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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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+1 also on Scooter's points.

The location presents a tremendous opportunity for any well capitalized, seasoned developer. Comparing the area to anything in Newark is off the mark. Unfortunately, the city is stuck with an inexperienced developer who is dealing with the reverberations of an impending recession (while credit continues to tighten). That said, one can only hope that the city does not roll over on this one, for any further capitulation will be the final straw regarding their complete incompetence when it comes to assessing the commercial real estate market.

Posted on: 2008/2/12 13:05
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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+1 scooter. Newark has many problems of its own. The lack of development is not because City officials refuse to give the store away.

Posted on: 2008/2/12 11:27
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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Downtown Newark is over twice as far away from Manhattan as journal Square and it has just a bit more inner city blight and crime than Journal Square.

And doesn't have the available lots essentially right on top of the rail station

Those towers will get built without the developers shaking down the city after the fact, trust me.

Posted on: 2008/2/12 10:29
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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Newark has a PATH station too. And two heavy rail stations. And a light rail. All that must explain why they just got their first downtown residential tower last year.

Posted on: 2008/2/12 10:14
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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It's not the 'completion of the towers' - it's the PATH station (and its imminent system-wide renovation) and the absence of the Tawil brothers.

Come on, the towers are an effect, not a cause.

Posted on: 2008/2/12 9:29
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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Quote:

BUT, nothing disgusts me more than a developer (or in this case, a powerful consortium) trying to pull every trick in the book to take advantage of a city that, on the outside, looks desperate for redevelopment. Anyone that's been keeping track of the Journal Square rental market knows that it is already taking off. Developers and investors are snatching up empty land, parking lots, and buildings left and right in the Journal Square area RIGHT NOW.


But why is that? Is it that the fundamentals of the neighborhood are supporting development, or the expected gains from the completion of the towers?

Posted on: 2008/2/12 9:24
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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But without the city's low-interest money the good-hearted and well-intentioned developers who are just trying to make ends meet and make Journal Square better for the rest of us will have no choice but to move on to the *next* city with available lots for development within 200 yards of a pre-existing 25 minute rail and bus link to both Manhattan and Newark International Airport!

Posted on: 2008/2/12 9:09
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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I love development. I've documented much of Jersey City's redevelopment over the past few years. It's a wonderful thing to see an area that has deteriorated over several decades come back to life.

BUT, nothing disgusts me more than a developer (or in this case, a powerful consortium) trying to pull every trick in the book to take advantage of a city that, on the outside, looks desperate for redevelopment. Anyone that's been keeping track of the Journal Square rental market knows that it is already taking off. Developers and investors are snatching up empty land, parking lots, and buildings left and right in the Journal Square area RIGHT NOW.

AND it's obvious that the units in these buildings will be marketed as ultra-luxury. The amenities in this building will be an upgrade from those in Trump Plaza for God's sake. And, the location is right next to a PATH station. These facts coupled with it's claim to 'the most stunning views of any building in Jersey City' mean that the rents are going to be sky-high. Why should a developer who we know is going to be raking in some of the highest rents in the city be given so much help?

I can't believe the city would even consider negotiating further hand-outs for this project.

Canco didn't receive nearly as sweet a deal, and it doesn't have nearly as much going for it as this project does (and it's doing fine from what I've heard).

Posted on: 2008/2/11 23:42
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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GrovePath wrote:
Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades

Monday, February 11, 2008
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

A Jersey City developer who has already received a 30-year tax abatement to help build an ambitious twin tower project in Journal Square - and has recruited a deep pockets partner to the deal - is now asking the city for a multi-million low-interest loan, city officials said.

Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Jersey City-based Harwood Properties, is asking the city to lend the project $20 million to $40 million by floating "revenue allocation bonds," city officials said.

In keeping with state guidelines, the developer would repay the loan, plus interest.

But with revenue allocation bonds, the developer deducts the costs to cover the loan from whatever taxes are owed the city. This means it could be years, even decades, before the city sees any revenue from this $500 million, mixed-use development planned for the block adjacent to the PATH Transportation Center, officials said.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said his administration is hearing the developer out, but the public need not worry.

"I know they are looking for some kind of assistance having to do with infrastructure," Healy said. "Just because someone may be looking for assistance, the city is not obliged to tender that assistance. Before any agreement is struck, the city council and I will be most vigilant with the taxpayers' money."

