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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Quote:

AlexC wrote:
I thought there was something that looked like a deck hanging over the Liight Rail side - It looks like it's gone?

I kinda thought how weird it would be to get drunk and fall over that "deck" and get electrocuted on the wires.


nah. you'd have to be touching the wires and the rails at the same time to complete the circuit. theoretically, you could catch the wires on your way down and be ok.

Posted on: 2007/5/12 3:05
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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JSQ wrote:
It's just an opinion. I see it coming, so I warn you - you don't have to be rude, that won't change my opinion. It looks like PAD is that place that will never make the face of a postcard, but it will justify another hundred years of jokes about New Jersey being the armpit of the country.
Is there anything special about these relics of the industrial era that prevents the artists from moving to other relics? We have a few on the West Side, and in Newark and Elisabeth they're in the hundreds.
Have you considered this one?
Resized Image


ha! that's jos. cory's warehouse, around the corner from where i live now. and they are inviting artists to take studios there, some of whom are taking them up on it, despite the fact that they have corrugated steel walls, like painting in a locker...and this building is two blocks away from american can, where 600 richer people will become my neighbors soon...

i'm mystified by some of the arguments being posed here, and elsewhere in this thread. some history -- i lived in 111 briefly, right at the end, and hoped (foolishly, in retrospect) that there'd be enough back and forth to hopefully permit a negotiated settlement -- or at least, the negotiations would be so drawn out i could live and rehearse for a year or two in a beautiful loft downtown. such temerity, having to ask this owner to accept the historical designation of a property his father couldn't do a damned thing with, until the artists arrived, renovated galleries for sweat equity, etc...we needn't rehash the whole history. i've been loath to enter into this debate, since it's all over, and it breaks my heart to watch 111 literally go down...

BUT!!!!!!!!! what in g-d's name is driving some of you to see A SINGLE INFINITESIMAL PIECE OF MERIT IN GOLDMAN'S APPROACH TO 111 until the city had no choice but to cry uncle? (some say they had other choices, but let's face it, they couldn't face the mu$$ic...) will you now suggest that the attempted arson of 111 in nov. '04 was just, you know, some unknown firebug taking it upon him or herself to light oily rags near an open gas feed? #OOPS#ing spare me.

and what other implication could one draw from some of your specious arguments here except that no city should be allowed to prevent their historic districts from being torn apart like 1/4 chickens whenever someone rich enough decides to do so? are they allowed to do that to city hall? the fire department? and, are distinctive pieces of industrial urban history unworthy of preservation, in the face of some pomo glass cubes most of the people reading this couldn't afford to live in if their lives depended on it?

whatever anyone thinks about 111, the artists who spent a generation BUILDING THE JERSEY CITY ARTS SCENE THERE...rest assured, there'd be no artist tours, no real cultural vibrancy in this city but for the efforts of those who worked, lived and were otherwise associated with 111 st street. forget all of that, and simply recognize the great injustice being carried out in a Powerhouse Arts District with a Powerhouse, and no arts...

remember 111. it won't stop there. jk

Posted on: 2007/5/11 21:41
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Yes, there had been a wooden structure attached to the side of the tower overhanging the light rail. If i had to speculate, my guess would be to prevent debris from higher floors from falling onto the tracks.

Posted on: 2007/5/11 21:13
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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I thought there was something that looked like a deck hanging over the Liight Rail side - It looks like it's gone?

I kinda thought how weird it would be to get drunk and fall over that "deck" and get electrocuted on the wires.

Posted on: 2007/5/11 19:57
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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ianmac47 wrote:


I just put up pictures of the installation of this siding including a 4 frame series with the crane lifting the slabs over the light rail track:

http://newyorkssixth.com/newyorkssixt ... er-topped-off-facade.html


My compliments. those are really really cool pics you have there of the building of jc.

Posted on: 2007/5/11 19:05
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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I believe, but I could be wrong, that the facade concrete stuff you are talking about is only for the side facing the Newport Mall / Light Rail. I think that the Westin is going to be using orange tinted glass.

