Hackensack, NJ Community Message Boards

General Category => Hackensack Discussion => Topic started by: just watching on May 17, 2011, 11:06:52 PM

Title: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on May 17, 2011, 11:06:52 PM
Could someone please post the maps from the May 11, 2011 Planning Board meeting. 

It would be good to see the areas determined to be in need of redevelopment.  It appears that one area affects the Anderson Park area over to Clinton Place and including Sears.  Also another large area that appears to be in the vicinity of Union Street, Central Ave, State Street, and Essex Street.  It's hard to follow the streets listed on the Planning Board docket:

PROPOSED RESOLUTION BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF 
       HACKENSACK DESIGNATING AN AREA IN NEED OF REHABILITATION

Pursuant to Resolution No. 112-11 adopted by the City Council of the City of Hackensack
on March 1, 2011 the City Council authorized the undertaking of an investigation to
determine whether the city blocks and lots listed and marked in cross-hatch on the map
entitled “Area in Need of Rehabilitation, City of Hackensack – New Jersey Delineation
Map Study Area”, prepared by DMR Architects, dated January 18, 2011, including
the portions of the following right of ways that border upon and/or bind together the
cross-hatched city blocks and lots: 

Bergen County Place, Essex Street, State Street, New York Susquehanna / Western Railway, Union Street, Central Avenue, State Street, Ward Street, Union Street, Anderson Street, Pangborn Place, Clinton Place, Main Street, University Plaza Drive and River Street. (hereinafter the “Study Area”) constitute an area in need of rehabilitation (the “Investigation”)   

Said investigation is authorized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-14.  Prior to the adoption of a resolution designating an area in need of rehabilitation, the City Council is required to submit its proposed resolution to the Planning Board for its review.  Within 45 days of receipt of the proposed resolution, the Planning Board shall submit its recommendations regarding the proposed resolution, including any modifications it may recommend to the City Council for its consideration.  Thereafter, or after 45 days if the Planning Board does not submit recommendations, the City Council may adopt the resolution, with or without modification.  In connection with the foregoing, the map entitled  “Area in Need of Rehabilitation, City of Hackensack – New Jersey Delineation Map Study Area”, prepared by DMR Architects, dated January 18, 2011, the report dated April 18th, 2011, and the proposed resolution of the City Council have been prepared and are available for inspection at the Offices of the City Clerk, City Hall, 65 Central Avenue, Room 303 Hackensack, New Jersey, and the Secretary of the Planning Board, 410 East Railroad Avenue Hackensack during normal business hours.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 23, 2011, 10:25:16 AM
Hackensack council declares Main Street a rehabilitation zone (http://www.northjersey.com/news/Hackensack_council_declares_Main_Street_a_rehabilitation_zone.html)
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
BY MONSY ALVARADO
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – A large portion of Main Street and surrounding blocks have been designated an area in need of rehabilitation by the City Council — paving the way for significant improvements to the downtown district.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday night for the change after the Planning Board made the recommendation last month. Mayor Karen Sasso and city officials said the next steps include a detailed review of the zoning and building codes that exist in the area.

“This designation will provide the city with helpful tools to pursue a successful rehabilitation of the downtown,” Sasso said, noting that the power of eminent domain is not one of the tools provided under an area in need of rehabilitation.

Sasso said preliminary analysis indicate that the designated area has the potential to expand from approximately three million square feet of retail, office and residential space to five million square feet. The area, she said, once rehabilitated would consist of mixed-use neighborhoods, with varying levels of retail, office and residential space. Some sectors would also contain government, cultural, and educational buildings.

“In effect, Hackensack’s Main Street area will become a series of clearly defined neighborhoods, appealing to those who wish to live where they may also work, play, eat and shop,” she said.

The action was lauded by members of the Upper Main Alliance, which oversees the city’s special improvement district. The group has been pushing for the designation. Two years ago, the alliance hired Street-Works LLC of White Plains, N.Y., a consulting company, to explore ways to rehabilitate the retail corridor. The alliance and representatives of Street-Works held several public meetings to present their ideas for the district.

“A tremendous amount of study and due diligence has brought us to where we are tonight,” said Jerome Lombardo, chairman of the alliance. “I think the entire council can feel extremely confident that what is being recommended for the downtown has the backing of the business community and has been created by professionals in downtown planning.”

Lombardo added that the next step is to review and revamp zoning laws to allow for taller buildings that may include a residential component over retail space. He said the move also will allow the city to apply for federal funds to improve the infrastructure of the area, including sewer and water lines.

A couple of residents raised concerns about the designation.

Kathleen Salvo, a regular attendee of the meetings, wondered whether the new status would lead some property owners to sue the city. She said in the past, when the council voted to declare sections of Main Street in need of redevelopment, some property owners sought legal action.

“We tried that and it cost us a lot of money, and it went no where,” she said. “I just hope it moves on without anybody suing us.”

The delineated area consists of approximately 163.8 acres stretching 39 city blocks. The city blocks contain 10 separate zoning classifications, including residential, commercial, office, city, county parks and recreation, redevelopment office, and parking, according to a study submitted to the city by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, which was hired as a planner by the council to work with Street-Works to define the area’s boundaries.

A study of the district and surrounding area by DMR determined that it qualified for the change in designation because it meets a state criteria that requires that a “majority of the water and sewer infrastructure in the area is at least 50 years old and is in need of repair and substantial maintenance.”

DMR representatives determined that the city met that criteria by interviewing the city engineer, department of public works staff, and pointing to a $2 million bond ordinance the city approved in 2009 to repair Hackensack’s combined storm and sanitary sewer system at various locations.

The designation was also recommended to prevent further deterioration of the street, and “promote overall development” of the community, the study states.

Versha Uberoi, the owner of Uneek Fashions, said she didn’t know about the designation, but had heard that officials were looking to make changes. She said she is not sure if having residential units above retail stores is the answer, but said the idea of increased parking and attracting other stores is necessary for a successful Main Street.

“This is a business place, but people don’t come and shop here.” said Uberoi, who has had her store on Main Street for 25 years. “There are too many offices, restaurants and beauty parlors.”

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com

(image below from North Jersey Media/Google)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on June 23, 2011, 12:04:41 PM

Thanks for the update and the map.

Let's hope that something actually comes of it.  There's a history in Hackensack of great studies being done for Main Street, and then they sit and gather dust.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 08, 2011, 10:41:37 PM
Section of Hackensack's Main Street named rehabilitation zone (http://www.northjersey.com/news/125197594_Section_of_Main_Street_named_rehabilitation_zone_.html)
Friday, July 8, 2011
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*231/MC_MainStreet_070511_hk_tif_.jpg)
A section of Main Street and adjoining blocks have been declared in need of rehabilitation, a move meant to spur redevelopment downtown. JOE CAMPOREALE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Hackensack City Council on June 21 approved a section of Main Street as being in need of rehabilitation.

The Hackensack City Council made the decision with a unanimous vote at the June 21 public meeting following a Planning Board recommendation made last month.

The designated area consists of nearly 164 acres located along 39 city blocks. According to a study prepared for the government by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, the group hired by the council as planners of the redevelopment, these blocks have 10 different zoning classifications. These classifications include city, commercial, county parks and recreation, redevelopment office, residential and parking.

The DMR study of the newly-designated rehabilitation area stated that the declaration was justified because it meets state criteria for change because the water and sewer infrastructure is at least 50 years old and in need of repair. After interviewing city officials, DMR further determined that the area met the change criteria and also noted a 2009 city-approved $2 million bond ordinance meant to repair Hackensack's combined storm and sanitary sewer system.

City officials indicated after initial study that the rehabilitation area could expand from nearly 3 million square feet of retail, office and residential space to approximately 5 million square feet, with mixed-use neighborhoods sharing all three different kinds of space.

Some residents questioned whether the designation of the rehabilitation area would ultimately improve downtown.

"How many people are going to be suing us because of this?" said Kathleen Salvo, a city resident and business owner who regularly attends Planning Board meetings. "They should go in and work with the owners of businesses along Main Street and do things like improve building facades some more."

However, Jerome Lombardo, chairman of the Upper Main Alliance, the organization that presides over the city's special improvement district, believes that the rehabilitation designation of the area is an important first step in attracting more commerce and customers to Hackensack's downtown.

"It's a tool that allows us to re-zone the area and to be eligible for federal funds to fix our infrastructure," Lombardo said, noting that the rehabilitation designation does not include the use of the power of eminent domain. "It's good news for people in the designated area. It should add value to people's properties."

Lombardo added that the alliance has also been working closely with Street-Works LLC of White Plains, N.Y., a development consulting company that the group hired two years ago, to find ways to invigorate Hackensack's downtown. The alliance and Street-Works representatives have held several public meetings in recent months during which they presented their redevelopment concepts.

"These people are professional planners, and their plans are carefully thought out," said Lombardo. "This has been tried so many times before in the last 40 years, but this is different because this is being done by professionals. We have a lot of confidence that we're going to have a successful outcome here."

"This is an important step in moving the process forward," said Councilman John Labrosse. "It's important that people know that eminent domain is not involved. People have the chance to take advantage of an opportunity, especially if they are a business owner around here. This effort working with the alliance seems to be much better than before."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 05, 2011, 10:31:45 AM
Latest article in the Wall Street Journal atttached, below.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 17, 2011, 09:07:49 AM
Designing Elements for a Hackensack Rehabilitation Project  (http://newmilford-nj.patch.com/articles/designing-elements-for-a-hackensack-rehabilitation-project-435942a3)
Downtown Hackensack could get an upgrade in the future
By Joseph Dunsay
September 16, 2011

In its summer issue, the Hackensack Community Link reported that the Hackensack Planning Board considers downtown Hackensack an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. The Hackensack Mayor approved their recommendation. This designation could lead to the transformation of the blocks around Main Street from University Plaza Drive to Essex Street.

A large portion of this area is currently parking lots. Most of the buildings range from 1 to 5 stories with a few structures rising above the rest. Landowners in downtown Hackensack may want to borrow ideas from the construction in downtown Jersey City over the past decade.

Jersey City reinvented the Newport and Exchange Place neighborhoods to accommodate more commercial and residential space. New high-rises punctuate the sky, freeing up land for plazas and parks. These slender buildings echo the proportions of the skyscrapers across the Hudson. Their staggered arrangement allows a viewer to admire each one individually from a close range, but they combine to form a pleasing skyline from a distance.

Generous setbacks ensure that ample sunlight reaches the ground in downtown Jersey City. Pocket parks and private landscaping fill the area with plants. A walkway along the Hudson River provides an alternative to automobile traffic. Curved streets discourage through traffic to make the area a destination rather than a corridor. The Path and light rail provide local mass transit while the Hoboken train and bus terminals link the area to the rest of the state. Low-rise parking garages keep parked cars off the street.

Downtown Hackensack benefits from having two train stations, a bus terminal, and several bus lines. It has the potential to grow like downtown Jersey City. Of course, the property owners in the neighborhood should have the final say on any changes to their land, but here are a few humble suggestions for the area.

First, the town could remake the roads. River Road would remain the same and serve as a beltway. Main Street would turn to feed directly into State Street at the intersection with Ward Street. State Street would be enlarged to handle three lanes of traffic in each direction and it would undulate so that only people headed downtown would want to use it. Between Ward Street and Essex Street the old Main Street would become a pedestrian and cyclist pathway that connects to the Johnson Park pathway.

Making the jump to high-rise construction would free up space in downtown Hackensack. The taller buildings currently there could be preserved. Replacing shorter buildings with lean high-rises and parking lots with parking garages would make new pocket parks possible. Hackensack need not dictate the details of these new buildings. If the town raises the high limit, mandates setbacks, and establishes a floor to area ratio like in Fort Lee, developers are sure to build structures that are appropriate to the area. The rebuilt business district would be a boon to Bergen County.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 17, 2011, 09:45:40 AM
I had suggested something similar back in early 2007, to make most of Main Street in the middle of the downtown a pedestrian/bicycle corridor.  I'm shocked to see it in print today.

At the time I suggested that Main Street would be auto-free and bus-free from Court Street to Camden Street, and to make this happen by diverting traffic entering Main Street at the Court House onto Moore Street.  Moore Street would be one-way northbound, and then bending into Camden Street one-way westbound, and finally returning to Main Street one-way northbound at the library.

If I were to dust off that proposal today, I would suggest instead that the return of traffic to Main Street could instead happen at Berry Street, since the Oratam Field Club is now known to be closing down. Moore Street could be punched through one more block north.  The old Main Street could be completely retrofitted, with a huge area along the left and right sides of the street for outdoor cafes. There would be places for shade trees and lamps, benches, and other points of interest.  And straight down the middle would be a wide sidewalk that can handle a fire truck or ambulance (in a local emergency, not to reach emergencies on other streets).

The entire block bounded by Main Street, Berry Street, Passaic Street, and River Street can be redeveloped along with the 7-acre Ford-Mazda property. Imagine the pedestrian extension of Main Street extending from the current corner of Main Street and Berry Street straight to the Hackensack River somewhere near the northern side of the Ford-Mazda property. That would be a direct connection to the Waterfront Walkway. It would have to arch over River Street, but it could be done. Look at map to envision it. And there would be shops and stores, offices, and residential towers, lining the entire length. Lets throw in a name-brand Hotel, like a Marriott, why not.  If you want to make downtown Hackensack into something incredible, almost a tourist destination, that's how it can be done.

This proposal would mean that Main Street north of Berry Street would still be for automobiles, but I just cannot envision a viable street network any other way.

I would also require that the redevelopment of the 30-acre Record Campus include the block bounded by Moore Street, Mercer Street, River Street, and the Bus Terminal, along with Tucci's dead bank building at Main and Mercer.  Tucci's been sitting on it for long enough. At some point he loses the right of ownership. Again with a direct pedestrian connection arching over River Street to link up the 30 acres of new development and the riverfront with the center of the downtown.

As for State Street become 3 lanes each way, and undulating, I don't get that part at all.  I don't see the reason to lose all the parking along State Street, and losing the parking would turn it into a high-speed road dangerous to pedestrians.

I also think that the biggest obstacle would be getting the merchants and the Upper Main Street Alliance to endorse any version of Main Street becoming a pedestrian street.  Many are still fixated on having it become a 2-way street. Having it become zero-way and losing all the parking spots along the Street is the furthest thing from their minds.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 11, 2012, 10:12:10 AM
Walkable urbanism, the new trend
Sunday, March 11, 2012
BY CHRIS LEINBERGER
The Record

Singles and childless couples are the emerging household types of the future.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*208/0311L_EDITTRANSIT_48P.jpg)
Walkable urbanism, suburban-style: architect's rendering of Westmont, under construction on the Curtiss-Wright site in Wood-Ridge.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*200/0311L_OPED_WESTMONT.jpg)

Chris Leinberger is president of LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers and investors advocating for sustainable environments in metropolitan areas. He is also a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute. It was first published by New Jersey Future, a statewide smart-growth land use policy organization.

A 2008 SURVEY found that 77 percent of millennials – the generation of 20-somethings – want to live where they are "close to each other, to services, to places to meet and to work, and they would rather walk than drive."

New Jersey, with its extensive rail transit network and "streetcar suburbs" with pedestrian-friendly downtowns that surround many of their stations, is well-poised to take advantage of the rise in demand for this walkable urbanism.

New Jersey is an anomaly among the 50 states in that it is highly urbanized yet lacks a major center city to claim as its own. The state's homegrown urban centers all live in the shadows of their much larger neighbors, New York and Philadelphia. In fact, New Jersey is widely perceived as consisting mainly of suburbs serving these two cities, even if many of its small towns do not fit the low-density, single-use stereotype of a "suburb."

The distinction, however, between city and suburb as the defining paradigm for describing the built environment is giving way to a new dichotomy: walkable urbanism versus drivable sub-urbanism. New Jersey is well positioned to take advantage of this change.

Today, too many walkable urban projects are derailed by lack of zoning, lengthy approval processes and local resident opposition. The majority of those who oppose such projects are often the very residents who would benefit the most from increased walkable urbanism, and at no cost to themselves.

The pent-up demand for walkable urbanism today is the result of a number of factors, but is broadly a story of demographics. Millennials, and their parents in the baby boom generation, make up more than half of the country's population and both are in transition. Baby boomers are now empty-nesters and will soon become retirees, and are likely to downsize their housing as they age. Studies show that millennials — those just graduating from college and starting out in life — greatly prefer the characteristics of urban living, including proximity to friends and events, nightlife and not needing a car, to those of the drivable suburbs where many of them grew up. Millennials are delaying marriage and family, something that, when paired with the empty-nester baby boomers, is creating a boom of childless households. Singles and childless couples are the emerging household type of the future, a trend that is already having a profound effect on the built environment and will continue to do so for decades to come.

To see the rise of walkable urbanism in action, one need look no further than down the Northeast Corridor to the Washington, D.C., metro region. Thirty years ago, when the region's Metro system was in its infancy, Washington's suburbs looked like the suburbs of any other car-oriented metro area. But since then, places like Silver Spring and Bethesda, Md., and the Carlyle and Reston town centers in Virginia, have transformed from auto-oriented suburbs into walkable communities, mixing shops, restaurants, services and a variety of housing types within walking distance of each other. In addition to functioning as local centers, nearly all of these places are anchored by rail transit, offering access to jobs, culture and entertainment in the larger hub of Washington.

Perhaps the most remarkable transition has been in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor in Arlington County, an inner suburban county with a population of 208,000. There, thanks to a conscious policy of concentrated growth around Metrorail stations, what was once a fading, auto-oriented suburb has boomed to a point where the walkable urban parts of the county, representing 10 percent of the county's land, now account for more than 50 percent of the county's tax revenue. Moreover, the influx of singles and childless couples, who pay school taxes but have few children, have contributed to making Arlington's public schools among the best in the country. And surprisingly, while residential densities have doubled along the corridor since 1985, absolute traffic counts have actually gone down, as more people are able to get around by transit, biking and, most important, walking.

Those living in existing single-family housing within walking distance of these new urbanized places in Arlington have also seen their quality of life improve, as evidenced by the premiums, often 80 percent to 100 percent, in the values of their homes over single-family housing in Arlington that is not within walking distance of urban amenities. These residents have access to both the suburban environment they desire and walking convenience to great urbanism – the best of both worlds.

Like Arlington, New Jersey has the right mix of assets to benefit from the pent-up demand for walkable urbanism, including an extensive transit system and proximity to a major city – in fact, two major cities. But unlike Arlington, most New Jersey municipalities have not capitalized on the potential benefits of these trends by providing a supportive development climate around rail transit stations.

There are people all across New Jersey who want to live in or close to walkable urban places, and plenty of developers who want to create them. Now it's up to the planners, neighbors, regulators, policy makers and others to let them do it.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 12, 2012, 09:44:46 AM
There are two issues with this. (1) The first is to make the new zoning standards ONLY for those areas.  Not apply them to other parts of Hackensack, either by zoning or by variance.

(2) The second is to write the new zoning criteria in such a way as to prevent construction of tiny low-end units. Those who follow zoning and planning in Hackensack will note that every multi-unit building completed from 1989 onwards have been large units, with large room sizes, and selling or renting for higher amounts.  That was because of the change from 1.5 to 2.1 parking spaces per unit, and the new 15-foot unpaved side yards.  The impact of those changes meant that the number of units that could be built was determined by the number of parking spaces that could be built onsite, NOT by building height, building setback, or other such criteria.  So if a developer could only provide 42 parking spots, that meant 20 units.  It became economical to build larger and much nicer units. The first building built under that criteria was 60 Moonachie Road. Other projects with larger units include State and Clay, State & Central, Polifly & Kaplan, First St just north of Arena Diner, the new building on Linden Street, and a few others.

In contrast, most of the mid-rise buildings built up until the mid-80's building boom are tiny units.  Tiny kitchens, tiny bedrooms with tiny closets. "New construction" at the time, but not holding their real estate value in the long run, and really not helping Hackensack.  For instance, the cluster of four buildings on the north side of Union Street at Sussex.  Also the two "Aztec" buildings, one on the lowest block of Euclid, one on Oak St a few blocks from Route 4.  In fact, the whole cluster around Jefferson Street. These units were built small because developers could pack as many units as possible onto a property.  PARKING wasn't the limiting factor. 50 small units selling at $100,000 each was more profitable than 30 spacious units selling for $135,000 each. Do the math. That's exactly what the builders were looking at.  So why build higher-end condominiums ? When the 2.1 parking space per unit criteria was adopted, there was no way to build 50 units on that same property because there was only room for parking to supply 30 units.  So if a developer has the choice to build 30 tiny units or 30 spacious units, they are going to build 30 spacious units.  Those who were pushing for the zoning changes in December 1987 had no clue whatsoever that this would be the impact, all people were thinking about was preventing street parking crisis and adding some green space (not to have parking lots abutting more parking lots, the sea-of-asphalt effect around Jefferson Street).  What actually happened was a big surprise to everyone. Those who toured new buildings saw the larger units and were happy. 

The same was true for rentals, and that's how Park Street was trashed with 333 Park Street (built 1985) and 370 Park Street (built 1975). Those were all tiny apartments with high turnover rates, and low rents. Those buildings are little better than housing projects. Had 370 Park Street been higher-end housing, that would have strengthened that neighborhood at a key time in its' history.

Do we want to return to building tiny units with tiny kitchens that look like walk-in closets (aka: Quail Heights and other Swensen Construction buildings), with 90 square foot bedrooms and without walk-in bedroom closets ?  That's not progress, that's not going to help Hackensack. Fortunately Swensen is a really good landlord or their buildings would be hell-holes.