Harwood, who has joined forces with the Multi-Employer Property Trust based in Bethesda, Md. - a union pension fund investment company with $6.2 billion in assets - to build the project, didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

But Elizabeth Opacity, his spokeswoman, said: "We have been working in partnership with the city on an ongoing basis to discuss the best way to move this overall program forward and revitalize the entire area. There have been no final determinations. Only discussions. There are no conclusions."

Journal Square Councilman Steve Lipski believes the city should give Harwood the money. "I support this one billion percent," Lipski said. "Helping the jewel of Jersey City and the only central business district of Jersey City is the right thing to do at this time."

Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop blasted the request for additional assistance, especially since the developer received a 30-year tax break calling for annual "payment in lieu of taxes" of 10 percent, the lowest PILOT rate handed out in recent years.

"The city is obviously broke and this is a dangerous door to open," Fulop said. "The next thing Lowell is going to ask for in a couple of months is for the city to build the building for him."

Bye, bye Harwood, and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Posted on: 2008/2/11 22:41
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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The constant refrain "but we need the development" is stale after a while. Sure we need the development. But we need it done right. Not just that the project is good, but that the city doesn't get looted in the process.

The Journal Square area is on the rise. Would this be a good thing for the neighborhood, sure? But it will be a good thing even if we have to wait for it to be done right as well.

Developers have already gotten this city to routinely allow them to write redevelopment plans, and get tax abatements as a matter of course. If they actually need anything more to get a project done, then the only conclusion is a) they really do not have the business acumen to develop real estate or b) that they know the city will give them whatever they demand.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 22:34
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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what else can we expect....

no bid designation of developer with track record for developing.... parking lots...., no demonstration of wherewithall to take on a project like this

no request for multiple bids and proposals for the project...

no campaign contribution restrictions on developers receiving no competitive bid designations, no determination of developer's ability to follow through.....

what do you expect.

most people expend more effort researching the purchase of a new car then JC does when granting valuable development rights...

another day in Jersey City...

btw rather then speculate on contributions to a specific councilmember, look it up, see what they received and if they have been filing timely or at all...

Posted on: 2008/2/11 22:18
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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of course the area could use the towers, but not under the condition that the developer (I'll say it again) deducts the costs to cover the loan from whatever taxes are owed the city

Unless I misunderstand the article, it's a double-hit - not only does the developer have use of the city's money during the loan, the city sees less revenue until the thing is paid off (and btw, sounds there'd be zero incentive for the developer to pay off in a timely manner if they can deduct loan costs).

It's just insane... (again, unless I misunderstand something or the article is wrong).

The main thing holding Journal Sq. back (aside from the JC government) were the Tawils - with them gone, and with the PATH to NYC and the proximity to EWR, trust me, we don't have to cave entirely to have a developers start building there.

Check a map, Jrnl Sq.'s location has a little going for it than, say, Camden.

Jeez Louise (sorry, this kind of thing just drives me nuts)

Posted on: 2008/2/11 12:12
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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I'm not saying grant such a subsidy carte blanche. There could, and should be caveats; and while this proposal may not be ideal, this is the first round of negotiation.

Meanwhile, how long has the Journal Square area been waiting for major investments? What other investments will this project lure to an arguably less desirable area of Jersey City? How many jobs will the project create both during construction and upon completion?

Frankly, my biggest concern with this proposal is in delaying the ground breaking for the long delayed towers. Perhaps any deal the city strikes should require a start by date for the ground breaking. Or perhaps impose a daily fine for failing to finish by a certain date. This is a negotiation, and for the city to outright ignore the proposal would be as foolish as simply signing off on it.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 12:07
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest loan
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I'd bet that Lipsky has received the legal maximum donations from Harwood. We need the changes in political funding that Fulop has been advocating.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 11:58
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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I don't agree often with Ianmac47 but he does have a point -- I think the PATH area really could use those towers -- but maybe the city should ask the developers of the Canco lofts to take over the project -- they seem to be finding a way to go forward.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 11:50
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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um... the developer deducts the costs to cover the loan from whatever taxes are owed the city.


what would it take to you not come down on the side of the developer, I'm just curious

Posted on: 2008/2/11 11:32
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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Yep, because the last thing Journal Square needs is investment in new buildings.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 11:04
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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in case anyone missed the key sentnece:

Quote:
But with revenue allocation bonds, the developer deducts the costs to cover the loan from whatever taxes are owed the city. This means it could be years, even decades, before the city sees any revenue from this $500 million, mixed-use development planned for the block adjacent to the PATH Transportation Center, officials said.



