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Thread: Jersey City Rising

  1. #151

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    Lookin good. Not styles you generaly see in NY.

  2. #152
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    OK for major redevelopment
    Community group, developer to partner in Bergen-Lafayette

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    By Molly Bloom
    Journal staff writer

    The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency has unanimously approved an innovative partnership between a community group and a developer to build a $25 million residential and commercial project in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.

    The redevelopment agreement - approved Tuesday night by the agency's board - between a community group and a developer is the first of its kind in the city, officials said.

    Construction on the three sites included in the proposal - 100 Monitor St., 317-319 Pacific Ave. and 406-420 Communipaw Ave. - could begin as early as next year, said Board Chairman Junior Maldonado, who is also a City Council member.

    At its meeting, the JCRA approved a resolution designating Landmark Developers and the Morris Canal Redevelopment Area Community Development Corporation as redevelopers for the sites.

    Under the agreement, Landmark Developers of Jersey City would spend up to $4.5 million to buy and conduct environmental cleanup at 100 Monitor St., a lot near both a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station and Liberty State Park that is currently owned by the JCRA.

    Any leftover funds - perhaps as much as $1 million - would then go to the nonprofit Morris Canal group to fund community programs, said Ted Rosen, the group's attorney.

    The proposed agreement would also give the Morris Canal group a voice in the planning process, Rosen said.

    "We're really excited to be able to bring some of the money from redevelopment back to the community," he said.

    Landmark Developers would then redevelop the property at 100 Monitor St. as well as the other two properties, which it already owns.

    The proposed developments would include both residential and commercial space, with 57 of the approximately 197 units designated for affordable housing, said Frank Cretella, president of Landmark Developers.

    At Tuesday's board meeting, JCRA officials said they would keep a close eye on the project.

    "We probably will hold this group to a higher standard than the usual . because of the uniqueness of the situation," said Barbara Netchert, the agency's assistant director.

    Board member and City Councilman Steve Lipski, one of several members who have questioned whether there is a conflict of interest in the Morris Canal-Landmark agreement, was not at Tuesday's meeting.

    But yesterday he again suggested that the Morris Canal-Landmark Developers partnership raised ethical and legal questions.

    "Isn't there an inherent conflict of interest that members of the same group criticized other developers who came before us and at the end, the developer they chose is, in essence, rewarding them with millions of dollars," he said.

    But because the JCRA approved the designation of the group, the development will move forward.

    "The agency has spoken," Lipski said. "For whatever reasons, they went ahead with it, and I respect the decision of the agency."

  3. #153
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    Developer trading park space for permission to add floors

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005
    By Molly Bloom
    Journal staff writer

    The developers of a residential tower in Downtown Jersey City, set to begin construction in the spring, will donate land for a park between First and Second streets in exchange for permission to build taller than was originally planned.

    Eric Silverman, of Washington First URC, and Ed Brown, of Athena, presented revised plans to the city Redevelopment Agency board last week for a 32-story tower on Washington Boulevard and First Street, in the Hudson Exchange Redevelopment area.

    Previous plans for the building included fewer stories. The project has been approved by the Planning Board and was presented to the JCRA for review, though that agency was not required to vote on it.

    The building would include 200 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of office space. All the space will be rented at market rate, said Silverman, who is a principal of Exeter Properties, a residential developer with 25 buildings in the Hamilton Park neighborhood. The company also plans to build housing on the site of St. Francis Hospital, on McWilliams Place, which it bought last week.

    The groundbreaking on the Washington Boulevard building will begin in late spring and construction will be completed by winter 2006, according to plans presented to the board.

    The brick-faced building was designed to "replicate the warehouse feel" of the neighborhood, said Silverman. One sharp corner of the building will be sheathed in glass and the ground-level parking garage will be fitted with arched metal grates.

    Developer Vincent Wilt of Morgan Point LLC presented the board with plans for a building with 84 apartments above ground-floor retail space on a triangular site between Morgan Street, Steuben Street and Luis Muñoz Marin Boulevard.

    Wilt is a principal of the Hoboken-based Greentree construction, which is currently renovating a 90-year-old refurbished warehouse at 140 Bay St. in Jersey City.

    The Morgan Point building, which is in the Powerhouse Arts District Redevelopment Area, will feature loft-like market-rate apartments selling for about $400 per square foot, Wilt said. It will feature a "stepped-down" design, with eight stories on one side stepping up to a total height of 12 stories, he said.

  4. #154
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    West Side growth spurt is envisioned
    NJCU officials: It all starts with ambitious plan for West Campus

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005
    By Maria Zingaro Conte
    Journal staff writer

    Jersey City's West Side is poised for a major overhaul and officials at New Jersey City University believe a redevelopment effort their school is about to undertake will be the project that gets the bulldozers moving.

    The university plans to redevelop its 21-acre West Campus site and is expected to receive the blessings of the Jersey City City Council tonight, which will vote on whether to deem the site as an area in need of redevelopment.

    The council is also expected to introduce an ordinance accepting the redevelopment plan for the area. The Planning Board gave its approval to the plan last week.