So with this lesson in mind, if there are any new zoning criteria coming, somehow Hackensack has to make sure that tiny little units aren't constructed.  I was told once, many years ago, that the city could theoretically set minimum sizes for units, or for rooms inside units such as bedrooms, kitchens, etc.  Unsure if this can be done through zoning or health codes.  Any new criteria needs to be analyzed with an eye towards QUALITY construction, not tiny little units.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 19, 2012, 11:15:41 AM
Hackensack officials unveil Main Street redevelopment plan
Wednesday April 18, 2012, 10:01 PM
BY REBECCA D. O'BRIEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — City officials on Wednesday night embarked on the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street, which has languished in recent years.

The rehabilitation would “promote the creation of a livable and real downtown district,” said Francis Reiner, a planner who presented the plan at a City Council meeting Wednesday.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on the city’s Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, new businesses, residences and open space.

Mayor Jorge Meneses said the city is on the cusp of greater things.

“What gives me the confidence, and even cockiness, to say this is the fact that we have this plan, and the tools to move our city into the future,” Meneses said. “We don’t really have an alternative. We either make this work or our beloved city will go down the drain.”

The council unanimously approved the resolution in support of the plan.

In a recent interview, Reiner said Hackensack — the Bergen County seat, home to Hackensack University Medical Center and ample public transportation — is ideally positioned for a revival, but restrictive zoning had inhibited growth.

“This document really opens that up and takes away the component that was holding back development,” Reiner said.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin contributed to this article. Email: obrien@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 22, 2012, 12:16:43 AM
Hackensack unveils plan for rebirth
Saturday, April 21, 2012
BY REBECCA D. O'BRIEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — City officials unveiled their vision for a revitalized downtown this week, proposing an ambitious zoning overhaul that they said would lay the foundation for a new urban center within a decade.

The plan marks the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street, once the commercial heart of Bergen County.

The rehabilitation would "promote the creation of a livable and real downtown district," said planner Francis Reiner, who presented the plan at a council meeting Wednesday night.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on the city's Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, as well as new businesses, residences and open space.

"New zoning is intended to support and strengthen business and property owners while allowing new opportunities for mixed-use projects," Reiner said, clicking through slides with artists' renderings of vibrant streetscapes.

The council unanimously approved the resolution in support of the plan, and members of a small, supportive audience stood to offer congratulations.

"The objective of the plan is to stimulate the economic engine now lying dormant in our downtown," said Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the city's Upper Main Street Alliance.

David Sanzari, president of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, said: "As many people know, there have been many groups that have tried to get this done over the years … but nothing ever happened. This is the first time I've seen something come this far."

In a recent interview, Reiner said that Hackensack — the Bergen County seat, home to hospitals and schools and a hub of public transportation — was ideally positioned for a revival, but restrictive zoning had inhibited growth.

"This document really opens that up and takes away the component that was holding back development," Reiner said.

Staff Writer Stephanie Akin contributed to this article. Email: obrien@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 22, 2012, 12:19:51 AM
www.hackensack.org/rehabilitation
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on April 22, 2012, 11:22:01 AM
Thanks for posting the plan.  It's a good read.

A few comments

1. It talks about a minimum 450 sf per unit.  Does that mean 450 sf of lot size per unit, or does that mean an apartment can be built with 450 sf of floor space ?
2. I most strongly disagree with the high parking requirements for retail and restaurant. It's way, way too high, and a disincentive for retail and restaurant construction. Most of the patrons of the retail or restaurant will be coming from office or residential in the immediate area, and parking is ALREADY provided for those persons at the office or residential structure.  Instead I would keep to the 2.1 spots per unit for residential (for 2 or more bedrooms), and perhaps go to 1.5 if it is a one-bedroom unit. Restaurants and retail should have no parking requirements, zero. That's how we're going to lure in the big national stores.
3. Please prohibit advertising on bus shelters and garbage receptacles. There are companies out there that specialize in "maintaining" bus shelters if they are allowed to use them as billboards.  It's tacky. 
4. I see that they finally found a planning consultant to agree with the basic presumption in downtown planning for Hackensack, that all the problems of Main Street stem from it being one-way traffic.  So we now have a plan based on two-way traffic.  Yipppeee ????  Great, we'll return to traffic gridlock conditions of the early 1970's, and when driving up or down Main Street, I will only be able to look for a spot on ONE side of the street.  Right now I can surf for spots on both sides of the street as I drive northbound. I like that option.  To me, this proposed change is going not one, but TWO steps backwards.  If this HAS to be done, at least keep the side streets as one-way.  To reduce the traffic gridlock.  I could imagine some of the side streets being converted from two lanes in ONE DIRECTION to one lane in ONE DIRECTION.  And that would open up street parking opportunities.
5. I'm pleased to see that the sidewalks are being widened, but I think the 18' could be 20'.  That will allow for 13' sidewalk, which is still much less than Washington Street in Hoboken.
6. It would be good to include The Record campus in the study area, in order to take control over that development.  Otherwise we could be stuck with a big WalMart
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2012, 03:48:38 PM
Hackensack officials showcase downtown plan
Friday, May 4, 2012
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — A new plan geared toward the revitalization of Hackensack's downtown was unveiled at the April 18 City Council meeting, The effort to bring the city's Main Street corridor back to its former commercial strength includes zoning changes to spur economic and residential growth.

The rehabilitation plan focuses on a designated 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties centered on Main Street and the surrounding area, remembered as a commercial and entertainment Mecca in the 1940s and 50s. The proposal incorporates a mix of new housing and businesses along with open space. Enhanced infrastructure, including improved roads and sidewalks, are also part of the plan.

Planner Francis Reiner of DMR Architects laid out the plan before the council and approximately 40 residents and business people, displaying slides with scenes of the city to come.

"New zoning is intended to support and strengthen existing businesses and property owners while allowing new opportunities for mixed-use projects," Reiner said. "Great downtowns require active streets, which require mixed residential and commercial uses."

The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution supporting the plan. Members of the community also spoke out in support of the proposal.

"This plan does not contemplate [the use of] any eminent domain, or the taking of any property, bur rather seeks to harness the power of the marketplace to rebuild our downtown," said Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the city's Upper Main Street Alliance. "It utilizes solid urban planning techniques, forward-thinking zoning, and transit-oriented solutions, all of which are now being used successfully in other parts of the country. The objective of the plan is to stimulate the economic engine now lying dormant in our downtown."

David Sanzari, president of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, also expressed his backing for the plan, remembering other downtown redevelopment plans that never got off the ground.

"This is the first time I've seen something come this far," Sanzari said.

Albert Dib, executive director of the Upper Main Street Alliance, explained why he felt this plan has a real chance to succeed where others have failed.

"This is different because you have the weight of the business community behind it, a fully engaged governing body, and the right team of professionals," Dib said. "When you put those elements together, along with a significant community outreach program to get residents involved, you have the right mix."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 14, 2012, 12:07:28 PM
Downtown revival clears another hurdle
Monday, May 14, 2012
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — An ambitious plan to spark downtown revitalization has received unanimous approval from the Planning Board, the second of several procedural steps before the city can take action.

Mayor Jorge Meneses called the approval an important step for the plan, a zoning overhaul that officials say will lay the foundation for a new urban center within a decade. He also urged residents and business owners to participate as the plan moves through the legislative process.

"We are ushering in a new era for Hackensack that will spur investment, creates jobs, raise our property values, and in the long-term lower the tax burden on our residents," Meneses said in a statement. "It is important that we hear from the diverse voices in our community so we can all come together and get this plan into action."

The plan marks the latest attempt to rehabilitate Main Street once the commercial heart of Bergen County.

Comprising 163 acres, 39 blocks and 389 properties centered on the Main Street corridor, the proposal envisions improved infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, as well as new businesses, residences and open space.

The document will return to the City Council for an official hearing in June, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said.

Email: akin@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 15, 2012, 12:01:26 PM
With ambitious downtown plan, Hackensack looks to draw people back to Bergen's center (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2012/05/with_ambitious_downtown_rehabilitation_plan_hackensack_looks_to_draw_people_back_to_bergens_center.html)
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 8:30 AM     
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 8:42 AM
By S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com

DMR ArchitectsAn artist's rendering of a revitalized, mixed-use downtown Hackensack. Read the rehabilitation plan »
HACKENSACK — City Manager Steve Lo Iacono remembers the Hackensack of his childhood, when the city was a center of commerce. A destination.

"Historically, it was the center of Bergen County," Lo Iacono told NJ.com recently, adding that the presence of hospitals, several major highways and rail lines and the central offices of county government made the city a destination. "Those factors haven't changed."

(http://media.nj.com/bergen_impact/photo/11020458-large.png)
An artist's rendering of a revitalized, mixed-use downtown Hackensack.

What has changed is the rise of automobile commuting, which sent city-dwellers all over America into the suburbs over the course of a few decades. Hackensack isn't alone in its struggle to draw people back to its downtown, and now officials here are trying to implement the recommendations of a lofty "downtown rehabilitation plan" that it commissioned from the Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects.

The focus of the study was an ambitious overhaul of zoning laws in a "rehabilitation area" of 389 existing properties across 39 city blocks, spanning a total 164 acres. It recently received unanimous approval from the city's planning board, and public hearings are slated for June.

Project Manager Francis Reiner says there was another subtle force that sent businesses and residents away from the urban center: Municipalities all over began enforcing single-use zoning laws, relegating one section of a city to commerce and another to residential space. He said peeling back those restrictions, allowing living space above first-floor storefronts, creates a vibrant downtown.

"We have to change the tools and the mechanisms to allow that kind of development to occur," Reiner said. "This plan does that."

(http://media.nj.com/bergen_impact/photo/11021886-large.png)
The proposed rehabilitation area spans from the county administration buildings at its southern end up to University Plaza Drive.

Lo Iacono says the plan looks to build on the the city's strengths — its diversity, easy access to public transportation among them — while respecting the architectural and historical character of the city.


DMR ArchitectsThe proposed rehabilitation area spans from the county administration buildings at its southern end up to University Plaza Drive.
"We're not looking to have someone bulldoze Main Street from the Court House to Sears and put up skyscrapers," he said.

The proposal, spelled out in a lengthy report issued by DMR Architects in April, calls for a streamlined permitting process that will help developers seeking approval of downtown construction projects cut more quickly through red tape. But they also take a bold stance on what the city will and won't permit, spelling out in black and white the kind of structures they want — and what they don't.

"A developer doesn't know if brick or stucco or vinyl is something the city wants or doesn't want," Reiner said of the current planning and zoning processes. "He's got to spend a lot of money making a presentation that might not go anywhere. These standards come out and say it."

Vinyl siding, for example, is a no-go for store fronts. As are plastics, "simulated materials," smoked or tinted glass and acrylic materials. In their place it recommends materials like wood, metal, glass and brick — an emphasis is placed on "durable materials."

While the requirements and recommendations may be prescriptive, Reiner contends that they only spell out in writing what a zoning board would tell a developer later on in the process.

"It's not overly prescribed," he said. "There's a certain amount of flexibility in the plan."

Ultimately, he said, "We want active first-floor uses. That's what makes a city great."

As examples, Reiner points to nearby cities like Morristown, New Brunswick, Hoboken and Jersey City, all of which have achieved downtown revitalization to varying degrees. Meanwhile in Fort Lee, the borough is currently wrestling with how to go at a similarly ambitious $1 billion mixed-use project just south of the George Washington Bridge.

Because so much of the plan relies on private investment in development, it's hard to gauge the ultimate cost of the undertaking, but Lo Iacono points to the praise the plan received from Hackensack-based developer David Sanzari at the April 18 city council meeting where it was unveiled, an endorsement that he said "spoke volumes."

"We know there are a lot of developers that want these types of projects," Lo Iacono said, while acknowledging that they'll have to overcome "long-held beliefs of how people look at the city."

But the plan also recommends changes to the city streets themselves, including converting the one-ways like Court Street and Bergen Street to two-way roads, and a widening of pedestrian sidewalks, which will require significant public investment.

Lo Iacono said implementation of the plan "will probably force our hand" on a $1.2 million overhaul of the city's storm water sewer system, which is over a hundred years old and frequently overflows into the Hackensack River during storms.

"It needs to be done anyway," he said. "We know we need to do it."

The possibility of major development projects being undertaken at the same time as a major renovation of the Bergen County Justice Complex doesn't seem to faze the city manager, either. He points out that the construction will be focused downtown, and that major thoroughfares like River, Passaic and Essex streets won't be impacted. Too much construction, he says, doesn't rank among his concerns.

"I hope I have those problems," he said.

© 2012 NJ.com. All rights reserved.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 15, 2012, 08:46:25 AM
Hackensack business owners express support for plans to revitalize Main Street
Thursday June 14, 2012, 11:49 PM
BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — Business owners talked Thursday evening about a revitalized downtown lined with five-story residential buildings, a two-way Main Street and more outdoor eating if the City Council approves a proposed zoning change later this month.

The third annual Upper Main Alliance business expo drew almost 200 people to the Bergen Community College building on Main Street, where Jerry Lombardo, the organization’s chairman, unveiled posters with some of the leading proposals for revitalizing the city’s downtown.

The council is expected to vote on June 27on zoning changes that would the proposals possible.

Lombardo told the crowd that he envisions a day when there will be “several thousand units of housing” in the Main Street area. “Tonight, my heart is racing,” he said.

The Planning Board last month recommended making zoning changes to allow residential buildings with ground-floor retail and office space on Main Street, an area where residential buildings are largely barred under the city’s current zoning code.

The proposed zoning would allow five-story buildings along Main Street and 14-story buildings for some large-scale projects, said Francis Reiner of DMR, a Hasbrouck Heights-based redevelopment consultant hired by the city. He said 14-story buildings already are allowed in the area but developers won’t build them, or much of anything else, because of parking requirements and restrictions on residential buildings.

Mixed-use zoning, allowing residential buildings with first-floor retail, has been the blueprint for redevelopment of other downtowns, he said. The new rules also would reduce the number of parking spaces that businesses are required to provide.

The master plan was amended in 2006 to allow the area’s zoning to be changed, Reiner said. Last year, the city designated a 163-acre, 39 block area along the Main Street corridor as an area in need of rehabilitation.

Thursday’s exposition included dozens of booths manned by local business owners, a Hackensack police officer on a Segway to promote new downtown patrols, an acoustic band and cheerleaders who did back flips.

Corrado Belgiovine, of the Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group, said the zoning changes would create an atmosphere similar to Hoboken, Jersey City and Englewood. “It can happen here,” he said.

Lucy Wildrick, of Street-Works Development in White Plains, N.Y., said her company is interested in building in the area but told city officials that zoning changes would be needed. She said she also would press for Main Street to be converted from one-way to two ways to make it easier for people to get around.

“We believe that’s important,” she said. “Two ways makes it more user friendly.”

She said she envisions Main Street being developed in sections, with office buildings near the Superior Court building that include some apartments, and more residential buildings farther north.

Reiner said the city would create a technical review committee, as many other towns have done, to discuss ideas with developers before they apply for permits.

Email: koloff@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 28, 2012, 07:20:52 PM
Hackensack city council approves ambitious downtown rehabilitation plan (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2012/06/hackensack_city_council_approves_ambitious_downtown_rehabilitation_plan.html)

HACKENSACK — The city council approved an ambitious rehabilitation plan Wednesday evening that city officials say will streamline development downtown.

"After a lengthy public approval process and many long days working to put together a plan that best positions Hackensack to thrive, I am confident that we will now start to see progress in revitalizing our downtown with new residential, dining, and commercial options," Mayor Jorge Meneses said in a statement following the vote.

The vote put into place significant changes to the city's zoning procedures, including specific guidelines for the materials and uses the zoning board will green light.

In an interview with NJ.com in May, Francis Reiner of the Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects, which drafted the plan, outlined the changes. He said the plan's main focus was shifting the city's ordinances from single-use zoning toward multi-use, allowing residences to exist above first-floor businesses.

"We have to change the tools and the mechanisms to allow that kind of development to occur," Reiner said. "This plan does that."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 03, 2012, 12:36:18 AM
Builders respond to downtown plan (http://www.northjersey.com/news/161040625_Builders_respond_to_downtown_plan.html?page=all)
Monday, July 2, 2012
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — Developers are already showing interest in a recently adopted city plan designed to spark a downtown building boom and return the city to its heyday as Bergen County's retail and cultural center, city officials said Friday.

Three developers have met with city officials in the past eight weeks to discuss tentative ideas, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said. Several others have made telephone inquiries about opportunities created by the city's downtown revitalization plan, which eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39 city block-area known as the city's Main Street corridor.

"We're delivering the message that we're very receptive to developing," Lo Iacono said. "We're open for business."

City officials would not reveal the names of the interested developers, and those Lo Iacono contacted for this story declined to talk with a reporter for fear of exposing their plans to competitors, he said.

But all of them want to build the type of mixed-use residential and commercial projects the city — like many communities with blighted urban areas — are trying to attract, said Francis Reiner, a planner with DMR Architects in Hasbrouck Heights who is a consultant on the project.

"This really brings Hackensack to the attention of all those types of developers that have previously been going to other communities," he said.

Reimer and others who worked on the project said the city already has several characteristics that would draw developers, including dozens of preserved historical buildings of various architectural styles, government buildings, a major hospital and easy access to highways and public transportation.

But previous urban renewal projects have been hampered by antiquated zoning, designed at a time when Americans were abandoning downtown areas for the suburbs and wanted separation between retail areas and residential neighborhoods.

The 63-page Downtown Rehabilitation Plan attempts to bring requirements for new developers into line with the contemporary taste for downtown areas where people can live, work, shop and find entertainment, mainly by removing restrictions on residential developments with ground floor retail and office space.

The proposal envisions buildings as high as 14 stories, side-walk restaurants and carefully maintained storefronts – which would adhere to a series of aesthetic requirements.

Those changes will be followed by a study on how to improve parking in the city, an attempt to secure the $3 million in financing needed to start the first of three phases to repair the city's antiquated sewer system, and a streamlined approval process meant to allow developers to reduce up-front expenses.

The parking study, considered a crucial step in the process, is due this week, Lo Iacono said. City officials are also considering a suggestion in the plan to convert one-way streets in the designated area — including Main Street and State Street — to two-way, which is thought to be more attractive to shoppers and businesses.

Several commercial developers asked to weigh in on the plan Wednesday said they have been watching it with interest, but they were still skeptical.

"In theory, it's a great thing for Hackensack," said Thomas Reilly, managing director of the real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle in Parsippany. "But will the economy allow it to happen?"

He said the city may need to provide tax breaks and other incentives to jump-start development, measures Lo Iacono said city officials will consider for the right project.

Jon Hansen, chairman of The Hampshire Cos., a Morristown-based real estate investment company, said the parking changes will be crucial.

"Without the parking, there will always be a high percentage of vacancy," he said. "If you attract the residential and provide parking, the retail community will revitalize."

David Sanzari, who said his family-owned company, Alfred Sanzari enterprises, owns more than $60 million worth of property in downtown Hackensack, said he has no doubt the plan will work.

"The hardest thing is to get these things started, who goes first," he said. "Once that happens, developers will come in, property values will skyrocket and we will be well on our way."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 11, 2012, 09:50:51 AM
Hackensack council approves downtown revitalization plan (http://www.northjersey.com/news/161529825_Council_approves_plan_to_revitalize_city_s_downtown.html)
Friday, July 6, 2012
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

The Hackensack City Council unanimously approved the adoption of a new downtown development plan designed to spur the economic growth of the city’s Main Street corridor at the June 27 council meeting.

The redevelopment effort includes zoning changes to encourage economic and residential growth in the city’s downtown and restore its former commercial strength. The rehabilitation plan designates 163 acres, 39 city blocks and 389 properties consisting of Main Street and the surrounding area, remembered as a commercial and entertainment Mecca in the 1940s and 50s. The proposal incorporates a mix of new housing and businesses along with open space. Enhanced infrastructure, including improved roads and sidewalks, are also part of the plan.

Planner Francis Reiner of DMR Architects noted the benefits of the plan’s new zoning proposals.

"The zoning in this plan is intended to promote mixed-use development, active streets with two-sided retail, outdoor dining and a more pedestrian-friendly urban environment," he said. "The new zoning also supports existing property owners, existing businesses, the rehabilitation of those businesses and new development opportunities in the downtown area."

Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the city’s Upper Main Street Alliance, looked ahead to how the area designated for redevelopment, bounded approximately by the Bergen County Courthouse to the south, the Sears department store to the north, State Street to the west and River Street to the east, will be changed for the better when the plan is executed.

"We’re not reinventing the wheel — the wheel is already there, and we have to get it rolling in Hackensack," Lombardo said. "We have confidence in the plan. It does not contemplate any use of eminent domain or the taking of anyone’s property. Rather, it seeks through the power of the market to rebuild our downtown."

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono noted that he believed the success of the plan, to be implemented over the next ten to 12 years by the public-private partnership established between the city and the alliance, would not be jeopardized by the ongoing legal cost of police-related lawsuits.

"There is no question that there is going to be increased tax ratables once this plan is rolling along," Lo Iacono said. "This plan will help us to underwrite all the costs of running the city in the long term. The legal situation is a serious situation, but a short-term one."

Albert Dib, executive director of the Upper Main Street Alliance, felt that the approval of the plan could make history in Hackensack.