I just put up pictures of the installation of this siding including a 4 frame series with the crane lifting the slabs over the light rail track:

http://newyorkssixth.com/newyorkssixt ... er-topped-off-facade.html

Posted on: 2007/5/11 15:01
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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I can't believe that they would be permitted to use the same ugly facing on a new hotel that they use on the doubletree. how retarded is that?

I guess it's true that there must be something in the water in new jersey that makes politicians and planners so short-sighted, etc.

Posted on: 2007/5/11 14:45
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Since when has being an expert on architecture equate with knobbing on Koolhaas?

RK is not a terribly impressive architect, IMHO. I've only seen one of his creations close up (the Casa da Musica in Porto)- it's sort of interesting now, but in 40 years when the unfinished concrete has absorbed city smog and is leaching rebar streaks, Koolhaas will look like far less of a genius.

Posted on: 2007/5/11 1:41
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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To add to the architectural insult - while out looking at 111 in ruins, check out the hotel going up at 6th and Washington. Looks to me like they are using the same ugly facing material that was used on the Double Tree.

Posted on: 2007/5/10 18:40
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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JSQ wrote:

Is there anything special about these relics of the industrial era that prevents the artists from moving to other relics? We have a few on the West Side, and in Newark and Elisabeth they're in the hundreds.
Have you considered this one?


their proximity to the biggest art market in the world (NYC) is what makes them special. It is hard enought for an artist to get a curator or art dealer to visit their studio in JC and it would be even harder to get a curator or dealer to visit you in elizabeth or newark.

that said, the JC art scene has a long way to go before it reaches big league status. the poorly curated galleries are never represented in the major art fairs, and the few JC based artists of note are represented by NY galleries.......

Posted on: 2007/5/10 17:55
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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It's just an opinion. I see it coming, so I warn you - you don't have to be rude, that won't change my opinion. It looks like PAD is that place that will never make the face of a postcard, but it will justify another hundred years of jokes about New Jersey being the armpit of the country.
Is there anything special about these relics of the industrial era that prevents the artists from moving to other relics? We have a few on the West Side, and in Newark and Elisabeth they're in the hundreds.
Have you considered this one?
Resized Image

Posted on: 2007/5/10 17:31
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111 First - last chance
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111 First is just about gone. All of the insides have been taken down and trucked away. The last two external walls are being knocked down now, and I'd guess the site will be leveled in the next several weeks.

Just wanted to let people know who might like to come down and have a look/say goodbye.

Posted on: 2007/5/10 2:39
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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bdlaw wrote:
My qualifications to speak on this issue are limited, since I have only arrived in JC last March. I do, however, actually live in this neighborhood- does that qualify me to have an opinion?


Apparently, only if your opinion meshes with a few folks' thoughts on the matter.

Posted on: 2007/2/19 2:13
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Just to add some information to the debate. It looks like a sale from father to son or family to family in the 90's for around for million. This is only to address earlier posts. Just providing info.

Property Detail Report For Property Located At 111 1ST ST, JERSEY CITY NJ 07302-3010

Owner Information: Owner Name: NEW GOLD EQUIT CORP

Mailing Address: 52 VANDERBILT AVE # 1600, NEW YORK NY 10017-3808 C012 C/O BLDG MNGT

Phone Number:

Legal Description: County: HUDSON, NJAPN: 06-00108-0000-0000C

Census Tract / Block: 26.00 / 2

Market Area: Munic/Township: JERSEY CITYNeighbor Code:

Last Market Sale Information: Recording/Sale Date: 09/04/1990 / 08/31/19901st Mtg Amount/Type: / Sale Price: $4,122,000

1st Mtg Int. Rate/Type: / Sale Type: FULL1st Mtg Document #: Document #: 4327-14

Seller Name: OLD GOLD ASSO

Deed Type: Property Characteristics: Gross Area: Parking Type: Construction: Living Area: Garage Area: Heat Type: Tot Adj Area: Garage Capacity: Exterior wall: BRICKAbove Grade:

Fireplace: / Foundation: Quality: # of Stories: 5.00Roof Material: Condition: Other Improvements: Site Information: Zoning:Acres: 1.94County Use: Flood Zone: AELot Area: 84,302State Use: INDUSTRIAL (4B)Flood Panel: 3402230106DLot Width/Depth: 211 x 400Site Influence: Flood Panel Date: 08/16/2006Res/Comm Units: / Sewer Type: Land Use: INDUSTRIAL (NEC)Water Type: Tax Information: Total Value: $3,000,000Assessed Year: 2006Property Tax: $155,250.00Land Value: $1,655,300Improve %: 045%Tax Area: Improvement Value: $1,344,700Tax Year: 2006Tax Exemption: Total Taxable Value: $3,000,000

Posted on: 2007/2/19 1:21
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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My qualifications to speak on this issue are limited, since I have only arrived in JC last March. I do, however, actually live in this neighborhood- does that qualify me to have an opinion?

I do not understand (actually, I do) why all the name calling and labelling is warrented. What's wrong with being in favor of responsible and reasonable development? And by responsible and reasonable I do not mean seeking technicalities to subvert the democractic process (though any responsible advocate would do the same for their client).

Having been on all sides of the coins involved (winning/losing on technicalities, winning/losing on the merits of the case, settling from a position of strength vs. settling from a position of weakness), I have to say the worst feeling is losing a case that has underlying merit, over technicalities.

Now, if you have the tin-foil ready- there are as I understand it two main ways to lay the under-pinning for a building- drilling and pile-driving.

Pile-driving by definition shakes the ground around the area. It is my understanding that the two row houses on Steuben Street which were recently demolished (and, conveniently, were not included in the zoning for PAD, even though the rest of the block on both sides were), were condemned as structurally unsound as a result of the pile driving of under-pinning for Columbus Plaza (which is across the street).

This site is now being developed into a 7 story condo box by Fields Development.

So my question is, who's responsibility is it to ensure that development in action does not lead to more condemned buildings? On the face of it, your average conspiracy theorist would look at that and say that's a pretty good way of getting your hands on otherwise unobtainable properties- shake the foundation, get it condemned, and buy it on the cheap since the existing structure is no longer viable or safe.

In any event, conspiracy or no, it is completely irresponsible to damage existing structures during construction, I think we could all agree on that, no?

I do seem to recall a fire at 111 First over the Summer that allegedly was started by squatters. Can't help but notice there was never a follow-up story on that event.

On an un-related note but of interest- how many think that 100 years from now the "Newport Historic Association" will be up in arms over plans to tear down the towers in Newport, because they're "historic"?

Posted on: 2007/2/18 15:33
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:

Calling someone an "developer apologist" is still . . . .[yada yada yada)


That's right, because as you see, I haven't explained the history behind the Powerhouse Arts District, historic warehouse, district, etc.

But let me make one clarification. I would not be so [narcisssistic http://www.ianmacallen.com/ian-narcissism.html] as to claim that the concept of preservation and redevelopment of the warehouse district/Powerhouse Arts District were "my views. . . ." (an dso on an dso 4th)


I allus wundered waht was a narcississticism or whatefer thankyou scotsmannotsoshin IanMac aroni for skoolnig me i see it is seashells down by the sea sohore sepelling my niame I do that in the snow with yuo know what but i dont take a pricture an out it on aw web page for 4 poeple to see one of them my mommy

Maybe when I have been herer form more than 1 year i can goe toe tot toe or keybaord to quai-bored with sombuddy who Really Knows something about THIS HERE like Joshua or DanL hell You havent even been delted by Sonia eeniemax so whaddyaknowHUH?

Posted on: 2007/2/18 0:12
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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What brings you to this dismissive conclusion of historic preservation efforts in Jersey City? If you are truly serious, it certainly is discouraging and if this is a broad perception then it adds another obstacle to any preservation effort of historic resources in Jersey City.

