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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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It's not up to me to make a business plan for this project . . . and the city of JC doesn't seem to want to do it either.

We all know about blockbuster movies, earning hundreds of millions of dollars, that never seem to make a profit-I could imagine the 'gift shop' having some very high paid staff which will suppress the profit availability-nah, that'd never happen in Jersey City!

added-I think Steve already is on record saying the LHS will be relocated, if I find the time I'll post the link.

Posted on: 3/16 11:26
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
What's the cost to relocate the Liberty Humane Society, including providing them a new home? Will they be given that land/building too?

It doesn't look like LHS has to move. You can see the LHS building is still extant in the preliminary rendering.

Resized Image



Posted on: 3/16 11:24
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Monroe wrote:
JC hasn't paid for a school in recent years anyway-Abbott and the NJ taxpayers have been paying, so this isn't saving JC a penny-it's not been spending its own money anyway.

Was the state talking about building a science-oriented public school in JC any time soon? Yes? No?


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No risk?

Correct.

The city is not investing any funds directly into the program, gets more input on the use of the space, and gets a school. Even if the city never earns any additional revenues, it hasn't lost a dime.

Maybe you can make a case that there is an opportunity cost. However, pretty much any other use of the land would involve larger structures, and very likely something residents don't want (like a high-rise building and/or casino). I.e. selling the land to developers means a less desirable project and/or loss of control. So make sure you add that to your calculations.


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Well, giving away a valuable piece of land with no likely return (we haven't seen a single spreadsheet or study showing how long/if $78 million would be paid back, let alone whatever 'valuation' is placed on this land)

I find it odd that you view the land as incredibly valuable, but not valuable enough that commercial and rental properties on the land can possibly ever turn a profit. Hmmmmmm.

Posted on: 3/16 11:21
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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*sigh*

JC hasn't paid for a school in recent years anyway-Abbott and the NJ taxpayers have been paying, so this isn't saving JC a penny-it's not been spending its own money anyway.

No risk? Well, giving away a valuable piece of land with no likely return (we haven't seen a single spreadsheet or study showing how long/if $78 million would be paid back, let alone whatever 'valuation' is placed on this land)

Let's face it, if this was a student study offered at a C grade business school it would be handed back as 'incomplete' or an F. The idea that this is the foundation for a project likely to cost a third of a billion dollars is laughable, if it wasn't so pathetic and insulting.

As I said earlier, I'd give Steve props if he just came out and told the truth about it-JC is giving away the valuable land and likely won't ever see a dime from it. Because we know this is what will happen.

Posted on: 3/16 10:50
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Monroe wrote:
So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Apparently not.

The LSC wants to raise $78 million in donations for the project. The deal also makes $78 million the point at which the city starts getting its cut.


Quote:
Where is that money coming from?

Rents on commercial and residential space, as well as events in the conference center.


Quote:
So we don't know the value of the land, we don't know the revenue stream the LSC will tap to pay for the land, we don't know how long that will take (if ever)-sounds like Nancy Pelosi talking about Obamacare-you have to pass it to know what's in it!

sigh

I've already said (and understandably you might have missed) that I support getting an assessment sooner rather than later. That said, it's not much of a stretch to ballpark the value of the land -- as well as the value of the public school that will be built there.

Thus, from what I can tell, the deal is:
- City donates valuable land
- City gets back a public school, and cash after $78m is brought in
- A relatively low-height project, that isn't a casino or hotel right next to LSP, and provides something unique to the NYC area
- All of this at no financial risk to the city

It's really hard to see how this is a bad deal for JC.

Posted on: 3/16 10:26
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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16 Acres is a whole lot of land. It is the size of the entire World Trade Center site. What experience and background do those in charge of Liberty Science Center have in developing such a huge and high value project.

Posted on: 3/16 10:13
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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If not giving the land away means its a deal breaker for SciCity, I say just give the land away. Its vacant, unattractive, unused land. Its not like we're getting any money from this land and anyone else is losing out from this deal anyway.

At least if they build this, it will benefit the city by having it published internationally and it will benefit thousands of people for generations to come. Sometimes you need to allow for some sacrifices for long term benefits.

