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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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i was not questioning the type of stores, but talking about the type of construction and surface parking. i read somewhere that in downtown jc surface parking lots are not allowed. of course they're still there - but may be it's temporary , since the future plans show redevelopment. but i don't know of any redev plans for commercial space in newport.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 13:07
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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Quote:

icricket wrote:
it's the commercial zone that needs to be redone. building 1 story box for staples/modells is stupid, so is the gigantic parking lot for target - they should've build a parking garage there like at the mall, if anything!

Leave Target and Staples alone. Thery are the only places left down there that I will go to. I have not gone into Newport mall for years now because of their hellish parking garages and pay to shop policy.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 1:05
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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funny that you say - he should maximize land use - the buildings are way too close to the street and each other as is - where else to squeeze? the only saving grace is the parking garages between. by the way everywhere in downtown developers are required to build garages. naturally they're adjacent to the buildings themselves. and the only public one around path has been sort of hidden by the building. so i don't really see where else you'd put them. and nobody builds them underground here - isn't it a flood zone ? as far as concrete plz - the town square is fairly densely planted. they actually reduced the concrete space after redesign. they do need some hard surface for fairs and concerts - so the central wide path is used for that: i think that's a pretty good usage.
and there's supposed to be a fairly large park north of sc north - from washington all the way to the river - no obstruction.
it's the commercial zone that needs to be redone. building 1 story box for staples/modells is stupid, so is the gigantic parking lot for target - they should've build a parking garage there like at the mall, if anything!

Posted on: 2006/6/8 22:00
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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I just hope that any new development will maximize the use of the land. Unfortunatly, alot of the land in Newport is not used efficiently, because back in the 1980's the land was relativaly cheap. Alot of the devolpment's design comes from the California School of modern urban design, where everything is car orientated, very spread out, big wide concrete plazas, and out of scale --- this was very popular all over the country in the 80's. It is also a tremendous waste of land. I am sure if Lefrak had done the development today, he would not have gone and plopped a public parking garage right on the waterfront.
I also hope that all the parking garages will be underground, and there will be a nice big public park on the north end of the development.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 21:09
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Re: Star-Ledger: Developers plan to bolster Jersey City waterfront
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What a lot of people (ironically this is especially the case with historic preservationist types) is an historic perspective. In the 70s and early 80s no one wanted to invest in JC. LeFrak did so and by the standards of the time Newport was a big risky improvement and way upscale for JC. They made a lot of money off a place that I wouldn't want to live in then or now - so what?

Now that JC is in a real estate craze many have their bitch about how this or that should have been done better. Where were they when no one else was willing to invest?

[quote]
Skadave wrote:
I am not that much of a newport hater. Yes, it doesn't have any soul but it is clean, safe, and it does have some larger chain type stores which I find useful.

Just think, Newport could have looked like Lefrak city in queens. At least most of these buildings are not atrocious looking.

Could it have been done better to reflect more of a community atmosphere? Yes. But it could also still be a dilapidated rail yard if it were up to local community groups to decide what to do with the land. You would have the one little league guy with too much power who would want all of the land to become baseball fields, you would have the dog run people, the anti dog run people, the park people, the wallmart people, the don't block my view people, and the historical preservation society people who would try to get the rail yards classified as a historic site.[/quote
]

Posted on: 2006/6/8 3:47
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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on the off-topic of bklyn - check out your lunch enertainment here:
http://gutter.curbed.com/ - scroll down to bridezilla.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 14:48
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Re: Star-Ledger: Developers plan to bolster Jersey City waterfront
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good points Skadave. your post was a voice of reason. Newport could be lots better, but so could all of JC neighborhoods.

now i hope these new bldgs dont block my view of manhattan. jk. LOL

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Skadave wrote:

Could it have been done better to reflect more of a community atmosphere? Yes. But it could also still be a dilapidated rail yard if it were up to local community groups to decide what to do with the land. You would have the one little league guy with too much power who would want all of the land to become baseball fields, you would have the dog run people, the anti dog run people, the park people, the wallmart people, the don't block my view people, and the historical preservation society people who would try to get the rail yards classified as a historic site.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 14:31
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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skadave, you hit the nail on the head!

Posted on: 2006/6/2 13:59
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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quote:
The jewel will be the Ellipse, a 460-foot tower of steel and glass that will contain 325 apartments.