"I think this is the most important thing to happen in Hackensack in my lifetime," said Dib, 40. "This plan solidifies Hackensack’s place as Bergen County’s center for commerce and culture. There are no other municipalities in Bergen County that can offer what we’re about to offer."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 31, 2012, 11:33:02 AM
Business owners give their take on ambitious downtown effort in Hackensack (http://www.northjersey.com/news/168100046_Business_owners_give_their_take_on_ambitous_downtown_effort_in_Hackensack.html?page=all)
Friday August 31, 2012, 9:16 AM
BY  CAESAR DARIAS
CORRESPONDENT
Hackensack Chronicle

In June, the Hackensack City Council unanimously approved an ambitious plan to transform the city's downtown shopping area into a modern district where people live, work and enjoy a nightlife.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*168/Currence_082712_hk_tif_.jpg)
CAESAR DARIAS/PHOTO
Lorraine Currence has been working as a hairstylist at Straight Nappy for seven years. 'That would be very good,' she said about Hackensack's downtown redevelopment plan. 'Main street is really dead. If we get a lot of pedestrian traffic that will bring business then I'm all for that.' "


That would be great because we really need some kind of business," said Rosayde Ramirez, 31, who has owned Phiefer's & El Portero restaurant on Main Street for six years. "Hackensack is very dead, especially at night time. I've been open 6:30 to 9 p.m. and there's no business after four o'clock."

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said if he could address Main Street merchants he would tell them that if the plan is completed they "will have an awful lot more people in the district as potential customers. His property values are going to increase because all the properties around him are going to be significantly improved."

The City of Hackensack Rehabilitation Plan, however, is a long-term solution that could take a decade to complete, said Lo Iacono.

According to the detailed two-volume plan prepared by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, "approximately 163.80 acres on 389 parcels in 39 city blocks" would be transformed into a "livable, real and clearly defined downtown district."

"What we hope to see is a mixed use area with many more people living in the Main Street district," said Lo Iacono.

The plan has several major components starting with overhauling zoning laws, a goal that was achieved when the city council approved the plan.

"Existing zoning is archaic," said Lo Iacono. "If someone wants to come in and establish a new business such as a restaurant, the old zoning laws governing parking, outdoor dining, setbacks from the streets, have made it impossible."

Luis Ortiz, 40, would agree. He started his first business in Hackensack 20 years ago selling hot dogs out of a small shop. He now owns five businesses in Hackensack including MetroPCS and Detalles.

"It's a Christian book store," said Ortiz. "We also do money transfers and shipping services." Ortiz rents six apartments above Detalles.

Ortiz said he agrees that zoning laws can be burdensome on businesses. "They have rules but sometimes for a business owner it takes a lot of time and frustration to open a business," said Ortiz. "We want a merchant-friendly town."

"We've had reputation that we were not developer friendly," said Lo Iacono. "We're making a very, very concerted attempt to change that perception."

The plan calls for the "total restructuring of the parking system." said Lo Iacono. "Right now we have a tremendous amount of surface parking. It's not well placed. And people don't realize where it is."

Lo Iacono said parking requirements were "impossible to meet." They have "established a system of shared parking" which allows spaces to be used by business and residents.

The plan would "turn one way streets into two way streets," said Lo Iacono. "Signals, signage and intersections would need to be redone in some cases. It's a pretty significant undertaking. Everything that we've gotten from planners, developers says there are no successful downtowns that have a one-way circulation."

Zoning law changes would encourage "Catalyst Development," which is a project analogous to an anchor store in a mall. "It's a project that could be transformative on Main Street," said Lo Iacono. According the plan, a Catalyst project would be "over 400,000 leasable square feet" (not including a parking deck) and up to 14 stories, or 176 feet tall, exceeding the law's 5 story limit.

Lo Iacono said the first infrastructure project will address sewer and water changes. "We have a combined sewer system that runs through the downtown area right now and we're already taking the first steps to separate it so it can better handle the increased load."

Lo Iacono said the first third of the sewer project will cost about $3 million.

"That's not to say the whole thing is going to cost $9 million," said Lo Iacono. The city will borrow money to complete the project, which could begin next year," Lo Iacono said.

"That's work that needs to be done whether we were doing this rehab or not," said Lo Iacono. "The sewer system in that area is really overburdened."

Asked if the city has a cost estimate for the entire rehabilitation plan, Lo Iacono said, "No we do not."

Whatever the final cost, Lo Iacono said the city will essentially borrow all the money. Hackensack has an $87 million annual budget and, according to the city's 2011 debt statement, they carry about $43.5 million in debt.

According to the plan, possible funding mechanisms to pay debt include "levying a special tax assessment on all or a portion of a Catalyst Development Project," "allocating revenues generated by public parking facilities" and "the sale of public owned property to the designated developer(s) as part of a development project."

As the plan moves forward, it's not only business owners who stand to benefit.

Lorraine Currence has been working as a hairstylist at Straight Nappy for seven years. "That would be very good," she said about the plan. "Main street is really dead. If we get a lot of pedestrian traffic that will bring business then I'm all for that."

Currence, who states her age as "old enough," said the economy has impacted her bottom line. "A lot of clients don't come simply because they can't afford it," she said while performing a weave, which can cost $100 and up. "And they have to put their priorities right. Some don't come."

When asked his opinion about the plan, Leon A. Isufi, who owns Main Galaxy, an art gallery, custom framing and photo restoration store, said, "Stop lying because they have no plans. They try to put people to sleep pretending that they are working. But they've been saying that for the last 40 years."

Isufi, 67, has owned his business for 33 years. He says his taxes went up $4,300 last year. "I get $18,000 rent from the store next door. I pay (Hackensack) $17,645. Basically I am working for the town, for their pensions, for their salaries, for their vacations, nepotism, favoritism, everything.

"I own the building but I'm not the owner," Isufi said. "I work for them. They milk me like a cow. They take our money. They promise everything. In the end they do nothing."

Albert H. Dib is the executive director of the Upper Main Street Alliance, a business improvement organization with a $360,000 annual budget funded through a mandatory assessment on 375 businesses on Main Street from Atlantic Street to Clinton Place.

He supports the plan and says it could help to stabilize taxes. "When you get a fully rehabilitated downtown and when it's generating the taxes it should ... what you hope happens is you would see a general lessening of the tax burden," said Dib, who also works as a legal analyst for the city manager.

"There's very little residential base," said Dib. "Nobody lives here. That's why mixed use become such an important element."

Although a member of the Alliance's board of directors, Ortiz said he said he was not speaking on their behalf. He believes they can play an important role on Main Street. "In the case of cleaning and improving the storefronts and having a group organized so that everybody has the same goals, it's better right now," he said.

"The downtown area in Hackensack fell into somewhat disrepair over the past 25, 30, 35 years," said Lo Iacono. "It was the shopping hub for Bergen County back in the 50s and 60s.

Lo Iacono said "the onset of the highway stores, the big box stores and the flight to the suburbs" drove customers away from downtown.

According to Lo Iacono, cities like Morristown, New Brunswick, Red Bank and Rahway have taken downtowns that were in trouble and achieved a transformation. He believes Hackensack can model the same approach.

In September, the city has invited about 60 developers to review the rehabilitation plan, according to Lo Iacono.

Despite current economic difficulties and high unemployment, Lo Iacono says the rehabilitation plan will "put us in the position to take advantage of the rebound when it comes."

Rehabilitation plan details can be found at http://www.hackensack.org/content/5637/default.aspx
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 01, 2012, 10:03:06 PM
Hackensack looks to draw business back downtown with streamlined development process  (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2012/08/hackensack_looks_to_draw_business_back_downtown_with_streamlined_development_process.html)
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012, 1:08 PM
By S.P. Sullivan/NJ.com 

HACKENSACK — After the approval of an ambitious downtown rehabilitation plan, the city is hammering out new rules that would promote mixed-use retail and residential development along Main Street.

The city has drafted a step-by-step checklist for developers that spells out the uses and materials the planning board will approve and adjusted its fee structure to be more competitive with other cities.

Mayor Mike Melfi said in a statement that the new rules "cut the red tape for developers" along the Main Street corridor. DMR Architects, the authors of the city's rehabilitation plan, advised officials to spell out what kinds of development would be permissible downtown to better prepare them for the application process.

The plan also creates a "Pre-Application Review Committee" to review proposed projects at the request of developers before the formal application process.

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said the plan is part of the city's "aggressive efforts to court new developers into our community.”

The city council sent the changes to the planning board earlier this week.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 03, 2012, 09:27:38 AM
The Pre-Application Review Committee is a very good idea.  If the city really wants to tell the world that it is open for development in this downtown redevelopment district, that's the way to do it.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 03, 2012, 06:16:33 PM
Hackensack to streamline zoning rules (http://www.northjersey.com/news/168298586_Hackensack_to_streamline_zoning_rules.html?page=all)
Sunday, September 2, 2012    Last updated: Sunday September 2, 2012, 9:49 AM
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — Developers looking to build in the city would get more guidance under a streamlined process that is scheduled for Planning Board review.

Nancy Kist, an attorney at DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick and Cole who worked on the new procedures, said the changes are intended to save developers both time and money.
 
She could not immediately say what the new fees would be, but she said most of them would be lower.

Developers could also save money by identifying problems with their applications before they begin the costly hearing process, she said.

The changes are part of a city plan designed to spark a downtown building boom and return the city to its heyday as Bergen County's retail and cultural center.

"I am confident these new measures will be well received by our Planning Board and potential investors in our city," Hackensack Mayor Mike Melfi said.

A city press release outlining the proposal did not say when the Planning Board would review it, but the board's next scheduled meeting is Sept. 12.

Main Street

The city approved a 63-page Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in June, easing zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39 city block-area known as the city's Main Street corridor.

The plan aims to bring requirements for new developers into line with the contemporary taste for downtown areas where people can live, work, shop and find entertainment, mainly by removing restrictions on residential developments with ground floor retail and office space.

City officials envision buildings as high as 14 stories, sidewalk restaurants and carefully maintained storefronts.

Changes in the furute would also include improved parking, repairs to the city's antiquated sewer system and the re-introduction of two-way traffic on Main Street.

More guidance

The proposed changes include:
 • A committee of city representatives who would review developers' pitches before they are formally presented to the zoning or planning boards.
 • Forms and checklists to help developers through the application process.
 • A revamped fee structure that city officials said would be more aligned with costs in surrounding communities.


Email: akin@northjersey.com

See Press Releases and more information here (http://www.hackensack.org/content/5637/default.aspx).
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 14, 2012, 09:59:58 PM
Changes proposed to planning process
Friday, October 12, 2012
BY  CAESAR DARIAS
CORRESPONDENT
Hackensack Chronicle

City council members have taken one more step toward reaching their stated goal of making Hackensack a more developer-friendly community by proposing a simpler, more streamlined and transparent construction permit approval process.

According to City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono, the goal is to "make the application process more efficient and less cumbersome."

The proposed Pre-Application Conceptual Review Committee (PACRC) would amend the city's Land Use Ordinance.

The committee would "informally review proposed development applications that are brought before it on a voluntary basis by applicants; and acquaint the applicant with, among other things, the City's Master Plan, zoning regulations and other sources of information that may aid the applicant in preparing a submittal to the Planning or Zoning Board."

The proposal is part of an effort to jump-start the ambitious City of Hackensack Rehabilitation Plan, a long-term project that seeks to modernize, revitalize and transform a 163.80 acre section of the business district into a thriving downtown where people live, work and enjoy a bustling night life.

The Rehabilitation Plan, which was approved by the city council in June, overhauled zoning laws which were called "archaic" by Lo Iacono.

"It's based on the past where it's been very, very difficult for someone who wanted to come in," said Lo Iacono. "The paperwork had been onerous. The application process had been terrible. A developer had to invest a lot of money just to get ready to submit an application."

PACRC applicants would be charged $500 for the "informal review" and, according to the proposal, "any statements or recommendations made. . . shall not have a binding legal effect on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment or any city representative participating in the PACRC."

The city recently held a meeting with developers who, according to Lo Iacono, expressed support for more clarity in the application process. Lo Iacono said developers "expressed a desire for a process like this."

"This will require a lower level of information and detail, initially, when submitting an application for a project," Lo Iacono explained. "The end result, when all is said and done, you need to have the same amount of detail. But in the first step you have the initial kind of fear of spending a lot of money and being rejected. That has been removed to a certain degree."

Final passage of the PACRC proposal is scheduled to be considered at the city council meeting on Oct. 16.

Email: hackensack@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 15, 2012, 02:14:11 PM
Hackensack plan to convert parking lot into park meeting resistance (http://www.northjersey.com/news/173835591_Hackensack_plan_to_convert_parking_lot_into_park_meeting_resistance.html?page=all)
Friday, October 12, 2012
BY CAESAR DARIAS
CORRESPONDENT
Hackensack Chronicle

City leaders and business owners are seeking a compromise solution regarding a plan to convert a downtown parking lot into a public park.

The current parking lot — located Atlantic and Warren streets — contains 52 metered parking spaces and is adjacent to where the city is renovating a new 9,000 square-foot cultural arts center, located at Atlantic and State streets.

According to City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono, current plans for the park include a gazebo performance space that can accommodate about 200 people.

"The city would reduce that to about nine spaces and the property owners are not happy," said Joseph R. Contaldi, 57, an attorney who owns part of the Landmark Building at 27 Warren St. "There are a number of commercial businesses that border that parking lot and their clients and customers use that lot."

Contaldi, in an interview after the meeting, who is the "point-person" for concerned businesses, said there have been "meetings, discussions and letters of dissent" written.

"In that building alone there are in excess of 20 attorneys, two accountants, a realtor and a publishing company," said Contaldi. "And that's our building alone."

Contaldi's building also houses his own law office and 14 condominium units.

"We're not losing the spots because we are replacing them," said Lo Iacono.

Lo Iacono also said that a parking consultant found that the parking lot is underutilized. "There's 52 spots," he said. "Of the 52, 14 are leased on a monthly basis by tenants in that building. Of the balance of 38, there is utilization of less than 50 percent of the time. Over 50 percent of the spots were vacant the majority of they day."

Moreover, according to Lo Iacono, "We're going to be creating some on-street parking … and creating another 40 spots on the ground level of a garage on the same street."

Speaking at the Committee of the Whole meeting preceding the council meeting, Councilwoman Karen K. Sasso supported the Atlantic Street Park as a complement to the arts center. "I think that anybody who's against it is just obstructing the future of Main Street," said Sasso. "I'd love to be able to review it and see if we can come to some sort of compromise."

"We don't want to be obstructionists," said Contaldi. "The property owners in the area are hoping to reach a compromise with the city and avoid litigation."

Contaldi said the compromise would allow businesses to "retain approximately half the parking spaces. The city will have a park next to the culture center."

The City's of Hackensack Rehabilitation Plan, an ambitious multi-year project that seeks to revitalize the downtown area with new businesses, housing, civic and cultural institutions, devotes four pages and several additional references to parking issues.

Lo Iacono asserted that the creation of Atlantic Street Park conforms to the needs of the Rehabilitation Plan.

The plan's document, prepared by DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, contains a conceptual design drawing of the arts center and the proposed park. According to Lo Iacono, park construction plans are essentially on hold.

"There is no timetable right now," he said. "We're hoping to get this issue settled without pain."

Email: hackensack@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 07, 2012, 11:22:25 AM
Street added to city’s redevelopment plan (http://www.northjersey.com/news/182487461_Street_added_to_city_s_redevelopment_plan.html?page=all)
Friday, December 7, 2012
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — The rehabilitation of Hackensack’s downtown district will span a larger area after the city moved to include additional lots on State Street in the rehabilitation plans at the Nov. 20 council meeting.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/HKMainStreet1_120712_HK_tif_.jpg)
BERNADETTE MARCINIAK/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Lots on State Street were recently added to the Hackensack’s Downtown Rehabilitation Plan after being determined that they met the requirements of an area in need of redevelopment.  

The approval came after last month’s planning board meeting where a public hearing was held in connection with a preliminary investigation to determine whether certain lots on State Street, as well as one located on Warren Street, constitute an area in need of rehabilitation under the newly approved Hackensack Downtown Rehabilitation Plan.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/HKMainStreet_120712_HK_tif_.jpg)

"The [new lots will now be included] within the Main Street rehabilitation program," Hackensack City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said. "It’s a site on State Street which the planning board has designated, and the council has approved a designation for, as an area in need of redevelopment."

The lots in question are located at addresses: 76, 86, 92 and 94 State St. as well as 31 Warren St, according to Lo Iacono.

Though the planning board carried out the initial investigation as to whether it should be included in the city’s redevelopment, and the council approved the designation, the following step is, once again, in the planning board’s court.

"The council sent to the planning board a draft of the redevelopment plan for that area and the planning board will be acting on that at their next meeting [in December]," Lo Iacono said.

City Planner Francis Reiner of the firm DMR Architects further explains the process.

"There are statutory requirements in order to meet the designation of an area in need of rehabilitation, which the [approximate] 160 acres of the downtown met that criteria," he said. "We went through that process. Once that area is designated, we changed the zoning in the area of the downtown to allow for pedestrian friendly, mixed used development to occur anywhere in the downtown — commercial, residential, retail, office…essentially a property can be redeveloped at any point now, within the rehabilitation plan, so long it meets the criteria that was adopted in that plan."

According to the Downtown Rehabilitation Plan the criteria for the rehabilitation of a particular site is met when "a majority of the storm water and sanitary sewer infrastructure in the delineated area is at least 50 years old and is in need of repair or substantial maintenance."

Main Street is the substantial part of the Hackensack’s downtown district. The 63-page plan was proposed, and subsequently passed in June, with hopes of revitalizing the area thus bringing in more revenue into the city.

According to a press release from the City of Hackensack, the rehabilitation plan will include "new housing, retail and restaurant options that maximize [the city’s] strategic advantages in the region." Furthermore, one of the main expectations for this plan is "to create a new economic engine for Hackensack, bringing new value to current business and property owners and [attracting] new businesses and residential options…[the plan positions Hackensack] to see new investment in projects that will create jobs, increase [its] tax base and strengthen existing business."

An important component of the approved plan also makes a point of establishing "a balance between pedestrian and vehicular transportation, as well as an element protecting existing historical sites," according to the city.

The rehabilitation will ease certain restrictions — such as zoning and parking — in an area equivalent to 39 blocks. This area is known as the city’s Main Street Corridor.

However, Reiner said the main process behind the plan is quite simple, since "the city is going to look to make public infrastructure improvements — storm, water, sewers, etc. — [and] change the zoning, allowing developers to take advantage of appropriate zoning in urban areas. The city believes that, that is going to spur private development to revitalize the downtown."

Reiner said that the plan is already coming into fruition.

"[The city has] a developer that is looking at a 200-unit project," he said. "The city has met with numerous other developers on other available properties in the downtown and so we think that over the next six to eight months, we’ll have announcements on a number of projects."

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com or call 201-894-6708
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 26, 2012, 12:18:22 PM
Hackensack takes step in downtown overhaul with State Street redevelopment plan (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2012/12/hackensack_takes_step_in_downtown_overhaul_with_state_street_redevelopment_plan.html)
By Myles Ma/NJ.com NJ.com
December 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM, updated December 25, 2012 at 6:07 AM

DMR ArchitectsAn artist's rendering of a revitalized, mixed-use downtown Hackensack. Read the rehabilitation plan »
HACKENSACK — The City Council took a first step on Dec. 18 to transform a State Street block characterized by gravel lots and unoccupied buildings.

The Council introduced an ordinance that designates several lots between Warren and Bergen streets as an "area in need of redevelopment."

The State Street redevelopment plan changes zoning laws to encourage high-density mixed-use developments and allows for up to 230 residential units.

"I am confident that in the coming months we are going to be announcing new projects that will transform our downtown and really begin the process of returning Hackensack to the center of activity in Bergen County," Mayor Mike Melfi said in a statement.

The State Street redevelopment plan is part of the Main Street Rehabilitation Plan. Adopted by the council in June, the plan is to overhaul downtown Hackensack by easing the building process, changing traffic patterns and pushing more mixed-use development.

The City unveiled the plan to developers in September. It received high praise from William Procida, president of Procida Funding and Advisors.

"It's everything you want to hear," he said. "Municipal cooperation, good design and everybody's on board."

The Council is scheduled to vote to give final approval to the State Street redevelopment plan at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 04, 2013, 03:34:02 PM
Council moves forward with redevelopment plan (http://www.northjersey.com/news/185626772_Council_moves_forward_with_redevelopment_plan.html?page=all)
Friday, January 4, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — The Hackensack City Council was presented with, and subsequently approved, the introduction of an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for State Street during their Dec. 18 council meeting.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/HK_State_Street1_120712_HK_tif_.jpg)
BERNADETTE MARCINIAK/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The Hackensack City Council approved the introduction of an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for State Street, a month after it was determined the street would be part of the overall Downtown Rehabilitation Plan.

The plan entitled "State Street Redevelopment Plan for Block 209, Lot 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 15" was already presented, and unanimously approved during the Planning Board's Dec. 12 meeting. The lots in question are located at addresses: 76, 86, 92 and 94 State Street as well as 31 Warren St.

The plan also includes requirements for a number of amenities, with a minimum of "a fireplace or fire-pit and specialty stone paving hardscape for the residents. (A rooftop pool is optional)," according to the proposed State Street plan.

During the planning board meeting, Councilwoman Karen Sasso addressing those present, stating her happiness and satisfaction with the proposed plan.

"I am very excited for the city," she said. "This [redevelopment] will be great for our city and a new start for our downtown."

During council meeting, Hackensack Mayor Michael Melfi expressed his support of the plan.

"This is an exciting time for [the city]," he said. "This is a significant step forward [in the overall Downtown Rehabilitation Plan]…I hope this is the spark to help ignite the start of [entire downtown redevelopment]."

The State Street Redevelopment Plan calls for a six story residential building to be built on the lots on State Street and the one lot on Warren Street.

According to City planner Francis Reiner of the firm DMR Architects, the State Street redevelopment plan's residential building will have a minimum size of 625 square feet per residential unit. The entire building will house a minimum of 136 units and a maximum of 230 units, said Reiner.

