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Thread: Paterson/Passaic/Clifton Development Thread

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    Default Paterson/Passaic/Clifton Development Thread

    I wanted to start a thread for one of the most neglected urban corners of our metro. I'll be posting a few backlogged articles below.
    Last edited by Hamilton; April 17th, 2015 at 12:35 PM.

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    I can't think of anything going on in Clifton.... Passaic and Paterson have a few decent projects underway...

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    http://www.northjersey.com/news/new-...kids-1.1172862

    New Paterson apartments offer homes and fresh start for former foster kids



    December 19, 2014, 6:50 PM Last updated: Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:50 PM
    By RICHARD COWEN

    The holiday spirit was in the air Friday as city and state officials cut the ribbon on the new Elm Street apartments in Paterson, where a group of foster children for the first time are in a place they can call their own.

    Bob Guarasci, the executive director of the New Jersey Community Development Corp. sounded a bit like Tiny Tim as he cut the ribbon with a pair of giant ceremonial scissors. “May God bless this house,” he said, “and may God bless everyone who made it possible.”
    Only a short time ago, having a home may have seemed like an impossible dream for the foster children and adult guardians now living in the 20 brand new units.

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    http://patersontimes.com/2014/12/28/...enue-building/

    The Jersey City based real estate company Novus Equities restored a circa 1910 building on Park Avenue earning praise and an award from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission earlier in the year.

    Scott Seale, principal of the company, said the former owner of 38-40 Park Avenue incidentally ran into him on block after the company had finished restoring a supermarket across the street. Already a property holder on Park Avenue, Seale received a tour of the building from the owner, who made known his wish to get rid of the building.

    “You walk up these stairs and it’s like you are walking back in time,” recalled Seale of that tour. “You could see all the beautiful details, the curved ceiling, skylight.”

    Although the skylight was buried under pigeon droppings, Seale did not fail to see the beauty of the building. Seale describes the structure as a turn of the country Italianate style building. His company purchased the boarded up tumbledown building and began renovation.

    “There was a lot of structural work, new beams, limestone, we had to do a lot of expensive restoration work,” said Seale. He estimates the cost ranged in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    “Even the rod iron work, if you look at the facade, the fire escape, that’s gorgeous, it’s got a crest on it,” added Seale. “We tried to keep it as close architecturally to what it was before.”

    Before the building fell into neglect it was used primarily as a social club of sort for newly arrived Italian immigrants to the city, according to historic preservation officials. The restored building continues the tradition today.

    Situated in the 5th Ward, with an exploding Dominican-American population, the building’s main hall on the second floor, is again being utilized as a social club by newly arrived immigrants: this time those arriving from the Dominican Republic.

    The social club, Ranchete, occupies the second floor; a small cargo shipping company takes up one of the two retail spaces on the first floor; a martial arts studio takes up the second retail space on the ground floor.

    The company’s restoration did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. In October of this year, Seale accepted the Stewardship Award from the commission on behalf of the company. The award recognized Seale and the company for their commitment to preserve city history.

    Seale, who renovates buildings throughout urban northern New Jersey, said the city boasts some of the best architecture in the state. “There’s so many magnificent building in the city,” added Seale after saying he was thrilled to have been recognized by the city for the restoration project.


    “Preserving the building was the right thing to do,” said Seale.

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    http://www.northjersey.com/news/busi...8-7m-1.1262120



    Paterson apartment building sold for $8.7 million
    January 31, 2015 Last updated: Saturday, January 31, 2015, 1:21 AM
    By KATHLEEN LYNN

    * Russian investors buy 76-unit apartment complex in Paterson

    A 76-unit Paterson apartment building managed by Alma Realty, the developer of Paterson's Center City mall and one of the city's largest developers and property managers, has been sold for $8.7 million.

    Straight Street LLC, a partnership managed by Alma Realty, bought the 60,000-square-foot property at 220 Straight St., a former textile mill, in 2009 for $1.8 million, and converted it into apartments.

    Ekaterina Valiotis, director of property management at Long Island City-based Alma Realty, said Straight Street LLC consists of a group of New York investors.

    The buyers of the Straight Street property are a group of Russian investors buying under the name Paterson Estate LLC, said their broker, Zeynep "Z" Ekemen, managing principal at Z Realty Group in Fort Lee.

    Alma is redeveloping the old William Strange silk mill complex between Madison and Beech streets, transforming it into 340 apartments. The first 72-unit building in that complex is already open, and 90 percent leased, at market-rate rents starting at $1,100 a month for one-bedroom units, Valiotis said.

    Alma Realty also developed and manages the Center City mall in the heart of downtown, and manages more than 800 apartments buildings in the city.

    "Paterson is really starting to come together," Valiotis said. "It's good to see that."

    The Straight Street building was constructed as a silk mill around 1920 by John Dunlop, said Gianfranco Archimede, director of the Paterson Division of Historic Preservation. Before that, the property was used as a lumberyard, Archimede said.