...if this goes through, it's pitchforks-and-torches time at city hall

Posted on: 2008/2/11 10:39
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest l
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*that* is a great name for a PR spokesman!

Posted on: 2008/2/11 10:13
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades - Tower developer asking for low-interest loan
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Journal Square: City may not see revenue for decades

Monday, February 11, 2008
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

A Jersey City developer who has already received a 30-year tax abatement to help build an ambitious twin tower project in Journal Square - and has recruited a deep pockets partner to the deal - is now asking the city for a multi-million low-interest loan, city officials said.

Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Jersey City-based Harwood Properties, is asking the city to lend the project $20 million to $40 million by floating "revenue allocation bonds," city officials said.

In keeping with state guidelines, the developer would repay the loan, plus interest.

But with revenue allocation bonds, the developer deducts the costs to cover the loan from whatever taxes are owed the city. This means it could be years, even decades, before the city sees any revenue from this $500 million, mixed-use development planned for the block adjacent to the PATH Transportation Center, officials said.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said his administration is hearing the developer out, but the public need not worry.

"I know they are looking for some kind of assistance having to do with infrastructure," Healy said. "Just because someone may be looking for assistance, the city is not obliged to tender that assistance. Before any agreement is struck, the city council and I will be most vigilant with the taxpayers' money."

Harwood, who has joined forces with the Multi-Employer Property Trust based in Bethesda, Md. - a union pension fund investment company with $6.2 billion in assets - to build the project, didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

But Elizabeth Opacity, his spokeswoman, said: "We have been working in partnership with the city on an ongoing basis to discuss the best way to move this overall program forward and revitalize the entire area. There have been no final determinations. Only discussions. There are no conclusions."

Journal Square Councilman Steve Lipski believes the city should give Harwood the money. "I support this one billion percent," Lipski said. "Helping the jewel of Jersey City and the only central business district of Jersey City is the right thing to do at this time."

Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop blasted the request for additional assistance, especially since the developer received a 30-year tax break calling for annual "payment in lieu of taxes" of 10 percent, the lowest PILOT rate handed out in recent years.

"The city is obviously broke and this is a dangerous door to open," Fulop said. "The next thing Lowell is going to ask for in a couple of months is for the city to build the building for him."

Posted on: 2008/2/11 7:59
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Re: Approval sought for two towers on the Square (54 & 47 stories -- 1,034 apt & 3 levels of retail)
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Wow another two tower design. Very Jersey City original.

Posted on: 2007/8/8 9:46
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Re: Approval sought for two towers on the Square (54 & 47 stories -- 1,034 apt & 3 levels of retail)
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Plan for Square towers revised

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The twin-tower development proposed for Jersey City's Journal Square is changing shape.

Originally proposed as two towers of more-or-less equal size, the latest design for of the mixed-use development to be built on the block adjacent to the Journal Square Transportation Center calls for a south tower between 35 and 40 stories and a north tower stretching 55 to 65 stories, according to the developer.

The City Council is scheduled to introduce the change at its meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Mary McLeod Bethune Center, 140 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

"Both towers have been designed to maximize views and unit layout," said Liz Opacity, spokeswoman for MEPT Journal Square Urban Renewal, LLC, the developer. "And the height difference is for aesthetics when you are looking at the towers."

Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Jersey City-based Harwood Properties - a partner in the limited liability company formed to undertake the development - said Monday the design change was made at the request of his development partner, Washington D.C.-based Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT), a national real estate equity fund.

MEPT referred all questions to Opacity.

Even though there is no change in the 1.2 million gross square footage of the development, Planning Director Bob Cotter said the design change would likely add more units to the projects, a number originally pegged at 1,034.

But, Opacity said, the developers are "still assessing the market and working on architectural drawings to determine the number and layout of units."