The plan also calls for each residential floor to include "a minimum of one common room (excluding laundry) of not less than 350 square feet" and "a fitness center of not less than 750 square feet."

"We continue to make progress in revitalizing our Main Street Corridor with unanimous consent on our plan to move Hackensack forward," City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said in a press release. "We are going to see change in the coming months that will get peo-ple of Hackensack excited about the future of our city. Residential development remains a core part of what we are trying to accomplish on Main Street, and this is a first step in that goal."

The 63-page Downtown Rehabilitation Plan was passed this past in June, with hopes of revitalizing the area thus bringing in more revenue into the city.

"The city has met with numerous other developers on other available properties in the downtown and so we think that over the next six to eight months, we'll have announcements on a number of projects," Reiner said.

"I am confident that in the coming months we are going to be announcing new projects that will transform our downtown and really begin the process of returning Hackensack to the center of activity in Bergen County," Melfi said.

According to the city, if the State Street Redevelopment Plan is approved, it will be the first substantial residential development in Hackensack's downtown district in over three decades.

Now that the introduction of the State Street plan has been approved, the City Council will vote on the ordinance at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on January 05, 2013, 08:55:09 AM
I am very happy about this. A bit overdue, but progress comes in phases.

It's more than just having new residents with disposable income living only a block from Main Street.  The very act of constructing such a luxury building in the downtown will spark more construction, more investment, and more tax ratables. There will be an up-spiral instead of a down-spiral. There will be more business owners eager to locate stores or restaurants on Main Street.

The same logic applies to the vacant 30 acres at the Record campus. It's also the same distance from Main Street. Don't let that be a big retail strip center of any sort, WalMart or not. That has to be mixed-use with a majority residential component.  And try to incorporate the vacant County lot and the former County Probation building, and add a footbridge over River Street somewhere between Mercer Street and the old Probation building to tie it all together.

And the next time ANYONE digs a major foundation in Hackensack, whether it's the State Street property, HUMC, or anywhere else, try to put together a deal to get the clean fill from the excavation dumped at the Record Campus and the Probation lot. It costs money to dispose of excavation, especially dirt. If it can be certified as "clean fill" and there's no tipping fee to dispose it, it's just the cost of trucking it across part of Hackensack.  All that land needs to be raised out of the flood plain, so it will be more attractive to build.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 08, 2013, 11:50:47 PM
Hackensack approves State Street redevelopment (http://www.northjersey.com/news/Hackensack_approves_State_Street_redevelopment.html)
Tuesday, January 8, 2013    Last updated: Tuesday January 8, 2013, 11:22 PM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – The City Council gave unanimous final approval Tuesday night to a redevelopment plan for a portion of State Street designed to attract high-density residences and businesses.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*200/0109L_HackRedevelopRST65p.jpg)
AMY NEWMAN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Hackensack City Council gives final approval for the State Street redevelopment.

The plan allows for mixed-use development with up to 230 residential units on several lots between Warren and Bergen streets. The approval is a key step in a larger plan to transform the city’s downtown into a more modern shopping, work and living area, officials said.

“Hopefully, this is the first step and the project that will kick off the overall Main Street development progress, Mayor Mike Melfi said. “We’re hoping for a quick shovel in the ground and to see others join quickly to move this redevelopment forward.”

The plan calls for apartment or condominium buildings of up to six stories with specific amenities, including a fitness center, a common room on each floor, and rooftop perks “with at minimum a fireplace or fire pit.” The plan also allows for ground-floor storefront businesses.

The State Street redevelopment area now is home to a bank and gravel lots. Two vacant single-family homes that had been divided into several apartments and had empty ground-level commercial storefronts were demolished recently by the Building Department for safety reasons, officials said.

The State Street redevelopment plan is part of the Downtown Rehabilitation Plan that the city approved in June. That plan eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39 block-area known as the city's Main Street corridor to encourage mixed-use development.

It’s designed to encourage a contemporary brand of downtown development where people can live, work, shop and find entertainment, all a short distance from mass transit and in a pedestrian-friendly setting.

Councilwoman Karen Sasso, a trustee on the Main Street Business Alliance board, said the State Street plan would be the “spark that will help other development and help realize dramatic change.”

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said he has been talking regularly with developers interested in investing in the city’s downtown. With the State Street approval in place, he said, developers and property owners can start submitting plans to the city’s land-use boards. The new residences, he said, would support local businesses and make the area more valuable.

The plan can be found online at mainstreethackensack.com.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 12, 2013, 02:25:27 AM
Rethinking Bergen County's suburban sprawl (http://www.northjersey.com/news/186266532_No_Title_-_SIGsprawl0110.html?page=all)
Thursday, January 10, 2013    Last updated: Thursday January 10, 2013, 10:26 AM
BY  JAMES M. O'NEILL AND SCOTT FALLON
STAFF WRITERS
The Record

It's one thing to build a convenient, transit-oriented, environmentally friendly community from scratch, in undeveloped open space. But how do you do that in a place like North Jersey – an already mature, built-out, highway-girded, mall-strewn landscape, a place developed in the post-World War II era, when everyone dreamed of escaping the city for their own detached home, patch of yard and personal mode of transit, the car?

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*197/0110Q_SPRAWLmain_70p.jpg)
STAFF FILE PHOTO
Neighborhoods northwest of Teterboro Airport typify North Jersey's pattern of housing development.

Not easily, not in a place that defines suburban sprawl.
 
Cultivating an alternative style of development in North Jersey – one less dependent on the automobile and single-family houses — may seem like a pipe dream. What's more, New Jersey is a "home rule" state, where local municipalities, and not regional entities like counties, control development.

But changes in the local landscape are slowly taking shape. Construction of high-density housing has outpaced single-family homes in Bergen County for about a decade, according to data from state building permits. And while construction of single-family houses is still greater in Passaic County, multifamily housing has begun to catch up.

This shift is part of an emerging national trend, with regional planners and suburban developers having begun to plan and build in ways that draw on many urban elements from American cities in the 1920s and 1930s. These communities rely less on cars and more on public transportation. They feature buildings that combine housing, retail and office space to encourage walkability, and design roads to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians, as well as cars.

Such development is often called sustainable because it reduces car emissions and uses land, drinking water, fossil fuels and other natural resources more efficiently. It also accommodates a lifestyle that some might consider more appealing: less time stuck in traffic, less isolation, easier access to amenities, a smaller carbon footprint.

These new developments have begun popping up in North Jersey, even though the vast majority of the region has already been built out in the typical car-centric suburban mode.

The two counties do have some characteristics, however, that help foster a more urban pattern of new development: public transit and long-shuttered industrial tracts near attractive amenities like the Manhattan skyline.

Factories and wharfs that once lined the Hudson River south of the George Washington Bridge have been replaced by thousands of new town houses and condominiums, in part because of expanded rail and ferry service. In Wood-Ridge, a huge mixed-use development is rising on the site of an old aircraft factory; it will include a new commuter train station to shuttle residents to Manhattan and other parts of New Jersey.

Another factor could drive this new, less sprawling kind of development here: the region's changing demographics. North Jersey is getting older and younger at the same time, and both groups are looking for the kinds of living arrangements that sustainable development provides.

"Researchers are finding the change in aspirations is already happening and developers are behind the curve," said Juliann Allison, associate director of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development at the University of California-Riverside. "You find young people and seniors both are demanding denser communities."

Peter Kasabach, executive director of NJ Future, a non-profit group advocating efficient land use, agreed. "You have the millennials and the baby boomers really driving the market for different housing types," Kasabach said. "It's those market forces that are creating more walkable, more transit-oriented communities."

It makes sense. Young people today are less able than prior generations to afford a typical starter home with a yard and a car. And new empty nesters are realizing they no longer need the same space they once did – and as they age they are more interested in being able to walk to get chores done.

"Given the new economies of housing, not all square footage is created equal," said Raphael Zucker, president of Somerset Development, which is building several New Jersey developments in what is often called the "new urbanism" mold. "Some people realize they only may use 2,000 of their 5,000-square-foot home, and they want something that's compact but more livable."

In Bergen County, the number of people aged 20 to 24 grew by 13 percent over the past decade, to 47,472. During the same period, the number of those aged 55 to 64 grew by 31 percent, to 114,526.

"These demographic shifts will continue and intensify the growing interest in this type of development," said David Behrend of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

But can North Jersey significantly address this demand for development that emphasizes walking over driving?

The region has several things going for it.

One is the existing network of mass transit, including two major commuter rail lines. On its face, this doesn't sound like a promising element, since the train lines were built primarily to get people from North Jersey to Manhattan, while today only 18 percent of Bergen residents commute to the city.

Still, the train hubs are a start, and could become even more vital if the region can develop one of the growing trends in transportation – light rail or bus rapid transit. "Bus rapid transit is less expensive than rail and more flexible," said Behrend. "You can more easily change the route if you need to."

A bus rapid transit system often provides a dedicated lane on an existing highway or road shoulder for a bus, and the bus has technology to control stoplights so that it can keep going when car traffic is backed up, said Chris Helms, a supervising planner with Bergen County's planning department.

These alternative lines could provide more of the east-west movement the region lacks but desperately needs, since the bulk of residents now commute within the county to jobs – and 85 percent of people drive to work.

Other transit-related improvements gaining traction in parts of the country that facilitate sustainable living are concepts known as "traffic calming" and "complete streets." The idea is to make downtown roadways more amenable to pedestrians and bikers, not just cars. Widening sidewalks at intersections and switching to angled parking instead of parallel parking on downtown streets can slow traffic. That makes it more pedestrian-friendly, enticing people to bike or walk while running errands rather than driving from store to store. And there's an added benefit – reduced pollution.

"When you have a lot of stop-and-start driving, it's really bad in terms of pollution," Allison said.

By redeveloping around transit hubs, North Jersey could begin to provide the somewhat more urban lifestyle that many younger and older residents are looking for.

"There's no such thing as a silver bullet, but the closest thing is redevelopment around transit hubs in existing downtowns," said Robert Freudenberg, New Jersey director of the Regional Plan Association, which assists and advises planners in the New York metropolitan area. "The past may be the future for places like Hackensack and Englewood, if you can take the bones and build on them."

Randy Solomon, co-director of the Institute for Sustainability Planning & Governance at The College of New Jersey, agreed. "People now live in one suburb, work in another suburb and shop in another suburb," he said. "And they have to drive through five towns just to get to all of them. That is going to change."

Another asset North Jersey has in pursuit of such redevelopment is the many brownfields within older downtowns — former industrial sites that are now vacant and polluted. Once cleaned up, they could offer some of the biggest expanses of land for new housing.

Municipalities will need to reassess their zoning laws in some cases to allow for multi-use development around downtown transit hubs, experts say. Because New Jersey is a home-rule state, town councils and planning boards separated by only a few miles can have wildly different visions for their municipalities. Regional planning is scarce, with the 14-town Meadowlands Commission the only example in North Jersey.

That micro-zoning approach has encouraged the sort of less sustainable development that dominates in North Jersey, some experts and developers say. Because the zoning and permit process "can be so rancorous, developers often end up building little projects that are just small enough to squeeze by," said Zucker of Somerset Development. "So you end up with a hodgepodge of developments. You don't get good master planning. In New Jersey, home rule has been the bane of proper planning."

Another obstacle is more psychological. Beginning after World War II, hundreds of thousands of war veterans and their new families moved from cramped apartments in New York, Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken in search of suburban living in Bergen and Passaic counties. People "fled the urban centers for greener pastures – the house with a yard," said Donna Orbach, a project manager with the Bergen County planning department.

The demand for traditional suburban living will surely remain strong, but more options are likely to be offered in the future. "The single-family house is not dead," Kasabach said. "There's always a segment that wants it. The problem is we've been building only for that segment for the last 50 years."

A prime example of the fledgling trend toward a more dense, less car-centered style of development built on an old vacant brownfield and centered around a transit hub is going up on Passaic Street in Wood-Ridge.

Wesmont Station is a huge 1,000-unit complex of condominiums, apartments and town houses, with plans for some detached single-family homes as well. The project, by Zucker's Somerset Development, will cover more than a third of the 151-acre site of the former Curtiss Wright aircraft factory. The complex is a model of "new urbanism," with sidewalks and plazas, stores on the ground floor of four-story buildings and community ball fields that children can walk or bike to. All 266 rentals units in the development's two finished buildings have been leased.

Anchoring all this will be a new commuter rail station to be built on NJ Transit's Bergen County line; it is scheduled to open by late this year, with 800 daily riders expected by 2015."It's building on this concept of a pedestrian lifestyle, creating the kinds of communities that were more common before the 1950s and 1960s, where streets are narrower, houses have front porches and face pedestrian walkways, and people might have one car just for weekend use," Zucker said.

His company worked with the design firm of Duany Plater-Zyberg and Co., which has designed more than 300 new and existing communities and is known for embracing the concepts of new urbanism.

Zucker said his company started out years ago doing the typical "suburban sprawl"-style developments. "But I noticed we were isolating everybody, and you've got to go everywhere to get anything, and then you sit in traffic on the way," he said.

Zucker thinks the new urbanists are on to something. "There's definitely going to be a lot more mixed-use pockets," he said, "a lot more urbanity in suburban environments."

Email: fallon@northjersey.com and oneillj@northjersey.com
_________________________________
[Different section of same article in The Record]:

Picture Bergen County with 350,000 additional people, two more highways that cut across its communities and a smattering of tiny airports dotting the Meadowlands.
 
Those were some of the assumptions and recommendations made by officials in the early 1960s when they last revised the county's Master Plan.
 
A half-century later, planners are in the home stretch of modifying the document. Drafts are on track to go to the county executive and freeholders for comment within the next few months; the drafts will then be posted online for public review. They will include recommendations for sustainable growth like transit villages, more efficient bus lines and streets designed for bicycles, wheelchairs and public transportation.
 
Those are rather modest proposals compared with the 1962 Master Plan and its amendments made several years later. It called for a number of changes that came to fruition, such as a better connection between Route 4 and the Garden State Parkway, and having one agency control all commuter railroads.
 
But a number of proposed "improvements" never materialized. Here are a few:
 
* The county's population had hit 780,000 by 1960, almost doubling in the three decades after the George Washington Bridge opened. Planners believed the boom would slow, but still projected 1.25 million residents by 1980. That never happened for a number of reasons: More open space was saved rather than developed, and high housing prices pushed population growth elsewhere in New Jersey. Bergen reached its peak in 2010, with 905,000 residents.
 
* The plan's authors were eager for Bergen County to become an aviation hub. The plan called for more airports in the Meadowlands south of Teterboro Airport, because air travel "may well become a controlling factor in future development of the county." Today, local leaders and residents are fighting to decrease the number of jets flying to and from Teterboro, which morphed from an airstrip to one of the busiest small airports in the nation. Noise pollution from screaming jet engines and the possibility of a crash in a densely developed suburb are the two chief complaints.
 
* The plan also supported the "North-South Limited Access Highway" – a highway that would start at Newark Airport and head north through the Meadowlands. It would then follow the current CSX train line through Teaneck to Northvale, and over the Rockland County border to link up with the New York State Thruway. The plan assumed that it would help business development in the Meadowlands and provide an alternative to Route 17 and the Parkway.
 
* It also supported an East-West highway through northern Bergen County, a proposal that was being studied at the time by the State Highway Department, but never materialized.
 
* The plan set a goal to expand the Bergen County parks system to 9,500 acres; the county is still about 1,000 acres short of that goal.
 
Email: fallon@northjersey.com and oneillj@northjersey.com

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 15, 2013, 08:42:53 PM
Wednesday Winners (& Losers) (http://blog.tstc.org/2013/01/09/wednesday-winners-losers/)
by Tri-State Transportation Campaign
A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in Tri-State transportation news.

Winners

Hackensack’s City Council approved a plan to bring higher-density, mixed-used development to downtown.

Hackensack, New Jersey – Billy Joel doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Who needs a house out in Hackensack when you can have a brand new downtown apartment instead?  Hackensack’s City Council unanimously approved a plan that would change zoning to allow higher-density mixed-use development on a section of State Street that is currently dominated by vacant buildings and gravel lots. The plan is a key component in the revitalization of downtown Hackensack and sits within walking distance of two NJ Transit stations.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Edwin on January 16, 2013, 12:40:09 AM
I'll read the articles eventully, but meantime anybody got a summary?
State street from where to where?
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on January 16, 2013, 09:04:43 AM
Sorry, your highness, but you'll have to read the articles like the rest of us.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on January 16, 2013, 09:29:20 AM
I believe that Barnes and  Noble has the Cliffs Notes summary available  or you could check the availability on Amazon.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 18, 2013, 02:30:03 PM
Hackensack council finalizes State Street redevelopment approval (http://www.northjersey.com/news/187411591_Hackensack_council_finalizes_State_Street_redevelopment_approval.html?page=all)
Friday, January 18, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — After months of consideration and approval of the initial stages, the city council unanimously gave the final stamp of approval to a redevelopment plan that involves a section of State Street.

The plan is designed to attract business and up-scale, high-density residences, aimed at commuters, according to officials.

Though the council has approved this plan in meetings over the last couple of months, the Jan. 8 vote finalizes the approval.

Now that the council gave its final approval, the next step is "to choose a developer and enter a redevelopment agreement," City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said.

The State Street Redevelopment Plan calls for a six-story residential building to be built on the lots on State Street and the one lot on Warren Street.

The plan also includes requirements for a number of amenities, with a minimum of "a fireplace or fire-pit and specialty stone paving hardscape for the residents. (A rooftop pool is optional)," according to the proposed State Street plan.

According to the city planner, Francis Reiner of the firm DMR Architects, the State Street redevelopment plan’s residential building will will house a minimum of 136 units and a maximum of 230 units.

The plan also states that each residential floor must include "a minimum of one common room (excluding laundry)" and "a fitness center of not less than 750 square feet."

According to the previous meetings, the State Street Redevelopment is the first substantial residential development in Hackensack’s downtown district in over three decades.

Lo Iacono said that the city has received interest by various developers.

"There is interest," he said. "One developer in particular, who controls the property, has showed great interest."

The fact that an interested potential developer controls the property, "does not necessarily mean that they will be given the redevelopment contract," according to Lo Iacono. However, he did say, that this fact does give the developer "a heads up."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 21, 2013, 10:41:32 AM
Hackensack's reawakening (http://www.njbiz.com/article/20130121/NJBIZ01/130119851/Hackensack's-reawakening)
City overhauls planning guidelines to attract visitors, growth
By Joshua Burd
NJBIZ
January 21, 2013
 
More than half of Bergen County's 70 municipalities have traditional downtowns, but of all of them, only Hackensack's has no two-way traffic in its main business corridor.

(http://www.njbiz.com/storyimage/NJ/20130121/NJBIZ01/130119851/AR/0/AR-)
Stephen Lo Iacono, city manager, Hackensack, said zoning changes aim to revive downtown businesses.
AARON HOUSTON

Correcting that is just one part of the vision that business and civic leaders have to reawaken Hackensack's depressed downtown. Those ideas — such as major zoning changes and relaxed parking rules — are the culmination of years of brainstorming and months overhauling the city's planning guidelines to make the 160-acre district surrounding Main Street an attractive corridor to residents and visitors.

Earlier this month, the city council approved a redevelopment plan for a site on State Street, clearing the way for a project with up to 230 apartment units. It's the first significant residential project in the downtown in a long time, said Francis Reiner, the DMR Architects consultant who helped develop the overall rehabilitation plan.

"It really shows the first concrete evidence that the efforts the city has gone through over the past year and a half are coming to fruition," he said. "You now have a developer who is putting a stake in the ground and is going to build residential projects in the downtown."

But the Hackensack rehabilitation plan is deeper than wholesale redevelopment, its advocates say. Its origins lie with the small businesses that make up the downtown, and a key goal is to help them revitalize their properties, Reiner said.

To meet their objectives, planners for the Bergen County seat have tried to follow the path of other municipalities that have transformed themselves in recent decades, such as New Brunswick, Jersey City and Morristown.

"It wasn't all that long ago — 15, 20 years ago — that those downtowns were failing and needed some help, and they implemented many of these types of programs," said city manager Stephen Lo Iacono. "And they've all succeeded in a relatively short period of time."

One of the key concepts borrowed by Hackensack is the creation of a "pre-application concept review committee," allowing developers to meet with city professionals earlier in the process, said Nancy A. Kist, a redevelopment attorney who has been advising Hackensack. She said the city wanted to "get past the type of relationship … where developers put a lot of time and money in, and only get a 'no.' "

A similar approach has been fruitful in New Brunswick for at least two decades, said Glenn Patterson, its director of planning, community and economic development. Known there as a technical advisory committee, it allows the Hub City's experts to work on issues that "don't get handled real well in front of a board of laymen."

"To the general guy on the street, it doesn't sound like that big of a deal," Patterson said. "But you certainly hear the war stories going on in some other communities, where an application takes three, four, five, six hearings to get through a planning board or zoning board, just because they're going through every little detail."

Hackensack has taken other critical steps, starting with the forms used in the application process. It has reduced parking ratios, implemented architectural and neighborhood design standards for development, and is converting one-way streets to two-way streets. In the realm of zoning, the city created a two-tier system that allows owners of all lots to build up to five stories, while owners of larger parcels that meet a square footage threshold can build up to 14 stories. Under another zoning change, an owner can convert any existing first-floor space to a restaurant without adding parking spaces.

The plan is key to helping the district connect to the city's anchors, like Hackensack University Medical Center, its higher education institutions and government offices. Lo Iacono hopes the Atlantic Street corridor, which includes the hospital, will see new development "as kind of a corollary effect to what's going to go on at Main Street."