The Ellipse is being designed by a well-known architec tural and planning firm, Arquitec tonica, which has built space-age creations from Miami to Manila.
now we're talking! if only i can find a glimpse of that! based on latest dev map - that should be on the pier n/ne of sc.

and westin is pretty good news.
by the way i like the combo of business/residential hi-rises a lot. since i spent years working down/mid town for banks/brokerages - the stone canyons are like home to me. i don't find them overbearing - more like little fish darting among sharp corals. yeh, i find vast expanse of glass exciting.
as a side note on isolation of newport - to me it's akin to cul-de-sac. considering the crime rates and demographics of jc - the presence of large business necessitates higher security - and that's just fine with a lot of people here. otherwise they wont even consider jc at all. after all the income levels here are very homogeneous and quite high.
another point that some of you might not be aware of - its the highest concentration of techies in metro area. and we're not talking just indian,it's everybody : american and foreign, whites and chinese and israeli. a lot of people run their business networks from home here or connect across the ocean - that's truly the most futuristic part.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 13:57
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Re: Star-Ledger: Developers plan to bolster Jersey City waterfront
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I am not that much of a newport hater. Yes, it doesn't have any soul but it is clean, safe, and it does have some larger chain type stores which I find useful.

Just think, Newport could have looked like Lefrak city in queens. At least most of these buildings are not atrocious looking.

Could it have been done better to reflect more of a community atmosphere? Yes. But it could also still be a dilapidated rail yard if it were up to local community groups to decide what to do with the land. You would have the one little league guy with too much power who would want all of the land to become baseball fields, you would have the dog run people, the anti dog run people, the park people, the wallmart people, the don't block my view people, and the historical preservation society people who would try to get the rail yards classified as a historic site.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 13:56
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Star-Ledger: Developers plan to bolster Jersey City waterfront
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Developers plan to bolster Jersey City waterfront
Friday, June 02, 2006
BY STEVE CHAMBERS
Star-Ledger Staff

Nearly two decades to the day after they broke ground on a questionable gamble to transform Jersey City's waterfront, members of the LeFrak and Simon families un veiled plans yesterday for four more buildings in the Newport complex.

Top government officials in attendance, including Gov. Jon Cor zine and U.S. Sen. Frank Lauten berg (D-N.J.), praised the influence of the families in transforming the northeast corner of Jersey City into the leading edge of the Hudson River Gold Coast.

Richard LeFrak, son of the late Samuel LeFrak, who along with Melvin Simon started Newport on June 4, 1986, said the family was committed to completing the 500-acre project all the way to the Hoboken border.

"Twenty years ago, my father and Mel stood on this land and made a public promise to transform Jersey City's eyesore -- its abandoned and deteriorated Hud son River waterfront -- into a beautiful, vibrant and economically viable, showcase urban community," LeFrak said. "We have kept that promise."

LeFrak said he and his sons, Jamie and Harrison, intend to double the number of residential units to roughly 9,000 and will add 11 acres of parkland, another 1 million square feet of office space and amenities including an ice-skating rink.

The complex already includes more than 4,000 residential units, 5 million square feet of office space and the Newport Centre Mall.

He said $2.5 billion in private capital has already poured into the site, and the new buildings represent an investment of another $750 million. New construction includes three residential high-rise towers and a Westin hotel and conference center.

The jewel will be the Ellipse, a 460-foot tower of steel and glass that will contain 325 apartments.

The LeFraks have long been sensitive to criticism that their complex has an antiseptic feel, despite its coming of age in recent years with the addition of ethnic restaurants and a private elemen tary school. The Ellipse is being designed by a well-known architec tural and planning firm, Arquitec tonica, which has built space-age creations from Miami to Manila.

The LeFraks spared no expense at an anniversary celebration yesterday, trotting out a mini-documentary on the complex that vividly contrasted the waterfront of the 1980s -- with dilapidated rail yards, construction debris and packs of wild dogs -- with the thriving complex of today. It fea tured tributes from three governors -- Corzine and predecessors Jim Florio and Tom Kean -- and re membrances from Sam LeFrak, who died in 2003.

A commissioned study by Rutgers University's Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy reported that the complex had paid $870 million in taxes and generated another $430 million in income-tax revenues and $291 million in other taxes. The same study found the complex created 22,500 construction jobs and houses 30,000 business-operations jobs -- 10 percent of Hudson County's job base and nearly one-quarter of all jobs in the city.

