where is that?
On my way to work yesterday and I passed the Max Video construction site and they finally tearing down the building. Only one corner of the building was still standing. Happy to see something being done with this site even if it is to become a bank.
where is that?
[quote=JCMAN320;159738]Well see what happens with 55 Hudson, Im not sure what GS will do it with i Just have seen a rough ideas for it. I haven't heard anything with 77 Hudson wiht addign a hoitel, would love more info though.
McGinley merchants poised for upswing
Friday, April 13, 2007
By COTTON DELO
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Though McGinley Square is removed from the more established niches of development and gentrification in Downtown Jersey City, lifelong resident Stephen Cunniff senses his neighborhood is ready to pop.
thats awesome. I'll have to check that coffee place out. gotta support the local businesses! There's an ethiopian restaurant on bergan not too far that I recently tried, and its different, but really good if you are into trying new things. last year a dunkin dounuts opened, and a vietnamese restaurant opened all pretty close to one another on bergen.
Does anyone know how the city council abatement vote went for the 39 unit development proposed for McGinley Square. I believe this was to happen on Wednesday.
Not sure MrWolf but ill let you know if I find out.
Harwood brings in a partner for 2-tower project at Square
Saturday, April 14, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
The two-tower development planned for Jersey City's Journal Square now has two partners sharing the risk, burden - and potential rewards - of building the $400 million project.
The board of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency voted yesterday to amend the redeveloper's agreement with Jersey City-based Harwood Properties to include Washington-based Multi-Employer Property Trust, a national real estate equity fund that invests union pension funds.
"I am confident that with MEPT's support, Journal Square will soon become a thriving neighborhood and a destination," said Lowell Harwood, managing partner of Harwood Properties.
"Redevelopment of Journal Square has been talked about for 30 or 40 years. Now it's finally going to happen."
David Antonelli, senior vice president of Kennedy Associates Real Estate Council Inc. LP, MEPT's sole advisor and founder, noted, "We're early on in the process. There's a lot of work to be done."
MEPT is a $6.2 billion real estate equity fund owned by 312 pension plans, with a portfolio of 172 properties in 25 major metropolitan markets, said company spokeswoman Pamela Silberman.
The new entity created by the partnership is called MEPT Journal Square Urban Renewal, LLC. The partners declined to say what percentage of the new company they owned.
The project is slated to be built on the site of the old Hotel on the Square and several stores, next to the PATH Transportation Center, and is to consist of two towers, 52 and 46 stories, containing 1,034 apartments, 150,000 square feet of retail space and three levels of parking.
By next week, officials said, MEPT will be the owner of all the properties on the block still standing.
The JCRA has hired a relocation specialist to help relocate the remaining businesses on the block, including a McDonald's, said JCRA Executive Director Robert Antonicello. The developer would reimburse the city for the moving expenses, Antonicello said.
Harwood predicted that by August all the remaining structures on the block will be leveled. Construction would take 18 months to two years, he said.
I love Jersey City so much. This city is already a great city and it just keeps getting better. Jersey City looks so beautiful too at night can't wait for more lights to come on with new buildngs.
Seems that the abatement for the development in McGinley has been approved. More good news for the area.
04/14/2007City Council still working on late budget
Will amend $430.8M plan; abatements also discussedRicardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer
A BUSY CITY COUNCIL – The City Council had a busy agenda at their Wednesday meeting.
</B>At a special meeting this coming Wednesday, Jersey City's late-as-usual municipal budget, which covers city spending from last July through this coming June, will be amended.
This is the last step before the budget, currently anticipated at $430.8 million, undergoes a public hearing and a final vote by the council.
At this past Wednesday's City Council meeting, besides discussing the upcoming special budget meeting, the council approved money toward constructing housing for military veterans (see sidebar) as well as two lengthy tax abatements for private developments.
Nine months late, but there's hope
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City officials said the budget's tardiness was due to hearings with heads of various department heads scheduled later than expected in January and February.
Additionally, a hurdle was surmounted earlier this month when the state gave up its claim to 6.2 acres of land the city was in the process of selling for $19.5 million. Now, the city can sell it and gain $9 million to plug this year's budget gap.
The property, located on Marin Boulevard, will be the future site of a hotel and approximately 600 residential units.
The state had held up the city's sale because they said tidal waters had existed on the site that is now filled in, and under a 1918 state statute, the property could only be leased but not sold.
The problem was solved by the City Council approving a resolution to have the land granted to the city from the New Jersey Tidelands Resource Council, a state body that oversees state-owned tidelands. In turn, the city will have to pay $1.3 million to the state in the next fiscal year for the state giving up their rights to the land.