    The purchase is the first investment in the United States for the Russian group, but they are looking for other residential properties, she said.

    "They like Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties, because there's a lot of demand for rentals," she said. "They feel they can't go wrong buying a multifamily.''


    In the case of the Paterson property, Ekemen said, the buyers liked its location, near Route 80, and the fact it is 90 percent leased.


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    City non-profit gets approval to construct $4 million mixed-use building on Spruce Street


    http://patersontimes.com/2015/03/03/...spruce-street/

    The New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) has received board of adjustment approval to construct a $4 million mixed-use building at the site of a former eyesore in the corner of Spruce and Grand Streets.

    This is going to be an 11 unit apartment building along with two retail spaces on the ground floor, said Bob Guarasci, president of the organization. The board of adjustment on Thursday evening approved the four-story construction whose top three floors will include residential living space while the bottom floor will feature two retail spaces, one of which will potentially house a café.

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    Great thread idea! With so much discussion of Jersey City booming and Newark's problems and potential, the state's 3rd largest city seems to get forgotten. Paterson seems to have done a better job than Newark of keeping it's historic architecture intact, and has not lost population. However, it doesn't have the easy access to NYC or regional rail connections that Newark has.

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    http://www.northjersey.com/news/hous...land-1.1299633

    Housing developer tells Paterson he wants to buy all excess city-owned land

    March 31, 2015, 6:49 PM Last updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 6:56 PM
    By JOE MALINCONICO
    Paterson Press

    PATERSON – A developer who already has rebuilt numerous apartment buildings in some of Paterson’s most troubled neighborhoods is offering to buy all the excess land that the city owns.

    “Please accept this letter as a formal offer to negotiate the purchase and sale of all properties, vacant lots and improved pieces, owned by the City of Paterson,” wrote Charles Florio, owner of CJM Investors 1012 LLC in a March 11 letter to the mayor.

    “I wish to formally explore this opportunity with you in great detail, as I am confident that this transaction would be of enormous benefit to the City of Paterson,” added Florio in a letter copies to all members of the City Council.

    The letter doesn’t say exactly how much Florio is willing to pay for the land or how many and which city-owned properties he is willing to buy. “All of them,” said the developer in a phone interview this week.

    But Paterson isn’t quite ready to accept Florio’s offer. Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres called Florio “one of the biggest players in the redevelopment of residential properties in the 4th Ward” and said he appreciated getting such a sweeping offer from a credible builder.

    “In short, I applaud him and I commend him, but at the same time I told him there’s a process we have to go through,” said Torres. “I told him it all can’t just go to one person because it has to follow a public solicitation process.”

    Torres said he wanted to see 4th Ward redevelopment efforts done in conjunction with faith-based groups and local non-profit organizations. The mayor said he wanted such efforts to incorporate social service programs, like the city’s fledgling re-entry plan for released inmates.

    “We’re talking beyond brick and mortar,” the mayor said. “We’re talking about investment in human capital.”

    Torres has designated his neighborhood stabilization plan as one of the cornerstones of his plans for reviving Paterson. Under that program, the city would acquire privately-owned lots and abandoned houses and sell them to developers.

    But Florio made it clear in his letter and in an interview that he is not looking to participate in that initiative. Instead, he said, he wants to purchase properties already owned by the city.

    Florio’s company had been based in North Bergen, but he said he is in the process of opening a new headquarters on East 18th Street in the 4th Ward. The developer said he already owns about 200 properties in the city and estimated the value of his investment in Paterson at $60 million.

    In his letter to the mayor, Florio said he would give construction jobs to Paterson residents and teach them the work skills they need in the process. He suggested that the employment opportunities would transform people’s lives.

    “Very simply my plan for the city as outlined herein equates to HOPE,” he wrote, using capital letters for emphasis. “It is really that simple.”

    Florio said he would provide the city with an offer for its land within seven days of getting a list of the properties available.

    City Council members offered a variety of reactions to Florio’s letter.

    The council’s finance chairman, Kenneth Morris, indicated that Florio’s offer may not be as bold as it sounds. “The city doesn’t really own a lot of properties,” Morris said. “Most of the properties we own are on the abandoned property list.”


    Morris said the city needed more information before it could give serious consideration to the developer’s offer. “It’s definitely worth a conversation, but we have a responsibility to fully vet these things,” he added.

    Fourth Ward Councilwoman Ruby Cotton said she is familiar with Florio’s work within her district. She said he has sponsored sports teams and donated money to youth programs.

    “He’s very committed to the community,” Cotton said. “He’s doing business in Paterson but he’s also ready to become part of Paterson and help the people. Some businessmen come to Paterson to make money and run. Not him.”


    Councilman Andre Sayegh was enthusiastic about Florio’s offer. “It’s encouraging to me to see there are individuals interested in investing in our city,” said Sayegh, who chairs the economic development committee. “We need ratables in the worst way. If this can generate an infusion of tax revenue for our cash-strapped coffers, I can support this endeavor.”

