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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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[quote]
DanL wrote:
how so? it is very opaque and a "huge" transfer of value to a developer.

- it blows out historic district zoning, and the sky is the limit

- the city owned land (SE corner montgomery) will not be sold to the highest bidder

- city hall and park space work may not be bid out either

it is only inevitable if people allow it.

btw i have a hard time keeping all the poster's names starting with "JC..." straight.[quote]


Certainly agree there are aspects of the 202 York ownership and sale that raise questions. And yes, having City Hall and the immediate precinct redeveloped is long overdue and will be welcome.

I am not convinced that the ?replacement? of the lost housing units from 202 York: 5 out, 5 in, is the full picture. Rents I've seen mentioned for so-called ?affordable? housing units in these downtown developments are not so ?affordable?. I also wonder how these units are allocated. There have been rumors over the years of questionable procedures. Do the folks displaced by the redevelopment have some priority regarding the new units? Where do they go in the meantime, and what about their ties to family and friends who are in the area? Are they elderly? It's a complex picture.

Regarding transparency, as it turned out, for unrelated reasons I happened to attend the Council Caucus meeting Monday July 13th, when the redevelopment plan was discussed. At the time I wasn't aware who owned that building at 202 York so didn't pay much attention. However, I remember one of the Councilpersons asked something to the effect ? these are NOT exact quotes ? ?I'm curious about that single house in the redevelopment area..., it isn't owned by the City...?? The answer from the City Official representing Planning was something to the effect: ?The owner requested it be included?. I did not hear them say who owned it. There was no further discussion on it that I heard in the open public session. The recordings of those meetings are available I believe.... I don't know if it was mentioned at the Wednesday Council meeting

Striking an appropriate balance of the various legitimate interests is not straightforward IMHO. And when significant economic / political interests are involved, any suggestion of lack of transparency troubles me. Maybe there's nothing untoward, but to me the appearance isn't good. As mentioned, there's a long, sorry history of cities pushing folks out of their homes in favor of somebody's notion of a supposed ?greater good.? If this really is for some greater good, then there is no reason not to be fully open and transparent. The conjunction of several unusual factors and circumstances seems just a little too expedient to me. But that is just my opinion.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 20:17
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

Wishful_Thinking wrote:
Quote:

Bamb00zle wrote:
Quote:

JCman24 wrote:
... Did the ciyt and Silverman collude on this project? Why does the city seem to be engaging in subterfuge with such easily discoverable facts of ownership?


If that building is in a Historic Preservation District ? as some have said ? then before it can be demolished the Historic Preservation Commission must approve - so that might be the next step. I wonder if it is on for review? I just looked for Monday's meeting (July 20th) but there's no agenda posted. Those agendas are usually available the Friday before....

Curiouser and curiouser...

From the perspective of a professional working in historic preservation, this building is a probably a good candidate for preserving.

While it's been clad in aluminum siding, and has had it's windows replaced, it retains it's historic scale, cornice (under the aluminum, if not salvageable at least enough left possibly to replicate it), and particularly important - it's original pattern of windows and doors.

I checked the 1928 Hopkins & Co. Map - this building was one of a group of frame buildings with outbuildings in the back - the small street level door may have been a "horse trot" accessing the stable or other shop in the rear yard http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=3471 in which case it retains it's 'historic spatial designation', a defining characteristic. As a simple frame structure, it would not take much to restore this building, and incorporate it into a larger development. The ground floor, along with the yard and the "horse trot" could be repurposed for some sort of public retail/dining amenity, which could be very cool.


Thanks! I just ordered a map of my hood.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 19:29
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

Wishful_Thinking wrote:
Quote:

Bamb00zle wrote:
Quote:

JCman24 wrote:
... Did the ciyt and Silverman collude on this project? Why does the city seem to be engaging in subterfuge with such easily discoverable facts of ownership?


If that building is in a Historic Preservation District ? as some have said ? then before it can be demolished the Historic Preservation Commission must approve - so that might be the next step. I wonder if it is on for review? I just looked for Monday's meeting (July 20th) but there's no agenda posted. Those agendas are usually available the Friday before....

Curiouser and curiouser...