Mark Sparta, Hackensack UMC's vice president and senior operations officer, said a revitalized downtown with new residential and retail development can complement its own plans, such as the expansion of its academic offerings and its movement toward secondary medical services, like oncology.

"I think you're really going to see an opportunity here to maximize the synergies," Sparta said. "Traditionally hospitals and the communities that they reside in have had symbiotic relationships."

Reaching the point of being "shovel-ready" in Hackensack has been a lengthy saga for the downtown business community. Around 10 years ago, after the city's zoning had been outdated for decades, merchants formed the Hackensack Upper Main Alliance and later set out to overhaul the downtown.

City officials with a similar goal joined forces with the group and its consultants about two years ago, culminating in the June 2012 rehabilitation plan that covered 389 properties across 160 acres. Jerry Lombardo, chairman of the Upper Main Alliance, said while the current conditions are not ideal for kicking off Hackensack's renaissance, stakeholders are eagerly looking to the future.

"Unfortunately, we're in a very difficult economy right now for development," Lombardo said. "But I also think now is a great time to set the table … so that as the economy starts to perk up, people are going to look for places to do projects. And we're going to be ready."

E-mail to: joshb@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @JoshBurdNJ
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 01, 2013, 11:24:01 AM
Hackensack redevelopment plan reintroduced and passed, again (http://www.northjersey.com/news/194116281_Hackensack_redevelopment_plan_reintroduced_and_passed__again.html?page=all)
Friday, March 1, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

After approving the State Street Redevelopment Plan on Jan. 8, only to have it reintroduced — weeks later — for a revote, the Hackensack City Council, moved to pass the resolution.

The latest vote took place during the Feb. 19 meeting after it was determined that the initial public meeting on the property was not properly advertised. To avoid any issues, the council decided to give due notice to the public and revote on the development plan.

State law requires that officials give due notice to residents in the official newspaper before the date of the public hearing.

According to City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono, the plan was reintroduced based on "the issue of [the meeting] not being advertised correctly."

The State Street Redevelopment Plan calls for a six story residential building built on the lots on State Street and the one lot on Warren Street.

Requirements for a number of amenities, with the potential of, at minimum, "a fireplace or fire-pit and specialty stone paving hardscape for the residents. (A rooftop pool is optional)," are proposed within the State Street plan.

According to City planner Francis Reiner of the firm DMR Architects, the State Street redevelopment plan's residential building will house a minimum of 136 units and a maximum of 230 units.

According to the previous meetings, the State Street Redevelopment will be the first substantial residential development in Hackensack's downtown district in over three decades.

During the latest vote, the council, once again, expressed its optimism that this plan could initiate the complete transformation of the city's downtown.

"I'm happy we finally approved [the State Street Redevelopment Plan]," Councilman Jorge Meneses said. "One day, I can walk down Main Street with my granddaughter and tell her how it all started."

Councilwoman Karen Sasso was also happy with the decision.

"We have received a lot of interest from developers based on the redevelopment plan," she said. "It is a very exciting time."

Mayor Michael Melfi said that the plan will allow for more opportunities within the city.

"Creating a new Main Street will offer a lot of opportunities for [Hackensack residents]," he said. "It will make the whole city stronger."

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com or call 201-894-6708
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 05, 2013, 11:49:01 AM
Hackensack leaders see hope in downtown apartment project (http://www.northjersey.com/news/195203861_Hackensack_leaders_see_hope_in_downtown_apartment_project.html?page=all)
Tuesday March 5, 2013, 7:26 AM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — City leaders who have rallied in recent years for downtown rehabilitation are seeing the first fruits of their efforts with plans for a proposed five-story, 222-unit building on State Street.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*200/0305L_meridiaJH_50.jpg)
AMY NEWMAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
A Pequannock company bought all the properties in the State Street redevelopment area for a five-story, 222-unit building. The apartment building, called Meridia State, would draw people to the downtown, boost local business, and help usher in a wider downtown revival, officials and business leaders said.

"This is a very, very significant move for the city and we think once this project gets under way, it will probably be the catalyst we need," City Mananger Stephen Lo Iacono said.

Capodagli Property Co. of Pequannock has proposed building the apartments under its Meridia brand, marketed as modern and luxury living at affordable prices. The City Council paved the way for the project last month when it approved a redevelopment plan for a portion of State Street between Warren and Bergen streets to allow mixed-use development with up to 230 residential units.

The council will consider two more ordinances, to be introduced tonight, to designate Meridia Metro as the redeveloper and to approve a payment in lieu of taxes agreement.

The Pompton Plains developer has been in talks with the city about the project for several months and has purchased all the properties in the State Street redevelopment area. All but one of the structures, a drive-through bank branch, has been demolished.

Developer George Capodagli was out of town and unavailable for comment for this story. A project manager did not respond to emails.

The building would feature 86 one-bedroom units and 136 two-bedroom units. The developer could appear before the city Planning Board as early as April, Lo Iacono said.

The developer has Meridia residences in Rahway and Wallington. Another is being built in West New York and one was proposed for Bound Brook.

Meridia's website and brochure highlights perks such as Wi-Fi, onsite storage, outdoor terraces and gathering lounges on each floor. They're also marketed as green buildings that are close to public transportation.

Meridia would be the first project since the city adopted its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in June, which eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39-block area known as the Main Street corridor to make it easier for developers to build downtown.

Company representatives met last week with city officials to resolve early questions in its application. The pre-application meeting is a new tool the city is using to speed up the review process and make it easier and less expensive.

Councilwoman Karen Sasso, a member of the Pre-Application Review Committee, said the Meridia project fit the city's vision of a modern downtown where people can live, work, shop and find entertainment.

"I think this particular builder — his target audience is young professionals and that certainly will bring some vibrancy to the area," she added.

That was echoed by Jerome Lombardo, CEO of a commercial real estate firm in the city and chairman of the Upper Main Alliance, a Hackensack business association. He believes the city has appeal as home to the county seat and a large regional hospital; because of public transportation and highway access; and because of the quicker, easier applications process.

He hoped the new residences would invigorate downtown business, drawing more customers and attracting shops and restaurants.

"The business district downtown is glad to see a project of this magnitude," he said.

Lo Iacono said developers have been calling and meeting to ask about building opportunities in the city's downtown. He said talks with Capodagli began after a developers' breakfast in September that showcased the city's rehabilitation efforts.

More promotion for the city is under way. On Friday, a panel representing the city spoke about the city's revitalization model at the annual New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum. The same panel will present at the quarterly meeting of the New Jersey Real Estate Lenders Association on March 21 in Hackensack.

"Once the spade is in the ground on this first project," Lo Iacono said, "I think there'll be even more momentum building toward development."

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on March 05, 2013, 08:37:41 PM
approve a payment in lieu of taxes agreement..


how long and how much?  I'm sure it will be more than what is paid on the property now, but what about the long term.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 05, 2013, 09:01:10 PM
The PILOT term was 30 years, with an adjustment to be determined after 7 years. 

It was approved at tonight's meeting.  I think the PILOT was something like $1200 per unit or $276,000 for the first 7 years.  Currently, taxes on that parcel are under $80,000. Regina or Victor can correct my numbers which are based on memory.

The PILOT was approved unanimously.  The rationale is to incentive those taking risks early on. There would not likely be a project on this site otherwise. This site has been blighted for years.

I will try to get better numbers if no one else provides them. 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 05, 2013, 11:42:35 PM
My numbers were a little off.  See below. Also, the introduction of the PILOT ordinance was approved unanimously, not the final adoption.
_____________________________

Hackensack council advances plans for 222-unit apartment building on State Street (http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Hackensack_council_advances_plans_for_222-unit_apartment_building_on_State_Street.html?page=all)
Tuesday March 5, 2013, 10:29 PM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – The City Council is taking steps to approve parking and financial agreements to make it easier for a North Jersey developer to build a 222-unit apartment building downtown.

The council introduced ordinances on Tuesday night to designate Meridia Metro Urban Renewal as the redeveloper of a portion of State Street, and to allow a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and parking lease for the project, to be called Meridia State. City officials say the incentives are needed to make it viable, and to pave the way for the first development in a part of downtown that the council has marked for rehabilitation.

Meridia, a subsidiary of Capodagli Property Co. of Pequannock, plans to construct a six-story building including a ground-floor garage with 141 spots and five floors of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The project, between Warren and Bergen streets, will cost an estimated $19.2 million.

One ordinance would name Meridia as the redeveloper for 90 days, during which the company and city can negotiate a redevelopment agreement.

The council is also weighing a change to the city’s code to allow the leasing of municipal parking lots and garages, and to approve one such agreement with Meridia. Under the agreement, the developer would lease 120 non-assigned parking spaces in the Atlantic Street Parking Garage for its residents at a cost of $64,800 annually for the first five years, with increases in years to follow.

Another proposed ordinance would offer a 30-year tax abatement on the State Street property. For the first six years, the developer would pay either $1,200 per unit for a total of $266,400, or 2 percent of the total project cost, whichever is greater.

The payment would increase incrementally over the remaining years of the agreement.

In years seven to 11, the developer would pay the greatest among those two options and a third option — 20 percent of the property taxes that otherwise would have to be paid. In subsequent years, the third option would grow to 40 percent, then 60 percent and then 80 percent in the final eight years.

If the City Council approves the tax abatement agreement, as expected, it will go to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for final authorization.

The city now gets less than $80,000 in taxes for the properties in the State Street redevelopment area, said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. All the properties have been bought by Meridia, which is bracing to build soon.

On its application, the developer estimates that construction could start in June if approvals are in place by then, and would run until January 2015.

Meridia would be the first project to break ground since the city adopted its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in June. The plan eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39-block area known as the Main Street corridor to make it easier for developers to build downtown.

Last month, the council designated part of State Street as an “area in need of redevelopment” to allow a mixed-use project with up to 230 residential units.

Council members said they were willing to offer incentives and to compromise on taxes in a bid to transform the run-down block.

“We want to spark redevelopment,” Mayor Michael Melfi said. “This person is willing to take a chance and develop in this area.”

Councilwoman Karen Sasso said she hoped it would build momentum for all of the city’s Main Street corridor.

“Once this gets built and completed,” she said, “I think more people will come in here over time and look to make an investment in the community.”

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on March 06, 2013, 05:34:56 AM
"Another proposed ordinance would offer a 30-year tax abatement on the State Street property. For the first six years, the developer would pay either $1,200 per unit for a total of $266,400, or 2 percent of the total project cost, whichever is greater." from today's article

The developer will be paying more than the current taxes. You have to start somewhere and this is a good start.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 06, 2013, 04:03:18 PM
I agree with Regina on this one.  How about that. 

When I lived in Hackensack I always wondered how people in other towns look at Hackensack compared to other cities. Now that I live elsewhere, I don't need to ask.  I see it. It's obvious.  Downtown Hackensack is considered SAFE and CLEAN, compared to other cities in NJ.  Newark and Paterson come to mind.  Hackensack really is a great place to build and invest.

Once this catalyst project is actively under construction, others will follow in the downtown area.  They will follow because Hackensack is safe and clean, and they see that Hackensack has become THE place to build.  And that city government is friendly towards building, so long as big things are proposed where the city wants them built.  And that is the key.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 06, 2013, 11:29:22 PM
Hackensack parking study recommends new meters, garage repairs (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2013/03/hackensack_parking_study_recommends_new_meters_garage_repairs.html)
By Myles Ma/NJ.com
March 06, 2013 at 8:20 AM, updated March 06, 2013 at 8:32 AM

DMR ArchitectsAn artist's rendering of a revitalized, mixed-use downtown Hackensack. Read the rehabilitation plan »

HACKENSACK — The City Council adopted a study Tuesday night that calls for Hackensack to spend close to $500,000 to upgrade downtown parking.

The study's recommendations include replacing all the parking meters in the downtown area and installing more visible and attractive signs at public parking lots.

Hackensack asked Biers Associates to conduct the study in conjunction with a downtown rehabilitation plan that seeks to spur new development in the city.

"The vision this Council has put forward for the future of Hackensack is about more than bricks and mortar," City Manager Stephen LoIacono said in a press release. "This plan gives us some of the tools we will need to make sure residents and visitors can actually get where they want to go."

Bier Associates reviewed on-street and off-street parking areas as part of its study. It recommended that the city replace its downtown parking meters and raise parking meter rates on Main Street from 25 cents to 50 cents an hour to increase parking turnover and keep business employees and owners from monopolizing the spaces.

Bier asked the city to create a five-year capital budget for for improvements to downtown parking garages and lots, particularly the garage on Atlantic Street, which the study said was in "fair to poor condition."

The study also looked at parking enforcement. Bier called for the city to hire two parking enforcement officers dedicated exclusively to downtown meters.

Bier looked at a number of ways the city could finance these improvements, including a tax on properties located near parking facilities and a tax on parking spaces.

To view the study, click here (http://media.nj.com/bergen_impact/other/Final%20Parking%20Report.pdf).
_____________________________________
City Press Release: 3/5/13
City of Hackensack
65 Central Avenue
Hackensack, NJ 07601

HACKENSACK CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS HACKENSACK PARKING STUDY
Study Sets Forth Several Recommendations to Make Parking in Main Street Corridor More Accessible and Convenient

The Hackensack City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Hackensack Parking Study, developed in consultation with Bier Associates to "effectively address and fund the present and future parking needs of downtown redevelopment, residents, shoppers, and business owners."

"We have no doubt that the path we are taking with the Redevelopment Plan will mean more restaurants, residences and retail opportunities in downtown Hackensack," stated Mayor Mike Melfi. "By looking ahead we are doing what we can to make sure no one can ever say 'Hackensack is a great place to live and visit but there is no parking'"

Among other things, the Hackensack Parking Study proposes that the City of Hackensack evaluate implementing new parking technology including the use of electronic meters, pay by cell and credit card enabled parking meters; maximizing the utilization of off-street parking facilities by offering overnight and off peak parking permits to downtown residents and central business district employees; and improving parking management and operations by centralizing all parking management within the Parking Utility.

In offering his own endorsement of the plan City Manager Stephen LoIacono said that "the vision this Council has put forward for the future of Hackensack is about more than bricks and mortar, this plan gives us some of the tools we will need to make sure residents and visitors can actually get to where they want to go."

"Too often we find that government is reactive instead of proactive" stated Jerry Lombardo, President of the Hackensack Upper Main Street Alliance. "As they have done throughout this entire process the City Council and the professionals involved in the redevelopment of Hackensack's Main Street corridor have anticipated the needs of what I know will soon be a thriving downtown." A copy of Resolution No. 97-213, including the parking study, approved tonight is attached to this distribution
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 07, 2013, 06:50:24 AM
The city singlehandedly put Lowits out of business by reducing the meters from 2 hours to 1 hour. They were an anchor store specializing in men's suits.  Even people eating a restaurant expect that they might spend over an hour.  While they are evaluating the meters, they should consider going back to 2 hours.  Increasing from 25 to 50 cents isn't going to help.  It's going to drive people away, just like it did generations ago when downtown Hackensack was competing with two open-air, non-enclosed shopping malls that had free parking.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on March 07, 2013, 10:25:24 AM
Wow! I haven't heard the "parking meter put him/ me out of business " argument for years. Parking meters had absolutely nothing to do with Lowits closing. For the sake of newcomers to this site, Lowits was a haberdashery store selling mens better name brand clothing including suits, sports clothes and their accessories. Men went to Lowits to get personal service and fitting for their big ticket purchases. During Main Street's golden years, Lowits and Tfanks served that market.

 Beginning in the 1970's Main Street began it's decline and persons who appreciated the quality and service offered by these two stores began to gravitate to clothiers found in the malls such as Sacks and Bloomingdales which were open in the evening and which provided more ambiance for their customers. In later years similar mens stores such as Joseph A. Banks began to open in the malls also.
These were national and international chains and not sole proprietorships.

Jack Linden who owned the store and subsequently his son David recognized that customers relying on parking meters were not their market. They owned two parking lots which served the rear entrance to the store. There was one directly behind the store and another across the street on Moore Street. The customer who had ordered let's say a few suits would use these lots. Walk in customers from 210 Main Street or other offices might walk to the front entrance at lunch time. It was the erosion of their customer base which caused the closing of these and other upper income oriented stores. They also did not have the purchasing power or advertising resources to compete profitably.

If there were parking meters that even PAID customers to park there all day, there would be absolutely no difference .
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on March 07, 2013, 10:56:15 AM
Quite true Homer, however, in the scheme of meters, I would rather go to the mall and park all day, shop and then sit down and have lunch and not worry about a meter maid tagging my car while I was having coffee.  one hour  and even two hour meters dont afford any time to do anything but one or two quick errands.   
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Weegee on March 07, 2013, 10:57:45 AM
Who pays for parking in lot T?   
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 08, 2013, 06:43:07 AM
Homer makes some good points on Lowits, but David Linden actually did complain publicly about the parking meters, perhaps to shift the blame away from Homer's points.  I wonder if that complaint is in the article about Lowits when they closed.  Unsure.

The whole parking matter is a big deal in downtown Hackensack.  I had thought that the city picked the location of the new Cultural Arts Center so that it could utilize the Atlantic Street Parking Garage, but now I see over 100 spots will be going to the proposed apartment building on State Street. 

What happened to the original idea, that the parking garage would be for shoppers and diners ?

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 08, 2013, 10:55:12 AM
Hackensack looks to overhaul parking (http://www.northjersey.com/news/196250041_Hackensack_looks_to_overhaul_parking_parking_revamp_on_table.html?page=all)
Friday, March 8, 2013    Last updated: Friday March 8, 2013, 10:04 AM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – The City Council will consider raising parking fees, installing electronic meters and creating a parking utility — all recommendations made in a new parking study.

City officials are looking for ways to make downtown parking easier for visitors and businesses as it carries out a rehabilitation plan in the area. The study, by New Brunswick-based consultant Bier Associates, was adopted Tuesday as a blueprint for improvements.

The recommendations include an increase in meter rates from 25 to 50 cents an hour, and a $5 to $10 increase in permit fees.

Meter rates haven’t gone up since January 1996 and are lower than other county seats in New Jersey, said Leonard Bier, principal of Bier Associates, during a December presentation to the council.

He noted an oddity in current fee structures: Parking costs 50 cents per hour on many side streets, but 25 cents on Main Street, where parking is usually preferred and closer to business doorsteps.

Bier Associates also recommends changing mechanical meters to electronic ones because upkeep is cheaper and requires less labor.

Other recommendations: Repair and upgrade parking facilities; raise parking fines from $22 to $32; install more on-street meters; enforce time limits; allow payment by cellphone and credit card; and create separate rates for day and night parking permits.

The city should also consider creating a parking utility to manage it all, according to the study. Parking utilities, like those in Hoboken and Trenton, are semi-independent bodies in charge of operations and revenue collection. Parking utilities in New Jersey have executive directors, operating budgets and debt service separate from the municipality, and the ability to set rates and fees.

But the local governing body has ultimate jurisdiction over rates, fees, capital projects budget and personnel. Profit from parking revenues would also be turned over to the city’s general fund.

Hackensack’s police and public works departments and the tax office split parking maintenance, enforcement and revenue collection duties, an arrangement Bier said has led to a "mish-mosh" operation and inadequate maintenance.

"There’s no real guidance and overall thought as to what’s going on," he said.

Bier Associates suggested ways the city could finance improvements, including a tax on properties located near parking facilities and shared parking agreements with developers.

The council is considering an ordinance introduced Tuesday to allow developers to lease municipal parking spaces to reduce their own parking requirements.

"This plan gives us some of the tools we will need to make sure residents and visitors can actually get to where they want to go," said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono.

He said he plans to hire two parking enforcement officers, following one of the recommendations, to work full-time hours, days and evenings, Monday through Saturday.

No salary has been set, but Lo Iacono said the revenue earned would more than cover their pay.

"It's more than a revenue issue," he said. "It's an issue of making the parking system work better."

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 08, 2013, 07:50:47 PM
Hackensack parking study approved; new regulations to be instated (http://www.northjersey.com/news/196498811_Hackensack_parking_study_approved__new_regulations_to_be_instated.html?page=all)
Friday March 8, 2013, 4:30 PM
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

Redevelopment

Hackensack - The City Council accepted a downtown parking system review report and has passed a resolution adopting the recommendations contained within on March 5, according to city officials.

The report, entitled "City of Hackensack Downtown Parking System Review," was prepared by Bier Associates and dated January 18, 2013.

The report's suggested recommendations will total an estimated $424,400 -with a recurring annual cost, which includes maintenance and the salary of the two hired Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO), of $149,500.

According to the resolution adopted on March 5, "the scope of the analysis conducted by Brier Associates included a review of current parking rates, rules, regulations and restrictions, an analysis of how public parking resources can support the Main Street Rehabilitations Area and Plan adopted...providing suggestions for improving and optimizing operations, an analysis of methods for making parking more convenient to users, outlining potential revenue enhancements, recommending management solutions, providing guidance concerning policy options and evaluating shared parking options."

After the completion of the study, recommendations were made to: "enhance parking patron user convenience;" "maximize the utilization of the parking assets;" "optimize operations and management;" "provide parking for local businesses and residents;" and "generate adequate revenue to cover operating and capital maintenance costs."

For example, in order to generate sufficient revenue to cover costs, Bier makes various suggestions based on other municipalities with similar size within New Jersey. According to the report, Bier Associates suggest adjusting Main Street and other on-street parking meters rates from 25 to 50 cents per hour as well as increasing monthly permit rates at parking lots and garages. The study states that in 2011 revenues from parking were in excess of $1.3 million. This revenue included permit and parking meter fees. Though a projected revenue is not in place, officials expect an increase following the recommendations taking place.