Richard LeFrak also acknowledged the assistance of government funding in the success of the project, most notably the Hudson- Bergen Light Rail, which runs between Newport Centre Mall and the residential and office properties that line the waterfront.

The complex also benefited from tax abatements and, most re cently, state legislation that will allow the LeFraks to recoup up to $20 million from an environmental cleanup fund that didn't exist when they were building the development.

Corzine said public investment is justified, because Newport has become an economic engine and job creator that has benefited the entire state.

"This is one of the most exciting places in all of New Jersey," he said.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 12:55
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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rest assured, super_furry, no offense taken.

i laughed at the excerpt you got from the other board. they could just have omitted the word "downtown", you know, as in "prefer to walk into downtown Jersey City"...lets not read too much into it

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super_furry wrote:
Bryhove, have you ever been to Newport??? It doesn't sound like it.

Mopotofu -- most of us are not bashing the residents of Newport, but actions (or inactions) of the developer, and the NWA.
If you enjoy living in Newport, great, and all the best. Something that does annoy us is when Newport residents (not you) forget they live in JC! This is from NWA board re: South City Grill:

The music they play is annoying - All the time. My wife and I prefer to walk into Jersey city for brunch because of it, which is a shame. I'm sure most reasonable people just tolerate it because the location is so nice.

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bryhove wrote:
Really? Where can a man even get a drink around there?

Posted on: 2006/6/2 2:13
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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Jeebus wrote:
I don't see what's so laughable about this. On aesthetic grounds I don't like Newport at all but downtown JC beats the outer boroughs. No 4% NYC income tax, slightly less intrusive government, lower costs all around, easier commuting in most cases, and generally easier access to getting out of town. In terms of what you get for your rent/mortgage; downtown JC is much better.


That 4% can easily be eaten by the difference in residential real estate taxes. A single family townhouse in Brooklyn often has taxes under $2K.

It's the getting out of town that made us look here to begin with instead of Brooklyn. Getting out of Park Slope can be brutal. The Gowanus? just shoot me now.

One of the main differences is most of our developers are carpetbaggers who have no love of JC and could care less what it's future will look like, and that includes the Lefraks. The guy who developed Dumbo may have been hard on the artists but at least he "got it" about what makes people love a neighborhood and city.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 2:11
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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and atlantic was doing good for quite a while. and the metro tech happened meanwhile. and heights been a swell place forever. so may be more thought and money went into atlantic yards...
jc and newport has been a dump meanwhile . ever seen a map of contaminated sites all over?
you'd think goldman tower is pleasing - but they're loosing money and it stands empty - but pleasing....
lefrak had to lay their own sewage and water - jc's wont support the high density high pressure , they also paid for roads , they laid the telecommunications and t1 to all buildings, when only the most expensive new lofts in manhattan had t1 available. there was no cable yet. they put an antenna on towers for rcn transmission from manhattan. 5 years later cable arrived in jc finally. it's easy for trump to come in now - 20 years later with booming offices downtown and lux hi-rises everplace.

Posted on: 2006/6/2 0:43
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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I don't see what's so laughable about this. On aesthetic grounds I don't like Newport at all but downtown JC beats the outer boroughs. No 4% NYC income tax, slightly less intrusive government, lower costs all around, easier commuting in most cases, and generally easier access to getting out of town. In terms of what you get for your rent/mortgage; downtown JC is much better.

For what it's worth, what I've seen of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn looks like a nicer but much more expensive version of Newport.

Quote:

super_furry wrote:
I had the same reaction -- especially to this gem:

"It's not Manhattan," Mr. LeFrak said on a recent walking tour of Newport. "But it's not bad. And it just might," he paused, raising a finger, "might, be better than Brooklyn."

Posted on: 2006/6/2 0:24
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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The socialism aspect is on the side of the developers, no bid sales, no competition redeveloper designations, no transparant abatement / pilot policies, no evidence that the city got a good deal for selling land, re-zoning or making tax deals. Look at who the developers have been up until recently, all local political insiders, no need for me to name names.

The Powerhouse was on track to be torn down by the Port Authority (50% owner) if not for civic activism. The JCLC went over the state which deferred to the PA and refused to landmark it and obtained federal landmarking on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is where you can find out more info - Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

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icricket wrote:
oi-wei! are they going to demand parks 'n libraries from trump and hovnanian? how about THEIR pilots? do corps fulfill their agreements downtown? it sounds like a real socialist land here over in jc. it seems the powerstation cant get cleaned up for decades either....if it were in newport - bet it would be long decontaminated at least?

