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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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It is probably a situation where the church gives a completely non-religious service to the public, such as feeding the poor. These types of programs are well worth it and often cost more than the tax payer money given to the program. These programs are also heavily monitored also, specifically because of concerns such as the ones you are expressing.

Just my take on it. I imagine the ACLU would be all over it if any money were going towards religious programs or towardsx the actual physical structures owned by the church.

Althea
www.cfijc.org

Posted on: 2006/6/30 17:15
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Quote:
According to City Council President Mariano Vega, the groups/entities to receive the money are: the Jersey City Museum ($65,000); the Pershing Fields/Babe Ruth Little League ($60,000); Grace Seniors at Grace Van Vorst Church ($25,000); Pavonia Park ($25,000); and Riverside Church ($10,000).


Why the hell does City money go to religous organizations?
I'd like to see how the $10,000 was spent at Riverside Church. There's absolutly no way you can justify giving tax dollars to non-tax-payers for the benefit of other non-tax-payers.

These churches want it both ways... They don't pay any taxes, but they want gov. help.... F-That!

Tell these churches to ask G.O.D. for help not G.O.V.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 2:33
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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In my original post that started this topic I wrote:
Quote:
2. Where is the detailed financial analysis and projection that we can inspect showing the financial benefit that Jersey City receives from issuing this abatement verses the developer paying regular property taxes?

This is exactly what I asked the council during this meeting after several of them went on and on about how the developers pay more and the city gets more with a tax abatement. They also stated that Newport was generous enough to build the waterfront walkway into Hoboken as part of the agreement. The truth is that Newport is legally obligated to build the waterfront walkway by NJ State law AND the State of NJ is paying for the portion that connects into Hoboken.

Here is how I was quoted in the Jersey City Reporter:

Dan Falcon, a 10-year Newport resident, asked the council to table the Shore Club abatement until an analysis from an independent accounting firm could show the abatement would benefit the city financially.

Posted on: 2006/5/2 5:39
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Wow, I didn't even realize it was legal for the city to negotiate donations in order to grant an abatement, especially donations to churches. Perhaps the agreement was a donation of $185k to JC non-profits of the developers choice? Otherwise, I don't see how it isn't a violation of church & state. Regardless, is it common practice for the city to request donations to local organizations before they grant an abatement? Does anyone verify the city council/mayor does not have direct ties to them?

Posted on: 2006/4/27 21:01
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Perhaps there is some major information missing from this article, but we are giving a tax abatement for 30 years and all we are getting is a lousy t-shirt? $185,000 split amoung 5 entities?


--------------------
This is an article clipped from the Jersey Journal now site:

American Can project wins abatement
The developer of the former American Can Co. building on Dey Street has won a 30-year tax abatement from the Jersey City City Council.

In return, the developer -- New York City-based Coalco -- has agreed to fork out $185,000 to five entities in the city.

The 30-year tax abatement package for the $100 million condo project passed 7-0-1, with Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano abstaining and Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson absent for medical reasons.

According to City Council President Mariano Vega, the groups/entities to receive the money are: the Jersey City Museum ($65,000); the Pershing Fields/Babe Ruth Little League ($60,000); Grace Seniors at Grace Van Vorst Church ($25,000); Pavonia Park ($25,000); and Riverside Church ($10,000).

Ken Thorbourne

Posted on: 2006/4/27 20:15
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I'm not certain, but I think that Fulop might have been the lone nay vote on the Shore Club. That was how it was expected to go down. I can't say for certain because I didn't see the Shore Club vote but I did hear the result of it (approved.) I had to leave before the final vote was taken on American Can. I - like most - did not disapprove of an abatement for the American Can project but simply did not see a need for the extra ten years tacked on to it.

I saw the army of Newport workers leaving City Hall just as I was arriving. All wearing "we love working at Newport" t-shirts. Those guys sure know how to put on a show.

Posted on: 2006/4/27 16:45
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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This infuriates me to no end. Do you know how the vote fell?

Quote:

elgoodo wrote:
I arrived late and had to leave early, but it appears that both abatements were approved handily, despite several compelling speeches, specifically against the Shore Club as well as the extra 10 years tacked on to the American Can deal.