"We have no projected revenues but we do expect for our revenue to go up," City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said.

According to Bier's report, Hackensack's downtown has an approximate "2,559 parking spaces consisting of approximately 2,012 off-street meter and permit spaces and 547 on-street meters."

Recommendations for the city to hire two PEOs were also made. The report states that this recommendation was made because "inconsistent enforcement of parking regulations is detrimental to the parking program as it catches people unaware and provides the impression that parking enforcement is unpredictable, arbitrary and capricious.

Lo Iacono said that this recommendation is in the process of being implemented, sooner rather than later.

"We are in the process of hiring two Parking Enforcement Officers," he said. "We want to spread their assigned coverage. Right now our PEOs work during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. We would like to stretch this time by a couple more hours a day and include Saturdays."

Another recommendation made by Brier is for the city to have a centralized parking management department that controls all ordinances, fees and fines that have to do with municipal parking because "[w]hen parking functions are divided between multiple city departments, no single department or manager has the full authority to plan, supervise, and operate municipal parking services. Due to this lack of centralization, there is less master planning, performance analysis, and control of the entire parking system and operations."

Lo Iacono mentioned that the recommendation to centralize the parking management department is "essential" but is not currently being worked on.

The report also makes suggestions as to how the city can finance these improvements -such as taxing on properties located near parking facilities and a tax on parking spaces.

"[Taxing these properties] is something we are not looking to do at the moment," he said.

According to the resolution adopted, "the scope of the analysis conducted by Brier Associates included a review of current parking rates, rules, regulations and restrictions, an analysis of how public parking resources can support the Main Street Rehabilitations Area and Plan adopted...providing suggestions for improving and optimizing operations, an analysis of methods for making parking more convenient to users, outlining potential revenue enhancements, recommending management solutions, providing guidance concerning policy options and evaluating shared parking options."

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 09, 2013, 08:48:30 AM
The Parking Nazi's are coming to Hackensack.  Maybe they can be issued swastika's on their shirt sleeves.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 15, 2013, 11:41:48 AM
Hackensack names Meridia company redeveloper for rehabilitation site (http://www.northjersey.com/news/198396121_Hackensack_names_Meridia_company_redeveloper_for_rehabilitation_site_named.html)
Friday, March 15, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — The city has taken a big step forward in making its highly anticipated redevelopment plan come into fruition.
 
Buy or license this photo The city council designated Meridia Metro Urban Renewal as the conditional redeveloper of a parcel of land on State Street. This site will be developed into a 222-unit apartment building.

During the March 5 City Council meeting, three resolutions concerning the State Street property and Meridia were introduced.

The first resolution introduced, conditionally designates Meridia as the redeveloper of the area for 90 days during which negotiations and the execution of an agreement will be completed.

Meridia State —the proposed name of the future apartment building —will be a six-story apartment building, that includes a ground garage with space for 141 spots with five floors of one- and two- bedroom apartments: 86 one-bedroom and 136 two-bedroom units.

A financial agreement, another of the resolutions introduced, proposed a 30-year tax abatement on the State Street property. This tax abatement will incrementally increase. In the first six years, the developer would pay the greater amount between two options: either $1,200 a unit —totaling $266,400 for all 222 units —or 2 percent of the total cost of the project. From the seventh to eleventh year, these two options remain as well as the addition of a third one allowing for the payment of 20 percent of the property taxes that would have, otherwise, been paid. With passing years the percentage increases to 40 percent, then 60 percent, and then 80 percent.

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono addressed the reasons as to why the city had to offer incentives as it had to entice redevelopers to that area.

"If this project were taxed at the full tax rate [the tax revenue] would be much greater but there would be no project," Lo Iacono said. "There would be no project because it would not be economically feasible [for a developer] to have a project like this built on that property unless there was some incentive like this PILOT [Payment In Lieu Of Taxes] agreement."

Mayor Michael Melfi agreed.

"Building in this area, we think it is in the city's best interest to offer this incentive," he said.

When the topic of the Avalon apartment complex came up by a Hackensack resident, Lo Iacono said the two situations are completely different.

"We had people competing for the Avalon site, they wanted to build something —it was that valuable of a site," he said.

The final resolution introduced suggests allowing leasing 120 parking spaces in municipal parking garages and lots for Meridia State residents. The rate under the agreement states "for the years one through five…the Fixed Monthly Rent shall be $64,800.00, which equates to a monthly parking space amount equal to $45.00 per space." After the initial five years, this amount will increase periodically.

Councilman Jorge Meneses, along with the rest of the council, shared positive senti-ments towards the upcoming project.

"State Street is coming up, finally, after years of being an eye sore," he said.

Councilwoman Karen Sasso thanked the the council for their work in making the project steer towards becoming a reality.

"I want to commend the council for all that they did," she said. "This is a very exciting time."

Melfi concluded the discussion of the Meridia matter by addressing all in attendance.

"Our downtown is going to be better than it is now, for sure."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 18, 2013, 11:02:40 AM
Meadowlands USA article: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/meadowlands/201302/#/26
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 26, 2013, 11:26:10 AM
$19.2 million apartment building planned for run-down Hackensack block (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2013/03/apartments_planned_for_run-down_hackensack_block.html)

State Street in Hackensack
View the Slideshow (http://photos.nj.com/8002235/gallery/state_street_in_hackensack/index.html)
(Gallery by Myles Ma/NJ.com)

By  Myles Ma/NJ.com   
on March 26, 2013 at 6:05 AM, updated March 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM

HACKENSACK — Plans are in place for a 222-unit apartment building to rise on a State Street block currently defined by trash-strewn gravel lots and a vacant Chase Bank.

The City Council on March 19 officially named Meridia Metro Urban Renewal the developer of the apartments.

The apartment will have 86 one-bedroom units and 136 two-bedroom units on five floors over parking. Construction should start in June and finish in January 2015.

The project is expected to cost an estimated $19.2 million.

The Council also adopted a payment in lieu of taxes program that will pay Hackensack $1,200 per apartment, for a total of $266,400 per year. Alternatively, Meridia could pay the city 2 percent of the total cost of the development, depending on which is greater.

The PILOT program will last 30 years. City officials, in a press release, said the earnings from the PILOT would exceed what the $80,000 it collects annually from the site now, and demonstrate its commitment to the project.

The project represents the first tangible sign of progress in the Main Street Rehabilitation Plan, which seeks to overhaul Hackensack's downtown by encouraging mixed-use development. Adopted in June, the plan calls for an easier building approval process and two-way traffic on Main Street.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: vsasson on April 15, 2013, 02:33:59 PM
A new restaurant and deli on Main Street are signs of hope the street is coming back, but other blocks are still looking forlorn. I don't agree with the City Council's strategy of offering a 30-year tax break for a 222-unit luxury apartment building on State Street, but hope when the tenants arrive in a couple of years, they will support Main Street merchants, assuming they are still in business.

A welcome sign of renewal in Hackensack


http://doyoureallyknowwhatyoureeating.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-welcome-sign-of-renewal-in-hackensack.html (http://doyoureallyknowwhatyoureeating.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-welcome-sign-of-renewal-in-hackensack.html)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on April 15, 2013, 08:35:47 PM
Victor, the vision of the city's downtown becoming an attractive place for upscale rental construction has to start somewhere.  The economy and the real estate market are still weak, so it has become necessary to offer the perks that the city has offered to make this FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT project succeed.  I support that goal 100%, and I understand that both slates running in the election also support it. Future projects might not be getting the same incentives, and that won't be a problem.

Once one big 200+ unit building is built, or even under construction, that becomes the encouragement for other builders to come in along the entire Main/State corridor. Nobody wants to be the first, but everyone will want to join the party. This is going to be one of the most sought-after development locations in the entire State. Builders we've never heard of will be beating down the city's doors, looking for a piece of the action. The long-term potential is more than just helping the retail stores and restaurants, and encouraging more high-end retailers and restaurants.  All these units in all these buildings are going to pay a lot of taxes, and much like Prospect Ave they won't be filling the schools or draining police and social services. Property values will rise in the entire area, and that means more tax revenue flowing out of the downtown.

1000 units is about 1/3 of what's on Prospect Ave. If we had that in the downtown it would make a huge difference in the retail climate.  I think the potential exists for at least 5000 units, including the Record campus, vacant and downtrodden areas around Essex & Fair Streets, all around Foschini Park, and nearby areas on River Street.  And possibly a name brand high-end hotel, which has been a planning goal for the downtown for over 30 years.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2013, 10:01:54 AM
Real estate execs tout Fort Lee, Hackensack projects (http://www.northjersey.com/realestate/205918041_Real_estate_execs_tout_Fort_Lee__Hackensack_projects.html?page=all)
Friday, May 3, 2013    Last updated: Friday May 3, 2013, 8:18 AM
BY  LINDA MOSS
STAFF WRITER
The Record

NEWARK — Real estate executives Thursday offered updates on major redevelopment projects that they said could transform Fort Lee and Hackensack.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/MC_0503B_clark2JH_50.jpg)
An executive with Tucker Development Corp. said the company will break ground in July on the first phase of Hudson Lights, a mixed-use project on the former Helmsley tract in downtown Fort Lee. The developer plans a pedestrian-friendly "streetscape" in the center's retail heart.

Robert Clark, vice president of development for Tucker, which is based in Highland Park, Ill., said at a real estate roundtable that the first phase will entail the construction of 112,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 276 rental units.

The Hudson Lights project will be built on the western part of a 16-acre tract south of the George Washington Bridge.

Construction of the mixed-use development, which Tucker has been involved with since 2008, will kick off with the build-out of the initial retail space, three floors of parking above it, and eight levels of residential space on top of that, Clark told about 100 attendees at the roundtable sponsored by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, which is based in Paramus.

Tucker plans to rebuild a former road, Hudson Street, which will run north-south through phase one of Hudson Lights, Clark said.

"Hudson was one of the residential streets that was previously at this location," Clark said. "We are creating more of a cobblestone, pedestrian-oriented street. … The retail really fronts onto that Hudson Street."

Hudson Street is meant to channel pedestrians through the new retail outlets to the existing ones on Main Street, he said. It will have 22 parking stalls, with time limited to 15 to 20 minutes, Clark said.

It will take roughly 22 months for the first phase of Hudson Lights to be completed, Clark said. During the second phase, a 175-room hotel, more retail space and another 200 residential units will be built, he added.

Hudson Lights will ultimately include about 175,000 square feet of retail space, 476 residential units and the hotel.

RFK in Manhattan is handling leasing for the retail space at Hudson Lights. The largest space is 13,000 square feet, Clark said.

"This is very small, eclectic-type retail — national, regional and local tenants," he said.

Construction began last October on The Modern, the two 47-story residential towers that will occupy the eastern part of the site, whose borders are Bruce Reynolds Boulevard, Central Road, Main Street and Lemoine Avenue. Its developer is SJP Residential Properties.

Cost for construction of the two projects is estimated at $1 billion.

CIANJ held its roundtable at the Courtyard by Marriott in Newark, a new hotel that Tucker developed. Clark said that the Hudson Lights' Fort Lee hotel will be very similar to it in design.

Jerry Lombardo, president of real estate firm C.J.L. Lombardo Co., spoke about redevelopment efforts in Hackensack, and the effort of the city and its Special Improvement District, which he heads, to revitalize a 163-acre zone. That redevelopment area runs roughly from State Street to River Street, with Main Street in the middle, from Sears to the Bergen County Courthouse complex, Lombardo said.

To encourage development, the city has eased some of its building requirements, including creating a pre-approval board where builders can bounce their plans off city officials early on, Lombardo said.

"We wanted to make Hackensack shovel-ready for the development community," he said.

The SID is trying to forge a stronger relationship between downtown and Hackensack University Medical Center by encouraging the construction of medical offices on Essex Street and downtown, Lombardo said. He mentioned that Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is looking to build a medical-office building on a site it owns on Essex Street.

President and CEO David Sanzari said the proposed building, with 85,000 square feet, has received county and city approval.

To revive downtown, Lombardo said the city is encouraging residential development. As part of the redevelopment, builders will be able to build residential units over retail space, he said. Lombardo said he's encouraging Sanzari to make residential units a component of its Essex Street project.

Lombardo said that a 250-unit residential unit, with ground-level retail, will break ground on State Street on June 6. The developer is Capodagli Property Co. of West New York.

"We have many good sites," Lombardo said. "There's been some sites assembled already that are available A couple of them are under contract already. I know Roseland Development has been down there sniffing around. I ran into them actually walking down the street one day. … They were looking at a couple of sites."

Roseland is owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corp.

When asked about Roseland's interest in Hackensack, Mack-Cali Chief Executive Mitchell Hersh said, "We look at everything,"

Email: moss@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on May 06, 2013, 10:08:12 AM
when did ground level retail enter the mix in the new building on State St?  everything to date that has been published has been parking ground floor and 5 stories of living space above.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2013, 10:19:03 AM
Not sure when exactly but I had been hearing that for a few months now.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2013, 01:29:18 PM
I got some clarification: The ground floor is mostly parking, but on the north side of the building where the official entrance is with the drive thru, there may be a small retail space that would serve the tenants such as a dry cleaner drop off and pick up.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Whitey on May 06, 2013, 01:31:13 PM
I found serveral references to mixed use.  See below.  Nothing specific.

 
Hackensack easing way for apartment building project
by Hannan Adely
NorthJersey.com
(HACKENSACK) - The City Council is taking steps to approve parking and financial agreements to make it easier for a North Jersey developer to build a 222-unit apartment building downtown.

The council introduced ordinances on Tuesday night to designate Meridia Metro Urban Renewal as the redeveloper of a portion of State Street and to allow a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and parking lease for the project, to be called Meridia State. City officials say the incentives are needed to make it viable and to pave the way for the first development in a part of downtown that the council has marked for rehabilitation.

Meridia, a subsidiary of Capodagli Property Co. of Pequannock, plans to construct a six-story building including a ground-floor garage with 141 spots and five floors of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The project, between Warren and Bergen streets, will cost an estimated $19.2 million.

One ordinance would name Meridia as the redeveloper for 90 days, during which the company and city can negotiate a redevelopment agreement.

The council is also weighing a change to the city’s code to allow the leasing of municipal parking lots and garages, and to approve one such agreement with Meridia. Under the agreement, the developer would lease 120 non-assigned parking spaces in the Atlantic Street Parking Garage for its residents at a cost of $64,800 annually for the first five years, with increases in years to follow.

Another proposed ordinance would offer a 30-year tax abatement on the State Street property.

For the first six years, the developer would pay either $1,200 per unit for a total of $266,400, or 2 percent of the total project cost, whichever is greater.

The payment would increase incrementally over the remaining years of the agreement.
In Years 7 to 11, the developer would pay the greatest among those two options and a third option — 20 percent of the property taxes that otherwise would have to be paid. In subsequent years, the third option would grow to 40 percent, then 60 percent, then 80 percent in the final eight years.

If the City Council approves the tax abatement agreement, as expected, it will go to the state Department of Community Affairs for final authorization.

The city now gets less than $80,000 in taxes for the properties in the State Street redevelopment area, said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. All the properties have been bought by Meridia, which is preparing to build soon.

On its application, the developer estimates that construction could start in June if approvals are in place by then, and would run until January 2015.

Meridia would be the first project to break ground since the city adopted its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan in June. The plan eased zoning, parking and other restrictions in a 39-block area known as the Main Street corridor to make it easier for developers to build downtown.

Last month, the council designated part of State Street as an “area in need of redevelopment” to allow a mixed-use project with up to 230 residential units.

Council members said they were willing to offer incentives and to compromise on taxes in a bid to transform the run-down block.

“We want to spark redevelopment,” Mayor Michael Melfi said. “This person is willing to take a chance and develop in this area.”

Councilwoman Karen Sasso said she hoped it would build momentum for all of the city’s Main Street corridor.

“Once this gets built and completed,” she said, “I think more people will come in here over time and look to make an investment in the community.”
March 6, 2013 News, Press Release
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 11, 2013, 02:31:03 PM
City will appeal Hackensack redevelopment decision (http://www.northjersey.com/news/207027701_City_will_appeal_Hackensack_redevelopment_decision.html?page=all)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — Property owners who had unsuccessfully sued the city to stop a Main Street redevelopment plan that could have subjected them to eminent domain welcomed news that an appeals court had overturned the original decision.

The Appellate Division of state Superior Court decided May 3 that Hackensack didn't prove that the properties were blighted and tossed out the earlier ruling. The decision won't end the legal wrangling, though, because the City Council voted Tuesday to ask the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal.

Property owner Michael Monaghan said he wants the right to develop his property at 62-64 Main St.

"I've stood up and tried to protect my property for the last eight years," Monaghan said, saying the city has turned down two applications for banks on the land.

But city officials said the sites are run down and negatively affect the neighborhood — a high-profile part of the city near the Bergen County Courthouse.

In 2008, the Planning Board designated part of a two-block stretch of Main Street as an area in need of redevelopment — a blighted area that a municipality wants to improve and where properties can be taken by eminent domain.

Later that year, 62-64 Main Street LLC and 59-61 Moore St LLC sued the city, contending that officials didn't provide enough public notice because mail to a property owner was misdirected and never received.

A judge affirmed the city's designation of the redevelopment area last year. However, earlier this month, an Appellate Division judge found the Planning Board didn't prove blight, and overturned the decision.

"The city didn't meet the constitutional test of blight," said Peter Dickson, a Princeton-based lawyer representing the property owners. "The law says you have to find conditions of blight predominate in the area."

Eminent domain — the taking of private land by a governmental entity with or without the permission of the owner for public use — has been used in the building of public infrastructure. But its application for development purposes has been more controversial.

The standard of proof for blight was raised following a 2007 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in an eminent domain case, Gallenthin v. Paulsboro.

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said the city wanted to take action on the properties because they are in "terrible condition."

"It's a disaster. We need to get it cleaned up," he said.

The Main Street property includes a vacant single-story building; the second floor was demolished after a partial roof collapse last year. The Moore Street property contains a vacant lot.

The city eventually withdrew its plans for a redevelopment area because it is a slow and litigious process, Lo Iacono said.

City Attorney Joseph Zisa said the city would continue with the lawsuit so it could retain the option of redevelopment if needed.

Meanwhile, the same property owners have sued over the city's less-intrusive plan designating the downtown as an area in need of rehabilitation — which doesn't rely on eminent domain, but allows the city to set standards and limitations on zoning and design elements such as building materials, facades and streetscape. It is being heard in Bergen County Superior Court, Dickson said.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 16, 2013, 09:04:38 AM
Is Generation Y a ‘Game Changer’ for Housing? (http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2013/05/15/is-generation-y-a-game-changer-for-housing/?mod=e2tw)
Wall Street Journal
May 13, 2013
By Kris Hudson

Many housing observers agree that Generation Y—people from 18 to 34 years of age—largely prefers downtown living, often in rental apartments with easy access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.

The real question is whether they’ll outgrow those tastes once they earn higher salaries and have kids.

The Urban Land Institute, or ULI, the land-use association that long has championed dense development over sprawl, this week plans to release the results of a survey of generational housing preferences, highlighting those of Generation Y. The survey, to be released at ULI’s spring conference in San Diego on Wednesday, polled 1,202 U.S. adults from Jan. 16 to Feb. 3 of this year.

ULI heralds Generation Y, with nearly 80 million members, as a potential “game changer” in the U.S. real estate market (they are also known as “millennials”). Of survey respondents in that age range, 59% said they prefer their neighborhood to have a variety of housing types; 62% favor mixed-use developments with shops, restaurants and offices; and 52% like pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

In addition, 55% of Generation Y respondents said close proximity of their home to public transportation is important. The survey found that Generation Y is more likely than older generations to live in apartments and in downtowns, with 54% favoring renting and 39% favoring city living.

The thing is, while Generation Y is the most likely to move to new homes in the coming years, they’re also the most likely to go through significant life changes. Few have yet reached their maximum earning potential. And many haven’t had children, meaning they’re probably not yet focused on the quality of schools near their homes.

Patrick Phillips, ULI’s chief executive, said he suspects Generation Y is different than previous generations in that it won’t fully shift later in life to living in suburban, single-family homes. He noted that one early indicator of the longevity of Generation Y’s tastes will be apartment vacancies in the wake of the construction boom of recent years. Rising vacancies will hint that younger people are buying homes, perhaps in the suburbs. Minimal vacancy will indicate that they prefer to keep renting.

If Generation Y’s preference for compact, urban homes endures, it will result in more mixed-use development, Mr. Phillips said. “Over time, we’ll see a return to a more compact, metropolitan development pattern,” he said. “We’ll see less sprawl at the edges, the market preferring solutions that are closer in.”

Not everyone agrees with that theory. Robert Burchell, a professor of planning at Rutgers University, says that Generation Y, and even Generation X of 35 to 47-year-olds, have substantial personal debt on average and haven’t reaped the massive home-value gains that older generations did in previous booms. Thus, many younger adults likely are renting out of necessity rather than preference, he said.

“Generation X and Y cannot afford to buy the houses of the baby boomers,” Mr. Burchell said. “It’s not like this is a new generation steeped in money, ready to take on the world and has now declared ‘urban is our location.’”

Wendell Cox, a transportation consultant and demographer based in Belleville, Ill., says his analysis of census data shows that 76% of the growth in residents from 20 to 34 years of age from 2000 to 2010 came in low-density, often suburban counties.

A random selection of two Generation Y members by Developments found that neither exactly fit the results of the ULI survey. Ping Shi, a single, 23-year-old financial services consultant, recently bought a 2,500-square-foot house in south San Francisco with her parents for $750,000. She anticipates moving to the suburbs later in life.

