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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Newark and Grove Street will eventually be the retail center of downtown Jersey City, but obviously all this takes time. I think part of the problem right now is that eager landlords have searching for slightly higher rents than can be sustained just yet. On one hand, high rents will bring positive change by driving out the discount / 99 cent stores that have long plagued Newark Avenue, but at the same time, if the rents are too high, it creates a real obstacle for new business owners, especially businesses that are somewhat more esoteric.

As much as everyone is decrying the "travesty in the PAD," the addition of several thousand new customers will go a long way to creating a base for retail stores along Newark Avenue and Grove Street. The high density of residents will create a locked in consumer base to support restaurants, bars, and a few specialty retail stores.

On the other hand, a true arts district may have attracted outside residents who would spend money, and foster the development of more boutique stores that cater to "tourists." I don't mean tourists from the midwest with cowboy hats and fanny packs. I mean day trippers who can support independent retailers hawking high end goods. But I say may have attracted day tourists because the metro art scene is already very crowded. Not only are the Manhattan art districts competing with each, but they are competing with Brooklyn art districts as well, and on top of that, Jersey City still conjures up images of desolate industrial waste lands for many regional residents.

However, as I've mentioned before, Newport Mall has both destroyed downtown retail and saved it. The national chains are all going to stick to relative corporate security blanket of the mall. Its unlikely that Gap or American Eagle are going to come along and set up on Newark Avenue. Unfortunately, Newport Mall has sucked up a lot of what would otherwise be pedestrian traffic in the downtown. But because of the mall, it really leaves Newark Avenue and Grove Street up for grabs for independent retailers; it will never be a 34th street or Atlantic Avenue, which is a good thing.

As for the rest of Newport, I think Lefrak made some early mistakes in the original layout; its designed very much like modernist cities of the 1950's and 1960's. This is not surprising considering this is exactly what Lefrak City is. However, any well read new Urbanist will see the folly here. The towers in Newport are spaced apart from each other with small green patches between buildings, small parking and driveway facilities at the base of the buildings, and parking garages. The streets themselves are serpentine, and the Washington Blvd with its center island really destroys lines of sight. In short, Newport is the antithesis of a city.

Even if Newport Mall was not sucking out the retail life of Newport, Newport is simply not designed to be a retail center. There are large gaps between the retail facilities, like the parking entrances at the James Monroe or the Towers of America. The retail is obscured by landscaping, such as on Pavonia Ave Town Square. Not to mention that most of the retail in Newport is service oriented because the mall contains actual stores.

To some extent, Lefrak is attempting to address the retail issue with The Shore / Aqua retail corridor. Promoted as the "River Market," its intended to be a shopping destination. But this is probably too little too late, and again, its already tending toward service retail with a bank and a pizzeria.

Long term, 20, 30 years from now, Newport will probably have the opportunity to correct some of these mistakes. The north quadrant will be built out by then-- meaning Lefrak will have no choice but to start building out the under utilized lots, probably starting with the strip malls (Target, Models, Staples, A&P). Eventually, Newport Mall will probably be replaced, all offering the opportunity to correct these past mistakes.

The other neighborhood that will likely become a retail center is Liberty Harbor North, mostly because the master plan was designed by Dauny Plater Zyberk, a new urbanist architecture firm. Assuming they stick to the master plan, LHN will probably start becoming a major retail center within the next five years, but I don't want to jump on that bandwagon too early.

Finally, there is Paulus Hook, but I doubt it will ever support serious retail; mostly, I think, you'll see restaurants and bars and a few service retail places like bodegas, liquor stores, dry cleaning. Washington Street is sort of a retail corridor, but not really. Mostly the biggest problem is that the retail spaces are scattered throughout the neighborhood, and not really concentrated like Grove and Newark Avenue are. This lends itself to providing necessities to the community, but not attracting outside customers.

Posted on: 2008/2/20 15:21
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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What is it about dolls and cats?

What causes hoarding?