All of the major historic preservation initiatives currently underway involve adaptive re-use of the historic resources, all are promoted by public constituencies and all meet the current accepted standards of historic recognition:

? Powerhouse (commercial and retail)
? Warehouse District (retail and residential)
? Whitlock Cordage (residential)
? Embankment (recreation, park and linkage to East Coast Greenway)
? Bergen Arches (same as Embankment)
? Reservoir #3 (passive park and natural preserve).

A major component of the preservation community?s efforts has been the adaptive reuse of our historic resources and its positive impact on quality of life rather than just for the sake of saving historic relics. Nowhere in Jersey City do I see a ?garden of ruins? as the result of historic preservation efforts and Jersey City has lost much more than has been saved (and reused).

Again, why do you (and I have to assume others) not perceive that current historic preservation and conservation efforts as part of our city?s evolution (or the change referenced below).


Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
.....

I think the other problem too is that the preservation crowd in the city is taking a shotgun approach to historical preservation. Apparently, everything with the slightest hint of history needs to be preserved. I think people believe it trendy and cool to fight the good fight, I think people are afraid of change. We don't live in a museum, but a city, an organic machine.

A city is not a park, not a building, not a street. A city is ever changing, an environment in flux, a massive system in motion. Part of that system is preservation and conservation, the protection of the past, but part of that system is also change.....

Posted on: 2007/2/17 23:37
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Again with the personal attacks. That's quite a constructive argument you make there: Ian is a narcissist, so obviously he has nothing worthwhile to say. The only thing you seem to make clear is that the only opinion that matters is your own; now that seems rather narcissistic to me.

Anyone who disagrees with you is immediately labeled a shill. Or even better, an apologist, which carries with it the connotation of something much worse-- as if to include pro-development with pro-fascists, pro-holocaust, pro-nazism.

Now, in either case, for the most part JP, you've taken the time to make extensive and well formulated arguments, and I will respond in kind.

Indeed, there are two issues at work here: one part, the arts district and the artists, and part two, the historic district. I'm less interested in the fight the artists had or have.

As far as the historic district, the merits of 111 First street are very much up for debate, because it is a subjective matter.

Quote:

JPHurst wrote:
The building was the first of its kind in the district in that it was the first structure built for a national business.


Great, just what we need, a memorial to the arrival of national chains. So in essence, a monument to Wal*Mart, The Gap, and Starbucks. Perfect.

I don't think 111 First Street is particularly significant. I'm sure there are a number of people, amateurs and professionals alike who would agree with me, just as I'm sure you all could find a number of people to agree with you that the building is significant.

I also don't believe the city was better off during the last 18 months when 111 First street was wrapped up in scaffolding and no one was living there and the building was vacant.

I agree that the streetscape in the powerhouse district is quite interesting as a former warehouse district. Industrial architecture is unique and visually appealing: the cobblestones, the industrial style window panes, the ornamentation, the industrial accessories.

I think its possible that the developer exaggerated the need to rip the building down, perhaps even likely that he did.

I also think that if the developer had been inclined, he could have kept the shell of the old facade intact and built a tower in the center, similar to the Hearst building in New York; old meets new. But the way I see it, and I could be wrong, the hard line stance by preservation activists lead the developer to find a tricky way of getting around the zoning, that is, simply to say that the building needed to be demolished because it was unsafe. Instead, perhaps it would have been better to grant a variance for a higher tower on the condition that the existing facades be maintained and with greater setbacks.

I think the other problem too is that the preservation crowd in the city is taking a shotgun approach to historical preservation. Apparently, everything with the slightest hint of history needs to be preserved. I think people believe it trendy and cool to fight the good fight, I think people are afraid of change. We don't live in a museum, but a city, an organic machine.

A city is not a park, not a building, not a street. A city is ever changing, an environment in flux, a massive system in motion. Part of that system is preservation and conservation, the protection of the past, but part of that system is also change.

Finally I think folks should take a look at John Lumea's well articulated essay on contextual zoning and historical preservation. http://www.johnlumea.com/2007/02/nimbyopolis.html

Posted on: 2007/2/16 17:15
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Goldman brougbt several lawsuits, six I believe. Some without merit. Some with, but they would not have given him the relief he could have obtained here.