“In my 20s, I definitely want to live downtown; I like the whole high-rise, in-the-city feel,” Ms. Shi said. “But, definitely when I have children, I want to live in a single-family home. It’s easier for parking, transportation and it’s safer to live in the suburbs away from the city. I definitely want a back yard.”

Caroline Tinsley, a 26-year-old communications specialist for an electric utility, rents a two-bedroom apartment in the Austin suburb of Bee Cave, Texas. She anticipates buying a single-family, detached home in her 30s. “I don’t want to be in the suburbs, but I don’t necessarily want to be right downtown,” she said. “I lived in the central urban area of Austin for four years, so I feel like I have that out of my system.”
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 06, 2013, 11:13:08 PM
Hackensack celebrates first groundbreaking in downtown rehabilitation effort (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2013/06/hackensack_celebrates_first_groundbreaking_in_downtown_rehabilitation_effort.html#incart_river_default)
Myles Ma/NJ.com By  Myles Ma/NJ.com
June 06, 2013 at 3:25 PM, updated June 06, 2013 at 3:59 PM

HACKENSACK — For a long time, talk of revitalizing downtown Hackensack has been conceptual, defined by architectural renderings and studies.

That changed Thursday, as officials made their first physical progress toward making those visions a reality, breaking ground on a $19.2 million, 222-unit residential property on a State Street block that had been left mostly empty in recent years.

(http://imgick.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/bergen/photo/12885801-mmmain.jpg)

"This demonstrates that this whole rehabilitation project is moving," Stephen Lo Iacono, Hackensack City Manager, said. "It's the first step. it's going to be the first of many."
 
The Meridia State complex is expected to be complete in about 18 months. At that point, it will include five stories of one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a ground floor garage with 141 parking spots.

The developer, Meridia Metro Urban Renewal, a subsidiary of Capodagli Property Company, agreed to move forward with the project after the city council adopted a payment in lieu of taxes program for the project.

Under the PILOT agreement, Hackensack will receive $1,200 per unit for a total of about $266,400 a year, or 2 percent of the total cost of the project, depending on which is greater. The city currently collects $80,000 a year in taxes from the site.

Capodagli Property owner George Capodagli said the Meridia building would attract young, eager-to-spend millenials.

"I'm bringing the $20 martini people," the audacious, bleach-blond developer said in a thick Brooklyn accent. "The rich and the famous."

They're not macho. They're more mucho than macho.

But whether they stay depends on how safe and welcome they feel in Hackensack, Capodagli said.

"These kids are coming from dormitories and suburban homes to cities," he said. "They may act macho and look macho, but guess what? They're not macho. They're more mucho than macho. So you've got to make them feel safe."

Lo Iacono said Hackensack already was a safe city.

"Crime really is not a major problem here and we're going to be doing even better than we've been doing as this thing develops," he said.

City officials hope the Meridia project is only the first step in a larger effort to revive downtown Hackensack. The city has eased building requirements to speed Main Street development.

Capodagli credited city officials for moving the Meridia project so quickly through the approval process.

"These people jumped through every hoop that needed to be jumped through," he said.

Lo Iacono cited overly strict building regulations, particularly parking requirements, as among the chief reasons for Main Street's decline. And like many Bergen County downtowns, the rise of big box stores and shopping malls in the 1960s and 70s hurt Hackensack's Main Street.

But while there have been many plans over the years to rehabilitate downtown Hackensack, business owners and the city government haven't aligned as they have now, Councilman John Labrosse said.

"It never had the full effort of the city, the businesses and the elected officials," he said. "Now it's a joint venture, and that's what's made the difference."

With the Meridia project underway, Lo Iacono said there are four more developments in the pipeline for Main Street. He couldn't reveal any details, but said they are all mixed-use, with retail or office space on the ground floor and residential units above.

It's not clear whether Lo Iacono will be able to see those projects through. The last election brought a complete turnover to the city council, aside from LaBrosse, and the newcomers haven't indicated whether Lo Iacono will stay on.

"I have no idea," he said. "I wish I knew."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 07, 2013, 10:07:36 AM
Meridia Metro groundbreaking signals start of residential building boom in Hackensack (http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Meridia_Metro_groundbreaking_signals_start_of_residential_building_boom_in_Hackensack.html?page=all)
Thursday, June 6, 2013    Last updated: Friday June 7, 2013, 7:41 AM
BY HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record
 
HACKENSACK — The start of construction at the Meridia Metro apartment building marks a turning point for the city as it ushers in an ambitious plan to overhaul its downtown, local leaders said at a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.

The 222-unit building is the first such project in the city since officials adopted the Downtown Rehabilitation Plan a year ago to make it easier for developers to invest in the area. And it is among a trio of such major residential projects, including one freshly announced Thursday evening.

“Today is the first shovel in the ground, the brick-and-mortar proof that, yes, this rehabilitation plan is for real,” said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono. “Yes, it’s moving forward.”

Meridia Metro Hackensack will feature 86 one-bedroom and 136 two-bedroom apartments on five floors over parking on State Street.

Catering to the “millennial” generation, the building will have modern amenities including a gym, an Xbox gaming center, a rooftop terrace with firepit, and a dog park with grooming station, said developer George Capodagli.

“I’m bringing in the $20-martini people — the rich and famous,” said Capodagli, calling it the generation that loves to spend. He later said monthly rents would range from $1,600 to $2,000.

The project will cost about $30 million, and construction is expected to conclude in January 2015, said Capodagli, owner of Capodagli Property Co. of Pequannock and its subsidiary, Meridia Metro Urban Renewal.

Capodagli said the building was planned to feel like a community: “This millennial group — they want to feel like they belong,” he said.

It’s up to the city to keep them there for the long haul, he said.

“They’ve got to feel safe in your streets, and they’ve got to feel welcome,” he said. “They feel like an outcast and they’re taking the train and going elsewhere.”

In March, the City Council designated part of State Street as an “area in need of redevelopment” and approved financial and parking incentives for the apartment building.

Meridia Metro Urban Renewal was granted a 30-year tax abatement. Annually for the first six years, the developer will pay either $1,200 per unit for a total of $266,400, or 2 percent of the total project cost, whichever is greater. The payment will increase incrementally over the remaining years of the agreement.

The city also agreed to lease 120 parking spaces at a nearby municipal parking garage for residents’ use at a cost of $64,800 annually for the first five years, with increases in subsequent years. Shared parking is one of incentives the city included in its Downtown Rehabilitation Plan to lure developers to build in a 39-block area known as the Main Street corridor.

The plan loosens zoning and parking restrictions and establishes an easier building-approval process. It also calls for infrastructure improvements and two-way traffic on Main Street.

The downtown is now home to a diverse but haphazard collection of stores and restaurants in low-rise buildings, with few residences. Many people travel there for work, but depart by evening. City leaders, however, say the downtown is poised to be a destination in Bergen County for people to live, work, shop and dine. They note that it’s home to the county seat, a university and a major medical center, and it has ample highway and bus access.

“Nobody in North Jersey can beat Hackensack’s location,” said Jerome Lombardo, chairman of the Upper Main Alliance business organization.

Meridia isn’t the only notable new housing debuting in Hackensack.

On Friday, officials cut the ribbon on the new Avalon Hackensack at Riverside on Friday, located farther north next to The Shops at Riverside shopping center. The two mid-rise buildings at Avalon include 226 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes, with amenities including an outdoor pool, grilling and picnic areas, resident lounge and fitness center.

And on Thursday evening 6/6, the Upper Main Alliance held a business expo where board member Eric Anderson announced a new Main Street project. He said his realty company, Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group, had worked with developers and sellers in assembling properties with plans to put up a full-service luxury residential building of more than 250,000 square feet. Anderson said plans would be submitted to the city this summer.

He declined to preliminarily disclose the location, but added “This is going to revolutionize Main Street; it’s a big, big project.”

City officials say the Meridia building will lead the way for more such developers and businesses to set up shop downtown and will draw foot traffic to help existing Main Street businesses.

Developers and investors are already expressing high interest in the area, said Lo Iacono, adding that he gets calls from them nearly every day.

North Jersey investor Billy Procida said Hackensack has a lot of offer, but languished for years as other urban areas such as Jersey City prospered with good planning. Now, he’s ready for Hackensack’s turn.

“We’re all over it and we want to invest in it,” said Procida, president of Englewood-based Procida Funding and Advisers. “I think Hackensack is one of the greatest opportunities” for investing.

City officials and planners have worked on downtown rehabilitation planning for years and are just now seeing it come to fruition.

But four of the five council members are not returning to office, and the incoming council has suggested it’ll replace some City Hall staff and contract professionals.

Still, the elected council members say they’re committed to continuing support for redevelopment downtown.

“We’re glad to see that there is some progress finally being made on the redevelopment of Main Street, and we hope this project is successful,” said Councilman John Labrosse, who is returning to office.

Members of the new council say they’ll ensure the process is open and transparent by making documents available online; analyzing financial impact on city services and appointing a commission to review redevelopment efforts citywide.

“We want to make sure everyone — regardless of whether they own one or two properties and regardless of political affiliation — is treated fairly,” said Councilwoman-elect Kathleen Canestrino.

City leaders say new housing ratables also will help lower the tax burden on other property owners.
 
Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 24, 2013, 11:48:37 PM
High-profile developers eye apartments, hotel at Record site in Hackensack (http://www.northjersey.com/edgewater/High-profile_developers.html?page=all)
Monday June 24, 2013, 10:55 PM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The Record’s former headquarters, a 19.7-acre property on River Street in Hackensack, is being sold to a well-known local developer who said he wants to build a high-end residential and retail community with more than 500 apartments and a hotel.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/0625A_Riverstreet_50.jpg)
The former home of The Record on River Street in Hackensack.
CARMINE GALASSO / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Fred Daibes, owner and CEO of the Edgewater-based Daibes Enterprises, is buying the property that includes the former Record flagship office at 150 River St., the New Heritage Diner and the New Jersey Naval Museum in a deal announced Monday by North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record.

“We have reached an agreement to sell the property to Mr. [Fred] Daibes,” Stephen Borg, president of North Jersey Media Group, said.

Daibes, who said he is partnering with James Demetrakis of Arilex Realty in Edgewater, declined to disclose the sale price or the potential cost of the development, but said the deal was not contingent on city approvals.

“We think it’s a good project and a good area to be developing in,” he said. “We see Hackensack as the next Edgewater.”

Daibes has built many residential and commercial properties across Bergen County, but he made his biggest mark in Edgewater, where he put up luxury high-rise apartment buildings at former industrial sites. He helped transform the waterfront area, making it part of the so-called “Hudson River Gold Coast.”

Demetrakis also is a Bergen County developer and partner with Daibes on the mixed-use Cliffside Park Town Centre project now under construction. He also is an attorney for the developer of a $1 billion downtown project in Fort Lee that will include two 47-story residential towers, which will be the tallest structures in Bergen County.

At the River Street site, Daibes envisions upscale high-rise apartment buildings along the Hackensack River, and midpriced apartments above stores facing the street. He also wants to put a hotel on the property.

Daibes said he intends to keep the Naval Museum, which includes the USS Ling submarine on the river. The diner may be relocated within any new development.

The area is zoned B-3, which allows for a wide range of uses including retail stores, multifamily dwellings, offices, movie theaters, restaurants, and publishing centers, said Al Borelli, the city’s zoning officer.

Daibes said plans were preliminary and that he couldn’t provide a timetable. City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said Daibes could take advantage of the city’s pre-application process, which it started last year to allow developers to meet with officials to resolve questions and get guidance on their plans before they’re submitted.

Councilman John Labrosse, who will be sworn in as mayor July 1 when a new coalition takes over city government, said he looked forward to hearing details of plans and hoped such development would draw more people into Hackensack.

“I’m very happy there’s a buyer for the site,” he said. “It’s probably our most valuable piece of property and has the most potential for the city.”

Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said he did not know of any existing environmental problems on the old Record property. It was not listed as having contamination in records kept by the agency’s site remediation program.

“We’ve conducted due diligence with our environmental experts and the DEP, and there are no environmental issues that will prevent redevelopment,” said Jennifer Borg, vice president/general counsel for North Jersey Media Group.

City officials say they have seen strong interest from developers and investors recently, especially since adoption of the new Downtown Rehabilitation Plan a year ago. The River Street property isn’t within the 39-acre area outlined in the plan, but it is just blocks from Main Street and from the Bergen County Courthouse.

Jose Cruz, the senior managing director of HFF, a commercial real estate firm, said the area could benefit from numerous projects – multifamily housing, retail, new medical offices near Hackensack University Medical Center or a hotel.

Hackensack’s demographics and the site’s proximity to New York City make it attractive, he said.

“When you look at that site, it’s very well located, has easy access to the highways, it’s dense,” Cruz said. “You’ve got some great things happening in Hackensack, this would be one more to make things flourish. They’ve got the right developer, now it’s just figuring out the right balance of multiple property types.”

While Daibes has had success in real estate across swaths of Bergen County, he also ran into problems with state and federal regulators.

The DEP fined Daibes $1.9 million in 2011 for completing several projects at Le Jardin, his cliff-side French restaurant in Edgewater, without a permit. He allegedly removed mature trees and shrubs from a coastal bluff and covered an acre of river bottom with fill.

Those issues have been “largely resolved,” Daibes’ spokesman Alan Marcus said Monday.

In January 2012, Mariner’s Bank of Edgewater, which Daibes founded and of which he is majority owner, entered into a wide-ranging order with federal and state regulators that called on the bank to shed bad loans, tighten management oversight, and restrict lending to delinquent borrowers and bank insiders. Daibes, who resigned as chairman of Mariner’s in 2011, said he was not involved in day-to-day operations.

The bank’s CEO said in May that he is hopeful regulators will be satisfied with Mariner’s progress and lift the consent orders after its next examination later this year.

Last month, a Record story raised questions about three unsecured loans the bank gave to powerful county Democrats several years ago.

“We will continue to cover stories that are important to our readers,” Stephen Borg said. “There always has been, continues to be, and always will be a separation between the business side and editorial.”

North Jersey Media Group announced its departure from River Street in 2008 and closed the site three years later. “It was outdated and not conducive to a modern working environment,” Borg said.

Staff Writer Jeff Green contributed to this report.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on June 25, 2013, 08:49:21 AM
That's really great news. Since the developer will have tens of millions of dollars riding on this project, he will be bringing his "a team" in on the project. With a new Council taking over next week, it is imperative that they assemble their own "A team" of planners, engineers and other professionals to give the planning board all the necessary expertise to guide them through the process and bring this project to fruition.
A lot of interested parties will be watching this project closely, and if the City can conduct the review process professionally, other development opportunities will present themselves.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on June 25, 2013, 05:54:24 PM
Yes, it's great news, and I see they are allowing the USS Ling and Naval Museum to stay put.  I hope they will be regrading the entire 20 acres and raising up at least 3 feet, preferably 5 feet.

It'll be a great asset to the downtown and (presumably) to the Hackensack Riverfront Walkway. And it will bring new higher-end housing into Hackensack.  500 units is a tad smaller than the two Excelsior buildings and they could probably build more units, but we'll take it.  A hotel in the downtown has been a dream and a goal for city planners since at least the 1970's.

And I've been agreeing with Homer lately, how about that ???
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on June 25, 2013, 06:23:53 PM
Now, that is scary.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 11, 2013, 11:45:48 AM
Judge finds Hackensack violated open-records law in refusing to give property owners details on rehab plan (http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen/Judge_finds_Hackensack_violated_open-records_law_in_refusing_to_give_property_owners_details_on_downtown_rehab_plan.html?page=all)
Wednesday, July 10, 2013    Last updated: Thursday July 11, 2013, 9:34 AM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — The city government violated the state’s Open Public Records Act when officials denied a landowners’ request for invoices and other records related to legal and consulting work on the downtown rehabilitation plan, a judge has ruled.

In the strongly worded decision, state Superior Court Judge Peter E. Doyne dismissed the city’s claim that the request was “vague and unclear.”

“The baseless denial of plaintiffs’ OPRA request compels a finding in their favor,” Doyne wrote in Tuesday’s decision. “Not only was the request clear and unambiguous, defendant and defendant’s counsel were aware of the specific records being sought.”

A May lawsuit in the matter had been filed by 62-64 Main Street, LLC, its principals Michael Monaghan, Frank Callahan and Danny Callahan, and co-worker Joan Monaghan who filed the OPRA request at the Hackensack City Clerk’s office in April. Their property had previously been threatened by a city redevelopment takeover and then included in a less-invasive city rehabilitation plan.

Through the request, they sought invoices and purchase orders submitted by law firms and consultants, and payments made to law firms and consultants, for work related to the designation of the Main Street Rehabilitation Area. They also sought a copy of legal notices for the agendas of a council meeting and a Planning Board meeting.

Some invoices were later provided, but many were not. Craig Pogosky, who represented the city, claimed the request wasn’t clear and that the plaintiffs were using OPRA as a “discovery tool” for other litigation — which the judge said cannot be a basis for denying an OPRA request.

In 2008, the city had designated a two-block area “in need of redevelopment” that included 62-64 Main Street. That property’s owners successfully fought the city’s designation which could have subject their property to eminent domain; in May a judge ruled the city hadn’t proved the area was blighted, as required for areas “in need of redevelopment.”

The property was included in the much larger Main Street Rehabilitation Area adopted in June 2012.

Doyne ordered the city to promptly comply with the OPRA request and to pay the plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

“It is incumbent upon a municipality to provide a fair and good-faith review of a request, and to attempt to comply with that request when calling for the production of acknowledged government records,” Doyne wrote. “Efforts to the contrary are not acceptable.”

The judge did not impose sanctions, but noted that any obstruction in the future may result in sanction. In an apparent reference to the city’s new administration, Doyne stated: “The City of Hackensack has since retained new counsel, and it is the expectation of this court that no further reoccurrence will occur on the part of either defendant or defendant’s new counsel.”

Pogosky didn’t return a call Wednesday afternoon about the ruling, and the city manager wasn’t available. Danny Callahan declined to comment.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 28, 2013, 01:15:47 AM
Officials look into possibility of redeveloping Hackensack parking lot
Friday, July 26, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
   
Hackensack – The city is taking steps for a municipal parking lot to, potentially, be the central point of a redevelopment plan after developers expressed interest in the site, according to officials.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/MC_HKLotCHorizontal_072613_hk_tif_.jpg)
At the Committee of the Whole meeting on July 15, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono updated the Mayor and Council on the interest Lot C — a municipal parking lot — has generated among developers. Though the area is currently not part of a current redevelopment plan, it was deemed an area in need of rehabilitation. Lot C is off of River Street between Bowler City and Foschini Park.
BERNADETTE MARCINIAK/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

During the Hackensack Committee of the Whole meeting on July 15, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono informed the Mayor and Council of the arising interest in the plot of land that constitutes municipal Lot C — situated between Bowler City and Foschini Park — off of River Street.

Though the lot was deemed in as a place in need of rehabilitation, it does not form part of the current Main Street Rehabilitation Plan since it is outside the designated zone.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Lo Iacono explained that developers have been interested in the area for some time.

"It seemed to occur that every time I had a meeting with a [potential] developer for Main Street, somehow the conversation evolved to the lot," he said. "It was very evident that there was a lot of interest."

Lo Iacono attributes the proximity to major routes and specific locations, including to the city's downtown and Bogota, as major drawing points for developers.

Lot size is another enticing attribute of the property since it is bigger than any in the downtown area, and would allow developers "a lot more room to work with," Lo Iacono said.

After Lo Iacono briefed the Mayor and Council on the lot, Mayor John Labrosse said that the city should look into the potential redevelopment of the area and gave the consent for a plan to be drafted.

"It is a great location to the city, especially the downtown," he said. "Let's take a look at [its potential]."

The next step for the city, is for Francis Reiner, the city's planner, to draw up a redevelopment plan outlining what type of development can be built in the area, according to Lo Iacono.

"We've been asked to provide a redevelopment plan to the Mayor and Council," Reiner explained, adding that there is no set timeframe as to when the plan will be drafted by.

Once the plan is done and approved, the interested parties will submit applications for potential developments. The Mayor and Council, in conjunction with the Planning Board, can ultimately decide which of the projects will best fit the needs of the city and that specific property, according to Lo Iacono.

Since the current use for that land is as a city parking lot, Lo Iacono assured that that the redevelopment plan "will call for a parking structure as well" since a ground-level parking lot is obsolete and does not meet the needs of a growing city in the midst of rehabilitation.

"I am almost certain that the [redevelopment] plan would include a parking deck and, also, satisfy the parking needs for Main Street," he said.