    NJCU's redevelopment will be among the first steps toward implementing the broader Bayside Redevelopment Vision Plan, a proposal to redevelop the 75-acre area between Communipaw, Bergen and Stevens avenues and Newark Bay.

    "We saw it as an opportunity to work with the city and catalyze the West Side," said Howard Buxbaum, NJCU's vice president for administration and finance.

    Buxbaum said the changes are designed to entice students to the university, whose enrollment he said sometimes suffers because of the city's negative reputation among outsiders.

    "It's important for our students and faculty to come and feel that they are a part of a secure and safe area," he said. "It's just going to give the place life because urban is hot now."

    An annex to NJCU's main campus, which runs along Kennedy Boulevard, the university's West Campus site is bounded by Route 440, West Side Avenue, Carbon Place and the property line of the Home Depot store, which also fronts Route 440.

    The school plans to build a performing arts center and three other new educational buildings, over 218,000 square feet of retail space, 400 residential units spread between four additional buildings and parking for 2,000 cars.

    The project also will extend Audubon Avenue and Stegman Street, bringing the city's street grid into the development in an effort to encourage access to and through the site from the surrounding neighborhoods.

    "With its inviting public edges, human-scaled architectural details and quality academic and cultural venues, the West Campus will be a destination as well as a place to raise a family," the redevelopment plan says.

    Most of the land is already owned by the university. A portion of the site is currently used by the university for parking and storage. Another section houses the vacant Baldwin Steel plant.

    Although portions of the site have environmental contamination, including some chromium contamination - a result of the land's past industrial uses - the university and Honeywell Remediation are negotiating an agreement to clean up some property, the redevelopment plan says.

    The price tag of the redevelopment will be $150 million, including construction of the roads and infrastructure, Buxbaum said. Work is expected to begin in late 2006 and should take about two years to complete.

    Several council members have already expressed support for the plan, saying the construction will help to bring the prosperity seen along the Hudson River waterfront to another part of the city.

    "I think it's a great plan," said Councilman Peter Brennan. "It's going to really bring a new birth to West Side Avenue . The west side of Jersey City is going to be a boom town."

    An earlier redevelopment effort on the West Side was kicked off last year when ground was broken for the Residences at Westside Station, a 52-unit townhouse development that will include retail space, being built at Mallory and Crescent avenues, near the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station on West Side Avenue.

    Maria Zingaro Conte covers Jersey City. She can be reached at mzconte@jjournal.com.

  5. #155
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    Healy backs abatement on Washington Blvd.

    Friday, January 28, 2005
    By Maria Zingaro Conte
    Journal staff writer

    Although Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy pledged during his recent mayoral campaign to oppose new tax abatements for waterfront properties, the mayor said he supports one that was granted Wednesday night by the City Council for a condominium development planned for a piece of Downtown property, two blocks west of the river.

    The city council voted unanimously to grant a 20-year abatement for a property at the corner of Washington Boulevard and First Street, where a 204-unit, 24-story condominium building with retail space on the ground floor will be built. Washington First Urban Renewal, LLC whose principals are Jersey City developers Eric and Paul Silverman, will develop the property.


    Healy - who during his campaign for the November election argued that developers no longer need financial encouragement to build on the waterfront - said yesterday through his spokeswoman, Maria Pignataro, that he did not consider the Washington Boulevard property part of the waterfront.

    Healy noted that the project sits just outside the Powerhouse Arts District - an area of old warehouses being targeted for redevelopment - and could boost efforts to revitalize the area.

    "Abatements aren't the evil they are portrayed to be," the mayor said in a statement read by Pignataro. "It will bring needed investments and jobs to Jersey City and I don't have a problem with this abatement."

    The abatement requires the developer to pay 16 percent of the building's annual gross revenue to the city in lieu of taxes each year for 20 years. Current tax payments are estimated at just over $1 million a year. For each year of the abatement, the developer must also pay an annual 2 percent administrative fee along with a 5 percent fee to the county.

    Though the amount means more money will go directly to the city, the developer pays less in taxes overall because full county and school tax payments are not required.

    Speaking during a hearing on the abatement, Jersey City resident Yvonne Balcer, a vocal opponent of tax abatements, objected to the deal, saying the tax incentive was unnecessary because developers were all too eager to build in the area.

    "This is Downtown and all of Downtown is considered prime real estate." she said.

    Councilwoman Kathleen Curran is among those who support the deal.

    "Overall this project will benefit the city. It is going to create jobs, not just temporary, but permanent jobs." she said. "It is not on the water. It is Downtown, but it is not on the water. It does not have a beautiful view."

    James McCann, the attorney for the project, said it had received support from the city's tax abatement committee because the developer will donate a half-acre of the property to the city for open space, rather than use the land for parking.

    "He elected not to do that. That is one of the reasons the abatement was granted." McCann said.

    In other City Council business, another tax abatement was awarded to an 84-unit condominium building slated for Jersey Avenue at 18th Street, close to the Hoboken border. The abatement was granted by a 9-0 vote, but again the deal came under scrutiny.

    "Every time you give out a tax abatement, you take away money that could be going to the Board of Education," said Daniel Sicardi.

