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Thread: Jersey City Rising

  1. #1516
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    A 'Square deal' for Journal Square developer?
    The developer of the twin tower project proposed for Journal Square is promising to do a lot for Jersey City -- and he'd like some quid pro quo.

    Harwood Properties envisions a mixed-use development, with apartments, stores and parking -- and maybe even be a Starbucks -- housed in two gleaming glass-and-steel towers, one 52 stories and the other 46 stories.

    It would be quite a change -- for years, the site next to the Journal Square Transportation Center had been home to the burned-out, rat-infested remnants of the Hotel-on-the-Square.

    The project could be the key to revitalizing the entire area. After all, it's all within walking distance of the PATH, and therefore Manhattan.

    But in return, Harwood Properties is asking for a record tax abatement -- a 30-year agreement in which they'd pay 10 percent of their gross annual revenues to the city. A typical deal is 20 years at 16 percent.

  2. #1517
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Jersey City REconstruction Update: CANCO Lofts

    The CANCO building is looking AMAZING!

    Here's how the building looked back in the beggining of December:



    Here's how it looks today:



    Viewing the building from St. Paul's Ave.:



    One last look at the main entrance of the building on Dey Street:



    BTW - Does anyone know how many stories 197 Academy Street is supposed to be? The footprint of the building looks like it is the size of a typical multifamily, but its supposed to have 20 units...is this thing supposed to be 10+ stories?

    Here's a (crappy) photo of the construction of the foundation/footers:



    From a different angle:


  3. #1518

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    I was at Journal Square this weekend, I say give them what they want the square is just one big dump. Walking up Kennedy Blvd the new apart the" state square" looks so out of place every thing around it looks so dirty. Hell they kept giving Newport abatements after the city said that Newport didn't any more abatements. Harwood should get the abatement on one condition they have to build both towers.


    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyG View Post
    A 'Square deal' for Journal Square developer?
    The developer of the twin tower project proposed for Journal Square is promising to do a lot for Jersey City -- and he'd like some quid pro quo.

    Harwood Properties envisions a mixed-use development, with apartments, stores and parking -- and maybe even be a Starbucks -- housed in two gleaming glass-and-steel towers, one 52 stories and the other 46 stories.

    It would be quite a change -- for years, the site next to the Journal Square Transportation Center had been home to the burned-out, rat-infested remnants of the Hotel-on-the-Square.

    The project could be the key to revitalizing the entire area. After all, it's all within walking distance of the PATH, and therefore Manhattan.

    But in return, Harwood Properties is asking for a record tax abatement -- a 30-year agreement in which they'd pay 10 percent of their gross annual revenues to the city. A typical deal is 20 years at 16 percent.
    Last edited by macmini; March 17th, 2007 at 09:13 PM.

  4. #1519
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    JSQ will turn around not to worry and our two best preserved theatres will help along with the Towers and the great older structures there but yes there are some dump dirty short looking store fronts that with time will get better. It's all gotta start somewhere.

    Look at Grand Concourse that place looks like a dump due but is slowly turning around
    Last edited by JCMAN320; March 12th, 2007 at 08:43 AM.

  5. #1520
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Good idea at this moment!

    A 30-YEAR DEAL?
    Square developer aims for massive abatement

    Monday, March 12, 2007
    By KEN THORBOURNE
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    With the blessing of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, the developer of the largest project to come to Journal Square in decades is seeking one of the biggest tax abatements ever handed out by the city.

    Harwood Properties of Jersey City has filed an application seeking a 30-year tax abatement with payments in lieu of taxes amounting to 10 percent of gross annual revenues.

    The standard in recent years has been 20 years, paying 16 percent PILOTs.

    "Journal Square has seen better days and it's obviously an area that needs a boost," said Healy. "This incentive (the abatement) will be a shot of adrenaline to the renaissance that will come about due to this project."

    There have been exceptions to the 20 years/16 percent norm. Most recently, the first three buildings at the Beacon - the condo renovation project at the old Jersey City Medical Center - were granted 30 years at 10 percent abatements.

    But the yet-to-be named $600 million Journal Square project - to feature two towers, 52 and 46 stories, containing 1,034 apartments, 150,000 square feet of retail, and three levels of parking - would be the first rental project in memory of several city officials to snag such a deal.

    Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Harwood Properties, declined to comment since the matter still has to be reviewed by the city's Department of Housing, Economic, Development and Commerce, endorsed by the city's tax abatement committee and OK'd by the City Council.

    The city would receive $3.5 million in annual PILOT payments, plus a one-time $2.3 million contribution to the affordable housing trust fund.

    The city would get $1.3 million more than it would under conventional taxes - but the developer would pay nothing to schools and only a modest amount to county services. The total amount the developer would pay under conventional taxes could not be calculated yesterday.

    "It (the project) will be paying the city nearly 10 times the taxes the property is currently paying," said Jersey City Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Robert Antonicello. "That is what the residents of Jersey City need to keep in mind."

    City Council President Mariano Vega, chair of the city's tax abatement committee, said he'd look at how many jobs and how much economic activity the project would generate before making up his mind.