According to Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly, had the state not given up its claim, there would been a tax rate increase of $1.40 per $1,000 of property owned.
In the budget, the city also had to account for increases in police and fire department salaries, medical insurance payments, and utilities.
Two abatements hesitantly approved
The council also approved a 40-year tax abatement for senior housing on Storms Avenue in the city's Bergen Lafayette section, and a 25-year tax abatement for a condominium project at 769 Montgomery St., the site of the old Jersey City Municipal Court.
But both abatements came with much debate.
The 40-year abatement is sought by Wallace Scruggs, the future owner of Storms Avenue Elderly Apartments, L.P., located at 111 Storms Ave., which is an 11-story, 79-unit building for low-income senior citizens. The YWCA and Imperative Housing Partnership formerly owned the structure.
The abatement, according to the future owner, will facilitate the renovation of the building and preserve it for low-income residents.
However, City Councilwoman Viola Richardson voiced her distrust of Scruggs' motive for seeking the abatement, as she did at the council caucus meeting on March 24.
Scruggs is also one of the principals in the conversion project of the old Whitlock Cordage factory complex in city's Bergen-Lafayette section. The conversion created over 300 townhouses but was mired in delays that prevented many future tenants from moving in, which incensed Richardson.
Richardson voted for the 40-year abatement, but not before criticizing Scruggs and admitting to feeling conflicted over her vote.
"I have to struggle with the fact if [Scruggs] doesn't buy, someone else gets it and we lose those 79 units of affordable housing," Richardson said. "And what's going to happen to the seniors?"
Council members also took issue with the 25-year abatement for the Montgomery Street condo project.
The Imperial Construction Group, based in Elizabeth, will convert the circa-1925 building into a residential complex. Two floors will be added to the main building and one to the garage building, resulting in a 38-unit building with 5,178 square feet of retail space and 31 parking spaces.
Various council members at City Council caucus meeting on Monday objected to the abatement because it would have allowed the developer to pay 14 percent rather the usual 16 percent of the annual gross revenue each year.
That revenue would be derived from mortgage payments for the condos.
By at Wednesday's meeting, the principals for Imperial and their attorney, Eugene Paolino, agreed to a 20-year abatement with 16 percent of the annual gross revenue.
Paolino said the furor over the abatement left him "beaten but unbowed."
Silence is crimson
City resident Leonard Joseph usually speaks out on development issues in the Bergen-Lafayette section, where he resides, during the five minutes given to each member of the public to comment in front of the City Council.
This time Joseph devoted two of those minutes to silence out of respect for the Rutgers University women's basketball team, of the crimson red uniforms, for suffering racially derogatory and misogynistic comments from radio shock jock Don Imus.
During his nationally syndicated radio show, Imus called the team members "nappy-headed hos." Imus was fired for the slur.
"Being an African-American male, I was completely disturbed by the comments about them. So, on with the silence," Joseph said.
Veterans' housing on Grand Street
The council also passed an ordinance at Wednesday's meeting allocating $960,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund toward constructing a 16-unit building at 723 Grand St. for housing military veterans.
The $5.4 million project, known as the Ercel F. Webb Fish N' Loaves Development, will include 30 beds in an 18,400 square-foot facility that will offer on-site employment training, and mental health and social services. We should be completed by next spring.
It is to be built by the Urban League of Hudson County, based in Jersey City, through the Affordable Housing and Community Development Corporation. The rest of the funding for the project will be provided through the New Jersey State Support Program, the Veterans Administration, and other organizations.
The development is named for the late Rev. Dr. Ercel F. Webb, longtime pastor of Monumental Baptist Church in Jersey City, who had formed a group through his church (known as Fish N' Loaves) that secured multi-family affordable housing, particularly for senior members of the church.
At Monday's caucus meeting, it was explained that the project will be permanent housing for veterans rather than a transitional arrangement to spur them to move into an apartment or their own house.
City Councilman Steven Fulop, who served in the Marine Corps in 2003 in Iraq, commended the Urban League for moving forward with the project.
"I want to say that as a veteran, it's a great thing that you're doing," Fulop said. "There's a lot of talk about our veterans with them never getting support they deserve."
Urban League Executive Director Elnora Watson said veterans who will be moving into the facility will be referrals from the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System. Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last edited by MrWolf; April 15th, 2007 at 04:11 PM.
All great news. That old courthouse should be seeing construction soon then.
