On August 20, 2000, the Reporter reported that the Vice President of United Diversified, LLC, Millennium Towers, LLC defrauded a savings and loan over a decade ago in connection with a project he undertook at 689 Henderson Street in Jersey City. The unfinished building has stood vacant since construction was halted in the late 80s.
When Jersey City residents raised questions regarding the developer's past at a meeting to approve re-zoning for Millennium Towers in June, the city concluded that the developer's background was not a factor in the decision to approve the project. Council members Melissa Holloway, Fernando Colon and L. Harvey Smith reportedly said that a person's past, if he paid the penalty, should not be a factor in the city's decision-making process.
While I believe the redevelopment of this area could benefit the community if done responsibly, I strongly disagree with the statement by Holloway, Colon and Smith. A developer's past should be among the most important factors in the city's decision-making process. Re-zoning an area for a developer with a history of fraud and corruption is clearly irresponsible and violates the public's trust.