Quote:

nafco wrote:

...and yes, we do need a clown doll store.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 22:09
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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i also agree that the construction should be safe for now. about the retail space, i think the main problem is that the zoning is not ideal for creating long strips of stores. the only real store strip in the city is on newark ave and another on central ave in the heights, which has no real transit connection except for crawling busses. washington street had the potential for creating another retail strip but as ian mentioned, trump plaza f'ed that up by putting its retail along the long side of the building leaving utility doors against washington street.

either way, i still think as more people come into the city, even these little pockets of stores that are isolated from each other will do ok as long as enough people are around to support them.

and yes, we do need a clown doll store.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 18:48
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

jediweapon wrote:
Reminds me of the tale of the Ryugyong Hotel, a towering yet half built structure in central Pyongyang that has been left to rot after the North Korean government ran out of money to finance it....

Enjoy the view!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dp ... yang_hotel_rugen_05_s.jpg


Not sure what a picture of a failed hotel in NORTH Korea has to do with anything - but I agree with Ianmac -- clearly if they can't sell all the new condos they will become rental units - the rental market in NYC for lower priced apartments only 5 min from downtown Manhattan seems pretty safe. Also if this is what occurs then this younger renting crowd will make downtown even more interesting - it will keep those Park Slope baby strollers slightly at bay. Renters also have more disposable cash than owners ( or at least they act like they do ) so this will likely be great for the the local retail spaces downtown, but still even if the condos all sell -- more people living here means more sales for local retail.

I am also all for more office buildings -- because they bring jobs and workers -- just wish they would build them with the first floors integrated to the street level with shops etc.. All of this development even with the abatements adds more to the our tax base-- much more than say leaving the land as either empty lots or as parking lots .

However, I have no problem if things start to vastly slow down at this point. I like much of what has happened Downtown but wouldn't mind if things just flesh out for a few years. I think Downtown is MUCH nicer and safer then say 5 years ago.

I like seeing all of the new faces moving here!

Posted on: 2008/2/19 18:22
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Offices and retail are quite different. JC office vacancy rates have been declining since this summer. Lower Manhattan has seen vacancy rates drop below midtown for the first time since September 11th. Both are signs that even as the economy slows, demand is still high for commercial office space, and Lower Manhattan is more pertinent to JC's office market due to the proximity compared to midtown.

As far as retail over all, yes, many retailers are contracting, especially as consumers wake up and realize home equity is no longer an ATM, real wages have not increased, and basics like gas and milk continue to rise. I think it will be interesting to see how this effects JC though.

On one hand, Jersey City is really under served as far as retail is concerned; downtown has gotten and continues to become wealthier, and the retail has been slower to reflect this change in local consumers. Grove Street more than the waterfront could probably support several more restaurants, as well as other specialty stores.

On the other hand, there is a lot of retail planned in the base of the new towers, and in particular, in Liberty Harbor North, and a lot of vacant and under utilized store fronts in the historic neighborhoods, so there might be a glut of retail space.

But at the same time, adding a few thousand new residents each year means a lot more customers for businesses, and the ability to support a greater variety of businesses. (Let's say, for example, you want to open a boutique that sells collectible clown dolls. Perhaps on average 5% of people are really into collectible clown dolls; 5% of 10,000 residents may not be enough customers to make your collectible clown doll store viable, but 5% of 20,000 might mean there are enough customers to make a collectible clown doll store profitable).

Posted on: 2008/2/19 17:34
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Is this true that the NYC area is immune? I read an article about commercial real estate following the residential implosion:

http://www.minyanville.com/articles/S ... UX-RAD-psun/index/a/15909


Quote:

... In addition, Jersey City will likely see at least one commercial office tower in the next year, perhaps even more as vacancy rates drop and rents rise in lower Manhattan.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 16:50
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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That is an unlikely scenario in the downtown. More likely, many of the planned condominium tower projects will simply convert to rental projects in the short term. Demand is still very strong for housing even if people can't afford to buy. Urban markets, especially the New York urban markets are attracting new residents from all demographic groups. In addition, Jersey City will likely see at least one commercial office tower in the next year, perhaps even more as vacancy rates drop and rents rise in lower Manhattan.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 16:14
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Reminds me of the tale of the Ryugyong Hotel, a towering yet half built structure in central Pyongyang that has been left to rot after the North Korean government ran out of money to finance it. Same thing may happen here now that the liquidity merry-go-round has screeched to a halt. Don't be surprised if a lot of the "luxury" skycrapers on the books turn into multi-story ghettos or abandoned ghost towers.

