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Thread: Jersey City's Other Waterfront

  1. #1
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Default Jersey City's Other Waterfront

    JC Bayside plan sees lots of green
    Redevelopment plan sees green West Side

    Monday, June 23, 2003
    By Eddie Hollowell
    Journal staff writer

    Jersey City could be seeing green - and lots of it.

    "Making parks part of everybody's everyday experience" is one of the goals developers have in mind for Jersey City Bayside, formerly dubbed the West Side Development project.

    It would represent a complete makeover for the city's western front.

    Trees, new parks, grass-lined streets and the extension of Lincoln Park down to the waterfront are just some of the ideas in store for the redevelopment area, running roughly from Communipaw Avenue south to Stevens Avenue and from Bergen Avenue west to the Newark Bay, and will contain 110 acres of open space for parks and plazas.

    "This is going to be a green-happy place," said urban planner Anton Nelessen at the final presentation of the project, noting that this is quite possibly the "greenest" redevelopment plan ever proposed for Jersey City.

    "Little green parks all over are one of the most extraordinary parts of the urban experience," Nelessen said.

    The Jersey City Bayside plan also is "education-based," with two of the biggest contributors to the overhaul being New Jersey City University, which plans to develop its 13-acre west campus, and the Jersey City Board of Education, which will see nearly a dozen additional schools pop up in the area that is expected to contain 36,225 new residents, including 6,000 students.

    "There are some real possibilities," said Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr., noting that there will be a significant relationship between the new schools and the university.

    "It's just a breath of fresh air to be able to develop education in an urban setting," Epps said.

    The first steps of the plan have already been taken by NJCU.

    In September, the 250-student University Academy Charter High School will move into the Baldwin Steel Building on West Side Avenue. Also opening that month will be the university's $16 million Center for Fine Arts, which will include a gallery, large studios, individual studios for students enrolled in the master of fine arts program, an auditorium, classrooms, and office space.

    "We are thinking boldly about the future," NJCU President Carlos Hernandez said.

    Completion of the entire project could take anywhere from 40 to 50 years.

    There are many obstacles developers must overcome to make this dream come true, one of the biggest being the contamination of much of the land near the Newark Bay.

    "This is one of the most contaminated sites in New Jersey, but with every great challenge there is great potential," said Nelessen, who plans to use the removal of this land to his advantage by building underground parking lots.

    "The key goal is to have no more surface parking lots," he said. "The ground has to be taken and shipped off to some site anyway."

    The extension of the Light Rail to the waterfront (and possibly one day as far as Newark Liberty International Airport), a new bus line, as well as the addition of a new street - Main Street, which will contain a shopping area in place of what is now the Hudson Mall - are just a few of the ideas developers intend to use in order to lure people into the area.

    "A big issue is getting them down to the water and not cutting them off at 440," said Nelessen.

    Also proposed is a plan to turn Route 440 into Jackie Robinson Boulevard.

    Many residents and business owners who attended the final presentation were in awe of what Jersey City could one day look like.

    "They're definitely ahead of the game," said William Diaz, 52, a real estate agent and long-time resident of Jersey City. "It's good that the development will occur within the next 40 or 50 years because a lot of these industries are planning to move out."

    Ann McGovern, 64, who has lived in her house on Grant Avenue all her life, was impressed with the city's dream, but concerned that if steps are not immediately taken to solve current problems, the dream may never become a reality.

    "Before this can go forward, this area needs to be cleaned up," she said. "I would love to see this happen, but I don't know if any of us in this room will make it to that day."

    Another concern expressed was where the funding would come from to pay for the project.

    Nelessen hopes to land Green Acres money to pay for much of the "greening," while Epps said plans were already in the works to get state funding for the 11 schools planned.

    Robert Cotter, the city planning director, was just happy to see the final redevelopment plan.

    "Don't give up faith," he said as many of the public's financial questions were left unanswered. "It will happen and largely because we have a plan. If you don't have a plan, don't expect anything to happen but chaos."

  2. #2

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    Green.

  3. #3

    Default Prophesy holds true

    JC Man's prophesy holds true, check out this masterpiece of a redevelopment project!!!!!

    http://www.njcu.edu/programs/wsdev/

  4. #4

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    excellent! turning JC's backside into a real cohesive urban environment.