    The application promises 400 full-time jobs during the three- to four-year construction period and 300 plus permanent jobs once the project is built.

    Harwood Properties either owns or is under contract to buy all the buildings on the block next to the PATH Transportation Center - except 15-16 Journal Square, home to McDonald's, Song's Hallmark, HT Wireless and a dentist's office, city officials said.

    City officials have condemned this building and expect to turn it over to Harwood by the end of this month.

  6. #1521

    Default

    Cosi Will Open Second City Eatery
    By Eric Peterson

    JERSEY CITY, NJ-Fast-casual eatery chain Cosi has taken a 4,000-sf space in the ground floor of One Exchange Place, a 10-story office building in the heart of this city’s downtown financial district. The signing marks the Deerfield, IL-based chain’s second store in Jersey City, joining an existing outlet at 535 Washington Blvd. in the city’s Newport section on the waterfront.

    The signing was the third in Northern New Jersey orchestrated by brokers from Metro Commercial Real Estate as part of Cosi’s bid to expand in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware markets. Jeff Lagowitz and Tom Butera of Metro Commercial’s Fort Lee, NJ office represented both Cosi and the owner of the building, One Exchange Place Associates, an affiliate of the locally based Mercury Properties. Terms were not released.

    “This location for Cosi is situated in a high-traffic area,” Lagowitz says. “The location draw from the nearby PATH light rail station and NJ Transit stop, as well as the downtown workforce.”

    Overall, the signing marks the sixth Cosi location in New Jersey, which operates nearly 120 company-owned and franchised restaurants in 16 states. The One Exchange Place building, located at Montgomery and Hudson streets, meanwhile, is a landmark building in this city, dating to 1920.

  7. #1522

    Default Open lot

    Does anyone know what, if anything is planned for that open space behind the Athena building in downtown, on the other side of the light rail tracks? They cleared a building away a while ago there, but I heard no news of whats happening in that location.

  8. #1523

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianmac47 View Post
    I've been wondering about that lot also. Its clearly being used a staging area for a project at the moment, Im no sure for Athena or 111 First. I imagine nothing will come of it until whichever building is using it wraps up construction.

    Also, apparently the little lot in front of Washington Commons across from Trump is not part of Washington Commons. Anyone know who owns it and if there is any plan to ruin the views of the washington commons people who have windows over looking the site?
    Washington Commons tried to buy the lot in front of the building but the owner wouldn't sell. I don't whats going to be built but it can't be higher than their parking garage.

  9. #1524

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    300-Unit Condo Project Gets Under Way

    JERSEY CITY-Construction is under way on Hamilton Square, a mixed-use project that at build-out will combine 300 residential condos with 24,000 sf of ground-floor retail space. A first phase of 126 loft-style condos and the retail space is slated for delivery later this year, with an initial offering of the residential units scheduled to start in April.

    Hamilton Square, which fronts this city’s two-acre Hamilton Park, is rising on the site of the former St. Francis Hospital in Downtown. The project, the cost of which hasn’t been released, is a combination of adaptive reuse of the old hospital and new construction.

    “We’re restoring the seven-story, 1920s building on the corner of Erie and Ninth streets,” says Eric Silverman, a principal of the locally based Exeter Property Co., developer of Hamilton Square. “And an 11-story building on McWilliams Place and Pavonia Avenue will be converted to condominiums and retail space in our initial phase. This is a new chapter in the history of this address. We plan on continuing the prominence of this property by creating this mixed-use building. This is a neighborhood rooted in history, family and architecture.”

    Designed by Charles Jordan or the New York City-based H. Thomas O’Hara Architect, Hamilton Square will incorporate a number of elements of the property’s prior use. The site plan also calls for underground parking, and some of the residences will have private balconies or terraces with views of the Jersey City and Manhattan skylines, according to Silverman. The building is also being redeveloped to “green” standards.

    Part of the plan for the initial phase calls for Pavonia Avenue, which has been closed off since 1970, to be reopened as a cobblestone street for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The reopened street will lead to one of the project’s main residential lobby entrances.

    As far as the retail space, “negotiations are currently under way” with several potential tenants, Silverman says. While declining to name possible tenants, he notes that potential uses include a private gym, a restaurant and bar, a noodle shop, bakery, pharmacy and a bank branch.

  10. #1525
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation This must be saved!

    Butler Building next Downtown battle site?

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    The unveiling of the design for 111 First St. wasn't the only noteworthy item to emerge from last week's news conference. Nor was it only the media and city officials paying close attention to the pomp and circumstance.

    Bob Lier, owner of the historic Butler Building, was chatting up city officials and taking photos of the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas's block-shaped design, and not for posterity's sake.

    City sources tell me that Lier has been quietly fighting with officials in his bid for a controversial approval at the Butler Brothers building that would call for the preservation of only the exterior walls and the construction of at least a 40-story tower to stretch from the center of the building.

    Erected in 1905, the dark E-shaped brick warehouse is the largest within the district at nine stories tall. The designer was Jarvis Hunt, one of the country's greatest architects at the turn of the 20th century.