Don't forget that property developers know no bounds, they will continue to build and build and build until the local market completely craps out (or until City Hall stops sending abatements their way.)

The relentless push to build more and faster is a train wreck in the making. And when it happens, as it surely will, property values all around JC will suffer a multi-decade setback.

Enjoy the view!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dp ... yang_hotel_rugen_05_s.jpg

Posted on: 2008/2/19 16:00
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Tight credit will likely slow development even in Downtown Jersey City -- so whether you like all the new towers and condo conversions or not -- going forward at least in the short term -- you won't see nearly as many new projects getting started downtown. I just hope that all the stuff that has been started and is well underway gets finished.

Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:
Quote:

JCmorganSt wrote:
I think any redevelopment in Downtown is great. Right now downtown is half-pregnant with unlimited upside potential.


"...unlimited upside potential."? Sounds like a flipper talkin'.

That's an asinine thing to say unless you're a realtor or developer...

Posted on: 2008/2/19 14:38
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JCmorganSt wrote:
I think any redevelopment in Downtown is great. Right now downtown is half-pregnant with unlimited upside potential.



"...unlimited upside potential."? Sounds like a flipper talkin'.

That's an asinine thing to say unless you're a realtor or developer. We need responsible development, without abatements and PILOTs giving away revenues that fund our schools and infrastructure that is sadly lacking whether sewers or police and destroying our neighborhoods; or haven't you noticed there's a reason and purpose there are so many neighborhood and civic groups in Jersey City, particularly downtown?

Guess you never heard the adage "no such thing as half-pregnant", huh?

Posted on: 2008/2/19 13:49
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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I think any redevelopment in Downtown is great. Right now downtown is half-pregnant with unlimited upside potential.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 13:28
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:


If the "Powerhouse Arts District" area is going to be a skyscraper condo area, I guess that's life, but I think the architecture pictured here is particularly hideous.

A lot of the new buildings look very nice. I think the Trump building, the Liberty Harbor North building and (sorry) the Grove Pointe buildings look way, way better than the fake red brick 1970s college dorm look that predominates in Paulus Hook.

I think the major architectural lesson of Paulus Hook is that fake red brick walls and modular panels of brick are really hideous.

The Newport buildings, for example, seem to be more down market than the Paulus Hook buildings, but at least they're not fake old red brick buildings, so they have a little bit of character.

Posted on: 2008/2/13 19:10
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Has anyone seen what this building is going to look like?


Resized Image110 First St. property - 35-story, 452-unit rental building

Posted on: 2008/2/13 16:58
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Has anyone seen what this building is going to look like?

Posted on: 2008/2/11 19:09
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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35-story tower for 110 First St.
452 units to rise across from former artists' building

Ricardo Kaulessar
Hudson Reporter
02/01/2008

The Jersey City Planning Board on Tuesday approved the site plan for a proposed 35-story, 452-unit rental building on First Street in downtown Jersey City.

The building will rise across from the former artists' lofts at 111 First St., lofts that were eventually torn down after a long battle between the developer and the artists who worked there.

The same developers will now transform the vacant property across the street at 110 First St.

Both properties are owned by BLDG Management, run by New York City billionaire landowner Lloyd Goldman.

Presentations were given by the attorney and architect for the project, as well as the corporation counsel for Jersey City, Bill Matsikoudis. Also in attendance was City Councilman Bill Gaughan, who spoke in favor of the 110 First St. project.

Matskioudis spoke about the settlement that was reached in June 2006 between the city and Goldman. Goldman had filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city for blocking his intended demolition of the then one-million-square-foot 111 First St. building in order to build high-rise housing there.

The settlement resulted in both the 110 and 111 First St. properties being placed in a special zone that skirted around the zoning in the city's Powerhouse Arts District, which normally would have kept them low rise.

