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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Quote:

jaah37 wrote:


Hyman presented a plan to the city in 2007 that called for 75 percent of the walls to remain and 1,000 to 1,500 residential units, in addition to a light rail link and public park. His wife said they're still committed to providing a park alongside the residential development.




1500 units? Isn't that an issue for the zoning board to decide? Without the formerly available pay-to-play options it seems like a pipe dream.

Posted on: 2010/7/21 23:34
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hero69 wrote:
Isn't there a reason we have eminent domain


+1

It's time to quit dicking around with these guys and just take the damn thing already.

Posted on: 2010/7/21 22:48
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Isn't there a reason we have eminent domain

Posted on: 2010/7/21 22:45
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Owner of Jersey City embankment says she's building housing; apparently rejecting city's bid for property
Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 4:40 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

The owner of the Sixth Street Embankment has told Jersey City officials she will not sell the land, despite the City Council voting last week to bond $7.7 million to buy the coveted elevated land.

Supporters hoped the bond would bring an end to a years-long dispute over the parcel on Sixth Street between Marin Boulevard and Newark Avenue.

But Victoria Hyman, wife of developer Steve Hyman, who purchased the property from Conrail for $3 million in 2003, sent a letter Monday to various city officials saying she doesn't want to sell and hopes to develop the site.

"This (proposed development) would make the city money rather than drain the (city's) resources any further while cleaning and gentrifying the area and potentially creating many millions of dollars in new taxes and many full time jobs," she wrote.

The city filed a lawsuit in 2006 arguing that under federal law, Conrail should have offered the site to the city before selling it to Hyman. That lawsuit is still pending.
Steve Hyman said the city refused to sign an agreement that would have settled the litigation and finalized the sale. He also said he and the city never agreed on a selling price.

Administration officials declined to comment.

"I used to think we needed Dr. Henry Kissinger to get involved as negotiation was complex, but now I think we need Dr. Phil instead," observed Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop, whose district includes the embankment.

Hyman presented a plan to the city in 2007 that called for 75 percent of the walls to remain and 1,000 to 1,500 residential units, in addition to a light rail link and public park. His wife said they're still committed to providing a park alongside the residential development.

In her letter, Hyman's wife said she hopes to develop the embankment into something like the High Line, a New York City park on a former elevated freight line.

"Preserving some of the Embankment walls would be a priority along with a park, walking trail and the reality of helping to connect Journal Square to the waterfront with Conrail's help," she wrote.

The Embankment Preservation Coalition and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy have been fighting to turn the parcel into a park with trails. Jersey City officials have said they want it to connect NJ Transit Light Rail on the waterfront with Journal Square.

Posted on: 2010/7/21 21:03
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Interesting article. It didn't mention Paris which has done FAR more with its abandoned elevated tracks and rail stations than NY. Also, Chicago might not have as many private philanthropists, but it has a lot of civic pride

Posted on: 2010/7/18 16:47
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I guess quality of life doesn't resonate with some people.

Posted on: 2010/7/18 0:56
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JC Planning Board. Take note. Great slideshow.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/art ... p=2&sq=High%20Line&st=cse

Posted on: 2010/7/16 13:47
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Obviously the concept of "wasting money" is something park-lovers refuse to accept. They consider it "investing money" etc.

From a normal park, the city foregoes property taxes/ ratables. Those parks require maintenance of the normal type.

The Embankment would require a special, separate kind of maintenance if it were to become a park. Being a special park, it could conceivably generate donations, plaque-based sponsorship of the stone blocks, licensing revenue, concert/ wedding reception fees (at Holy Rosary and St. Michael's). Those would probably not pay for the union steelworker/ bridgebuilder jobs, let alone the iron itself.

For me, the ideal use is to put a light rail on Sixth Street (ideally an old-style historic trolley) and make the park walkable akin to the High Line. Why bring the light rail up hill and make the whole neighborhood hear it, only to bring it down again six blocks later? Just put the damn thing on Sixth and make sure there's a way-station for laying up when the other train passes by.

At the same time, make the park a walkable, connected one.

Practical/ fiscal feasibility and political machinations will stand in the way of all that for awhile.