From the perspective of a professional working in historic preservation, this building is a probably a good candidate for preserving.

While it's been clad in aluminum siding, and has had it's windows replaced, it retains it's historic scale, cornice (under the aluminum, if not salvageable at least enough left possibly to replicate it), and particularly important - it's original pattern of windows and doors.

I checked the 1928 Hopkins & Co. Map - this building was one of a group of frame buildings with outbuildings in the back - the small street level door may have been a "horse trot" accessing the stable or other shop in the rear yard http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=3471 in which case it retains it's 'historic spatial designation', a defining characteristic. As a simple frame structure, it would not take much to restore this building, and incorporate it into a larger development. The ground floor, along with the yard and the "horse trot" could be repurposed for some sort of public retail/dining amenity, which could be very cool.


That's an interesting read. Thank you Wishful Thinking.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 18:17
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:

You are propping up and knocking down scarecrows.

I think 202 York is a shithole. However, the circumstances behind the developer purchasing it and the City's "report," combined with the City's weekday 10am meeting to discuss it, seem extremely questionable.

I want to see how much support Fulop gets from this developer when he runs for governor. That might explain some of what's going on.


"I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly..."

What more do you want from me?


Fair enough. I guess we are starting to run in circles on this thread. The consensus seems to be that this looks shady, but since it will benefit the community, is it that big a deal?


True. Everything should be done above board, and I'm not sure about this deal...

My points were more toward "the it's in an historic district and 202 York should be preserved forever, the let's never change the zoning ever, and the what about the loss of 5 rental units" crowd. aka Yvonne

Overall, the development of the city-owned parking lots will provide a net benefit to the community, I just don't understand the inclusion of 202 York for the reasons you and many others have stated. I'm not opposed to it's redevelopment, but it should be done right!


Posted on: 2015/7/22 18:14
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

Bamb00zle wrote:
Quote:

JCman24 wrote:
... Did the ciyt and Silverman collude on this project? Why does the city seem to be engaging in subterfuge with such easily discoverable facts of ownership?


If that building is in a Historic Preservation District ? as some have said ? then before it can be demolished the Historic Preservation Commission must approve - so that might be the next step. I wonder if it is on for review? I just looked for Monday's meeting (July 20th) but there's no agenda posted. Those agendas are usually available the Friday before....

Curiouser and curiouser...

From the perspective of a professional working in historic preservation, this building is a probably a good candidate for preserving.

While it's been clad in aluminum siding, and has had it's windows replaced, it retains it's historic scale, cornice (under the aluminum, if not salvageable at least enough left possibly to replicate it), and particularly important - it's original pattern of windows and doors.

I checked the 1928 Hopkins & Co. Map - this building was one of a group of frame buildings with outbuildings in the back - the small street level door may have been a "horse trot" accessing the stable or other shop in the rear yard http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=3471 in which case it retains it's 'historic spatial designation', a defining characteristic. As a simple frame structure, it would not take much to restore this building, and incorporate it into a larger development. The ground floor, along with the yard and the "horse trot" could be repurposed for some sort of public retail/dining amenity, which could be very cool.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 18:12
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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how so? it is very opaque and a "huge" transfer of value to a developer.

- it blows out historic district zoning, and the sky is the limit

- the city owned land (SE corner montgomery) will not be sold to the highest bidder

- city hall and park space work may not be bid out either

it is only inevitable if people allow it.

btw i have a hard time keeping all the poster's names starting with "JC..." straight.

Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:

You are propping up and knocking down scarecrows.

I think 202 York is a shithole. However, the circumstances behind the developer purchasing it and the City's "report," combined with the City's weekday 10am meeting to discuss it, seem extremely questionable.

I want to see how much support Fulop gets from this developer when he runs for governor. That might explain some of what's going on.


"I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly..."

What more do you want from me?


Fair enough. I guess we are starting to run in circles on this thread. The consensus seems to be that this looks shady, but since it will benefit the community, is it that big a deal?

Posted on: 2015/7/22 18:12
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:

You are propping up and knocking down scarecrows.