Specifically, the settlement called for the 110 First St. location to have one 40-plus-story tower with 345 units. Instead, the tower is shorter, but the number of units has increased.

Also, the project will have a nine-story parking garage, a landscaped deck and over 13,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

Modified plan in settlement

Matsikoudis explained that the settlement allows for "a slight modification in the plan," meaning the increase in the number of units of 110 First St. He said the change was "acceptable" to the city.

In partnership with Goldman will be the New York-based Athena Group. The Athena Group is no stranger to the area, as they are responsible for the 33-story, 250-unit "A" condo building located about 100 feet from the 110 First St. site.

Dan Horgan, attorney for the developer, said construction on the project is scheduled to start soon, but he did not give an exact date.

Board and public ask questions

The Planning Board made mixed comments when they voted on the project.

Board commissioner Leon Yost took issue with the design of the building, calling it unimaginative.

He said he wanted the architect, Peter Dewitt, to put 10 more floors into his design.

But city Planning Director Robert Cotter said there's a height limit for that specific site.

Board commissioner Roseanne Petruzelli asked if there was a dog run in the plans; Dewitt answered that there was not.

Catherine Leonard, a resident of the nearby 140 Bay St. building, aired her concerns about the 110 First St. building bringing more people into the Powerhouse Arts District (PAD), creating a strain on parking and encouraging more single residents to live in the area.

"I know [PAD residents] really want to have families moving in, and having just a majority of studios and one-bedroom apartments doesn't really encourage families to come into the neighborhood," Leonard said.

Horgan said that financial concerns led the developers to build more units to make more money.

She also wondered why the project has not been presented to the residents in the neighborhood.

Leonard also took issue with work she said she has seen done on the 110 First St. site already, before the approval. Kenneth Browne of the Athena Group replied that the construction was "test borings," or digging into the soil to check it for stability before construction commences. This does not require a permit.

Sidebar

110 First St.'s affordable housing obligation

When Councilman Bill Gaughan spoke at Tuesday's Planning Board meeting in favor of the 110 First St. project and the city's settlement with the owner of the property, it wasn't just because the settlement saved City Hall from losing an expensive lawsuit.

It turns out the settlement calls for 70 units of affordable housing to be built among 110 First St. and another site.

Twenty-five affordable housing units are designated for 110 First St., but another 45 will be at 1201-1217 Summit Ave., located in the part of the city that Gaughan represents on the City Council.

The entire project consists of the 45 units and 2,332 sq. ft. of retail.

The Summit Avenue project also was presented at Tuesday's Planning Board meeting and was approved unanimously by the board, who praised the project for its design.

The project will be built by the Franklin Development Group, LLC with $2.5 million in funding from the 110 First St. developers.

According to the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), a state organization that sets guidelines for municipalities to meet their affordable housing obligations, "affordable" rental housing in New Jersey should not cost more than 28 percent of a person's income. - RK

Comments on the story can be sent to rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com.


?The Hudson Reporter 2008

Posted on: 2008/2/2 11:26
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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I saw this linked to on ianmac's website: www.newyorkssixth.com

According to a poster on wirednewyork, 110 First is to have 452 rental units and 343 parking spaces. It will be 35 stories tall and have a nine-story parking garage, with a pool on top There will be a Restaurant, sculpture garden, a dog run, a gallery space and retail on the ground floor.

Here is the link
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=212253&postcount=2649

Posted on: 2008/1/31 1:38
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

jcheights wrote:

Philadelphia now has a huge ad campaign promoting itself as the middle-class artist alternative to what was once a semi-manageable NYC.


That's funny, because I've kind of already known that Philly was that for a while. I mean it doesn't exactly have as much of a gallery scene as NYC yet, but there's a lot going on in terms of music and art there, and there's definitely more of an energy and excitement in the scene that comes from young people being able to actually afford to live there and focus on their art.

Posted on: 2006/7/11 2:03
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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There are no artists in Soho, there hasn't been any artists living there for at least 10-15 years, they were priced out long ago. Many of them are living in Williamsburg or in the outer boroughs. Many of the galleries have also moved as well.