    The council defended that deal, noting that residents there had fought to oppose the construction of a big-box retail store project, preferring to see residential development encouraged there instead.

  6. #156
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    OK for 330-foot residential tower

    Saturday, February 12, 2005
    By Douglas R. Stivers
    Journal correspondent

    The Jersey City waterfront will see another residential tower, following the approval Tuesday night of a 330-foot-tall building on the border of the Powerhouse Arts District.

    The building will be constructed at 94-108 First St., in the Hudson Exchange Redevelopment Area. The developer will also be constructing a public park adjacent to the building and will provide a dog run for area pets.

    The application, first submitted a year ago, saw a redesign of the project's tower, which made it taller and more slender.

    The planner for the project said this, as well as other design features, will provide a natural transition from the taller residential towers to the north to the warehouse structures to the south.

    A subdivision of four lots into three and construction of three two-family homes on those lots also received Planning Board approval.

    Despite reservations about the design features of the proposed units, the Planning Board granted approval to construct the buildings, at 236-240 Beacon Ave. and 241 Laidlaw Ave.

    Commissioner Pat Donnelly said: "Where is the creativity by these architects?"

    Other commissioners echoed her comments, saying that many of the homes in Jersey City are becoming cookie cutter projects.

    The board did ask the applicant to increase the rear yard setback, provide fencing for the rear and sides of the property, and to submit revised plans before proceeding with construction.

    In other business, the board gave its glowing support to the restoration and rehabilitation of a mixed-use building at 522 Ocean Ave. When complete, the building will house two retail units and six residential units above.

  7. #157

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    JCMan, I appreciate your updates on JC real estate. It's really exciting to see the prosperity in Manhattan extend out to Brooklyn, Queens and the Jersey waterfront. I hope the upcoming Jersey City projects are better architecturally than Newport, which leaves a bit to be desired. Overall, JC seems to be booming like crazy, which is wonderful.

  8. #158
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    No problem. I know the whole thing with Newport but that's what we had to pay to get it all started. I have seen alot of the new projects a lot of them rival most of the modren buildings being built in Manhattan currently and some actually look better than those being built in Manhattan. Your right the whole city is booming, Downtown, the West Side, Journal Square, and the Medical Center area as well as the area around Liberty State Park is on its way with three residential towers and a golf course. We are gonna be a hell of a city in 7 more years if we aren't all ready.

  9. #159
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    Perhaps by the 2010 Census, Jersey City will surpass Newark as the largest city in the state.

  10. #160
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    Nothing would give me greater joy lol. I think that actually will happen if we keep this pace.

  11. #161

    Default How is JS booming?

    Is Journal Square really booming? I drop by the area every now and then (family on Newark Ave), and the whole area always seems just eh...no evidence of a boom, but maybe I'm mistaken...

  12. #162
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    The Hudson County Community College has finished renovating one building on Sip and are currently building a new 5 story Culinary Arts Institute on Newkirk St, and they are finishing off that new 12 story apartment building on Kennedy Blvd. They are using the old Jersey Loews theater for theater, performances, and old movies again and the Stanley is going to be used for a performing arts school, the Jehovahs Witnesses sold it. The court house as well has been used for several performances. Those old buildings along the plaza area will be razed for a new type of building used for the college and other retail and offices.

  13. #163
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    Thumbs up Journal Square on it's way!!!

    'Transit Village' tag gives Journal Square shot at more funding

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005
    By Ken Thorbourne
    Journal staff writer

    With the awarding of a $100,000 planning grant, Jersey City was named the state's 15th "Transit Village" yesterday - a designation that puts the city in line to receive additional funding for economic, housing and commercial projects in and around the Journal Square transportation hub.

    "The designation brings us attention," said Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who was handed a cardboard replica of a check by state Department of Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin. "It will bring investment . more state aid."

    Begun in 1999, and underwritten by $1 million a year in state funding, the Transit Village program encourages municipalities to develop housing and various commercial enterprises around transportation depots to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and other problems arising from poorly planned, sprawling communities. Later in the day, New Brunswick was also named a Transit Village.

    Noting the revitalization of the Loew's Jersey Theater and a new housing complex rising within a quarter mile of Journal Square, Healy said he would like to see the Square "cleaned up a bit" and "maybe have a little more police."

    Even as new families have moved into the area, helping to stabilize housing stock in the community, the Square itself remains a haven for panhandlers and is a shadow of its former self, when three local theaters attracted residents and visitors to the center of town each night.

    During the event, just around the corner, workers were removing goods from a corner store at 22 Journal Square - one of 10 establishments put out of business in November when city inspectors found the building unsafe.

    Rep. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, and state Assemblyman Vincent Prieto Prieto, D-Secaucus, also attended yesterday's press conference.

    "Transportation is about economic development, quality of life . the air we collectively breathe, creating new jobs as we create new businesses," said Menendez, a senior member of the House Transportation Committee. "It takes transportation as a catalyst to achieve all these things."

  14. #164

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    thanks for the updates on JS JCMAN...

  15. #165
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    No problem. Anytime anyone needs to know anything about JC just let me know.

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