Posted on: 3/16 9:32
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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What's the cost to relocate the Liberty Humane Society, including providing them a new home? Will they be given that land/building too?

Posted on: 3/16 7:32
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Re: Wow - LSC's Updated Plans for SciTech Scity
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Critics assail Jersey City plan to give land to Liberty Science Center

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 15, 2017 at 11:26 AM, updated March 15, 2017 at 6:10 PM

JERSEY CITY -- A plan to give 16 acres of city-owned land to Liberty Science Center for a planned $276 million science center, school, hotel and residential development is being jeered by critics who say the deal amounts to a giveaway of a valuable city asset.

The plan, which will clear a major hurdle at next week's City Council meeting before moving on to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, would allow SciTech Scity, a new arm of Liberty Science Center, to purchase the now-vacant land for $10 in what the city is calling a long-term partnership that will benefit the city "forever."

The 16 acres, formerly home to a city car impound lot, is located on Phillip Street adjacent to LSC.

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


Posted on: 3/15 23:13
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Agreed with this 100%


Agreed with this 100% as well. There will be little or no spillover impact to the closest neighborhoods. The place will be a self-contained type of destination and it will be like the casinos in Atlantic City - people will drive right up to it, stay on the site the entire time, and won't leave until it's time to head home and will never venture into the surrounding neighborhoods. Just like Atlantic City. We see how that turned out.

Although the city is ultimately getting paid for this land, who knows how many years that will take. Remember that Journal Square project that the city was supposed to give a low-interest loan for? We saw how that was going to turn out. Oh, and per the earlier post in this thread, I'll go with option #4 as well. Works for me.

Posted on: 3/15 23:04
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mia wrote:
4: Lease the land and use the annual proceeds for the benefit of the taxpayers. Pave the streets with the annual lease $$$.

Every single parking lot in the City of Santa Monica is owned by the city but are managed by outside companies such as SP+ Parking. Let's stop this give away of city assets with these phoney financial arrangements that no one at City Hall has the skills to manage. The City's finance people can't keep track of the tax abatements and the taxpayers don't even get full value of them! Ask Mayor Fulop about Steve Sirocki and his accounting of the tax abatements for 20 years.
_________________________________


brewster wrote:
Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?
[/quote]

Do you have any reason to believe that your 4 doesn't lead to 3 same as 2 does? Leasing or financing to buy amount to the same thing cashflow wise.

Posted on: 3/15 22:21
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Can't it just stay a swamp? I like the swamp.

Posted on: 3/15 22:08
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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4: Lease the land and use the annual proceeds for the benefit of the taxpayers. Pave the streets with the annual lease $$$.

Every single parking lot in the City of Santa Monica is owned by the city but are managed by outside companies such as SP+ Parking. Let's stop this give away of city assets with these phoney financial arrangements that no one at City Hall has the skills to manage. The City's finance people can't keep track of the tax abatements and the taxpayers don't even get full value of them! Ask Mayor Fulop about Steve Sirocki and his accounting of the tax abatements for 20 years.
_________________________________


brewster wrote:
Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?[/quote]

Posted on: 3/15 20:15
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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I'd actually give Steve props if he came out and said 'This is a project I fully support, I feel it will be an overall plus for Jersey City, and damn it, we're giving them the land for free. You elected me, now deal with it'. This pipe dream that the city will see any money back is just that-otherwise we'd have something even approaching a 'back of the envelope' business plan, which this doesn't even have.

It'll be his vanity/legacy project one way or the other, for good or bad.

(And his point about a free school, when $50 million has been spent recently on JC schools-not exactly anything saved, since the state picked up the school building costs anyway, right??)