Posted on: 2006/7/11 0:19
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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"Can someone post some information on how SoHo has managed to keep artist housing available to this day? Sure it is very expensive nowadays, but I think many units are still below market and restricted to artists."

The long and short is, they didn't. The Department of Cultural Affairs issued Artist in Residence certificates that allowed artists to use mixed or commercial use spaces legally. However, once development and the Prada swell happened in SoHo, an artist exodus happened. Even the old timer greats are having a heck of a time. I know personally because I worked with many of them advising on their living situations. Unfortunately, even DCA admits that their AIR certificates are not too useful in today's market.

Models for maintaining artist live/work amid gentrification are still in the baby stages. It requires very forward and alternative thinking methods, such as ArtSpace's programs which help artists purchase and renovate buildings. Today, even in Willamsburg, Gowanus, Greenpoint, etc, the artists get pushed out once gentrification happens.

That is, for the ones that don't have trust funds, and there are a lot of them.

Philadelphia now has a huge ad campaign promoting itself as the middle-class artist alternative to what was once a semi-manageable NYC.

Posted on: 2006/7/10 16:27
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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PEACE IN OUR TIME


At the June 28th meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall, the Jersey City Municipal Council passed a resolution authorizing a settlement with Mr. Lloyd Goldman, the most litigious landlord in the Powerhouse Arts District, by a unanimous 6 to 2 vote. During the time period allocated to the settlement issue, we learned the following: the Healy Administration will agree to let Mr. Goldman build three, 40 (and possibly 60) story towers among the properties he owns at 110 and 111 First Street. Current plans call for at least 1,000 residential units with about 120 reserved for low and moderate income artists. A percentage of the lower floors will be used for art galleries, about the only condition in the PAD Ordinance that resembles something in the PAD Ordinance.

In July 2003, a group of 111 tenants visited with Mr. Goldman in his New York City office where he showed us his original plans for the 110 and 111 properties. The 111 plan called for the demolition of the central section and the construction of a 13 or 14 story residential tower within the outer perimeter. 110 was to be completely demolished and a new 17 story residential tower built in its stead. Why? Because he said he didn?t want to build anything taller than 17 stories! (Mr. Mark Munley, then head of the HEDC, denounced the plans as ?absurd?). If the Faulty Towers are built, their presence will not only ruin the arts district but cause mind-boggling congestion in the whole area. The Towers will stand forever as a testament to Mr. Goldman?s mean-spirited bullying, as well as a lack of backbone by the intellectually lazy and inept Healy Administration. If Mr. Goldman gets his way, perhaps the arts district should be re-named ?Goldimus Trove?.

Unlike the Tawil family, who used to own similarly neglected properties on Journal Square and who were socked with a $1,000,000 court judgement based on their $4,000,000 in building code violations (and they had to sell their properties, to boot), Mr. Goldman by contrast, will be allowed to get off scot-free from the over $75,000,000 in fire and building code violations that have accumulated on his properties during the last few years. If the Healy Administration had taken Mr. Goldman to court and obtained the same kind of proportional judgement against him that they obtained against the Tawils, the city coffers would be richer by almost $20,000,000, thus more than halving the city?s budget deficit and demonstrating some sort of resolve.

Can you imagine what the Tawil Family must be thinking now? ?Hey, how come the City went after us for a million bucks and let this other landlord off the hook without any kind of penalty, a guy who owed the city almost twenty times the amount of fines that we did and who is being rewarded for running rough-shod over a key city ordinance as well? One would think that by using our case as a precedent, the city would?ve stood a good chance of winning in court. Go figure. Maybe we should sue the city for discriminatory practices. On second thought, maybe we could?ve avoided this mess in the first place by making some well-placed campaign contributions.?

We?ll soon be hearing how crucial this settlement is in order to bring in sorely needed new revenue, but don?t be fooled. Despite the explosive development underway in Jersey City which has brought in millions of dollars in new taxes, it never seems to be enough as the politicians have yet to satisfactorily explain why they still have to raise taxes in spite of new revenues. The pattern is becoming increasingly clear: the more new development, the more taxes are likely to increase. Is this what proponents of development mean when they say it?s ?good for the city?? Haven?t people figured out yet that tax increases are actually de facto subsidies for development? Perhaps Councilman ?Dollar Bill? Gaughan, the ?Rajah of Ratables?, can explain this ?benefit? more clearly to the taxpayers.

