moved into the Powerhouse Arts District in the last year, but the residents there are making themselves known to the larger community.

They have formed the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association (PADNA), with Rich Tomko as their president.There are 90 active members of the PADNA.

There has been $75-$100 million of private capital invested in the district in the last three years.

Tomko, who lives with his wife in the Morgan Lighthouse building at 143 Morgan St., led a PADNA meeting that took place on Thursday at the Nobis Art Gallery on First Street.

At the meeting, about 30 members of the PADNA were in attendance to question Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop about the proposed settlement with Goldman. Fulop said that the feedback he was getting from them would be relayed to Matsikoudis and Vega in a morning meeting on Friday.

Carrie Craft-Chu and her husband Robert moved into 140 Bay St. in November. Craft-Chu, when hearing about the settlement, uttered the prevailing sentiment, "That's sucks."

She suggested that there should be litigation against the city by the residents.

The couple later said they may consider moving out, since they were attracted to the Powerhouse Arts District by the lack of highrise buildings, the arts element, and the cobblestone streets.

Legal fund


Jill Edelman, an architect who also lives in 140 Bay St., said after the meeting that a legal fund has been forming for possible future litigation.

Many residents came to a consensus that they will appear at the council meeting this coming Wednesday to speak out against the settlement.

---------------

Powerhouse Arts District in jeopardy

The Powerhouse Arts District is 10 blocks of historic warehouses that have been designated as an arts and entertainment district, plus two more adjoining blocks. The City Council approved the district in October 2004.

The district is designated to be a 24-hour, pedestrian-friendly environment with loft-style condos and rental units, restaurants, clubs, galleries, theaters and of course work/live spaces for artists.

The district is bound approximately by Marin, Washington, Second and Morgan streets.

The current redevelopment plan calls for height limits of approximately 12 to 14 stories. Ten percent of all new residential units in the district are required to be affordable for low and moderate-income artists. About 12 percent of all ground floor space has to be set aside for art galleries.

Posted on: 2006/6/24 15:36
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