I think 202 York is a shithole. However, the circumstances behind the developer purchasing it and the City's "report," combined with the City's weekday 10am meeting to discuss it, seem extremely questionable.

I want to see how much support Fulop gets from this developer when he runs for governor. That might explain some of what's going on.


"I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly..."

What more do you want from me?


Fair enough. I guess we are starting to run in circles on this thread. The consensus seems to be that this looks shady, but since it will benefit the community, is it that big a deal?

Posted on: 2015/7/22 17:22
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:

You are propping up and knocking down scarecrows.

I think 202 York is a shithole. However, the circumstances behind the developer purchasing it and the City's "report," combined with the City's weekday 10am meeting to discuss it, seem extremely questionable.

I want to see how much support Fulop gets from this developer when he runs for governor. That might explain some of what's going on.


"I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly..."

What more do you want from me?

Posted on: 2015/7/22 17:01
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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JCGuys wrote:
There is nothing inherently wrong with changing a plan and zoning of a property if the current plan no longer works for the community. Rather than fighting the inevitable change, embrace it to have greater control over the outcomes. Make sure it's done right.

Did you know that the Journal Square 2060 plans envisions the decking over the PATH rail corridor for future development and a linear park? Journal Square would continue to be dying without it.

I would love to see the two city-owned parking lots developed, especially if the proceeds are used to rehabilitate City Hall and to add green space. I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly, but the concern some JClisters have over the lost of the existing apartments misguided. Five or so apartments would have to be vacated but a redevelopment of the lands could bring hundreds of new apartments, a portion of which would be affordable. It's an acceptable trade off. The redevelopment is clearly better for the city and the inclusion of new affordable housing to replace the substandard units that exist now is the right thing to do. Anything more than 5 units should be viewed as a win for affordable housing proponents.

Of course I'm going to be attacked by the historic preservationists wanting to save the architectural beauty that is 202 York, the anti-fulopers led by Springfield's very own Abe Simpson, and those who lambaste any loss of parking due to their refusal to take transit or walk in one of the most dense cities in America.



You are propping up and knocking down scarecrows.

I think 202 York is a shithole. However, the circumstances behind the developer purchasing it and the City's "report," combined with the City's weekday 10am meeting to discuss it, seem extremely questionable.

I want to see how much support Fulop gets from this developer when he runs for governor. That might explain some of what's going on.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 15:52
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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There is nothing inherently wrong with changing a plan and zoning of a property if the current plan no longer works for the community. Rather than fighting the inevitable change, embrace it to have greater control over the outcomes. Make sure it's done right.

Did you know that the Journal Square 2060 plans envisions the decking over the PATH rail corridor for future development and a linear park? Journal Square would continue to be dying without it.

I would love to see the two city-owned parking lots developed, especially if the proceeds are used to rehabilitate City Hall and to add green space. I just find the inclusion of 202 York very odd and smelly, but the concern some JClisters have over the lost of the existing apartments misguided. Five or so apartments would have to be vacated but a redevelopment of the lands could bring hundreds of new apartments, a portion of which would be affordable. It's an acceptable trade off. The redevelopment is clearly better for the city and the inclusion of new affordable housing to replace the substandard units that exist now is the right thing to do. Anything more than 5 units should be viewed as a win for affordable housing proponents.

Of course I'm going to be attacked by the historic preservationists wanting to save the architectural beauty that is 202 York, the anti-fulopers led by Springfield's very own Abe Simpson, and those who lambaste any loss of parking due to their refusal to take transit or walk in one of the most dense cities in America.


Posted on: 2015/7/22 14:51
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Redevelopment plans basically throws out other plans. It is a dangerous took when mishandle. The Montgomery Gateway done is the 1970s is an example of that. Buildings were knocked down to put up the so-call housing that exists there now.

Posted on: 2015/7/22 0:24
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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JCGuys wrote:
[quote]
.... No private property owners will be forced to redevelop, unless they want to redevelop. That's the way it should be citywide.