Goldman was initially successful challenging the district's historic designation. The terms of several commissioners had lapsed. This happens more often than one might think, and usually the commissioners just serve lapsed terms, replaceable at will.

A decision a few years back relating to the Planning Board's approval of the Millenium Towers project, however, said that if a commission was operating on lapsed terms, its actions were void.

So Judge Gallipolli voided the warehouse district's designation. He explicitly told the city, however, that they could re-vote on the designation (the city had, since the designation, appointed new commissioners or reappointed old ones).

Goldman also submitted an application to the HPC for a certificate of economic hardship, claiming that renovation of the building was infeasible (this was before the ordinance was struck down). The HPC denied it. Presumably he would have challenged this decision in court, but it would have been a tough challenge, since it is a fact based determination that courts give deference to (although Gallipolli has shown a lot of hostility toward Jersey City).

Then there was the federal lawsuit. That alleged that the whole process of designating the historic district and passing the redevelopment plan constituted an unlawful "conspiracy" to deprive NewGold Equities of its property rights. Goldman sought $100 million in damages.

This was just ridiculous. Essentially Goldman was saying that the entire legislative process was being designed with no purpose but to bully him and take his money away. Whatever the merits you think of the PAD, whatever you think of 111 First St, and whatever you think of the historic importance of the area, it is just ludicrous to say that this was all done to get Lloyd Goldman. To the extent a particular ordinance was procedurally invalid, Goldman had his remedies in state court. Goldman took it a huge leap forward, and essentially argued that urban planning constitutes unlawful conspiracy.

The city had a counterclaim for $70 million in fines. Some of these claims may not have been timely, although they could have possibly been used to offset any judgment against Goldman.

The thing to remember is this. There is no way Goldman could have obtained the relief which he sought with respect to 111 First Street. If he wins completely, and the PAD and historic designation are invalid, then he is left with a building in Industrial/Warehouse Zoning. Essentially, his lawyer's were saying that not only were the restrictions invalid, but that he had the RIGHT to have zoning changed so that he could build the second largest building in the state, with no restrictions whatsoever.

If 111 was in fact in such bad shape that it was beyond repair, he could have been allowed to take it down and build a new structure that conformed with the rest of the plan. This could have been a new warehouse. or if PAD was valid, a building around 90 feet high.

Another thing to remember. Preserving 111 does not mean keeping the building (buildings, actually) intact in all regards, interior or exterior. Yes, it would have been neat to have the courtyards, etc. But the real concern was always the exterior. The facade could have been renovated or replicated, and the interior could have been reconfigured in a variety of ways. He still had the right to build up to 90 feet, so long as it was set back. And since the building comprised two full blocks, there were still plenty of units to build.

There's another part of this as well, 110 First Street. 110 had already been torn down. And 110 had been part of the section that was rezoned as "Hudson Exchange" a few years before. So in that case, Goldman had a stronger case because he could point to that property being downzoned, although downzoning is not per se illegal. If the city really wanted to settle, they could have given him flexiibility on 110 in exchange for sticking with the plan in 111.

Ultimately, this can't be considered a "settlement" because Goldman not only didn't give anything significant up, but because he got MORE than he could have received had he won his lawsuit hands down.

But I really don't think the city was settling to avoid liability. It was settling because the administration had never really bought into the plan in the first place. For this administration, downtown is a place where builders should be given the right to build as high as possible, receive an abatement (PILOT), and help plug the city's budget gap without making the tough choices that fiscal responsibility requires. Make the waterfront "Hong Kong on the Hudson" to pay for the rest of the city.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 16:42
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Has the City really cave in to Goldman or was City's case in the lawsuit not strong enough to win outright?

On City's side there were some $70 million in fines for safety and fire violations (seems a bit high, but whatever).

On Goldman's side was an argument that the PAD designation caused him undue hardship, since fixing up the wreck that was 111 First was not economically feasible and would cause him to lose money.