Alarmingly, Council President Vega, the self-styled ?Councilman of the Arts?, is the point man for the settlement. But after listening to his pathetic rationalizations about how this settlement is ?in the City?s best interest?, Councilman Vega deserves a more appropriate moniker: ?The Neville Chamberlain of the Arts District?, in recognition of his deplorable appeasement mentality.

In spite of the voting fiasco, it was still heartening to see the promise and hopefulness shown by the newest arts district residents who showed up in force to experience first hand what it?s like to wade through the swamp of Jersey City politics. They seemed to feel that if they made heart-felt and well-reasoned arguments against the settlement, they could persuade the Council to vote it down. Nothing could be further from reality. The BAD PAD SIX, made up of the Hudson County Clique of Sottolano, Spinello, Flood, Gaughan, Brennan and Vega, (Lipski was absent) and sitting up front where the presumed Representatives of the People normally do, dutifully listened, then cast their predetermined votes in favor of settlement. (There were two dissenters, Steve Fulop and Viola Richardson, both of whom are politically associated with the late Mayor Cunningham .) At the end of the meeting, when the cave-in of the PAD was official, you could hear shouts of ?shame, shame?, coming from the audience and directed at the Council.

How, one might ask, when so many people were against the settlement and so few in favor, could it possibly turn out like this? What?s really going on here? Memo to U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie: are you paying attention to any of this?

What can we learn from this most recent experience? During and after the meeting, there were hints from the new PAD Neighborhood Association (aka PADNA) members that they were contemplating legal action against the City for having been so grievously mislead and betrayed after they?d bought into the concept of an arts district based on the PAD Ordinance. If they decide to press forward with a lawsuit, they?ll need to remember the Goldman Formula For Success: always sue for at least 25% more than you owe in fines or, conversely, what you have already collectively invested in the district. If you persist, you most likely will end up with triple damages or more ? just like Mr. Goldman did. Also, pray that Mr. Matsikoudis remains the Healy Administration?s Legal Eagle.

William Rodwell, President-in-Exile of the 111 First Street Tenants Association
Jersey City, NJ

Posted on: 2006/7/10 13:44
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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PAD was not designed to be an exclusive artist colony. A certain amount of the units, in most cases I believe it was 10%, were required to be set aside as affordable housing for certified artists. Other units had to be initially marketed to artists, but could be sold at market rate and could be sold to anyone after the initial marketing period. There is plenty of profit to be made by developers under the guidelines, and in fact it is a huge improvement over the prior zoning, which limited most buildings in that district to industrial use.

In short, the PAD/Warehouse District took an area with no development and buildings that were limited to industrial use, and allowed developers to make a profit by converting them into residences. They just had to do so by following specified guidelines in their rehabilitation and setting aside a small portion of those buildings as affordable live work space.

It wasn't enough for one developer, who thinks that he can build 60+ story skyscrapers as of right. But when Jersey City has a reputation for being cheap and not standing up to a fight, he can get away with it.

At the Conservancy's Preservation Awards ceremony, one of our recipients, the legendary Reverend Robert Castle, told everyone in the room to thunderous applause that despite the reputation it sometimes gets, Jersey City was worth fighting for.

It's a shame when representatives elected to serve the people don't believe that to be the case.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/6/30 20:27
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:

...One final note, not all city officials should be lumped in this. Council members Fulop and Richardson were eloquent and passionate in their opposition to the proposed settlement....
Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy


I concur here. My bad if I made a different impression with my post.

Whenever I read the Council proceedings, councilwoman Richardson always votes for and supports low-income/artist housing.

Her efforts should be applauded.

I think that Mr Fulop is also very sensitive to community needs.

Can someone post some information on how SoHo has managed to keep artist housing available to this day? Sure it is very expensive nowadays, but I think many units are still below market and restricted to artists. There are also many very upscale galleries in SoHo and Chelsea, and hopefully PAD can take a piece of that market.