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    This Tuesday evening, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing at City Hall regarding a study and redevelopment plan for a 160-acre area off Highway 1/9.

    The area, some of which is landfill, would include the heavily debated possible AMB Warehouse.

    The proposed new zone would allow a variety of uses, including not only industrial and open space, but possible residential and even retail.

    The official title of the zone is Hackensack River Edge Study Area and the plan is the Hackensack River Edge Plan.

    The area's boundaries are Duncan Avenue, Highway 1&9, the PATH/Conrail tracks parallel to Newark Avenue, and the Hackensack River.

    The study stems from a compromise proposed by City Council members Mary Spinello and Steve Lipski to deal with the furor over the warehouse issue by looking at all the potential land uses for the landfill area before there is any vote to changing the area's zoning.

    At an Aug. 16 meeting, City Councilman Michael Sottolano, who is also on the Planning Board, lobbied successfully for a redevelopment plan to be drawn up along with the study.

    City Planner Robert Cotter was completing the study report and the plan as this article was going to press. Cotter did not return calls for comment.


    160 acres included

    Included in the area are 87 acres of land that were once the location for the infamous PJP Landfill, where fires burned underground for nearly 40 years. Forty-one of those acres are considered as the future site for a warehouse by the AMB Company.

    Also in the area is a swath of land that includes a trucking facility.

    Designation process

    A redevelopment plan is a plan that provides for the reuse or redevelopment of property within a municipality. To create such a zone, first, the Jersey City Planning Department designates an area in need of redevelopment and drafts a redevelopment plan.

    Then the plan is introduced to the Planning Board for their consideration. If the plan is approved, it goes to the City Council, which introduces the plan at a council meeting where it is read into the record.

    At a subsequent council meeting, the council does a final vote to approve the plan.

    The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency then designates a developer or developers based on their proposals for the redevelopment area.

    Up for debate

    However, not everyone is enamored with talk of a redevelopment plan. Some are worried because such plans make it easier for cities to seize private property to sell to developers.

    Glen Cinelli, president of Cinelli Scrap Metal, said he received a letter from the city on Monday informing him of the public hearing. Cinelli is based on an acre of land located at Broadway, under the Pulaski Skyway.

    "I'll be at the meeting with my lawyer and my calculator," said Cinelli. "If [the city] wants to talk this nonsense, then it should pay me $25 million for my business. It will take care of my livelihood and my four children. What else is there to say?"

    But there has been support for the plan as expressed recently by Lipski.

    "I am completely on board to create open space and industry," said Lipski. "[Mayor] Jerry Healy can single-handedly take credit for the development of Jersey City's west coast."

    Meanwhile, Planning Board Commissioner Leon Yost said last week that he preferred not to comment too much on the plan and study until he received them.


    What brought about the plan?


    The issue that has brought about the redevelopment plan is the proposed 883,000 square-foot AMB Warehouse to be built off Highway 1/9 by the San Francisco-based AMB Company. The facility would be a distribution center for items brought from ports in Newark and Elizabeth.

    There is disagreement among the mayor, the City Council, and county officials on what should actually be built on 41 acres of a 54-acre site. AMB is currently under contract with the Archdiocese of Newark to purchase the 54 acres once the City Council approves the idea.

    Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has been a staunch proponent of the warehouse because it is expected to bring about 300 permanent jobs for local residents, operating on a 24-hour, seven-day weekly schedule. It also would bring more than $1 million in taxes.

    Hudson County officials want the land to host a golf course and have actually voted to pursue public funds to acquire the land.

    And then the group known as the Lincoln Park Advisory Committee, led by local resident and lawyer Paul Catsandonis and Hudson County Freeholder Bill O'Dea, are looking for the warehouse site to be developed as open space for recreation fields but not necessarily a golf course.

    Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

  6. #6

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    Good for Jersey City, hope those people are compensated real nice if eminent domain kicks in. But its looks like a real good plan. I especially like the idea of putting parking garages under nearly everything, even the parks . That saves alot of land and reduces need for multistory parking garages. Hopefully, other citites in the area can adopt similar standards. Land is to crucial and valuable to be wasted on a stagant parking deck.