This article is about the Russian Contemporary Art Museum in Downtown Jersey City on Grand St. next to Paulus Hook Park.
Keeping Russian museum alive
Friday, April 13, 2007
By MARY PAUL
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Living in the United States, it's hard to imagine art being forbidden. But this is one of the reasons the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in Jersey City has such a significant meaning for author of "Contemporary Russian Art" and museum founder Alexander Glezer, one of many Russian artists exiled from the former U.S.S.R.
Glezer came from the former U.S.S.R. where there was no freedom of expression and most forms of art were banned, like Glezer's paintings that were part of the notorious Bulldozer Exhibition in Moscow in 1974 where police broke up an organized outdoor nonconformist art exhibit.
When Glezer came to New York he was invited to join Committee for the Absorption of Soviet Emigress (CASE), which was based in the Downtown Jersey City building where he would establish the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in 1980.
According to Valery Zhiltsov, president of the museum's board of directors and an admirer of Glezer's work, modern Bella Russia is sadly still not entirely accepting of the arts. So, he is proud to be a part of this gallery.
Zhiltsov works hard to keep the museum open and exhibiting Russian artists as well as others from all over the world. His commitment to Glezer's museum is so great that he commutes almost every day from Brooklyn to run the museum.
"The main thing is to highlight the discovery and to find a good artist, not necessarily only Russian-born artists," said Zhiltsov, through a translator.
The museum's next exhibit is its Annual Spring Showcase featuring more than 80 artists from the museum's collection. This selected group of artists will include the current featured artist Alexander Zakharov whose work is rooted in Russian Surrealism. But the works displayed aren't limited to any particular style since Russian artists explore art of all styles.
Despite the cultural and artistic significance of the museum's galleries, it's suffering the costs of remaining open to the point that Glezer has been forced to sell some of his pieces to keep his museum alive. Zhiltsov is hoping to offer art classes at the museum to help ensure its longevity. These classes will be in classical drawing.
"It's very difficult for the museum to survive here because it's not Manhattan," Zhiltsov said.
The significance of this museum is not lost on the art community in Russia. They were the only gallery from America invited to participate in a prestigious exhibition, "Tradition and the Contemporary," coming up in January at the Manege in Moscow.
Model of urban future: Jersey City?By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY
JERSEY CITY — Once, this was a city of browns and grays. Railroads owned a third of the land, and trains rumbled night and day to the cacophonous riverfront. Factories belched fumes and leaked chemicals. "Nobody cared," says Bob Leach, born here in 1937. "Smoke meant jobs."
And those were the good years. Then, in the 1960s, the railroads went broke. Rail yards were abandoned, piers rotted, factories closed. In the 1970s alone, the city lost 14% of its population and about 9% of its jobs.
Now Jersey City has come back as its own antithesis: clean, green and growing — an example, urban planners say, of how the nation can accommodate some of the additional 100 million Americans expected by 2040 without paving over every farm, forest and meadow.
Jersey City, a model of smart growth? Even Robert Cotter, the city's planning director, says he was surprised by the notion. But because so many people here live in apartments or attached houses located near shops, offices and mass transit, they require less land, gasoline, heating oil, water, sewer pipe and other finite resources.
Smart Growth America, an advocacy group that ranks the largest metro areas by sprawl, says Jersey City is the second "least sprawling," trailing only New York City.
It's part of a remarkable demographic and economic U-turn. In a region where many cities are shrinking, Jersey City in the last quarter-century has gained about 30,000 residents, 27,000 jobs and 18 million square feet of prime office space — more than all such space in downtown Atlanta, Phoenix or Miami.
Another 8,000 housing units are being built, and permits have been issued for 10,000 more. With tens of thousands more homes planned over the next 25 years, Jersey City — given up for dead 30 years ago — could pass its 1930 population peak of 316,700.
Once written off by the rest of the nation as another Rust Belt failure, Jersey City is now seen as instructional.
Robert Lang, director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, says the city "won't be a model for the whole country, but it will be an important model for parts of it" — especially satellite cities near bigger, more dynamic ones: Long Beach near Los Angeles, Oakland near San Francisco, Chelsea near Boston.
"Areas that have been blighted are beds for redevelopment," says Ben Jogodnik, a vice president of Toll Brothers, a leading national home builder that just finished a 12-story condo tower here. "Decay is incredibly fertile for regrowth."
Toll Brothers is known for building big houses on big suburban plots. But it formed a division to focus on locales such as Jersey City, Jogodnik says, "because that's where our customers are going."