Posted on: 3/15 17:50
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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<< Last I heard, LSC is going to pay for the land. It'll be assessed before the sale. If you set up something to advocate an earlier assessment, that sounds fine to me. >> Love to see the latest LSC’s FY 2016 audited statements rather than here say. There’s nothing posted on their website nor in GuideStar. Why doesn’t the City just lease the land like the State of NJ does to the Liberty Science Center? It’ll be decades before there’s an operating profit to get a partial payment of the land value to the JC taxpayers. It wouldn’t surprise me that once the JCRA has the land assessed, it’ll be low balled. Many of the office buildings in downtown Manhattan are on LT leaseholds owned by Trinity Church! Here’s an example of the JCRA dealings with Peter Mocco / Liberty Harbor North. The settlement in 2012: “The largest unsecured claim against one of the debtors, Liberty Harbor North Inc., stemmed from an $18.6 million judgment for Ronald Kerrigan, Katherine Kerrigan and Lynn Kerrigan, whom the JCRA hit with a condemnation action in 2004 for their property within the redevelopment area. The Kerrigans' claim against the JCRA translated into a claim against the Liberty Harbor companies based on the redevelopment arrangement.” The family sued the JCRA and Jersey City in state court last year for payment of the condemnation award, and the JCRA in turn sued Mocco to compel the Liberty Harbor companies to cover the judgment. The parties reached the settlement following a June mediation session in state court, with Mocco and the Liberty Harbor companies agreeing to pay the Kerrigans $22.4 million, which includes interest and a $1.4 million bonus payment in lieu of interest that would accrue on the judgment during the payment period. https://www.law360.com/articles/360928 ... o-settle-condemnation-row Wonder how much in legal fees that cost the taxpayers of JC? As for visitors going to restaurants in Downtown JC, you have to have parking! Soon only those in walking distance and LIFT/Uber users will be patrons.

Posted on: 3/15 17:37
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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It would be nice if the 'give away' had a clause that somehow had a condition that it would have to benefit the community / citizens of Jersey City; either by (mandating) employing a % of locals or having some direct or indirect benefit to them (locals).
The highest price wins, often means little or no community benefit with the only benefit going to a buyer ... and then cityhall offers tax abatements!

It would be better, I feel, to direct city owned land to better QOL enterprises or enterprises / businesses that benefit the community or draws in tourists etc, instead of adding to the demand or added pressure to our infrastructure and services.

Could the land be used to build a new library, police station, city run daycare, community hub, city run aged care day centre, city offices for an expanding employee base, fire station, city / charity / community run medical clinic, local parkland, city dog run etc etc.

Posted on: 3/15 17:29
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Naysayers & critics: What's your point? What would you prefer?

1: Current plan

2: LSC gets charged market value for land, which likely sinks the project, and leads to 3.

3: The land gets sold to highest bidder, which is back to JC business usual, where nothing but money talks. The land is built out to the maximum possible revenue generating structures with no regard to benefiting the community.

Is there a "4"?

Posted on: 3/15 17:08
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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It's a 9/10 of a mile drive to the Liberty National Golf Course, where the membership fee when it opened years ago was $500,000! All of the land in that area has some contamination and some land fill! The JC Medical Center was built on contaminated land but they spend $11Million+ to remediate it! A few years back they paid $23 million for 2.5 acres.

Posted on: 3/15 16:33
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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terrencemcd wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.


It was not explained to me the way Donnelly explained it. The city told me, after speaking with the LSC CEO, that LSC is going to tap into its donor base for the $78M they believe it will take to get the project off the ground. The way they see it, they are diverting that $78M from LSC, so once SciTech Scity is built and starts making money, SciTech Scity, which will have profit-generating features like a hotel, is going to "pay back" LSC the $78M.


Thanks. I would love to see the financials for LSC. I bet they're too optimistic. Not against this proposal. I just want to make sure it gets built and generates enough revenue for it to work.

Posted on: 3/15 14:21
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Monroe wrote:
So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.


It was not explained to me the way Donnelly explained it. The city told me, after speaking with the LSC CEO, that LSC is going to tap into its donor base for the $78M they believe it will take to get the project off the ground. The way they see it, they are diverting that $78M from LSC, so once SciTech Scity is built and starts making money, SciTech Scity, which will have profit-generating features like a hotel, is going to "pay back" LSC the $78M.

Posted on: 3/15 14:17
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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@Dolomiti

Donnelly said the science center is currently raising $78 million of the $280 million cost, and that would have to be paid back first from revenue generated.