JCGuys, apropos your two posts today, the timing of the sale of 202 York to a developer ? Silverman Bros no less ? is is just a little too convenient for my tastes. It may all be completely above board, but there's a long and sorry history of cities using all sorts of ?creative? approaches to drive people they didn't want around from their homes. So I am curious about the sale. Was it somehow ?forced?? Reading the description of the property in the redevelopment plan made me wonder if they threw the Building or Fire Codes at the owner to encourage a sale? And of course, there could be absolutely nothing untoward about it at all. Venture to guess, we'll never know for sure. It will be nice to get the City Hall restored, but I hope no one was thrown under the bus to do it....

Posted on: 2015/7/21 23:38
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Yvonne wrote:
If you start including other properties in this redevelopment plan, then you will take homes from private owners and give them on one developer. Do we really want to be the town that does that? I may not like your home but should the city have the right to take your property and allow another person to develop it?


Correct me if I'm wrong, but this this being pursued as redevelopment plan without the use of Eminent Domain. No private property owners will be forced to redevelop, unless they want to redevelop. That's the way it should be citywide. Look at the mess Eminent Domain did to Journal Square. How many years later at One Journal Square is just a pile of dirt.

Posted on: 2015/7/21 23:06
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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If you start including other properties in this redevelopment plan, then you will take homes from private owners and give them on one developer. Do we really want to be the town that does that? I may not like your home but should the city have the right to take your property and allow another person to develop it?

Posted on: 2015/7/21 21:44
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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So I'm not opposed to this redevelopment. However, like most on here, it's interesting that this is the only non-city owned site that's included in the redevelopment plan. It will benefit a sole property owner, which also happens to be a developer, which will surely be a front runner in the overall redevelopment scheme and make a ton of profit. It doesn't seem right...

Why not include the large parking lot on Montgomery next to Montgomery Towers? Or the Metropolis Towers. There is plenty of space for infill development.

202 York itself is nothing special, and would make a mockery of historic districts if it was preserved. 206 and 208 York don't look that special either.

Is it improper to create a redevelopment plan that has the appearance of benefiting a single property owner?

Posted on: 2015/7/21 21:15
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Yvonne wrote:
To dtjcview: First and foremost 202 York is the home to five families. The building is not the horror the citys report makes it to be. It was built before 1879 and most likely housed working class families throughout its existence. It is not just the stately rowhouses or grand public buildings that tell the history of a city. It is buildings like this and thousands more throughout the city that also tell of our past. The toil and sweat of the working man built the city. The 1930's WPA era photo of this house attached to a property card in the tax assessors files show a wood frame house with a storefront on the ground floor typical of the turn of the century. Beyond the modern facade is a 19th century structure worthy of our respect. The bottom line as stated above is that this building is the home to five families.


The building has likely been gutted and renovated multiple times since the 1930's. The facade is far from "modern" - and has the look of a hole-in-the wall bar. The sidings are aluminum. If they were proposing to build a multi-story municipal parking lot on the site - you wouldn't give a damn. Your argument is pretty superficial.

Posted on: 2015/7/20 13:48
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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To dtjcview: First and foremost 202 York is the home to five families. The building is not the horror the citys report makes it to be. It was built before 1879 and most likely housed working class families throughout its existence. It is not just the stately rowhouses or grand public buildings that tell the history of a city. It is buildings like this and thousands more throughout the city that also tell of our past. The toil and sweat of the working man built the city. The 1930's WPA era photo of this house attached to a property card in the tax assessors files show a wood frame house with a storefront on the ground floor typical of the turn of the century. Beyond the modern facade is a 19th century structure worthy of our respect. The bottom line as stated above is that this building is the home to five families.

Posted on: 2015/7/20 12:14
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Wasn't the city's argument in the West Bergen-East Lincoln Park Historic designation to preserve the housing stock from developers? Now we have a developer buying a house for the specific reason to tear it down. 202 York St is in the historic district and it is in better shape than the old structure on Barrow St that is going through renovations. 202 York Street is more than 130 years old. The reason I fought for the historic district in JC when it did not exist, to preserve homes that Colgate was buying to tear down. Basically, the city wants it two way: (1) historic district to harass residents on their properties and (2) then allow buildings in historic districts to be demolished by developers for economic, not historic gain.

Posted on: 2015/7/20 0:26
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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202 York

This the building worth preservation? Seriously?