Posted on: 2010/7/16 10:37
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I've stated many, many times in this thread what a terrible waste of money a highline-style park would be. IF IF IF this gets used for a lightrail extension, I'm for that, however I remain skeptical that it will get used for something so practical and sensible. Let's just say that when you've lived here for as many decades as I have, you become just a tad pessimistic about JC actually doing something smart.

Posted on: 2010/7/16 8:36
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corybraiterman wrote:
what a waste of money


You're entitled to your opinion. However, in the context of why this money is being used, I'm curious how you can make such a flippant remark in the context of why this was voted for approval:

* 6 For
* 1 Against
* 2 Abstained

Let's hear your reasoning if you "think, you know why this was finally approved after 12 years. As I stated above, we now have both the support to negotiate with Hyman's wife OR he can wait till the District Court rules in our favor.

Posted on: 2010/7/16 0:04
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Great use of money.

Posted on: 2010/7/15 23:18
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what a waste of money

Posted on: 2010/7/15 23:13
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Posted on: 2010/7/15 14:57
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Jersey City Council approves $7.7 million bond to buy Sixth Street Embankment

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 12:38 PM Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 3:50 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Council narrowly passed a bond ordinance that would provide up to $7.7 million to purchase the Sixth Street Embankment.

The ordinance passed in a 6-1-2 vote. Bond measures need six votes to pass.

Twenty-six speakers from an array of community groups packed the City Council chambers despite the meeting being held at 10 a.m.

"We're just very thankful to the City Council for seeing that our vision is viable and an asset to everyone in the city," said Stephen Gucciardo, president of the Sixth Street Embankment Coalition, which has fought for the project for the last decade.

Councilman Bill Gaughan voted against the measure saying he couldn't support spending money when the city is facing a $56 million deficit and looking to institute 12 more furlough days and further layoff staff.

Gaughan said he was also concerned that Developer Steve Hyman, whose wife purchased the site from Conrail in 2005, hasn't given the city an asking price in writing. He also questioned the city's ability to transform the city into a future park and NJ Transit Light Rail line.

Councilwomen Willie Flood and Viola Richardson abstained.

But the other six council members supported the measure, saying grant funds will help pay for the project. Several of those supporters told the community that approving the bond is just one step in a long-fought battle that still must be resolved.

"It's another step in the process, but we are definitely getting closer," Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop said.

Council President Peter Brennan cast the sixth vote to adopt the bond ordinance.

"It's a tough decision we have to make today, bonding for $7.7 million at a time when the city is facing tax increases, a lot of tough issues here. But the Healy Administration is committed to open space," he said.

Brennan added, "We're doing our share putting the $7.7 million aside, now maybe Mr. Hyman will come to the plate."

Posted on: 2010/7/15 4:52
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Fantastic news for JC! ...and for Hyman too. He could double his investment is he takes the deal with the city. Even if the land is "worth" 30 million. I'd hedge my bets, take the money and run.

Posted on: 2010/7/14 21:00
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Thanks for everyone for coming out, showing your support and speaking up on behalf of the 6th St Embankment. The vote to finance the purchase of the Embankment was approved by 6 Yes 1 No 2 Abstained. This was the 2nd reading of the Ordinance so now the City Council has approved the go-ahead to get the monies and to negotiate with Hyman as to price up to the approved amount of "issuance of $7,647,000 in general improvement bonds or notes of the City of Jersey City to finance the same. (Sixth Street Embankment)" Hyman will have a deadline to take the money and run (the carrot) OR if the court case working it's way through the US District Court in DC determines he does not own the Embankment since it was purchased illegally, then the City can buy it at the original offer price by Conrail. Time is running out for Hyman.... Quote:
BrightMoment wrote:
TODAY! July 14th 10 AM Wednesday City Hall, 280 Grove Street
The City Council will vote to finance the purchase of the Historic Harsimus Stem Railroad Embankment Quote:
Greetings! If you love trees, green space, and want more parks in Jersey City, please come to City Hall, 280 Grove Street (corner Montgomery Street, near "Grove" PATH map: click ) at 10 AM Wednesday July 14, 2010, (tomorrow! today!) to show your support. The City Council will vote to finance the purchase of the Historic Harsimus Stem Railroad Embankment which runs along Sixth Street in Historic Downtown Jersey City. (please refer to the Embankment Preservation Coalition at Embankment.org for maps & more details ) The Embankment Preservation Coalition has already raised $5 Million to purchase this land (funds committed from Federal, State, and County green space funds). Open to the Public, among other features, the 3,000 mile Florida-Maine East Coast Greenway will pass through this Embankment Park as it follows the Atlantic coast. YOUR PRESENCE will show the City Council that Jersey City wants more Green Space, more Parks ... the City Council will vote to finance the purchase of this park ... If you cannot attend, please send your friends & family !! 10 AM Wed. July 14, 2010 Vote CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS City Hall 280 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302 (corner Montgomery Street, near "Grove" PATH ) Make Our Parks! With your help, Now! Please bring your friends & family !! Thanks, Jim