I can see how an impartial judge could find Goldman's argument convincing.

So they settled. Happens all the time.

I am not buying the argument that Goldman managed to ruin 111 First in the 15-or-so years since he took title. I think it's been neglected much, much longer than that. Now that the demolition is revealing 111 First layer after layer, everyone can see that the building was indeed in a pretty bad shape.

I also think that the other warehouses in PAD (those that are currently being turned into condos etc) were in much better shape in 111 First and lent themselves better to conversion.

I am not going to cry after 111 First.

The Port Authority's obstructionist behavior is much worse than Goldman's in this whole PAD debacle.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 16:11
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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ianmac47 wrote:

Calling someone an "developer apologist" is still name calling and usually comes out whenever certain people lack the ability to produce a clear, coherent, logical defense of their own views.


That's right, because as you see, I haven't explained the history behind the Powerhouse Arts District, historic warehouse, district, etc.

But let me make one clarification. I would not be so [narcisssistic http://www.ianmacallen.com/ian-narcissism.html] as to claim that the concept of preservation and redevelopment of the warehouse district/Powerhouse Arts District were "my views." They were the result of delberation and cooperation by the city's planning department, Pro-Arts, the Urban Land Institute, the State Historic Preservation office.

If anyone at the Conservancy deserves credit, it is John Gomez, who single handedly prepared a National Register nomination for the Hudson and Manhattan Powerhouse, something which one usually pays professionals tens of thousands of dollars to do. It was successful and placed on the National Register despite the vehement opposition of the Port Authority, who came up with such "visions" like building an office tower in the middle of the Powerhouse, with the current structure serving as a parking deck.

I really couldn't give a rats ass if someone says "JP, you know nothing about architecture." Because I don't pretend to take credit for all the planning, deliberation and hard work that went into the one redevelopment plan that the city didn't just hand off to the owner and say "write whatever you want."

Posted on: 2007/2/16 15:49
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Hi LoucheNJ,

You're right in that two issues often get crossed up. But that's in part because they were, together, part of the revitilization of what was an abandoned and underutilized industrial district.

The redevelopment of the district had two components. The first was the historic designation of the neighborhood as the Historic Warehouse District. That was a historic designation which protected the buildings.

The second was the redevelopment plan which created the Powerhouse Arts District. This also required restoration of the buildings according to historic standards, and required that units in each building be developed as lofts so they could be used by artists.

The two districts' boundaries were almost (though not exactly) identical.

The historic designation of the district was, in my opinion, a key component of the overall development, as it helped create and solidify the district's identity. A copy of the warehouse district nomination, prepared by Richard James, is below.

http://www.jerseycityhistory.net/warehousenomination.html

The warehouse district was considered to be eligible by the State's Historic Preservation Office. The state's HPC unanimously recommended historic designation, and the city council unanimously adopted it. In addition to the architectural merits of the various buildings, the district was a complete neighborhood that was replete with Jersey City's industrial history. The Lorillard Tobacco Headquarters, the Butler Brothers Warehouse, The A&P Headquarters were all major presences in Jersey City and, along with the other businesses, crucial to the industrial development of the city.

Some of the buildings were in fact converted according to this plan. As mentioned above, 140 Bay Street, the J. Leo Cooke Warehouse, was converted and is a fantastic combination of restored warehouse and modern architecture. The units sold out almost immediately. 150 Bay, the former A&P headqaurters, is undergoing a similar conversion. The floors that have been completed abd opened as rentals have also filled up. Several of the owners/renters are artists. And this doesn't just apply to the subsidized units. Last October, when I went on the Artist's studio tour, I was impressed with how many artists bought or rented the apartments and market rate, because they really liked the idea of living in these restored warehouses and thought it was great space.

There were also some vacant spaces in the district that were being construted. Waldo Lofts, just north of the A&P headquarters, is an example of modern construction that fits in well (though I do know some people who think the building is ugly) The developer had originally claimed that building according to the PAD guidelines was unviable. At that time, the city stuck to its guns and made the developer follow the plan (with a slight height variance).