So don't worry folks. We're still giving away the store. Enjoy riding over those potholes, sending your children to substandard schools and searching desperately for a police officer for the next 30 years.

Posted on: 2006/4/27 15:51
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I'm actually thinking of starting to send my car bills to the mayor. The alignment, the lost hubcaps, the engine troubles due to off roading in a sedan.

Maybe i'll send him the bill to freeze my eggs too since we can't afford private school. we're just gonna have to wait another 5-8 yrs b/4 we can move out of this place and breed closer to decent public schools.

Posted on: 2006/4/27 14:43
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I arrived late and had to leave early, but it appears that both abatements were approved handily, despite several compelling speeches, specifically against the Shore Club as well as the extra 10 years tacked on to the American Can deal.

So don't worry folks. We're still giving away the store. Enjoy riding over those potholes, sending your children to substandard schools and searching desperately for a police officer for the next 30 years.

Posted on: 2006/4/27 2:13
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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In my issue of Timeout Magazine this week (which happens to be on renting the cheapest apartments deals near Manhattan, and no we weren't even mentioned -- Inwood, Harlem and Bushwick were)

Anyway, on the reverse side of the cover of TONY is a full page ad for "The Beacon" yes the Jersey City Medical Center -- there is a girl meditating with her eyes closed, sitting in a cross legged yoga position in front of a Bambo curtain and in big text it across it, it reads

"ASK ABOUT OUR 30 YEAR TAX ABATEMENT!"

haha

But I'm all for the abatement -- I would not want to live there right now!

Posted on: 2006/4/26 21:57
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Yes, the people in abated properties pay the PILOT instead of taxes for 20 years. But, if the property is sold in that time, the new owners pay the PILOT which is recalculated on the most recent purchase price. Therefore the city gets an increasing amount from the PILOTs from abated properties.


Quote:

Butchcjg wrote:
I'm confused about the tax abatement issue...I have one quick question:

When an abatement is issued, does that mean the people buying the individual condo units also have tax abatements for 20 years? Or, does it just mean the development itself doesn't pay taxes?

And, I agree with what others have said here...Newport definitely doesn't seem worthy of tax-abatements any longer. It's not in need of development, but plenty of other areas in the city are.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 21:40
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Both. Keep in mind that developments may consist of rentals and condos, retail/commercial space, and rental parking. The developer uses PILOT to pay tax on the rentals, commercial space, and parking. At least I think that is how it works.

Quote:

Butchcjg wrote:
I'm confused about the tax abatement issue...I have one quick question:

When an abatement is issued, does that mean the people buying the individual condo units also have tax abatements for 20 years? Or, does it just mean the development itself doesn't pay taxes?

Posted on: 2006/4/26 15:44
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Without abatements:
The property is assessed, and taxes are paid to 1) the municipality (Jersey City), 2) the School district and 3) the county. Municipal, school and county tax are not fixed. Historically, county and school tax inccrease year to year, and the municipal portion of the tax stays flat.

With abatement:
A fixed amount (Payment In Lieu of Taxes ) is paid only to the city (municipal tax). Under a recent agreement, the county gets a fixed percentage -- 5%. Tax is not paid to the school district. The percentage of the municipal tax portion paid to the city is greater with the abatement, than without, so for the short term at least, this benefits the municipal budget.

The amount of the abatement is fixed for a set period - 20 or 30 years. There are also other conditions that are attached to the abatement. A recent Jersey Journal article noted that these conditions are not consistently enforced.

From the city?s perspective, as a short term budget plugging device, a PILOT is a good thing, since the city receives a greater percentage of the municipal tax, but this is at the expense of the school district and other municipalities in Hudson County that are not recipients of PILOTS.

PILOTS are rarely if ever negotiated in the best interest of the city, for the long term. The calculations are kept from the public. Also, the state or home owners must subsidize the portion of the tax that would have gone to the school district. With PILOTs, there is room for developers to take advantage of the city, and for City Council members to reward preferred developers.

PILOTs are not good or bad ? it all depends on how they are executed. They are used in JC as a short term fix, and I believe there will be hell to pay in the future.

Abatements are no longer appropriate for luxury waterfront development.