Posted on: 2015/7/19 23:48
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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I have to amend my previous comment that the Silvermans would have to get approval from the HPC to demolish 202 York. It appears that this is now a "redevelopment" zone and as such needs no approval from HPC. This is a dangerous precedent for the historic districts.

Posted on: 2015/7/19 23:37
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Sommerman...The surface lots within the City Hall Redevelopment Plan are the one directly behind City Hall and the parking lot on the southwest corner of Montgomery & Marin. The Plan does not include the lot with the "Edison" sign on the southeast corner which is a commercial lot. Anyone interested should have a look at 202 York Street & see it is not as bad as the city would have us believe. Far worse structures have been saved & that is one of the goals in having a historic district.

Posted on: 2015/7/19 14:10
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Just to clarify - the surface lot is the one that has the Edison sign? I was poking around during the food festival.

Posted on: 2015/7/19 13:32
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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202 York Street is within the Van Vorst Historic District. It is listed in the nomination report prepared by the city in 1979 and is described as a 3 story frame building with five units built prior to 1879. It also states it has a commercial unit, most likely a candy or grocery store, long gone. If the city owned the building they would be exempt from HPC approval for demolition. It is owned by the Silvermans and indeed they must get approval first from the citys' Historic Preservation Commission. This will be a very important case for the Van Vorst Park Association and all other historic district neighborhood groups to follow.

Posted on: 2015/7/19 13:04
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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JCman24 wrote:
... Did the ciyt and Silverman collude on this project? Why does the city seem to be engaging in subterfuge with such easily discoverable facts of ownership?


If that building is in a Historic Preservation District ? as some have said ? then before it can be demolished the Historic Preservation Commission must approve - so that might be the next step. I wonder if it is on for review? I just looked for Monday's meeting (July 20th) but there's no agenda posted. Those agendas are usually available the Friday before....

Curiouser and curiouser...

Posted on: 2015/7/19 12:25
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Are there renters at 202 York with leases? Is this an underhanded way by the city to break the leases for Silverman? Did Silverman know the city was planning this redevelopment and bought the property in advance of the designation? Did the ciyt and Silverman collude on this project? Why does the city seem to be engaging in subterfuge with such easily discoverable facts of ownership?

Posted on: 2015/7/18 0:56
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Whether the Silvermans owned 202 York for a week, month or year they had a responsibility to maintain it. If the house was as bad as the "report" makes it out to be where was the city on going after the Silvermans. Its not like they were on Pluto. They were under the citys nose...across the street from the Mayors office. Its clear the Silvermans bought a fairly nice house in a historic district with the express purpose of tearing it down. Not to the citys credit they created a ridiculous report to justify all this. The people in West Bergen who wanted a historic district to protect them from overzealous developers ought take a long, hard look at this one. 5 lower income families displaced and their home destroyed to satisfy a developer.

Posted on: 2015/7/17 21:49
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From DT JC
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JCman24 wrote:
I shy away from conspiracy theories, but holy crap.


You might be onto something JCman. I wonder what the circumstances around that sale were - some kind of duress from Code Violations...?? I am really curious now.

Posted on: 2015/7/17 19:46
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
#56
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Bogart wrote:
This makes sense as they have been developing the area around City Hall for years.



I don't think it ?...makes sense...? Instead of handing it over to the Silvermans, the City should put the opportunity out for competitive bids. That way, I'd feel a lot more comfortable the City was achieving maximum value from the publicly owned land adjacent to the property.

It will be telling to see what the City does here.

Posted on: 2015/7/17 17:58
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
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Today's Journal confirms that the house is owned by the Silvermans. Clearly, they will be the designated developers. This makes sense as they have been developing the area around City Hall for years.

The article reports the Council approved the plan 7-2. That was quick.

Posted on: 2015/7/17 17:18

Edited by Bogart on 2015/7/17 17:33:40
I live by the river.
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Re: redevelopment plan for city hall
#54
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The state inspects multi-family homes every five years. If that property failed the inspection, I am sure the state would have fined the owner. You must show the state certificate at the time of sale.

Posted on: 2015/7/15 21:07
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