Posted on: 2006/6/2 0:00
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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have you walked around pad actually? it's totally deserted and quite uneasy even now, after they've been trying to clean it up for what , 7 years? it was waldo - artists welcome movement for a while....
now, trump actually can speed it up, believe it or not. might even wrap up the station, artistically that is, to prevent prospective buyers from fainting...
but, yah, i always liked it meself too....

Posted on: 2006/6/1 23:57
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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What's up with that power station? I dont know anything about it, but it's BEAUTIFUL even if it is falling apart!

The buildings around there are all awesome too - love the Powerhouse Arts District. Once they clean it up (literally) some more and do some improvements, it's going to be a rockin' district, man.

So, it sucks that they're building a Trump there. SOOO does not fit!

Posted on: 2006/6/1 23:46
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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oi-wei! are they going to demand parks 'n libraries from trump and hovnanian? how about THEIR pilots? do corps fulfill their agreements downtown? it sounds like a real socialist land here over in jc. it seems the powerstation cant get cleaned up for decades either....if it were in newport - bet it would be long decontaminated at least?

Posted on: 2006/6/1 23:25
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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Quote:

Butchcjg wrote:
(My favorite quote though was how they had to build everything with cash, b/c they couldn't afford loans. Oh, such poverty!)


Not even true. JC loaned them hundreds of millions of dollars that Schundler let them repay for pennies on the dollar because it let him plug his budget hole. JC politicians are forever screwing the future over for the political now, which is why the city is poorly planned and perennially broke.

According to Janice M., Newport exceeded their enviromental impact statement many years ago but still gets their projects approved. There is simply no feedback loop here to check compliance with the terms of PILOTS or any other agreements.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 23:05
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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As AlanSommerman has posted, the Newport site was one of the most spectacular pieces of undeveloped land in the world and Jersey City pissed away the opportunity to create a waterfront community that would have made the city as a whole better.

What have other cities done with redeveloping their waterfronts both in this country and abroad? Does Newport holds it own?

The Newport site was prime waterfront property across from lower Manhattan with a built in subway minutes from both downtown and midtown Manhattan adjacent to the Holland Tunnel.

The primary purpose of redevelopment is to improve the city.

Does Newport open up the waterfront and Hudson River to the city? Does it preserve sight lines? Does it provide easy access to the neighborhood west from the PATH station? Is it an economic engine for the city?

The city failed to create and enforce a master redevelopment plan to tie Newport to the rest of Jersey City, to integrate and better implement the Waterfront Walkway, to preserve sight lines to the river, to provide easy PATH access to the neighborhood just west, to make the best possible reuse of this property. As is, Newport could have been built anywhere, it does not take advantage of its unique and special location.

Instead the developer was permitted to build quick and cheap (as little capital investment as possible) for the short-term leaving the development with high turnover and transience, short of public amenities such as parks space and a library, and walling off the Hamilton Park neighborhood from the river.

When one Hamilton Park activist points out again and again that the redevelopment plans for Newport permit the grassy meridians on Washington Blvd to be counted as green space, city council after city council looks vacant, votes yes on amendments or bad deal tax abatements and then congratulates themselves on the job they are doing.

Newport as we know it falls short of its potential because of our city?s poor planning and poor governance. The Lefrak family just successfully maximized their short-term returns. It was city government?s job to get the best possible long- term development from Newport.

What can be done ? Every time Newport redevelopment plans are amended to be changed in anyway, to up-zone, to increase building heights, density, parking ratios, to change uses; that past wrongs are corrected, more open space is included, more recreation, reorienting the western access, library space, greater access to the Waterfront Walkway, completion of the Waterfront Walkway and the list can go on.

What can be done to stop Jersey City colluding with developers to misuse redevelopment law? How about banning redevelopment pay to play. Ask your council person to introduce this ordinance from New Jersey Common Cause.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 22:54
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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I like Newport, though I don't live there. I live in Hamilton Park, but often go to Dorrian's, order from Confucious, Cosi, the mall, etc.