Quote:

thetruth wrote:
Who is the voice on this? I have a friend downtown who always claims that Jersey City is better off because of abatements because the county and schools don't get the funds. Who's right? Why?

Posted on: 2006/4/26 15:27

Edited by 25mcwilliams on 2006/4/26 16:08:34
Edited by 25mcwilliams on 2006/4/26 16:10:50
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I feel that the tax abatements are going almost entirely to Luxury Housing, for example in that city on the other side of the Hudson: Quote:

"Of the 69,000 units subsidized by the 421-A program from 1985 to 2002, only 7 percent were affordable, the Independent Budget Office said. " - source

http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/articl ... _group_protests/2200.html

I am sure that their is a simular situation happening over here in Jersey, all the new buildings in downtown JC are orientented towards people making 250K-1 million+ dollars. Also, if any "low income" housing gets built it's usually for the poor, and their is NO building going on for the Middle class.
421-A was suppossed to spur middle class housing, but it has instead forced the middle class out of manhattan, the same thing will happen to Downtown Jersey City. Go over to chelsea by 27th street and 9th avenue, it's all either projects or luxury housing.
Now all these luxury developments are going to start demanding services and the middle class in JC will just get squeezed further by the tax burden.
I think they need to have tax abatements for families making 50k-250K, because a middle class will help this city weather tough economic times in the future, and will help the economy, because the people who work in the Financial District in Downtown Jersey City will be able to afford to live in Downtown JC.


Quote:

elgoodo wrote:
Minnie wrote:

Quote:

If the abatements are not given out downtown, then the developers will go where they can get them.


You honestly believe that? You really believe that some of the most valuable land in the United States will remain untouched by developers if the abatements cease?

Quote:

You have to think about these things because your taxes are going to go up regardless!


They've gone up a lot more at least partially due to recent abatements. Somebody's got to carry the burden, and if you own non-abated property, that somebody is you.

The very things you are complaining about are directly related to the thing that you are rooting for.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 13:58
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Minnie wrote:

Quote:

If the abatements are not given out downtown, then the developers will go where they can get them.


You honestly believe that? You really believe that some of the most valuable land in the United States will remain untouched by developers if the abatements cease?

Quote:

You have to think about these things because your taxes are going to go up regardless!


They've gone up a lot more at least partially due to recent abatements. Somebody's got to carry the burden, and if you own non-abated property, that somebody is you.

The very things you are complaining about are directly related to the thing that you are rooting for.

It is also crucial to remember that Downtown is but a small part of Jersey City. And really, at present it's the only cash cow we have.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 13:40
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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This has nothing to do with wanting more development. Getting them to pay for specific things might work but where? What part of Jersey City? and how to agree where? You still haven't explained how abatements hurt Jersey City. I really want to know once and for all if they are good or bad for Downtown with a rational debate.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 6:36
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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What more developement do you want?
Do you know what the 2 new building sites at the Grove Street Station are bringing?
Haven't you heard about the 2 Trump Towers?
Developers will continue to go wherever they can make the most $$$. With or without abatements, that will be downtown for some time to come.
Stop the abatements in Ward E. Make the developers and the buyers of the new units pay for some of the infrastrusture that is so badly needed now in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 6:25
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Who is the voice on this? I have a friend downtown who always claims that Jersey City is better off because of abatements because the county and schools don't get the funds. Who's right? Why?

Posted on: 2006/4/26 6:04
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Quote:


DanL wrote:
Someone (AlanSommerman) posted recently that 20 years ago, the Newport area was one of the prime, most spetacular undeveloped sites in the world.

Our real loss is what could have been developed.....




I'm not concerned with "what could have been, should have been". I want to see the area I live in improved, developed, cleaned up and so on... and it would be really nice if it happens before I'm packing my bags to move into a nursing home.

Downtown is not fairyland and there's plenty of room for improvement. If the abatements are not given out downtown, then the developers will go where they can get them. And then there would be no more dojo improvements.

You have to think about these things because your taxes are going to go up regardless!

Posted on: 2006/4/26 3:35
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Condo buyers do get the tax abatement however this benefits the developer more than anyone else. In the condo situation the simple math is that if a condo buyer pays $4000.00/year with a tax abatement the developer can get more for each unit. Compare that with a buyer faced with $7000.00/year in regular taxes, in that case the developer would have to reduce the purchase price accordingly to sell the units. Prices for condos are partially determined by the taxes assessed.