Posted on: 2010/7/14 20:34
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Sorry that I am working and cannot attend.

Quick, somewhat related question: the foot paths adjacent to the Embankment along 6th Street are an overgrown mess.

Anyone know whom to call to request that the grass be cut?

Posted on: 2010/7/14 15:07
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TODAY! July 14th 10 AM Wednesday City Hall, 280 Grove Street
The City Council will vote to finance the purchase of the Historic Harsimus Stem Railroad Embankment Quote:
Greetings! If you love trees, green space, and want more parks in Jersey City, please come to City Hall, 280 Grove Street (corner Montgomery Street, near "Grove" PATH map: click ) at 10 AM Wednesday July 14, 2010, (tomorrow! today!) to show your support. The City Council will vote to finance the purchase of the Historic Harsimus Stem Railroad Embankment which runs along Sixth Street in Historic Downtown Jersey City. (please refer to the Embankment Preservation Coalition at Embankment.org for maps & more details ) The Embankment Preservation Coalition has already raised $5 Million to purchase this land (funds committed from Federal, State, and County green space funds). Open to the Public, among other features, the 3,000 mile Florida-Maine East Coast Greenway will pass through this Embankment Park as it follows the Atlantic coast. YOUR PRESENCE will show the City Council that Jersey City wants more Green Space, more Parks ... the City Council will vote to finance the purchase of this park ... If you cannot attend, please send your friends & family !! 10 AM Wed. July 14, 2010 Vote CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS City Hall 280 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302 (corner Montgomery Street, near "Grove" PATH ) Make Our Parks! With your help, Now! Please bring your friends & family !! Thanks, Jim

Posted on: 2010/7/14 4:49
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Embankment June28, 2010

Posted on: 2010/6/28 17:25
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Jersey City council backs purchasing Sixth Street Embankment for use as park and Light Rail link

Published: Friday, June 25, 2010
The Jersey Journal

The Sixth Street Embankment in Jersey City.
The Jersey City council voted Wednesday night to introduce an ordinance that would allow the city to bond $7.65 million and spend up to $7.7 million to purchase the Sixth Street Embankment, an elevated tract of land Downtown, for use as a park and future Light Rail link, according to The Jersey Journal's Melissa Hayes in today's editions.

The funding, according to Ward E. Councilman Steven Fulop, could pave the way for acquiring the land from developer Steve Hyman, whose wife Victoria purchased it from Contrail in 2005. The city has been in court with Conrail over the land sale since 2006.

The city filed a lawsuit in 2006 arquing that under federal law, Conrail should have offered the site to the city before selling it for $3 million to Hyman's wife, Victoria.

The potential sale of the Embankment would end the court procedures pending in that case.

Posted on: 2010/6/25 12:58
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Let's the city makes the right decision, for once. The embankment could be a major catalyst for JC's future.

Posted on: 2010/6/22 19:13
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Jersey City council members to vote tomorrow on $7.65 million bond to finance purchase of Sixth Street Embankment

The Jersey Journal
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Jersey City council will vote tomorrow on a $7.65 million bond ordinance that could bring to an end a years-long lawsuit over an elevated parcel of Downtown land.

The City Council met in executive session for an hour last night to discuss the Sixth Street Embankment, which is slated for development but which the city wants as a park.


The bond ordinance would allow the city to spend up to $7.7 million to acquire the 6.5-acre elevated land tract along Sixth Street between Marin Boulevard and Brunswick Street.