The $400 million development, to include multiple levels of parking and retail, is still considered a rental project, Opacity said, but "the feasibility of the condominiums will continue to be explored."

Jersey City Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Robert Antonicello predicted existing structures on the entire block would be leveled by the end of the year so construction can begin.

McDonald's, at 15-16 Journal Square, still hasn't relocated.

KEN THORBOURNE

Posted on: 2007/8/8 6:30
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Re: Harwood Closes on Journal Square Parcel
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SQUARE KEY

Monday, June 04, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Developer acquires final piece

The future of Journal Square is about two months away.

The limited liability entity redeveloping a key block of Journal Square now owns every lot on the block, and new owner Lowell Harwood hopes to complete demolition of the remaining buildings at the heart of Journal Square by August.

Harwood said he hopes to break ground next year on a two tower, $400 million mixed-use development that many hope will revitalize the Jersey City neighborhood.

The developer already had purchased a number of adjacent properties, but now Harwood holds the final piece of the puzzle - a 1.5-acre block adjacent to the Journal Square Transportation Center that was snapped up by MEPT Journal Square Urban Renewal, which is partly owned by Harwood, at a closing in April.

Harwood refused to disclose the sales price, but CoStar Comp, an on-line newsletter, stated the transaction amounted to a $28 million sale; an official familiar with the negotiations said the figure was somewhat higher.

Harwood had already purchased the lion's share of the properties on the block from companies tied to Ralph Tawil Jr., a landlord who racked up nearly $4 million in code violation fines during his nearly two decades on the square.

In March 2006, Tawil agreed to a settlement figure of $1.1 million and to sell his holdings to Harwood.

MEPT Journal Square had also already purchased 12 Journal Square (formerly KFC), 14 Journal Square (formerly Wendy's), and 15-16 Journal (McDonald's, Song's Hallmark, HT Wireless, and a dentist's office.)

No date was given as to when McDonald's, Song's Hallmark, HT Wireless and the dentist's office would have to vacate. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency is working on relocating the 15-16 Journal Square tenants, officials said.

Besides the McDonald's building still on the block are the Three Brothers Pizza and a parking lot owned by Central Parking. Harwood said he expects all the buildings to be demolished by August.

Posted on: 2007/6/4 9:48
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Re: Harwood Closes on Journal Square Parcel
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Most likely, the real price will be 1000 per month....the luxury lofts recently constructed a couple of years in JSQ across from rite-aid are only 800-900 per month for a studio. I think the owners of the new tower will iniatilly offer the Apartments at 2k then quietly lower the price after 6 months

Posted on: 2007/5/22 22:32
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Re: Harwood Closes on Journal Square Parcel
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2000/month for a 1 bedroom!!! I find that a little insane. I live in the JSQ area and that price is too high. does that mean every other apartemnt in the area is going up to that amount too?

Posted on: 2007/5/22 14:25
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Harwood Closes on Journal Square Parcel
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Harwood Closes on Journal Square Parcel

May 21, 2007
Written by Timothy A. Gilday

Planned Residential Towers Moving Forward in Jersey City Redevelopment Area
Harwood Properties LLC has closed on its $28 million acquisition of a 1.5-acre parcel in the Journal Square Redevelopment Area of Jersey City, NJ, for the development of two residential towers containing 1,000 units.

Harwood is planning the project in cooperation with the Journal Square Redevelopment Agency. The site, adjacent to the Journal Square Transportation Center, is currently used for parking lots.

The towers will both total around 50 stories and could cost $350 million to construct, according to local reports. Included in the project would be a ground-floor retail center, a rooftop fitness center, and 675 parking spaces on five floors. Typical one-bedroom units are expected to rent for around $2,000 per month.

Harold Sutton, owner of Centurion Realty LLC, and William "Skip" Dolan of Dolan Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. worked with Harwood Properties' Lowell and Scott Harwood to bring the redevelopment to fruition. "I'm looking forward to starting this project as soon as possible. It's time to bring back the excitement to the Square," said Lowell Harwood.

Since 1936, the Harwood family has operated a business empire in Jersey City that includes part ownership of the State Square apartment complex and numerous New York City properties. Lowell Harwood runs the business along with his son and daughter, Craig and Leslie Harwood, and his nephews, Brett and Scott Harwood.