Its even more apparent with rentals. The builder always charges the renter market rate rent, the abatement savings is never passed onto the renter. The developer pockets the abatement incentive in both the condo and rental unit situations.

However there is an argument that most politicians make in favor of tax abatements for luxury waterfront development. It goes something like this: "When we issue an abatement, the developer pays less and Jersey City gets more." If there is any truth to this then politicians would back this up in writing with financial reports, projections, and analysis prepared by independent accounting firms for both new abatements and existing abatements. In absence of any financial reporting I can only believe that Jersey City politicians are liars or crooks and this city is broke as a direct result of their incompetence.

Quote:

Butchcjg wrote:
I'm confused about the tax abatement issue...I have one quick question:

When an abatement is issued, does that mean the people buying the individual condo units also have tax abatements for 20 years? Or, does it just mean the development itself doesn't pay taxes?

And, I agree with what others have said here...Newport definitely doesn't seem worthy of tax-abatements any longer. It's not in need of development, but plenty of other areas in the city are.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 3:12
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Someone (AlanSommerman) posted recently that 20 years ago, the Newport area was one of the prime, most spetacular undeveloped sites in the world.

What happened?

Shortsighted, short-term planning and developer driven development.

No school, no library, little park and open space, no street life, towers in the green ....

Isolated from the rest of the city, transient population.

Our real loss is what could have been developed.....

One issue is whether the city should grant tax abatements.

Other issues are whether the city (as Councilman Fulop comments) negotiates the best possible abatement deals.

Now, does anyone believe that the city is capable of negotiating the best possible abatement deal?

Is it possible when councilmembers and the mayor accept campaign contributions from developers, their attorneys and consultants.

See Common Cause NJ site for more info on this.

Maybe we need a moratorium on tax abatements until this mess is sorted out?

Quote:

Minnie wrote:
Oh boy.... my beloved Newport! What time is it on the agenda?

But don't count on me to jump on the SOS anti-development/abatement bandwagon.... cause I'll disappoint you ever time!

My friend bought a place in Newport pre-construction back in 86/87... and there wasn't anything there. The PATH was a mere hole in the ground. Rail yards, abandoned warehouse-type buildings... a real dump! And there wasn't even a road to Exchange Place... so I'm told. I'm sure some of you on this site remember that. So it looks nice now.... but it didn't just evolve that way on it's own. Somebody took a chance, and Jersey City is better for it.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 2:59
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Quote:

Minnie wrote:
Oh boy.... my beloved Newport! What time is it on the agenda?

But don't count on me to jump on the SOS anti-development/abatement bandwagon.... cause I'll disappoint you ever time!

My friend bought a place in Newport pre-construction back in 86/87... and there wasn't anything there. The PATH was a mere hole in the ground. Rail yards, abandoned warehouse-type buildings... a real dump! And there wasn't even a road to Exchange Place... so I'm told. I'm sure some of you on this site remember that. So it looks nice now.... but it didn't just evolve that way on it's own. Somebody took a chance, and Jersey City is better for it.


Precisely the reason I am on the anti-abatement bandwagon. I agree that Newport in particular and Downtown in general are obviously very different places now then they were in Schundler's day. I believe abatements were almost certainly helpful in the development of Downtown. But at this point in our history, no way do I think that this is a necessary or wise decision to hand out further downtown abatements, particularly when the infrastructure of the city is clearly falling apart, when propery taxes on non abated properties are rising at an alarming rate, and when other sections of Jersey City could make better use of any potential abatements.

Sorry to beat a dead horse.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 2:30
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Oh boy.... my beloved Newport! What time is it on the agenda?

But don't count on me to jump on the SOS anti-development/abatement bandwagon.... cause I'll disappoint you ever time!

My friend bought a place in Newport pre-construction back in 86/87... and there wasn't anything there. The PATH was a mere hole in the ground. Rail yards, abandoned warehouse-type buildings... a real dump! And there wasn't even a road to Exchange Place... so I'm told. I'm sure some of you on this site remember that. So it looks nice now.... but it didn't just evolve that way on it's own. Somebody took a chance, and Jersey City is better for it.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 2:14
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I'm confused about the tax abatement issue...I have one quick question:

When an abatement is issued, does that mean the people buying the individual condo units also have tax abatements for 20 years? Or, does it just mean the development itself doesn't pay taxes?