    Sources tell me that Lier has pointed to the city's concession to Lloyd Goldman at 111 First St. as a precedent, and - now's the time to hold your ears - he may have a point, given recent events.

    City sources say any discussion about destroying the Butler Building is nonsense. It's an "iconic" landmark. It demands preservation. It is second only to the Powerhouse itself.

    Sound familiar?

    Such adjectives and accolades were thrown around during the battle of 111 First St., but today these same city officials pretend they never said such things, and feign contempt if you attempt to compare their past comments with today's reality.

    The city opened the proverbial door in its concession to let Goldman tear down 111 First St. and build high.

    In fact, where city officials once talked about preserving the historic building, now they're gushing over the radical design of its replacement.

    Precedent was set, and ignoring this fact and hoping it goes away is not the solution - that is, unless you don't care about preserving the spirit of the Powerhouse Arts District.

    If serious, City Council and this administration need to properly - and legally - provide historic designation to the area that was stripped during the 111 First St. settlement.

    If you don't, stop telling us you're serious about the redevelopment plan.

    The same applies to the Manischewitz building, where Toll Brothers hope to join the ranks of the other high-rises in the Downtown area by skirting the spirit of the Powerhouse Arts District Redevelopment Plan.

    The city's political elite seem split on the future of the site.

    Some say Toll's proposal includes a gorgeous public plaza, so they should be able to tear down the building in exchange. Others cynically question why have a redevelopment plan if it's not followed.

    As for Toll Brothers, they continue to refuse to discuss their plans - at least, not in public.

    -----------------

    This building needs to be perserved. It is a solid structure and huge and hulking it looks like it was part of some medieval castle. The city needs to save this one. They have saved quite a few, 150 Bay St., 140 Bay St. and built artist lofts at WALDO Lofts and the Harbor Lights project will start this spring and the Hudson hopefully goes ahead as planned without alteration. I will take a picture of this building to show just how much of an impact it has on the area. It must be saved!!!

  11. #1526
    Senior Member Dynamicdezzy's Avatar
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    Cool

    I apologize if this is irrelevant to any of the previous posts, but, I feel I owe JC (and its residents....yea, you too JCMAN) an apology. I had an interview down in the finicial district and had the oppurtunity to look at JC from the 22nd floor. I never knew it looked as nice as it does. I was very impressed.

  12. #1527
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Talking

    Thank you dynamic I appreciate it. This is why we get so aggrevated when people hate and think that they're stereotypes are fact. JC is a city on the rise and the on the move and has been quitely improving since the 80s.

    I do appreciate the apology but trust me you are not the worst JC offender. lol. Glad you can see JC through our eyes.

  13. #1528
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Must be bought!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    City wants loan to buy land that isn't for sale

    The Jersey City City Council will vote tomorrow on whether to apply for a $4.9 million state loan to help buy and develop as open space the Sixth Street Embankment — land a private developer owns and has shown no intention of selling.

    In July 2005, Steve Hyman purchased the eight-block elevated old railroad embankment and plans to build two-family homes.

    But almost immediately, city officials challenged the sale, claiming the previous owner, Conrail, had no right to sell property without first giving the city the option to buy it for the same $3 million price Hyman reportedly paid.

    This case in pending before the federal Surface Transportation Board in Washington.

    In the meantime, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has announced he wants the embankment to be used for an extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks and environmental activists have continued their campaign to preserve the land as open space. Healy envisions an extension of the light rail through the Bergen Arches into Secaucus.

    Assistant Business Administrator Gregory J. Corrado told council members at their caucus yesterday that the city’s plan is to use half the embankment for the light rail tracks and the other half for open space.

    Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano objected to the city taking on added debt for a property it doesn’t own.

    Corrado said the loan wouldn’t add much to the city’s debt load.

    See the full story in tomorrow's Jersey Journal.

    Ken Thorbourne

  14. #1529

    Default re:

    Not sure if this is really the best place to write this, but just curious JCMAN --

    On my way home from my piano lesson at 11am Saturday we passed the construction site at Max Video (it's been there FOREVER) and I noticed a bunch of people that I assumed to be workers playing soccer. I was on my way out again at 5PM and I saw them and they were still playing! I was pretty surprised. I was thinking maybe it was just a group of people that was using that lot to play - but I saw them for a third time at around 6PM today and they were still playing soccer.

    What's going on?

  15. #1530
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Lol Locoako, they are the workers and they have done it on occasions I actually think it's cool because I have seen people stop and watch them. They do it on their brake. Apparently it was a long break .

    The site is actually going to be joined with the garage. I thought it was going to be condos, but apparently I was wrong it is going to be a bank a Bayonne Community Bank. I can't confirm it yet but I will try and find out tomorrow at the city council meeting on the 6th street embankment.

    Also down the street from the Station at Westside on Culver Ave. has been a project quitely under construction called the Culver Lofts. Looks to be 5 stories with about 20 units. There is a poster at the site I will try and get a picture of it to post.

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