Link Click Here

Posted on: 2007/5/22 9:06
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Coming to Journal Square
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This bad boy is gonna kick ass.

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http://njrereport.com/index.php/2007/ ... nal-square-redevelopment/

Apr 14th, 2007

The two-tower development planned for Jersey City’s Journal Square now has two partners sharing the risk, burden - and potential rewards - of building the $400 million project.

The board of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency voted yesterday to amend the redeveloper’s agreement with Jersey City-based Harwood Properties to include Washington-based Multi-Employer Property Trust, a national real estate equity fund that invests union pension funds.

“I am confident that with MEPT’s support, Journal Square will soon become a thriving neighborhood and a destination,” said Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Harwood Properties.

“Redevelopment of Journal Square has been talked about for 30 or 40 years. Now it’s finally going to happen.”



The project is slated to be built on the site of the old Hotel on the Square and several stores, next to the PATH Transportation Center, and is to consist of two towers, 52 and 46 stories, containing 1,034 apartments, 150,000 square feet of retail space and three levels of parking.

Posted on: 2007/4/21 21:14
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Harwood brings in a partner for 2-tower project at Journal Square
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Harwood brings in a partner for 2-tower project at Square

Saturday, April 14, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The two-tower development planned for Jersey City's Journal Square now has two partners sharing the risk, burden - and potential rewards - of building the $400 million project.

The board of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency voted yesterday to amend the redeveloper's agreement with Jersey City-based Harwood Properties to include Washington-based Multi-Employer Property Trust, a national real estate equity fund that invests union pension funds.

"I am confident that with MEPT's support, Journal Square will soon become a thriving neighborhood and a destination," said Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Harwood Properties.

"Redevelopment of Journal Square has been talked about for 30 or 40 years. Now it's finally going to happen."

David Antonelli, senior vice president of Kennedy Associates Real Estate Council Inc. LP, MEPT's sole advisor and founder, noted, "We're early on in the process. There's a lot of work to be done."

MEPT is a $6.2 billion real estate equity fund owned by 312 pension plans, with a portfolio of 172 properties in 25 major metropolitan markets, said company spokeswoman Pamela Silberman.

The new entity created by the partnership is called MEPT Journal Square Urban Renewal, LLC. The partners declined to say what percentage of the new company they owned.

The project is slated to be built on the site of the old Hotel on the Square and several stores, next to the PATH Transportation Center, and is to consist of two towers, 52 and 46 stories, containing 1,034 apartments, 150,000 square feet of retail space and three levels of parking.

By next week, officials said, MEPT will be the owner of all the properties on the block still standing.

The JCRA has hired a relocation specialist to help relocate the remaining businesses on the block, including a McDonald's, said JCRA Executive Director Robert Antonicello. The developer would reimburse the city for the moving expenses, Antonicello said.

Harwood predicted that by August all the remaining structures on the block will be leveled. Construction would take 18 months to two years, he said.

Posted on: 2007/4/14 7:54
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Re: A 30-YEAR DEAL? Journal Square developer aims for massive abatement
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Those are some good questions Dan. Also, how will the inevitable property revaluation effect all this. I believe the state requires revaluations every 10 years, though rarely do municipalities follow through until they are hit with a taxpayer lawsuit. It seems that the city will soon be forced into a revaluation:
http://www.nj.com/columns/jjournal/re ... 17143620571130.xml&coll=3

And if its anything like the 1989 revaluation, there is going to be a huge increase in property values:

Quote:

Much had changed since 1972, when property was last appraised in this city of 218,500. Some neighborhoods had come back to life; others had decayed. Parts of the industrial waterfront had remained decrepit; others had become crowded with offices and apartments.

When the appraisers were done, the value of all real property in Jersey City - homes, businesses, factories and vacant lots - had soared to $5.6 billion from $800 million 17 years before.


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage ... 439F930A35756C0A96F948260

Posted on: 2007/3/13 11:35
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Re: A 30-YEAR DEAL? Journal Square developer aims for massive abatement
#12
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Couple of questions....

If the revenue realized is greater than the projections included in the tax abatement application, will the PILOT payment increase?

As rents and revenues increase over time or due to market changes, will the PILOT payments increase?

or is the 10% PILOT payment based only on projected revenues?

Posted on: 2007/3/13 10:50
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