It has it it's flaws - yes, it does feel isolated and rather sterile. But, it seems like it'd be a good place to live if you truly wanted to spend most of your social live in NYC and you also wanted a nice luxury-like apartment. The apartments are more affordable than a lot of the other luxury buildings! It also feels like a very business-like environment, almost hotel conference like. But, some people really like that! It's nice, new, very clean, etc.

I really enjoyed living in The Roosevelt, which is owned by LeFrak. It'd be nice to see him expand his vision to more buildings like that. It's low-rise, but sitll very nice, spacious, affordable, doorman, etc. But it was just a couple of blocks from Hamilton Park, so it felt neighbor-hoody.

There are always things to complain about with every neighborhood...it's not like Hamilton Park or Van Vorst or The Heights or Harsimus Cove or Paulus Hook or the West End, etc ALL don't have their share of problems and things to complain about. I think LeFrak has done a good job at creating units that meet the needs of a certain demographic of people.

(My favorite quote though was how they had to build everything with cash, b/c they couldn't afford loans. Oh, such poverty!)

Posted on: 2006/6/1 22:26
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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it just gets tiresome - ok you bash newport for lefrak, but hey, there are 10k people living there. how do you like when people bash jc? so, it's the same. lighten up, try the pastries at kims ;). babo's my favourite - great gelato and teas. if only they put up a gourmet coffee shop.... haveta truck from manhattan...
we're just worked to death and tired and don't want to go anywhere ...is that so hard to understand?

Posted on: 2006/6/1 22:03
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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Quote:

bryhove wrote:
All I'm saying is that there is nothing that resembles a neighborhood bar. The more these jerkoffs build into the sky - the less space there is to have any type of mom & pop establishments. Not saying that what the residents want; but it feels like a closed community that keeps extending its boundaries.


Right on.

I've got no beef with anyone who lives in Newport...to each his own.. But I could not have articulated my PERSONAL distate for Newport better than Bryan has.

Not to mention the fact that he basically called the Lefraks "jerkoffs" which is priceless.

No, really, the whole reason that the "Newport project" (sounds so sinister, doesn't it) bothers me as much as it does is that I see it encroaching further and further into Downtown proper.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 21:48
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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I agree 100%. For a neighborhood bar, they have to walk to "Jersey City."

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bryhove wrote:
All I'm saying is that there is nothing that resembles a neighborhood bar. The more these jerkoffs build into the sky - the less space there is to have any type of mom & pop establishments.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 21:39
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
#9
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All I'm saying is that there is nothing that resembles a neighborhood bar. The more these jerkoffs build into the sky - the less space there is to have any type of mom & pop establishments. Not saying that what the residents want; but it feels like a closed community that keeps extending its boundaries.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 21:30
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
#8
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From Ward E - Hamilton Park
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Bryhove, have you ever been to Newport??? It doesn't sound like it.

Mopotofu -- most of us are not bashing the residents of Newport, but actions (or inactions) of the developer, and the NWA.
If you enjoy living in Newport, great, and all the best. Something that does annoy us is when Newport residents (not you) forget they live in JC! This is from NWA board re: South City Grill:

The music they play is annoying - All the time. My wife and I prefer to walk into Jersey city for brunch because of it, which is a shame. I'm sure most reasonable people just tolerate it because the location is so nice.

Quote:

bryhove wrote:
Really? Where can a man even get a drink around there?

Posted on: 2006/6/1 20:38

Edited by super_furry on 2006/6/1 21:15:09
Edited by super_furry on 2006/6/1 21:17:06
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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Really? Where can a man even get a drink around there?

Posted on: 2006/6/1 20:23
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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I agree with ICricket. I like living in Newport, warts and all. Let everyone else bash it, doesn't matter.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 20:17
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Re: The New York Times: LeFraks Envision Even Bigger Skyline Across Hudson
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actually i moved to newport from bklyn heights. i also tried park slope. the brownstones are pretty, but apts are old, dark and often badly insulated. moving to hi fl with spectacular view of manhattan for the same price as heights, but all new was tremendous. granted large windows cause heat loss - but that's true of all large glass apts, everywhere. besides my heat bill in heights was even worse. the bozos often pissed by the gate and sat on the stoop, once i opened the door - and the guy was seating there, leaning against it - almost fell in.... tell yah, no bums around makes me quite content. juss thought you fellas should know that some people like newport - predominantly those who live there, naturally.

Posted on: 2006/6/1 20:07
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