And, I agree with what others have said here...Newport definitely doesn't seem worthy of tax-abatements any longer. It's not in need of development, but plenty of other areas in the city are.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 1:52
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Many years ago they talked about a path station across the tracks from Puccinis rest.off west side ave.That whole area along tonnelle ave filled with ware houses could be a smaller Powerhouse district if they had a path station.
God forbid something was done near Puccinis beside another Lipski fundraiser.

Posted on: 2006/4/26 1:51
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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It takes a 10-15 minute walk currently to get to the Journal Square PATH currently from the location, and it's uphill, which makes it seem further. I think the area near westside avenue or Van Wagenen avenue could be used as a PATH station, it would cut the walk down to 1 minute.

Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
Just one perspective on this thread... to me, the issue with the American Can application is not the project itself. I agree with you that its a project that warrants a tax abatement. The problem is that they have applied for 30 years ? 10 years more than the norm. This sets a bad precedence. In the Medical Center/Beacon, there were significant give backs to the city such as affordable housing, policing needs for a motorcycle unit, etc?. all in exchange for the extra ten years and modifying the structure of the abatement. I voted in favor for that one

In this project there isn?t any of that. The basic argument is that they need the extra 10 years to make the financing work based on the cost and location of the project. Truthfully, while I am sympathetic to the economic difficulties that the developers find themselves in, I feel the cost that the developer paid for the project is not a reason to vote for 10 extra years. I feel its not my problem ? I need a better reason to put an additional ten years on the abatement other than it helps the economics..

In my view, there is plenty that can be done for that area as give back that would work. Affordable housing is one aspect, open space is another, or ideally, the building is located in an area of the city that the PATH actually comes above ground. We eventually will need a PATH station there to further jump start that side of the city and the cost is relatively cheap because it is an above ground platform. As I said at the caucus if we get some of the developers in that area to start moving in that direction with dollars, I believe it will be easier for the city to work with the Port Authority because it isn?t really at an additional cost to the PA. ? and in reality it would only benefit the real estate projects in that area over the long term.

In the end, the issue to me is not the project itself but it is the abatement application of 30 years. Right now, the city is in a good position at the negotiation table and I just view it as bad city business to give someone a pass with ten extra years for nothing.

Hope that clarifies my perspective
Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2006/4/25 20:06
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Certainly I can support Steve Fulop's position that a 20 year abatement makes better sense for the American Can Company project.

I am for abatements for that project but by no means do I want to be viewed as deadset on a 30 year deal.

The only points of which I am certain: abatements make no sense along the Hudson River or downtown; abatements might be good economic development tools in the rest of the city (even on the other waterfront, the Hackensack Rivr) but, yes, we need to look at the totality of the offer.

As a case in point: I toured the Beacon recently (as part of the Art Deco Tour) and I am in awe of the enormity of that undertaking. If they pull it off, good for them (and great for JC!).

I think the American Can Co faces similar steep hurdles...but I am happy to defer to Steve Fulop's 20 year deal as the smart move. Now...if only I had a vote on the City Council!

Posted on: 2006/4/25 19:47
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Just one perspective on this thread... to me, the issue with the American Can application is not the project itself. I agree with you that its a project that warrants a tax abatement. The problem is that they have applied for 30 years ? 10 years more than the norm. This sets a bad precedence. In the Medical Center/Beacon, there were significant give backs to the city such as affordable housing, policing needs for a motorcycle unit, etc?. all in exchange for the extra ten years and modifying the structure of the abatement. I voted in favor for that one

In this project there isn?t any of that. The basic argument is that they need the extra 10 years to make the financing work based on the cost and location of the project. Truthfully, while I am sympathetic to the economic difficulties that the developers find themselves in, I feel the cost that the developer paid for the project is not a reason to vote for 10 extra years. I feel its not my problem ? I need a better reason to put an additional ten years on the abatement other than it helps the economics..