“After that is paid off, then the city would get 50 percent of the net profits until the land is paid for,” Donnelly said. “After that, the city will continue to collect 20 percent of the net profits, forever.”

Although LSC is a not-for-profit organization, portions of the project will have profit-making components, similar to its current gift shop, which will generate revenue as well as pay local taxes.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Tech village clears council Liberty Science Center will pay city for 17 acres of land


So LSC is 'raising' 78 million that will have to be repaid-that's a loan, right?

Where is that money coming from? Branded coffee mugs in the gift shop? LSC tshirts sold online? I'm sure the parking fees they collect now go to operating expenses, so added parking won't help.

So we don't know the value of the land, we don't know the revenue stream the LSC will tap to pay for the land, we don't know how long that will take (if ever)-sounds like Nancy Pelosi talking about Obamacare-you have to pass it to know what's in it!

Posted on: 3/15 13:45
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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StevenFulop wrote:
This info was provided to the council and some advocates per their questions.

Thanks for sharing the info here, by the way. Very useful info about the project.

Posted on: 3/15 13:11
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Quote:
Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN...

LSC is in charge, and have appointed trustees. They are raising money already for the project. It's a bit early for too much more than a master plan.

Oddly enough, Fulop hated the 2008 loan, and is backing this plan. Go figure.

I also have to say, I vastly prefer to the previous plan, which was a 10 story hotel and conference center. Don't you?


Why not also include a hotel and conference center on a portion of the site if it makes the project and Sci-Tech City more economically feasible.

10 story hotel and huge conference center is not a good fit for the site in general.

That said, it sounds like the site will have a small conference center, and 50 units of temporary housing for visitors.

It's also a little difficult to have a big hotel and conference center occupying the same space as a project that combines commercial, residential and a school.

Posted on: 3/15 13:10
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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Monroe wrote:
What is the current profit stream of the LSC?

It's a non-profit.


Quote:
What is the projected profit stream, how long will it take for the initial $78,000.000 loan to be repaid before JC can receive even a single penny towards the (untold) valuation of the land being given?

What loan? They are raising funds from investors.

As Fulop posted, the city is not taking any direct financial risk in connection with this project.


Quote:
Other than 'gift shop' revenue/profit, what other profit streams will be in place? If the property is valued at, say, 22 million-how long will it take for LSC to generate the 100 million it will owe the stakeholders and JC?

EdgeWorks: Office space for science and technology startups; includes a small conference space and theater; may offer some programs for the public

Scholars Village: 266 housing units. 154 are for graduate students in STEM programs. 50 units are short-term for visitors.

https://jerseydigs.com/liberty-science ... ech-scity-in-jersey-city/

I wouldn't expect it to be profitable any time soon. They're investors, they take their risks, that's how capitalism works. More or less.

Posted on: 3/15 13:07
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Yes, that is currently true. Which is why I suggested something that businesses do to get customers: "Marketing". Most of them probably don't know that there's a booming restaurant district with a huge variety of choices a 10 minute drive away.

Posted on: 3/15 12:57
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Quote:
Now we're to believe that a $22 Million organization, which can't break even, can build a $230 Million++ SciTech Scity. The redeveloper is UNKNOWN...

LSC is in charge, and have appointed trustees. They are raising money already for the project. It's a bit early for too much more than a master plan.

Oddly enough, Fulop hated the 2008 loan, and is backing this plan. Go figure.

I also have to say, I vastly prefer to the previous plan, which was a 10 story hotel and conference center. Don't you?


Why not also include a hotel and conference center on a portion of the site if it makes the project and Sci-Tech City more economically feasible.

Posted on: 3/15 12:07
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mfadam wrote:
having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.


Agreed with this 100%

Posted on: 3/15 12:04
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having spent a lot of time at LSC with kids I wouldn't bet on a big spillover impact into DTJC restaurants. LSC is an auto based destination. People drive in from the burbs and run their kids around for 3 hours and then pack it up and head home in their minivan or SUV. I think the odds of the average user making the extra drive to DTJC to eat are slim.

