JERSEY CITY -- Still no work has been done to restore the historic “100 Steps” on the Palisade hills near Jersey City-Hoboken border, as promised by developer Sanford Weiss. But that project is making some progress with the recent allotment of $300,000 from the state's Transportation Trust Fund to Jersey City for the completion of the steps.
The steps, originally built in the early 20th century, were closed in the 1920s and then torn down in the 1990s after they had deteriorated considerably. But in 2003, when Weiss's Hoboken-based Brass Works Urban Renewal Company were looking to build the condo development called Cliffs Lofts, they came to an agreement with the city of Jersey City to rebuild the “100 Steps” in order to get approvals for requested changes to the Cliffs site plan as well as the city’s final certificate of occupancy.
Cliffs Lofts were built, but the steps were not after an April 2009 groundbreaking. This had area residents criticizing the developer for not living up to the agreement as well as the criticizing city for not compelling the developer to comply.
But the developer relayed to City Councilman Bill Gaughan that his company has run out of money, as noted in a July article in the Jersey City Reporter. The developer's attorney, George Garcia, did not return phone calls this past week for comment.
City spokesperson Jennifer Morrill said that the city will contribute $50,000 in matching funds to the $300,000 grant, but the entire $350,000 will not go to the developer. She said the developer is contributing $250,000 to the project, with $90,000 already spent to meet requirements for the project from the city's engineer William Goble. - Ricardo Kaulessar