The ordinance notes that the city is anticipating $6.6 million in grants, including $1.6 million from the state Green Acres program, $3.5 million from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, $1 million from the county's open space program and $500,000 from the New York/New Jersey Baykeeper.

The city, along with the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the Embankment Preservation Coalition, sued Conrail for selling the land to the wife of developer Steve Hyman for $3 million in 2005.

Hyman wants to build residential units there, while the city wants to preserve it for green space and a Light Rail link.

Conrail is expected to contribute additional funds on top of the city's $7.65 million.

City Council members made no comments following the executive session and Hyman had little to say.

"We've got to wait and see what happens Wednesday," he said.

The city filed a lawsuit in 2006 arguing that under federal law Conrail should have offered the site to the city before selling it to a developer. In 2007, the federal Surface Transportation Board agreed with the city,But Hyman took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which threw out the board's decision.

MELISSA HAYES

Posted on: 2010/6/22 15:32
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Could Jersey City's Sixth Street Embankment become another High Line?

Saturday, June 12, 2010, 7:36 PM
The Jersey Journal

NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
The High Line in New York City is on an unused elevated rail bridge. It is what Jersey City's Sixth Street Embankment could become, with more greenery.
If you wonder why people in Jersey City are fighting for the city to acquire the Downtown Sixth Street railroad embankment, think New York City's High Line.
You don't know what that is?

OK, take a look at it through the eyes of a tourist. In this case, a visitor from The Statesman newspaper from Austin, Texas, who reports on the High Line.
As reported: "There are occasional restrooms, along with benches for reading and resting. Bikes, skateboards and the like are banned; this is entirely a pedestrian park."

Understand that many of the amenities mentioned in this piece do not exist in Jersey City, but there are neighborhood eateries. Should the Sixth Street embankment park become a reality, it could trigger many positive changes matching what is found on the High Line.

Posted on: 2010/6/13 7:46
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Mediation and Litigation Status

For followers of our petition to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding rail line abandonment, the STB decisions favorable to our position, and subsequent litigation, here's an update.

Some months ago, Jersey City, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and the Coalition, on one side, and Conrail and its developer, on the other, agreed to mediation and a stay in state and federal proceedings. Although settlement prospects seemed favorable in January, the process apparently broke down thereafter, and the parties are proceeding in U.S. District Court, District of Columbia. Simultaneously, the City is actively engaged in the preparatory work to draw on various funding opportunities to acquire the property.

The New Jersey Attorney General has been granted intervention in the federal case to defend the constitutionality of a New Jersey statute affording cities a kind of first refusal right over otherwise-to-be-abandoned rail property. The City may use the state statute to acquire the property. In the meantime, on the local level, our adversaries appealed Historic Preservation Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment decisions that denied them permits to demolish the historic Embankment. A ruling has not yet been made.

On May 17, the STB, noting that Conrail had evidently made sales and transfers of property in another Jersey City line (Lehigh Valley line) without STB authorization, announced that it was instituting aninvestigation of Conrail's abandonment practices.

Posted on: 2010/5/19 22:25
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Yay, a wall boosts property values!

Gimme a break.

Posted on: 2010/4/2 5:37
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It's not just a wall. People like you would have let Liberty Park become a water slide
attraction like Bret Shundler wanted. Do you own property nearby?
Think you would have a different opinion if you did.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 19:50
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So, Jersey City want the County to kick in $1 Million to offer to a person who paid $3 Million to buy a right of way.
THen it could stay the way it is FOREVER.
Unless somebody kicks in tens of millions to make it something else.'

To put it in perspective: IT"S A WALL!


Stupidest idea yet.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 18:41
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Jersey City seeks $1 million from open space fund to buy Sixth Street Embankment
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Jersey City seeks $1 million from open space fund to buy Sixth Street Embankment

Monday, March 29, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City is seeking $1 million from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund to acquire the Sixth Street Embankment.

While the application could mean the end is near for a seven-year land dispute between developer Steve Hyman and city officials, the issue isn't resolved yet.


"Should the negotiations be successful, there is a prospect that the city would purchase the Embankment which is the optimistic rationale behind this application," said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill.

Hyman declined to comment saying the matter is still in mediation.