Posted on: 3/15 8:26
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What is the current profit stream of the LSC?
What is the projected profit stream, how long will it take for the initial $78,000.000 loan to be repaid before JC can receive even a single penny towards the (untold) valuation of the land being given?
Other than 'gift shop' revenue/profit, what other profit streams will be in place? If the property is valued at, say, 22 million-how long will it take for LSC to generate the 100 million it will owe the stakeholders and JC?

Posted on: 3/15 7:43
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Re: Stop the give away of taxpayers' city owned land. Ordinance 17-023
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This info was provided to the council and some advocates per their questions. Hopefully this clarifies where we are and corrects those that are putting misinformation out in the public.

Steven M. Fulop
Mayor
Jersey City, NJ

On Mar 14, 2017, at 1:09 PM, Steve Fulop wrote:

Let me know anything else but these are the questions we have had so far.

Question: What is LSC relationship to Jersey City?
LSC is invested in Jersey City
• Employs 101 Jersey City residents (33% of total labor force)
• 1,935 Jersey City families have LSC memberships
This will expand of course with SciTech city.

Question: What is the current relationship with the Jersey City schools?
• 30,500 Jersey City students visited in 2016 (82% of student population)
• Provides free STEM education programs to 5,740 Jersey City students
and teachers by obtaining $465,000 in grant funding
• 100 Jersey City teachers participate in LSC professional development
programs annually

Question: Is this a gift to the Science Center?
No. This is a shared venture that the city benefits from as PARTNERS. The project will generate revenues for the non-profit (operating income, ground lease income etc.). If the income exceeds expenses, the excess income (or surplus) must be used on other programs by the non-profit. Over time, if you add up this surplus each year when it exceeds the amount of money raised in donations for this project. At that moment this surplus will begin to be shared 50/50 with the City until the City receives its appraised value. Once the City receives its appraised the split is reduced to 80/20 nonprofit/City forever. So over time the City will eventually get more than its appraised value for the land. This is truly a joint venture but City is protected in every scenario including ultimately getting value for the property beyond all of the other important benefits (school etc.). The appraised value is really just a way to indicate when the split goes from 50/50 to 80/20.

Question: What is the risk to the city?
None. The city is a partner in revenue and in the case of any violation there are reverter clauses if they don’t build the project, violate terms of the agreements or property is transferred to, or ever owned by, a for-profit entity then the entire property returns to the city.

Question: Will this be a traditional Jersey City Public School?
Yes. This will be a Jersey City traditional public school. Cost of schools recently constructed in Jersey City have been more than $50million. This will be at no cost to tax payers.

Question: I heard LSC is losing money. Is that accurate?
No. $4.5m in operating funds generated in FY16. After debt service, capital investments in facility etc, lsc has $1.4m in net revenues from operations.

Question: What is the attendance at LSC?
During the past four years, LSC’s attendance has grown 53%, to more than 650,000 visitors annually, making the Center the fastest growing established museum in the United States. That growth should continue with the opening at LSC in December 2017 of the biggest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, which will draw tourists to Jersey City and serve as an unparalleled educational resource for students and families in New Jersey

Question: The city gave LSC a loan in 2008. Was this load repaid?
Yes. LSC borrowed $2.5M from UEZ; the loan was fully repaid by 9/1/2011. There is no current debt to the city or state on the LSC balance sheets. Since this point almost the entire board and leadership has been changed

Question: Why not sell the property?
Selling the property for maximum dollars as some proposed would mean high rise condos in this location which we don't believe is in the best interest of all residents with regards to the potential we have in creating a citywide asset like SciTech city at this particular city site. While previous administrations would probably have sold this for short term gain we are trying to invest in a city asset, build a new school and a new science hub for generations of Jersey City residents to come.

Question: What will this mean to Ward F?
This will take vacant property and turn it into a $280 million dollar investment in Ward F that will create permanent jobs, construction jobs, and define Bergen Lafayette as the home of the premier science center in the region. It will create a new public school and inspire generations of future leaders who will surrounded by some the sharpest minds in the world.

Will any board member or any affiliate of lsc be a developer of this project?
No.

Posted on: 3/15 4:12
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