Now that the city has capitulated on 111, that same developer is in a joint venture with Toll Brothers with respect to the former A&P Annex and Manischewitz Matzoh factory. They are now claiming that they to, should not have to follow the plan, and are demanding that they be allowed to build 50 stories.

There were also plans for a theater on one of the other vacant spots. I have been told that the owner of that property is now making noises about abandoning the plan and building a high rise as well.

Maybe 111 will be a masterpiece. Maybe it will be, as some posters have suggested, the equivalent of the World Trade Center or Empire State Building of Jersey City. So for all the talk of Rem Koolhaas, and how he can build a great set of skyscrapers, perhaps as tall as 60 stories each., to anchor the district, that's simply not what this is about.

Right now, this is about developers who are asking for as much density as they can to make as much money as they can, and the city capitulating because they want to give them a tax PILOT to provide some immediate revenue for a broke city. And to do so, the city abandoned a plan that was the product of years of consultations between builders, artists, preservationists, and groups like the Urban Land Institute. One that was working very well.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 15:32
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:

When somebody labels another poster a "develop apologist" or a "shill" it's typically based on that poster's position in the debate, and a subjective but legitimmate characterization.



Calling someone an "developer apologist" is still name calling and usually comes out whenever certain people lack the ability to produce a clear, coherent, logical defense of their own views.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 15:09
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Need a little clarification here to evaluate some of these posts because some issues have become combined, at least for me.

1. Are the individuals advocating the preservation of the warehouse district doing so BOTH for its architecture and as artist housing?

2. Do people advocating property owners' rights support the area's use as artists' housing in some way?

For me, these issues keep getting crossed when I think about them. I am not wedded to saving most of the warehouses, but would like to see at least some of them converted to market rate housing, perhaps with artist set asides, if only for architectural variety and to see if architects can integrate modern purpose built residential with converted older buildings. Overall, what I would like to see is a "green", pedestrian friendly residential/retail area that links the waterfront with the interior historic districts.

Since several of you had challenged the qualifications of posters to express their opinions concerning architecture and development, I am LoucheNJ, M.Arch, MBA.

Yesterday, I met someone who works for the NYS Council on the Arts -she knew about the situation in JC - essentially she thought that real estate had gotten too expensive, too fast for an artist community to survive.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 14:37
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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The Fraggles, colorful little cave dwelling creatures, lived in a symbiotic relationship with small little green creatures called Doozers. The Doozers built structures from radish extract that the Fraggles ate. One afternoon, Mokey Fraggle saw the beauty of the Doozer structures; elaborate, crystal palaces. Mokey convinced the other Fraggles to stop eating the Doozer structures in order to preserve them. Eventually the Doozers all decided to leave because there was no place left in the cave for them to build. The Fraggles were also quite hungry as the Doozer buildings were their main source of food. Eventually, the Doozers agreed to return on the promise that the Fraggles would once again eat their buildings.

(Hint: This is a metaphor)

Posted on: 2007/2/16 13:59
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:
Quote:

injcsince81 wrote:

Get back to me when you learn who Koolhaas is.

Every time a 111 First thread comes up, up pop two shills - Joshua Parkhurst and DanL.

Funny guys.

L is for losers.


whiniest post of the year (and from the guy who a few posts up was complaining about name-calling!)


What a comeback!

Wow, you really got one back here. I'm impressed.

My original remark must've hurt since it so stuck in your mind.

Whatever.

