Buying an abatement for creating this classroom
Mar 09, 2014 | 489 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I have concerns over City Ordinance 14.029 approving a 20 year tax abatement. This property is less than two blocks from Brunswick Towers, with 146 units pays but pays approximately $1 million collectively to the City of Jersey City. This newer development with a proposed 266 units will pay just $520,369. You will be robbing the equity from residents who live in older condo units.

Also older condo buildings must upgrade their fire system which will cost owners thousands more to meet Jersey City fire code.

The reason for this abatement is: 1) to make the project more attractive to investors to finance the project, 2) to allow the owner to stabilize its operating budget, allowing a high level of maintenance to the building over the life of the project…and insure the likelihood of (its) success. Basically, you are stacking development in favor of a newer development.

This project is in a prime area, next to the Canco Complex and across the street from the Mana Arts. The Mana Arts is a desirable area with artists using the facility.

My other concern is this Tier Program that the Fulop Administration has set up. Instead of having a ten year abatement, the developer is creating a pre-k classroom, within the complex for an extra $380,000; this is just $38,000 a year for an additional ten years. It comes across as buying an abatement for creating this classroom.

I attended the last Board of Education meeting and some community activists plus Dr. Marcia Lyles, said the city wants the Board of Education to create ten pre-k classes from developers. The person or group would then charge the Board of Education rent. Basically $500,000 will leave the Board of Education coffers for this program. Some of the activist who spoke said there are empty classrooms within the school district and that $500,000 can be used elsewhere in the school district. You are aware, that this complex will not pay any Board of Education taxes, so regular taxpayers will subsidize this project that the administration has proposed.

Finally, this project will have 266 units with 128 parking spaces. Older condo units in the area have one to one parking, but this will hurt the 2 family homes in the area as well as rent control buildings which have no parking. This development is part of India Square, which does not have parking for its customers so essentially; this could have a negative effect for India Square merchants.

Yvonne Balcer

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