In my view, there is plenty that can be done for that area as give back that would work. Affordable housing is one aspect, open space is another, or ideally, the building is located in an area of the city that the PATH actually comes above ground. We eventually will need a PATH station there to further jump start that side of the city and the cost is relatively cheap because it is an above ground platform. As I said at the caucus if we get some of the developers in that area to start moving in that direction with dollars, I believe it will be easier for the city to work with the Port Authority because it isn?t really at an additional cost to the PA. ? and in reality it would only benefit the real estate projects in that area over the long term.

In the end, the issue to me is not the project itself but it is the abatement application of 30 years. Right now, the city is in a good position at the negotiation table and I just view it as bad city business to give someone a pass with ten extra years for nothing.

Hope that clarifies my perspective
Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2006/4/25 19:25
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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Not that much money, not in J Square. Developer is talking about starting prices in the 2's, which sounds right for J Sq.

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/site/in ... =461&dept_id=523584&rfi=8

---

Yes we 'can'!

American Can Company to become 202 condos; may see 600 in total



Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer 12/09/2005


?CAN? TASTIC ? Ward C City Councilman Steve Lipski addresses the city?s Planning Board at their Nov. 29 meeting regarding the American Can Company rehab project. Standing behind him are Ward C residents and community leaders.
At its Nov. 29 meeting, the Planning Board approved a 202-unit luxury condo project at the site of the old American Can Company located between Dey Street and St. Paul's Avenue. Another 398 units may be built in future phases of the residential project.

The American Can Company left the property in 1974 after having occupied it since 1929 (see sidebar). The building has held various commercial tenants since that time.

The new project, tentatively named Hudson Lofts, will be the first major development to occur in the recently designated MWORD, or Marion Works Office/Residential District.

The nine-block district is located west of Journal Square near Tonnele Avenue, an area that for years has been the home of factories and other industrial operations. In April, the Planning Board approved a new redevelopment plan that would allow residential buildings to be constructed there between St. Paul's and Newark avenues.

What 'can' be possible?


The American Can Company was spread over a series of five buildings on St. Paul's Avenue. Only two of the five buildings will be turned into the 202 units right now, although another 398 units may be built in the other three buildings in future phases.

In the two buildings, a total of 382,041square feet will be residential and 1,200 square feet will be retail.

Of the 202 condos, 137 will be one-bedrooms and 65 will be two-bedrooms. They will be constructed on the second to eighth floors, with a parking garage of 140 spaces on the first and second floors. There will be another 15 parking spaces at the end of Dey Street, near the current entrance to the complex. Also, a one-story penthouse will be constructed.

James McCann, attorney for New York City-based Coalco Construction Services, the developers, said construction is expected to start at end of March 2006. That was confirmed by Coalco Director of Marketing Edward Yorukoff, who said there should be units available for sale in January 2007 with occupancy expected by the summer of that year.

Coalco purchased the entire American Can Company complex this past summer. Yorukoff would not offer the purchase price for the building or how much the total project will cost.

Yorukoff also said the project will see a total of 600 units built in the five buildings in the next couple of years.

Yorukoff said the prices of the units range from $200,000 to $600,000 for 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. He said they are being priced lower than condos on the Jersey City waterfront to attract prospective residents immediately.

"People are looking to live in Jersey City because it's an up-and-coming place with all the development happening, but they see high prices on the waterfront and feel they can't live here," said Yorukoff. "It's also a nice opportunity to see development of an area that has been neglected for quite a while."

Yorukoff also mentioned some of the unique elements of the rehab project, including lofts with ceiling heights from 14.5 feet to 27.5 feet. Also, there would be amenities in the building such as a dog run, a pool, a kids' room, and a screening room.

Coalco Construction Services was formed in 1997 as a subsidiary of Coalco International, a global investment and development company with experience in the U.S., Central European and Russian real estate markets. The president of the company is Mihkail Kurnev. The Jersey City project is their first in the city and in Hudson County.

Among their completed projects are a 13-unit luxury apartment building in the SoHo section of Manhattan and several renovated buildings in Lower Manhattan that are leased by New York University for student housing.

'Can' not be happier



At the Planning Board meeting, Ward C City Councilman Steve Lipski praised the development effort. The American Can Company buildings are located in Lipski's ward, and only blocks from his residence.