White Star is still a frigging bar/lounge, and it should be okay to nurse one drink and twirl one's hair, $5-whiners like you notwithstanding.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 13:49
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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I am glad Joshua and Dan are out ther speaking up on my and others behalf. There are valid points on each side of the story, and I don't need to repeat what has been argued at length by others. Each side makes some sense to me. Whether or not a skyscraper belongs on that block, whether or not it will be ugly, whether or not the architect is good, whether or not we should have an arts neighborhood, or whether or not there are enough places to eat lunch is beside the point. They are red herrings tossed out to confuse the real issue here.
What trumps every other issue for me is the disregard with which the zoning decision of the city has been treated by Goldman. What it means, is that if you have enough money to threaten a multi-million dollar lawsuit, you can defy any local ordinance; whether or not your suit has merit.
I am tremendously disappointed that the city just let this happen and that some national legal organization didn't step in to fund the city's defense.
This is exactly what the federal superfund law has done in a different sphere. Our city could never force someone like Honeywell to clean up toxins. The cost of a suit would bankrupt the city, so we need state and national funding sources to pay for enforcement.
If Goldman succeeds, and it appears that he has, there is a good chance that we will have lost the ability to control local zoning. As long as you threaten to spend enough money, you can build what you want.
Oh, not you. You still can't put up a deck unless your neighbors say its OK. Unless you have enough money to threaten the city.
Years ago a developer in New York but an extra floor or two on top of his skyscraper, beyond what the zoning law told him he could build. He figured maybe no one would notice, or that once he had them up, he'd have to pay a fine or something, and that would be the end of it. Well, New York City made him remove the extra floors. That's what I'd like to see Jersey City do to Goldman, except we've already backed down.
I suggest that we need State and/or Federal laws that enforce local zoning, and a system of fines that will fund lawsuits against the offending developers. More big government, and more taxes; I know, I know. But somebody come up with a better solution. If we don't, I think we're going to be in trouble. One skyscaper isn't the issue here. We will have lost the ability to dictate any limits to anyone with the money to defy us.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 12:32
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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Quote:

injcsince81 wrote:

Get back to me when you learn who Koolhaas is.

Every time a 111 First thread comes up, up pop two shills - Joshua Parkhurst and DanL.

Funny guys.

L is for losers.


whiniest post of the year (and from the guy who a few posts up was complaining about name-calling!)

Posted on: 2007/2/16 4:40
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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"Shill" has a specific meaning and I very much doubt that it applies to anyone who has disagreed with you on this issue; it certainly doesn't apply to me. It is mere name-calling on your part.

Clearly you believe that non-owners should be able to dictate how owners can use their property down to very specific details. Your citing previous zoning, landmarking, etc. at great length suggests a belief that everyone agrees with you on this but that is simply not the case.

That some people treasure freedom, and the combined wisdom of multiple owners/buyers/tenants acting in a free market over a few "planners" does not make us "shills".

Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
Yes, a bit more than apologists for developers.

What's funny is that the shills for Goldman here have repeatedly argued stuff that not even he nor the city officials who cut the deal did. They at least had the honesty to admit that they were destroying the warehouse district, and that Goldman's proposal was completely incompatible with the neighborhood as planned.

They claimed that they "had" to do this in order to avoid legal liability. Because only in Jersey City is upzoning an unconstitutional conspiracy to deprive someone of property rights that would entitle him to a $100 million lawsuit.

Posted on: 2007/2/16 4:26
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Re: 111 First Street - the teardown
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"If the city really wanted distinguished architecture in its high rises, it should have pushed for that where they were actually building the high rises, not smack dab in the middle of a district with mid-rise warehouses rich in history."

Here's a suggestion for you - go to the Empire State Building's entrance on Fifth Avenue, look across the street, and tell me what you see. Directly across the street is a set of midrise buildings, older than the Empire State Building. The ESB stands a massive 1250 feet tall across from these midrise buildings (ie there is a mix of buildings in the immediate vicinity of the ESB), yet is regarded by many as the greatest skyscraper of the 20th Century.

So why should we not build a single skyscraper across from a few midrise buildings (also keep in mind that the Athena Tower was topped off today and it stands 33 stories tall right across the street from 111 First). We already are preserving 140 & 150 Bay Street. Good architecture involves diversity in building heights, shapes, and sizes, so long as they form a visual unification of an area. 111 First will have at least one setback at the height of the original facade, which will help it fit in with the surrounding warehouses.

Posted on: 2007/2/15 4:07
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