    Also, it would be great if they can throw some green roofs on top of those boxy buildings.

  7. #7

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    this is SO exciting! I didn't realize about extending the lightrail and everything. Too bad it will take 40-50 years. I'll be a senior citizen by then. But things should be completed before then obviously so hopefully I'll get to enjoy it.

  8. #8
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation Industrial Park...Literally!!!

    Loco they mean the complete thing will take 40-50, but the major components, we will get to enjoy within 5 years I also think 40-50 was just a safe estimate. If things go very well and progress very quickly with little or no snags, I think it wil be done a lot faster.

    This is not part of the Bayside Redevelopment Plan. This is part of the Hackensack River Edge Redvelopment Plan.

    Plan: 67 acres around warehouse for eventual green
    WAREHOUSE WINS

    Thursday, September 28, 2006
    By KEN THORBOURNE
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    In what's shaping up to be a victory for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, the City Council last night introduced a redevelopment plan calling for construction of a huge warehouse at the old PJP landfill site on the city's west side.

    To become official, the plan must be adopted by a majority vote of the council two weeks from now, at which time a public hearing is scheduled.

    In what's billed as a compromise with county officials who pushed to have the polluted, but mostly barren 87-acre landfill site preserved as open space - and possibly turned into a golf course - the plan calls for rezoning about 67 acres surrounding the warehouse as open space.

    But more than half of the land designated as "open space" is dotted with assorted trucking outfits that are under no obligation to relocate under the plan. These businesses can even sell to other trucking concerns, officials said. Outside of this grandfathered-in "non-conforming" use however, the land must be used for green space, officials said.

    In fact, the bulk of the site's current open space - roughly 58 acres - is where the warehouse will sit.

    Healy, who championed the warehouse in the face of stiff community and council opposition was ecstatic last night.

    "This is clearly a victory for Jersey City residents and taxpayers alike," Healy said.

    "The AMB project will bring over $100 million dollars in private investoment to Jersey City . . .put residents back to work . . .bring in over $1.1 million in tax revenue."

    Last night's council vote was 6-2-1, with Councilman Steve Fulop abstaining and council members Bill Gaughan and Peter Brennan voting against the plan.

    The turning point in this nine-month controversy came roughly two months ago when council members Mary Spinello and Steve Lipski forged a compromise that included both the warehouse and open space.

    Six weeks ago, the council asked the Planning Board to draft a redevelopment plan with these two priorities in mind.

    The Planning Board initially studied an area that included 160 acres stretching from just beyond Broadway to the north to Duncan Avenue in south, from Route 1/9 on the east to the Hackensack River on the west.

    Ultimately, the board lopped off about 30 acres of study area, concluding that business in the northern section, including a Hartz Mountain plant and waste transfer station, shouldn't be included in a redevelopment plan.

    The redevelopment plan approved by the Planning Board on Tuesday night does include most of Trophy Trucking near Sip Avenue and other trucking outfits along Duncan Avenue. Trophy Trucking, which owes the city $9 million in fire code fines, is slated to be acquired for open space, but the Duncan Avenue properties aren't.

    Including acquisition, construction, and additional environmental clean-up costs, the warehouse will cost $105 million, AMB officials said.

    The big losers in the compromise solution are the Marion Avenue residents who were against having a warehouse at all. They said it would bring traffic congestion and pollution to their neighborhood.

    "The redevelopment study was just a 'Trojan horse' to get the warehouse," said Paul Catsandonis, chair of the Lincoln Park Advisory.

    ----

    I was there at the hearing. I think this will work. Well lets put it like this, it better work. The park will have a walkway along the river and under Jersey City's very own Pulaski Skyway. This will also spur the development of a walkway on the back of Lincoln Park West, remediation of the wetlands back there and the addition of a boat ramp managed by Hudson County. Also AMB is offering to clean up the land, wants no tax abatments, and will build the warehouse to conform with the city and the community.

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    This sounds kind of similar to Liberty State Park, with a large park area next to some industrial sites. How much cleanup is required before the park can open?

  10. #10
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Timmy a lot brother. That site had a fire burning under it for 30 years until about 15 years ago. So it is pretty messed up.

    You are right though that it is similar to what they did with Liberty State Park.

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