"[It is] a huge re-use project involving a cornerstone of a solid part of Jersey City's history. It's something that can contribute to an area that can use some rejuvenation," said Lipski.

Lipski added, "Ward C and especially Journal Square are ripe for the development and the renaissance that Downtown [Jersey City] has seen."

Lipski also looked forward to the American Can Company rehab project jumpstarting other potential development projects within his ward.

"Once developers see this project going forward, there will be action on the Hotel on the Square and the old Mueller's factory site on Baldwin Avenue," said Lipski. "Developers will also look more inward and see the potential of Ward C and Journal Square."

He compared developing the American Can Company buildings to the redevelopment of the old Jersey City Medical Center at Baldwin Avenue and Montgomery Avenue, now known as the Beacon Condominium project. That project includes the rehabbing of most of the 10-building complex with 1,200 units to be built over the next several years starting in 2006.

Lipski added, "Those two [American Can] buildings will attract a new, more affluent class of people who, along with those in the community, will help transform this part of town."

Lipski made the correlation between the culture of Downtown Jersey City (Ward E) and the amount of development and city attention that ward gets for projects such as the Sixth Street Embankment.

"Ward E gets what they want because they have an educated group of people who are able to organize and squeak as loud as they want," said Lipski.

SIDEBAR

What was American Can (Canco)?



On top of the American Can Company building, there used to be a sign displaying the company's name, greeting drivers approaching the Pulaski Skyway to and from Jersey City. The company was stalwart like Colgate Toothpaste, Mueller's Macaroni and other factories of the city's industrial past, when locals could find a job for life and earn enough to raise a family.

The American Can Company, known back in the day as Canco, built the factory in 1929 for $5 million. The company operated out of Jersey City until 1974 when it closed operations and move to Connecticut and New York.

In its heyday, the company was responsible for making aerosol cans, milk cartons and glass bottles with brand names such as Dixie and Marathon. It also employed over 3,000 people, many of whom were bitter over the closing.

Then-Mayor Paul Jordan, as quoted in a 1979 New York Daily News article, called the closing "the cheapest shot" during his administration.

Bob Leach, head of the Jersey City Historical Project and a lifelong city resident, remembered the mark the company and its building left on the city's residents.

"My grandmother lived on Corbin Avenue when I was a kid, not far from American Can, and she would take me to see the building and the size of it was overwhelming," said Leach. "Also, when I was a teenager, I recalled people telling me to get a job there because it paid $2 an hour, which was a big deal back in those days."

After the closing, a succession of tenants occupied the complex. The first two buildings were slated to have been utilized as a cyber hotel until the Internet boom of the 1990s went bust by the end of the decade.

Coalco Construction said currently there are tenants in the other three buildings that are not rehabbed yet, but their lease will expire by late 2006 and will not be renewed. - Ricardo Kaulessar




?The Hudson Reporter 2006

Posted on: 2006/4/25 18:40
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Re: Tax abatement for Newport this Wednesday
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I hear that the prices for the American Can Company factory will be about half a million dollars, and there is no truly affordable housing in the mix. I know most of the units will go to millionaires. Nobody making 100K-250K a year will be able to afford it, because the public schools are so horrible around here that they will have to fork over thousands of dollars of tutition for private schools, plus with the new bankrupcy laws it means that people are not as willing to spend 50-60 percent of their income on mortgages.
I doubt that this area needs "revitalization", there already is a stable middle class indian immigrant community.
If I had my way, I would force the developers too put aside 50 percent of housing as low income (like 500 per month for studio apartments for single mothers or elderly). There already is severe overcrowding in apartments in Journal Square with families living 6 to a room, and it is repulsive that wall street fat cats live tax free.

Quote:

Nuada wrote:
Personally...I support the American Can Company abatements, just as I supported giving the Beacon abatements. Some areas of the city need stimuli to spark growth.

What I cannot understand at all is giving abatements to Hudson River projects. It's just crazy. The JC waterfront is some of Hudson County's most desired residential real estate. People don't need to be cajoled and coaxed to live there. 20 years ago, abatements made sense in Newport. Now they are simply giveaways to the affluent.

Posted on: 2006/4/25 18:29
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