The bottom line is that powerful market forces are at play in downtown JC. I think that it is unrealistic in the current boom to expect that PAD will be exclusively devoted to arts.

The likely outcome is that some units in the re-developed PAD area will become available to successful artists (who can afford them). The struggling artists won't be able to afford to live in PAD.

The heady days of 111 First are gone. Jersey City has changed. The good news is that there are still many wonderful old industrial buildings in Harrison, Kearny, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson, Passaic, Lodi, etc, etc which the artists can "colonize".

Perhaps the artists could try to get money and loans together and buy an old industrial building in distress if at all possible.

If you can't beat'em, join'em....

Posted on: 2006/6/30 20:10
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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PAD was the result of over a decade of planning and consultation with the entire community.

PAD itself was never struck down. There are actually two districts which more or less overlap. There was the warehouse historic district, which granted historic protection to the buildings. Then there was PAD, which created the redevelopment plan.

The warehouse historic district vote was found to be invalid because commissioner's terms had lapsed. Even then, Judge Gallipolli invited the city to basically go back and do it the right way. PAD was never found invalid.

Instead of going back and fixing the procedural defect, as it was invited to, the city instead decided to capitulate to the demands of the developer. Indeed, he received MORE than he could have had he prevailed in the lawsuit. Prior to the redevelopment plan, 111 First Street was zoned as industrial use (110 was previously rezoned as part of the Hudson Exchange district, which would have allowed residential use). So even if he won, he could not have built a single residence on the 111 site.

In this case, it is appropriate to blame both the developer and the city officials who let him, some would say encouraged him, to rewrite a plan which was the result of years of collaborative effort.

One final note, not all city officials should be lumped in this. Councilmembers Fulop and Richardson were eloquent and passionate in their opposition to the proposed settlement. There were also several people in the government who were appalled that the administration and council were willing to roll over as they did. Unfortunately, in this administration, one can't be too vocal on such matters, at peril of one's job. So forgive me if I don't name names, but just thank the people who did not participate in this farce of a "settlement." Their integrity is appreciated.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/6/30 18:52
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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injcsince81 wrote: On another board, JCMAN320 wrote: >>I was there and the city wound up agreeing to the settlement 6-2 once council person absent to avoid fines and fees. The world class architect will be David Childs. and it will a 60 story tower with 1,250 units for artists and affordable housing at the base with a caberet and huge gallery space at 111 first street and it would blend in with the industrial feel and the tower would be condos. At 110 will be a 20 story tower with a sculpture garden and restaurant over looking it.<< I love it. It's better than a battered and dilapidated warehouse full of "artists". David Childs (if it happens) can put JC on the map architecturally speaking; the "artists" (from what I've seen of their "art"), won't.
They should have given this job to Howard Roark: Architect.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 18:44
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JSalt wrote:
...if you're wealthy and powerful enough you can override the will of the people....


# 1 - Since when, in the history of world, is that a surprise???

#2 - is PAD really "the will of the people"?

It's a result of a vote of a dysfunctional City Council, whose PAD vote was apparently struck down by a judge because the voting members were not properly elected.

Losers.

Don't blame Goldman, blame the JC dysfunctional politicians.

It's like taking candy from a kid.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 18:13
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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I agree, I think there's a real problem here and a terrible message being sent -- that if you're wealthy and powerful enough you can override the will of the people.

Not that I didn't already realize that this is true here, but it's still depressing.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 16:21
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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injcsince81 wrote:


I love it. It's better than a battered and dilapidated warehouse full of "artists".


The warehouse was only dilapidated because of the owner's neglect. That's why he ran up $75 million in fines.

Yet now, the same people entrust this developer to bring in a "world class architect."

Quote:

David Childs (if it happens) can put JC on the map architecturally speaking; the "artists" (from what I've seen of their "art"), won't.


The area was, in fact, being put on the map precisely BECAUSE of those initial artists that moved in and saw potential in the neighborhood. That led the city and community groups to create the warehouse historic district and PAD, which helped increase the area's value.

Now that the area is doing well, New Gold Equities decides to sue the city into submission.