A winning formula
How is Jersey City doing it? Observers such as Lang, Jogodnik and James Hughes, dean of Rutgers University's school of planning, identify several elements in the city's reversal of fortune:
•Proximity to New York. Hughes calls Jersey City "almost a sixth borough of New York." Mayor Jeremiah Healy calls the waterfront "Wall Street West." The city is a short trip across the Hudson River from Manhattan, but its building and real estate costs are one-half to one-third of Manhattan's. This has attracted companies such as Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, and thousands of residents who cross the Hudson to work.
•Redevelopment and infill. Because Jersey City had built on almost all of its land more than 50 years ago, it has to reuse, reclaim and redevelop land, including so-called brownfields (once-polluted industrial sites) and grayfields (parking lots, old strip malls).
After the Hudson riverfront's industrial economy collapsed in the 1970s, Jersey City lucked out: The land was abandoned. No one was living there to object to the construction of offices, apartments and stores on old rail yards and piers.
Similarly, the city has created the Powerhouse Arts District around an imposing but abandoned early 20th-century subway power station. Plans call for a mix of loft-style residential condos and rental units, restaurants, clubs, galleries, theaters and artists' spaces in an area just west of the waterfront.
Also, several former industrial sites contaminated with chromium have been cleaned up. Tons of soil have been removed from a former Honeywell plant on the west side and replaced with clean soil.
•Politics. For most of the 20th century, Jersey City's politics were reliably Democratic — and reliably corrupt. But in 1980, Democratic Mayor Gerald McCann endorsed Ronald Reagan, whose administration later gave the city a $40 million grant for infrastructure improvements along the still-undeveloped waterfront.
In 1992, even though only 6% of the electorate was registered Republican, conservative Republican Bret Schundler, a Harvard graduate who had worked on Wall Street, was elected mayor. Corporations were lured to the city in part by Schundler's reforms and by his reputation for honesty.
Hughes, the Rutgers professor, says publicly traded national companies no longer are automatically leery of doing business in Jersey City.
•Mass transit and infrastructure. Unlike Sun Belt cities that must build new transportation and water lines to accommodate growth, Jersey City is rich in basic infrastructure that was designed when the city was more populous than it is now.
Take mass transit. Although the city is served by a new, $2.2 billion state and federally financed light-rail system, it has long had subway, bus and ferry lines to Manhattan. About 40% of commuters use mass transit — second only to New York among the nation's 100 largest cities — and 9% walk to work.
•Immigrants. Thirty-seven percent of Jersey City residents are foreign-born, compared with 12% of all Americans. From 1970 to 1980, foreign-born residents jumped 45%, an increase nine times the city's population growth rate. Dozens of different languages are spoken here, and the city is home to one of the largest Arab Muslim communities in the nation.
Immigrants include wealthy Asian émigrés who are snapping up apartments at the still-rising Trump Plaza tower, which will be New Jersey's tallest residential building, Indian business owners who have established a "Little Bombay," and low-income Central Americans who work as domestics and manual laborers.
•Density. Cotter, the planning director, half jokes that Jersey City has earned its green reputation largely "by piling people on top of each other."
Among the largest U.S. cities, only New York has a higher population density than Jersey City. Nationally, 64% of homes are free-standing, single-family houses; in Jersey City, the figure is only 8%.
Jersey City's repopulation fits the state's policy of fighting sprawl and preserving open space. "We really have stemmed sprawl and forced development into some of the older urban areas," Hughes says.
And he says it's not just New Jersey: "In the whole Northeast now, part of the political culture is to slow down growth." As Sun Belt boom states such as North Carolina continue to grow — to get more "Jersified," as Hughes puts it — they'll come around, too, he says.
The Beacon on the hill
Last year, Caitlin Coan and Scott Young, who rent in a tower on Jersey City's waterfront, took a walk west — under an elevated highway, past a vocational high school and public housing project. They wanted to check out what Coan calls "that crazy hospital on the hill."
This was the former Jersey City Medical Center, a cluster of Art Deco buildings on a rise in the center of the city, far from the booming waterfront.
Now the medical center was becoming The Beacon condominium complex, one of the nation's largest historic renovation projects.
Most of it was built during the Great Depression. In 1932, Jersey City's most famous mayor, Frank Hague, helped elect Franklin Roosevelt president. In return, he got federal money to help build the hospital complex.
Hague, the history of Jersey City clearly documents, was a master of vote fraud, extortion and intimidation who told city workers how much to kick back to his political machine, whom to vote for and what newspaper to buy. He once had his police dump Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas on a Manhattan sidewalk after he tried to lead a rally in Jersey City.