The City Council hired former Chief Justice James Zazzali in November to mediate the dispute.

At issue is a 6.5-acre elevated parcel of land on Sixth Street between Marin Boulevard and Brunswick Street.

Hyman - whose wife, Victoria, purchased the land from Conrail in 2005 for $3 million - wants to build housing on the site. The city wants to preserve it as open space and wants a future light rail stop at the site.

The city filed a lawsuit in 2006 arguing that under federal law Conrail should have offered the site to the city before selling it to Hyman.

In 2007, a federal board, which has jurisdiction over rail sites, sided with the city. But Hyman went to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which threw out the board's decision last year, saying it didn't have jurisdiction.

The city and the Embankment Preservation Coalition, a volunteer group that wants the land preserved, have asked the appellate court to reconsider. In the meantime both sides agreed to meet with Zazzali.

In 2007, the property was appraised at $10 million, but Hyman estimated its value at $20 million.

Posted on: 2010/3/29 14:11
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The East Coast Greenway Alliance will propose that the mitigation consist of five acres of land dedicated to a bicycle and pedestrian path over the planned southern Hackensack bridge, linking Kearny with Secaucus and extending into Jersey City's west side. The Embankment Preservation Coalition supports this proposal , which would do much to advance the Greenway and other bike and ped facilities in the County. Supporters of the East Coast Greenway are urged to make your views known by attending the public hearing.

you may send
written comments (deadline April 7, 2010) to:


Laurie Cotter, Deputy County Administrator
567 Pavonia Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07305

with a copy to:

NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres Program
Bureau of Legal Services and Stewardship
P.O. Box 412
Trenton, NJ 08625-0412

There is background info at this link:
ECGA/Embankment

Notification of Hearing
Major Talking Points for Hearing
Map Showing ECG Mitigation Proposal in Relation to Route in Development

Posted on: 2010/3/23 17:42
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N.J. law could help settle Jersey City embankment lawsuit

By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
January 19, 2010, 5:37PM

A law signed in Gov. Jon S. Corzine?s final hours in office could help settle seven-year dispute between Jersey City officials and a developer over the Sixth Street Embankment.
A law signed in Gov. Jon S. Corzine?s final hours in office could be the push Jersey City needs to settle a seven-year land dispute.

The law, signed Monday, could potentially impact the city?s negotiations with developer Steve Hyman, whose wife purchased a parcel of land called the Sixth Street Embankment from Conrail in 2005 for $3 million.

The law, sponsored by former Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, D-Jersey City, Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, D-Jersey City, Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-North Bergen, and Sen. Brian Stack, D-Union City, requires railroad companies to negotiate in good faith with municipalities before abandoning a property.

Jersey City has argued that Conrail did not do that when it sold the land to Hyman.

?We think this is good legislation,? Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said in a statement. ?The railroads obtained these right of ways and these properties a long time ago for nothing or next to nothing and we think it is apropos that the various governing bodies have the first crack at obtaining these right of ways with an eye toward enhancing mass transportation whether it be by light rail or some other mode.?

At issue is a 6.5-acre elevated parcel of land on Sixth Street between Marin Boulevard and Brunswick Street.
Hyman wants to build housing on the site, but the city wants to see a portion preserved as open space and the rest become part of the Light Rail corridor.

Healy said as the site could serve as a conduit for the Light Rail, with passengers coming in from the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction, through a four-mile stretch of rail track in the Palisades called Bergen Arches.

He said riders could get off in Journal Square or continue to the Pavonia PATH station and downtown.

?This has the potential to keep thousands of cars off our roads in the morning and afternoon rush hours,? Healy said.
The city filed a lawsuit in 2006 arguing that under federal law Conrail should have offered the site to the city before selling it to Hyman.

In 2007, the federal Surface Transportation Board, which has jurisdiction over rail sites, agreed with the city. But Hyman took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which threw out the board's decision in June, saying it didn't have jurisdiction to hear the case.

The city and Embankment Preservation Coalition have asked the appellate court to reconsider its decision.

In the meantime, Jersey City Council moved in November to hire former Supreme Court Chief Justice James Zazzali to mediate the disagreement and both sides are working to reach a settlement.

Posted on: 2010/1/20 4:24
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