As many people have pointed out, even if one disagrees with the idea of PAD or the historic district, the city - and in particular, Mayor Healy and Council President Vega - demonstrated that they are easily bought off even when it means backtracking on their previous commitments.

Jersey City officials already have the reputation of being cheap to buy. This further cements that perception.

It is a shameful day for the arts, a shameful day for historic preservation, and a shameful day for government with integrity in Jersey City.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/6/30 15:49
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Here's my two cents on the whole situation:

You might think that the PAD is a stupid idea.

You might think that the buildings in the area are ugly and not worth saving.

You might think that a building designed by David Childs sounds really great.

You might think that tall buildings are no big deal since the district is already surrounded by them.

You might think that the city is going to ultimately financially gain from this decision.

And...on many levels you might very well be right.

But that's not the issue here. The problem is that the city has zoning ordinances and in this particular case the city council reaffirmed those ordinances on more than one occasion.

Now a deep pocketed developer has decided that he doesn't really like those ordinances, because they don't serve his needs so he threatens to sue. Since he has an abundance of money, he makes it clear that he is going to make the city pay.

So the city buckles under and kisses his a**.

Why is that a problem? Because it sets a precedence and it sends a message to the rest of the developers that whenever they don't like a city law, all they have to do is threaten to sue.

It's a good thing that all of these developers want to build in our city. It is not good, however, that they be left to their own devices. They ultimately don't care about the overall city. They care about making a profit.

One of the functions of government (in my opinion) is to oversee the planning of the city. How can they do that when it's anything and everything the developers want?

Folks, this may very well come back to haunt all of us. Who knows when it will make it's way into our neighborhoods? It may not affect you directly today, but it could in the future - especially if our elected officials keep giving away the store.

Sometimes one has to look at the larger picture and not go for the immediate gradification. Our city leaders need to remember this most of all.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 15:37
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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On another board, JCMAN320 wrote: >>I was there and the city wound up agreeing to the settlement 6-2 once council person absent to avoid fines and fees. The world class architect will be David Childs. and it will a 60 story tower with 1,250 units for artists and affordable housing at the base with a caberet and huge gallery space at 111 first street and it would blend in with the industrial feel and the tower would be condos. At 110 will be a 20 story tower with a sculpture garden and restaurant over looking it.<< I love it. It's better than a battered and dilapidated warehouse full of "artists". David Childs (if it happens) can put JC on the map architecturally speaking; the "artists" (from what I've seen of their "art"), won't.

Posted on: 2006/6/30 1:09
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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The merits of the PAD redevelopment plan and warehouse historic district designation including the artist housing element and positive impact on Jersey City as a whole were discussed in a lengthy public process culminating in four unanimous City Council votes of approval. It would be foolish to believe that both property owners in this area and developers did not have input in the resulting plan prepared by City Planning. This is Jersey City after all.

Other developers have honored the plan and are building. The attorney representing the owner of 111/110 First Street threatened litigation throughout the planning process so no surprise, he followed through. They have made it clear that they will use whatever means possible to increase the value of their property including what some might describe as frivolous litigation and SLAPP suits.

The settlement as outlined by the City?s Corporate Council includes a potential 67 story tower. This appears to be an incredulous reward for litigating. Note that the public was not provided with a copy of the settlement agreement to review or question.

The Corporate Council failed to explain again and again how this settlement would not set precedence and encourage other property owners / developers to seek and secure through litigation, increases of height and density in excess of zoning and redevelopment plans in the PAD or elsewhere in the city to the detriment of the public.

Councilman Steven Fulop who up until this point had not been a supporter of both the PAD redevelopment plan and the historic district, followed through on his commitment to support the position of the PAD Neighborhood Association and VOTED NO on the settlement proposal. He articulated numerous problems with the settlement as presented.

Councilwoman Viola Richardson also voted no voicing her disagreement with the settlement and belief that the city should spend the necessary money to defend itself.

It is time for those dissenting to forget about the property owner and his attack dog processionals and direct efforts including potential legal action at the city and our elected officials before it is too late.

Fundamentally, how can a city govern if it fails to enforce and defend its own ordinances?

Posted on: 2006/6/29 18:12
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