The medical center symbolized his power. It could be seen for miles —The Saturday Evening Post wrote that it rose "like a beautiful mirage … up from the municipal rubble which is Jersey City." Its eight buildings had marble walls, terrazzo floors, etched glass, decorative moldings and glittering chandeliers.
Overbuilt and overstaffed, the center drained city finances for years. In 1988, four decades after Hague's retirement, the hospital declared bankruptcy. In 2004 it moved to a new building, leaving behind one of the biggest white elephants in America.
The city got it declared a state and national landmark and sold it to a developer for $9.5 million and a promise to spend $350 million to turn its huge buildings into 1,200 condos. This summer, Coan and Young will move into The Beacon, where they've purchased a one-bedroom unit.
Their willingness to move inland to find an affordable home is crucial to the city's plan to repopulate and upgrade its traditional center. The couple acknowledges they're taking a risk on an unfashionable neighborhood. "This is still an up-and-coming area," Young says. "If it doesn't get better, we'll be stuck."
In many ways, Jersey City still is two cities: waterside and inland, new and old, rich and poor.
"We see buildings going up, but it doesn't do us any good," says Walter Williams, 64, an unemployed security guard who lives near The Beacon. About 19% of Jersey City residents live below the poverty line, compared with 9% statewide and 12% nationally. Crime remains a problem despite the hiring of more police. The troubled schools are under state control.
George Filopoulos of Metrovest, The Beacon's developer, says 85% of the apartments in the first two buildings have been sold, mostly to residents of the waterfront or New York, or empty-nesters from the suburbs. Studios sell in the mid-$300,000s; a penthouse went for $2.3 million.
The legend of Hague, softened by the years, is part of the sales pitch. "The ghost of Frank Hague will be happy," Leach says. "In his own way, he always wanted to make this a world-class city."
Cotter says The Beacon is a test of whether Jersey City can grow out beyond its golden waterfront: "This is how we're growing, and in the future it's where a lot of U.S. cities are going."
Take that you naysayers. Say something SAY SOMETHING NY!! JC is becoming a worldclass city right before your eyes. The area around McGinley Sq and JSQ is developing and even Lafayette I drove through and seeing these old homes being renovated and cared for reminds me when Downtown was just starting. The schools are getting better and the crime is no different than your average American city.
Jersey City is on it's way guys and this article proves it. So all you haters keep hatin and well keep on doing what we do. Who says were not a real city? Give me a feggin break. Those stats are for real.!!!
I love Jersey City and apparently we are the latest model city.
Last edited by JCMAN320; April 16th, 2007 at 08:13 PM.
Smart development is encouraging where ever it takes place. JC is looking good. Looking forward to the gaps in the skyline being filled in. Hoping Brooklyn emerges with a similar skyline one day.
Bloomberg to join Healy in Jersey City to talk about guns
The big guns are coming to Jersey City.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will join Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and others tomorrow at City Hall to speak against a law that limits what information cities can get about guns seized by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Scheduled for 12:30 p.m., the event will focus on the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts cities and police from accessing and using ATF data from guns recovered in crimes.
This information, the mayors argue, could help cities clamp down on gun dealers making illegal sales and understand regional gun trafficking patterns.
Named for its original sponsor, Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-KS, the amendment is up for an extension as part of the federal budget.
Healy is one of 15 original mayors to participate in “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” the group chaired by Bloomberg and Menino.
Mayors from across New Jersey are expected to attend.
JCMAN Personal Note of the Night: This is great news especially in the wake of the horrific Virginia Tech shooting. This is very important good to see the mayors of the big cities of New York, Boston, Philidelphia, Jersey City, etc. come together. Also great to see Jersey City hosting it.
Also Jersey City was promised an ATF Office a long time ago and the Federal Gov't have been dragging their feet on this. I hope Healy brings that up.
Last edited by JCMAN320; April 18th, 2007 at 05:25 PM.
Agree with your sentiments,JC MAN,I'm glad these mayors could come here and discuss the situation of controlling the gun violence.Sensible regulation is needed....not talking about banning guns,but that you have to be licensed by the state to drive but require no such permit for the purchase of firearms is numbingly surreal.And firearms whose only purpose is to kill,the semiautomatics and assault rifles and cop killer bullets still available...I just don't get the reluctance to pass sensible gun regulation other than intimidation from the gun extremists.Sorry for roaming off the Jersey City spotlight,and I am not a real liberal bleeding heart Democrat,but we've got to get sensible on this issue as it also is a real problem here.