    Others were more cautious.

    “I don’t think it woud be in the best interest of the city to have a single source purchase all our properties,” said McKoy.

    McKoy said he was not tempted by the possibility of a lump sum infusion of money from Florio. “What appears to be sweet in the beginning sometimes can be very bitter in the end,” the councilman said. “We have to resist the urge to jump at the first offer.”

    Councilman James Staton said he doesn’t know enough about Florio’s track record in Paterson to make a judgment of the developer’s proposal. “Before we rush into things, we have to look into them,” Staton said. “If something sounds too good to be true that raises a question for me. I’m very leery of things like that.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Elliott View Post
    Great thread idea! With so much discussion of Jersey City booming and Newark's problems and potential, the state's 3rd largest city seems to get forgotten. Paterson seems to have done a better job than Newark of keeping it's historic architecture intact, and has not lost population. However, it doesn't have the easy access to NYC or regional rail connections that Newark has.
    It has one Regional line and is a regional Bus Hub.... There are long term plans for a Newark to Paterson & Paterson - Hackensack - Jersey City LRT...

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    Spruce 9 looks pretty sweet! Great scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
    It has one Regional line and is a regional Bus Hub.... There are long term plans for a Newark to Paterson & Paterson - Hackensack - Jersey City LRT...
    And Paterson has very frequent jitney service to the west side of Manhattan, one every 4 minutes during rush hour. Look for a sign that says "Paterson" or "Patterson."



    http://www.jerseyjitneys.info/?page_id=11

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastMillinocket View Post
    And Paterson has very frequent jitney service to the west side of Manhattan, one every 4 minutes during rush hour. Look for a sign that says "Paterson" or "Patterson."



    http://www.jerseyjitneys.info/?page_id=11
    They service the Route 4 , 46 and 3 corridors to Manhattan...while NJT , and a few others use 80 , 4 and 3 out of Paterson. Its about every 90secs during rush hr combined...

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    Is there much private redevelopment going on in Paterson? A quick look at Trulia reveals that you can buy (literally) about 5 entire multifamily buildings in Paterson for the price of a studio apartment in downtown Jersey City. The market was so bad just 2 years ago that a brand-new condo development was completely demolished....really sad that all that work and materials went to waste.

    http://patersontimes.com/2013/05/27/...tas-torn-down/

    I think it's going to be a really long time before Paterson is actually back on the path to recovery. There's simply too much competition - Rutherford, Lyndhurst, and Hackensack are all relatively close and all have alot of new development taking place. And there's speculation that the gravitation toward urban settings might cool down once a significant number of Millennials have children.
    Last edited by West Hudson; April 17th, 2015 at 10:42 PM.

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    Here is a picture from Google Maps of the 340-unit redevelopment of the William Strange silk mill by Alma Realty (also behind the Astoria Cove rezoning in Brooklyn, IIRC). Paterson has many more such beautiful silk mills awaiting conversion:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Elliott View Post
    Great thread idea! With so much discussion of Jersey City booming and Newark's problems and potential, the state's 3rd largest city seems to get forgotten. Paterson seems to have done a better job than Newark of keeping it's historic architecture intact, and has not lost population. However, it doesn't have the easy access to NYC or regional rail connections that Newark has.
    Thanks! I agree that the city is not as well connected as, say Newark/Elizabeth, Hudson County, or Fort Lee. Construction of the ARC tunnel would've gone a long way toward reducing travel time to the core, as it would've provided a one-seat ride into Manhattan. Oh well. At one time, Paterson's streetcar network was connected to the Newark City Subway, but this link was torn down for parking along Main Ave in Passaic in the mid-20th Century. Paterson also has only a single NJT station, while towns with a fiifth of the population have 3 or 4 stations (e.g., Montclair).

    Quote Originally Posted by West Hudson View Post
    The market was so bad just 2 years ago that a brand-new condo development was completely demolished....really sad that all that work and materials went to waste.

    http://patersontimes.com/2013/05/27/...tas-torn-down/
    Development in Paterson isn't at the levels of Jersey City or Dubai, but so what? It doesn't mean that what *is* going on isn't worth chronicling. I don't see the point of West Hudson's post. And his assertion that those condos were torn down because of lack of demand doesn't follow from his link. Financing troubles and zombie developments existed even in Manhattan during the last downturn (some of them still vacant--look up the LES "hell building" on Curbed). In a lot of cases it's due to the idiosyncrasies of the developer's balance sheet. Several other new developments were built a Redevelopment of the mills has revealed plenty of demand for housing in the city.

    Again, it ain't going to be Greenwich Village any time soon, but it's always been a working-class city. Lower prices aren't such a bad thing from the perspective of buyers... if we're going to build ourselves out of this regional housing crisis, we can't only build the sort of $3,000/month luxury 1-BR's you find in Hudson County, anyway. I don't understand people's need to crap on other cities to feel good about themselves on this forum.
    Last edited by Hamilton; April 18th, 2015 at 09:29 PM.

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