According to Lo Iacono, the city, currently, leases a set number of parking spaces to the Ice House and Bowler City, as well as to a couple of nearby businesses. Officials have to look into replacing the leases when, and if, development takes place.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/217053411_Officials_look_into_possibility_of_redeveloping_Hackensack_parking_lot.html?page=all#sthash.TPfzg8tZ.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Whitey on August 01, 2013, 09:47:18 AM

CITY OF HACKENSACK ORDINANCE NO. 17-2013 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Ordinance No. 17-2013 of the City of Hackensack, County of Bergen and State of New Jersey, entitled: "AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 3 ENTITLED 'ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES' OF THE CITY OF HACKENSACK MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD NEW ARTICLE VIII ENTITLED "DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" was introduced and has passed its first reading at a meeting of the governing body of the City of Hackensack, in the County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, on July 22, 2013. It will be further considered for final passage after a public hearing thereon, at a meeting of the City Council to be held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 65 Central Avenue, on Tuesday, August 20, 2013at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter can be reached. Debra Heck, City Clerk CITY OF HACKENSACK ORDINANCE NO. 17-2013 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 3 ENTITLED "ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES" OF THE CITY OF HACKENSACK MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD NEW ARTICLE VIII ENTITLED "DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" WHEREAS, the N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 et seq., (hereinafter referred to as the "Statute") provides that the Governing Body of every municipality may create an office or position necessary for the efficient conduct of the affairs of the municipality by way of ordinance; and WHEREAS, the City of Hackensack ("Hackensack") is in need of economic development services to ensure economic opportunity to the Hackensack residents and to enhance the City's vibrancy and development; and WHEREAS, the Governing Body of Hackensack has determined that, for reasons of efficiency and economy, securing a Director of Economic Development in the best interests of the City; and. WHEREAS, the Director of Economic Development will report through the City Manager; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, BY THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HACKENSACK, as follows: SECTION 1. The City of Hackensack Municipal Code, Chapter 3 entitled "Administrative Offices," is amended to add new Article VIII entitled "Director of Economic Development" as follows: � 3-26. Director of Economic Development Established There is hereby created and established the position of Director of Economic Development in the government of the City of Hackensack. The Director of Economic Development's appointment by the City Council shall be at the pleasure of the Council, and this Director shall receive such compensation as shall be provided annually by ordinance. � 3-27. Duties It shall be the duty of the Director of Economic Development of the City of Hackensack to: A. Research, study and evaluate the economic development of the City of Hackensack on an ongoing basis, with particular attention to the development and redevelopment of areas within the city which may be appropriate for such consideration. B. Make recommendations to the Mayor and Council for the development of such areas and the zoning of such areas for residential or commercial purposes. C. Prepare such advisory reports and perform such other duties as may from time to time be requested by the Mayor and Council concerning the feasibility of certain proposed projects. D. Make recommendations to the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment that may be requested concerning applications for development presented therein. E. Design and implement campaigns to attract industrial, commercial and other economic development into the City. F. Undertake an inventory and the securing and promotion of sites whose development is to the economic benefit of the City. G. Assist prospective developers in securing financing for development projects. H. Arrange and coordinate city services necessary for specific economic development projects. I. Keep appropriate statistics and data to indicate trends in economic development and make evaluations and recommendations concerning the same. J. Review and make recommendations concerning economic development aspects of the Comprehensive Master Plan of the City. K. Coordinate the City's economic development efforts with those of other governmental bodies and agencies. L. Administer all federal, state, county and local aid programs pertaining to economic development in the City, except as otherwise provided by law. SECTION 2. All other Ordinances or parts of Ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency. SECTION 3. This ordinance shall take effect upon final passage and publication as provided by law. ATTEST: CITY OF HACKENSACK By: Name: John P. Labrosse, Jr. Title: Mayor By: Name: Debra Heck Title: City Clerk July 31, 2013-Fee:$142.70(151) 3536531

Source: The Record, Hackensack, NJ, 07601
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 28, 2013, 02:30:30 PM
Hackensack parking lot envisioned as housing, commercial development (http://www.northjersey.com/news/229493361_Hackensack_parking_lot_envisioned_as_housing__commercial_development_may_become_residential__retail_center.html?page=all)
Monday, October 28, 2013
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — A 4.3-acre municipal parking lot across from Foschini Park could be transformed into a retail and residential center with hundreds of apartments under a city plan that was unveiled last week.

The proposed redevelopment of the area, known as Lot C, is part of the city's larger vision to improve its downtown and turn it into a regional destination for living, shopping and entertainment. The City Council named the parking lot site as an area in need of redevelopment in June — a designation for blighted areas that allows a municipality to plan improvements and offer tax incentives.

Two other properties — the former Record headquarters on River Street and 150-170 Main St., a string of buildings with commercial storefronts — also are being explored as possible areas in need of redevelopment, said Anthony Rottino, the city's director of economic development.

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said officials zeroed in on the Lot C site because of strong interest from developers attracted by its location near Main and River streets, beside the park, and near a bridge that crosses into Bogota. It also has appeal because of its size and because there are no on-site structures.

"A surface lot is not the best use of this particular property, especially not one located where this one is right near Main Street," he said. "It became obvious to us that it was potentially a good development site."

The triangular shaped site is located between Midtown Place, the Midtown Bridge Approach and the East Salem Street Extension, and is one block east of River Street.

Planning consultant Francis Reiner of DMR Architects laid out a vision for the site at a council meeting last Monday that includes 350 units in an eight-story building and a five-story building; 25,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the first floor; and an outdoor public plaza or park.

That was a suggested use, Reiner said, but any plan would be up to a developer. Under current zoning, a developer could construct a residential or hotel building to a height of up to 14 stories.

Parking requirements call for one parking space per unit and at least 200 parking spaces for public use, but a shared parking agreement could affect the total number of spaces.

Lot C has 544 parking spots that are used by park visitors and customers at the Ice House and Bowler City, both of which lease space from the city.

Lo Iacono said the 200 public spaces would meet future needs for parking for those establishments. He said a parking study showed that the lot rarely held more than 125 to 150 cars.

The Lot C site is not part of the 39-block Main Street Rehabilitation Area that the city designated last year. The plan for the lot would complement the city's larger downtown goals to promote greater housing density and support existing business, Reiner said.

"The more units you have in proximity to Main Street, the more support you have for commercial establishments," he said.

The plans also have similar design standards, with a focus on high-quality building materials, ornamentation and molding, canopies and awnings, and public open spaces.

The site is a block north of the former headquarters of The Record on River Street. North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record, is in contract to sell the 19.7-acre property to developer Fred Daibes of Daibes Enterprises.

Daibes said he wants to build a high-end residential and retail community with more than 500 apartments and a hotel on the property. Rottino said The Record property and the 150-170 Main St. site — where a developer wants to build a 14-story luxury apartment building — also are being investigated as possible areas in need of redevelopment.

The "redevelopment" designation allows for greater tax relief. It also allows for eminent domain — the seizing of private property by a government entity for public purpose — but that won't be required here because the developer already is in contract to buy the nine on-site properties, Rottino said.

The City Council has to vote to refer the Lot C redevelopment plan to the Planning Board. The Planning Board then must review and approve any plan before the council can take a final vote, after which the council can issue a request for proposals.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 30, 2013, 02:30:31 PM
Hackensack pays $14,000 to settle public-records lawsuit
Tuesday October 29, 2013, 3:15 PM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – The city will pay $14,310 to settle a claim after a court decided that officials violated the state’s Open Public Records Act.

The court ruled in July in favor of 62-64 Main Street, LLC, its principals Michael Monaghan, Frank Callahan and Danny Callahan, and employee Joan Monaghan.

They had filed a request at the Hackensack city clerk’s office in April seeking invoices, purchase orders, legal notices and other records related to legal and consulting work in the downtown rehabilitation plan.

The city only supplied some of the records, claiming the request wasn’t clear and that the plaintiffs were using OPRA as a “discovery tool” for other litigation — which the judge said cannot be a basis for denying an OPRA request.

In the strongly worded decision, state Superior Court Judge Peter E. Doyne dismissed the city’s claim that the request was “vague and unclear.”

“The baseless denial of plaintiffs’ OPRA request compels a finding in their favor,” Doyne wrote. “Not only was the request clear and unambiguous, defendant and defendant’s counsel were aware of the specific records being sought.”

The amount paid to settle the claim was $1,000 less than what Doyne had awarded, said city spokesman Thom Ammirato. 

Council members voted last week to authorize the city attorney to settle the claim. The City Council is also taking steps to revise and improve its policy on the Open Public Records Act.

Ammirato said the recent lawsuit was only part of the motivation. Council members, he said, had a tough time getting public records before they took office July 1. In their campaigns, they vowed to create a more citizen-friendly and open government.

“I don’t think it was one case that triggered this, but that the city was being less than forthcoming in providing information to the public under the old administration,” Ammirato said.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Hackensack_pays_14000_to_settle_public-records_lawsuit.html#sthash.4FjjfdcZ.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on November 08, 2013, 03:44:10 PM
Hackensack appoints redevelopment attorney among others (http://www.northjersey.com/news/231101981_Hackensack_appoints_redevelopment_attorney_among_others.html?page=all)
Friday, November 8, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
   
HACKENSACK — The Mayor and Council passed a couple of resolutions at the Oct. 22 meeting appointed auditor/financial advisor, redevelopment and alternate tax appeal attorneys, and special counsel.

As per a resolution, DiMaria & DiMaria, LLP was named the city’s municipal auditor and financial advisor and will receive compensation that "will not exceed $100,000 without the express written authorization of the city."

According to Thom Ammirato, city council spokesman, DiMaria & DiMaria have already commenced an internal audit, however, "it is not a full-blown forensic audit."

Archer & Greiner, PC was designated as Hackensack’s redevelopment attorney — a first for the city. According to Ammirato, the attorney is needed to "streamline" the redevelopment process.

"Now that we are approaching development at a rapid scale and with the change of administration, it opened the door to new enthusiasm in redevelopment in our city," he said.

Ammirato continued that the redevelopment attorney would work alongside Anthony Rottino, the city’s redevelopment and development director, in going through interested redevelopment candidates and seeing whether their vision for a property coincides with what the city has in mind.

Though a planning board attorney will still be at hand when a project is presented to the board, the redevelopment attorney is needed as to not prejudice a particular case when brought before the board.

Compensation for the firm’s services will not exceed $50,000 without the city’s consent, according to the resolution.

In addition, a separate resolution passed during the meeting appointed Kaufman, Semeraro & Liebman, LLP as the city’s alternate tax appeal attorney — with compensation not exceeding $20,000 without city approval.

As special litigation counsel assigned to two cases, the governing body appointed Greico & DeFilippo LLC to take on the Milberg v. City of Hackensack case acting as attorney for Richard Sellitto. The firm is also appointed to the property damage claim brought on by the city against New Jersey Transit in which a NJ Transit bus damaged a city traffic signal during an accident, according to Ammirato. The repairs costs about $30,000 and the city is attempting to recoup the monies.

Compensation for the counsels assigned to the Milberg and NJ Transit cases will not exceed $40,000 and $10,000, respectively, unless city officials authorize an increase.

Ammirato said that all appointees have submitted their requests for qualification in July and have been working with the city since that month, in some cases. However, through these resolutions they are officially assigned to their respective positions.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 03, 2014, 01:10:52 AM
Downtown housing is key to new vision of Hackensack
Friday January 3, 2014, 12:04 AM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

When Hackensack officials overhauled zoning rules in 2012, they envisioned a modern downtown with high-rise apartments, first-floor stores, green plazas and fashionable facades that would be a cultural and economic hub of Bergen County.

That vision has begun to take root, officials said, with plans pending for several large residential and retail projects within — or just outside — the downtown zone dubbed an “area in need of rehabilitation.”

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Downtown_housing_is_key_to_new_vision_of_Hackensack.html?page=all#sthash.d5vM8wPj.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on January 03, 2014, 12:18:05 PM
It's great to see so many developments in the planning phase or underway in downtown Hackensack.  They'll provide a steady stream of pedestrian traffic to Main Street, and the mere presence of these buildings will draw in more high-quality restaurants and retail stores. We have to make sure Daibes provides the right kind of riverfront atmosphere when redeveloping the Record, and some sort of pedestrian bridge over River Street to connect pedestrians to the heart of downtown. All of this improvement and construction will increase property values in the entire downtown area, not just for the properties redeveloped.  Lots of tax revenue means LOWER PROPERTY TAXES for the rest of the city. Also, of note, the new buildings will bring young couples into Hackensack as renters, and when it comes to buying a house, a lot will look to the northern and western parts of the city. This will stabilize the city demographically and also increase property values in Hackensack's suburban neighborhoods due to supply-and-demand issues. This prediction is presuming that the city will maintain the single-family zoning of its suburban areas. 

The type of stabilization that is happening now in Maplewood, South Orange and West Orange is going to happen in Hackensack.  Young folks like to rent in the Jersey City waterfront or Hoboken because they like the trendy atmosphere. But when it comes to buying a house, it's out to Maplewood, S. Orange, or W. Orange. Those towns are actually outcompeting Rutherford, which was previously their destination of choice, because these young folks want the demographic diversity and Rutherford doesn't have it.

Hackensack can actually offer the combination. Hackensack can offer the dense urban environment of the JC Waterfront and Hoboken in the downtown area, and WITHIN OUR OWN BORDERS we offer, the equivalent of Maplewood, S. Orange, and W. Orange. People who see that we have both will actually plan it out, and select Hackensack OVER the JC Waterfront or Hoboken. Wouldn't that be amazing !!
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 08, 2014, 03:23:04 PM
Hackensack eyes tax breaks on projects downtown
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 11:02 PM
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — The City Council wants to lure developers downtown by offering five-year tax abatements for new projects and improvements.

The council considered a measure Tuesday night that would authorize the city to enter short-term tax relief agreements with developers and residents who build or make improvements in the 39-block Upper Main Street Rehabilitation Area.

The measure, if approved at a second and final vote, would create criteria and a formal process for negotiating agreements. But it would not guarantee abatements for any project, said Brian Nelson, redevelopment attorney for the city.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Hackensack_eyes_tax_breaks_on_projects_downtown.html?page=all#sthash.JyyVF7Rc.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 13, 2014, 09:53:39 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/239868311_North_Jersey_malls_could_be_in_trouble_if_developer_is_right_about_the_decline_of_traditional_shopping_centers.html?page=all

"Within 10 to 15 years the typical U.S. mall, unless completely reinvented, will be a historical anachronism, a 60-year-or-so aberration that no longer meets the public's needs, the retailers' needs or the community's needs," said Rick Caruso, founder of Caruso Affiliates, a development company that owns some of the most profitable shopping centers in the world, including The Grove in Los Angeles.

Caruso, an evangelist for open air, multiuse centers that mimic urban shopping streets such as Newberry Street in Boston or Maiden Lane in San Francisco, said retailers needed to seek out centers and shopping districts that create community and meeting places similar to marketplaces that have thrived for centuries.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on January 14, 2014, 07:38:51 AM
There's no shortage of politically-inspired architects and planners making these kind of predictions.  We've seen the emergence of people wanting to live in urban downtowns, and shop their neighborhoods. We've seen the explosion of sidewalk cafe's and downtowns with pocket parks. This is all true.  But the focus is still on restaurants, quirky shops, and perhaps an artsy, tourist, transit, bars/clubs, or recreation-based atmosphere. Some place to hang out with friends or take a date. When it comes to REAL shopping, the Targets and Walmarts and other big-box stores still own the future, and people will still be driving to them in SUV's and automobiles. Let's not fool ourselves. The big independent highway-fronting stores are what is challenging the malls for the purchasing of consumer goods.  Hackensack just needs to focus on it's mission, create an atmosphere, and develop a theme for our downtown.  We can do it, just don't get delusions about a Macy's opening up on Main Street without a single parking space.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 24, 2014, 11:55:57 PM
Tax breaks to attract developers in Hackensack
Friday, January 24, 2014
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
 
HACKENSACK — In an effort to attract potential developers, the City Council introduced an ordinance outlining five-year tax abatements for redevelopment projects in the city’s 39-blocks that encompass the Upper Main Street Rehabilitation Area.

The introduction took place at the Jan. 7 Mayor and Council meeting.

According to the city, "the ordinance is designed to further incentivize and expedite redevelopment under the city’s rehabilitation plan that was adopted last year."

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/241770851_Tax_breaks_to_attract_developers_in_Hackensack.html?page=all#sthash.Ur4rG6e6.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 24, 2014, 11:58:50 PM
Hackensack Officials introduce ‘Lot C’ ordinance
Friday, January 24, 2014
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — The City Council introduced an ordinance to adopt the "Lot C" Redevelopment Plan — a plan that would transform the municipal lot by Bowler City into a mixed retail-residential building.

The City Council introduced an ordinance on Jan. 7 to adopt a redevelopment plan for Lot C — a municipal parking lot between Midtown Bridge Approach and Salem Street Extension. The plan would permit developers to construct residences over retail stores as well as provide parking to accommodate residents, patrons and Main Street visitors.

The ordinance was introduced during the Jan. 7 Council meeting.

"Lot C is another piece of property in the city that's exciting for several reasons," Mayor John Labrosse said. "No. 1 — the city owns it. We are making some money on parking but certainly not what we would be making if it was developed which we're sure it will be."

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/241770351_Hackensack_Officials_introduce__Lot_C__ordinance.html?page=all#sthash.lJqcAl1C.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 29, 2014, 08:38:12 AM

Hackensack takes steps toward downtown redevelopment
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – The City Council approved three ordinances Tuesday night aimed at boosting downtown development.

The council adopted a redevelopment plan for a 4.3-acre municipal parking lot across from Foschini Park known as Lot C. The plan calls for turning the lot into a retail and residential center with design elements and open spaces or plazas.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/242527381_Hackensack_takes_steps_toward_downtown_redevelopment_plans_get_boost_in_Hackensack.html?page=all#sthash.94OSSN0n.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 29, 2014, 08:17:33 PM
Hackensack officials adopt ordinances in hopes of propelling redevelopment
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 2:36 PM
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
 
HACKENSACK - In a move to propel redevelopment into the city, the governing body unanimously approved two ordinances it hopes will do such.

One of the ordinances - which were both approved at the Jan. 28 Mayor and Council meeting - formally adopts the Lot C Redevelopment Plan, the other provides five-year tax abatements for developers and residents who build and meet certain criteria in the 39-block Upper Main Street Rehabilitation area.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/242622171_Hackensack_officials_adopt_ordinances_in_hopes_of_propelling_redevelopment.html?page=all#sthash.GKxvHHqQ.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 31, 2014, 02:41:20 PM
Is Redevelopment the ‘New Normal?’
January 28th, 2014 by Tim Evans

The End of Sprawl?
Did the 2008 recession really rewrite the development playbook?  Are demographics really destiny?  Commentators of many stripes have recently been declaring that the age of suburbanization is at an end, and that the future of land development is going to look a lot like the past, with people returning in droves to in-town living.  Now, some of their prognostications are actually starting to show up in data.  Our two-part series takes a look at some of the sorts of data patterns that one would expect to see if we really were standing at the threshold of a new era of redevelopment. Part I of a two-part series.

...

As a group, these municipalities grew by only 0.2 percent between 2000 and 2008, accounting for only 3.6 percent of total statewide population growth, but then turned around and accounted for 54.5 percent of the state’s total population growth from 2008 to 2012. (See Figures 1 and 2.)  The older cities and boroughs falling in this group of 271 include such places as Garfield, Hackensack, Belleville, Bloomfield, Montclair, Bayonne, Weehawken, Clifton, Passaic, Cranford, Linden, and Plainfield.  Many of these places had been stagnant or even losing population for decades before experiencing their revivals in the later part of the 2000s.

- See more at: http://www.njfuture.org/2014/01/28/redevelopment-new-normal/#sthash.Wx7mClDY.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 14, 2014, 12:20:30 PM
Hackensack introduces ordinance to tackle Main Street redevelopment project
Friday, February 14, 2014
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
Print | E-mail
 
HACKENSACK – Further showcasing the goal for projects and developments to take place within city limits, the Mayor and Council introduced an ordinance to approve the 150-170 Main Street Redevelopment Plan.

City officials introduced an ordinance to approve the 150-170 Main Street Redevelopment Plan during the Jan. 28 Mayor and Council meeting. The plan, which is consistent with the 2012 Rehabilitation Plan, calls for the

The introduction took place at the Jan. 28 council meeting, with Francis Reiner, the city planner, presenting the plan during the work session that took place that same evening prior to the meeting.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/245484101_Hackensack_introduces_ordinance_to_tackle_Main_Street_redevelopment_project.html?page=all#sthash.j16zt4vU.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 19, 2014, 06:31:33 PM
Next hot spots: Bayonne, Hackensack, Rahway, filled with assets, are ones to watch (http://www.njbiz.com/article/20140317/NJBIZ01/140309845/Next-hot-spots:-Bayonne-Hackensack-Rahway-filled-with-assets-are-ones-to-watch)
March 17. 2014 3:00AM
By Joshua Burd
NJBiz

Twenty years ago it was Montclair and Morristown that were on the verge of downtown revivals that would earn them notoriety across the region.

So as New Jersey continues its economic recovery, what are the next towns and cities to keep an eye on?

Bayonne is confident it can redevelop this area by the waterfront.
 
That's tough to predict, but experts in New Jersey's commercial real estate industry say there are some that have the assets in place — like the all-important train station — and the potential to be hotbeds of new activity.

It's just a matter of embracing development.

Bayonne

The waterfront city in Hudson County has opened its doors to developers in recent months, hoping to introduce them to a 55-acre piece of undeveloped land on the New York Harbor.

And there seems to be sizable interest. In early December, more than 75 individuals from the real estate industry attended a seminar to explore opportunities at the site, giving way to a formal solicitation for interest that was due late last month.

The results of that process are still to come, but one developer said the initiative is eye-catching, signaling an interest in helping the private sector tackle the challenges of redevelopment.

"Having a real defined process in place helps create certainty for any developer," said Brent Jenkins, vice president at New York-based LCOR Inc. "And certainty is key."

Jenkins, whose firm has done several projects in New Jersey, said the outreach shows the city gets the issues that come from so-called infill construction — meaning a project in a previously developed space or within a built-up area.

City officials have spent more than a decade planning redevelopment, spurred by the federal government's closure of the 400-acre Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal in 1999. But those plans have changed over time, affected in part by the economic downturn.

Still, developers are certainly taking notice for what the city now calls Harbor Station South. The original deadline for submitting proposals was Jan. 31, but it was extended to Feb. 28 because several developers were still finalizing their submissions.

One key reason is the good makeup of the redevelopment area. Jenkins noted the site abuts a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station, giving it the appeal of a transit-oriented development.

The city said it plans to select a short list of developers, conduct interviews with some or all of those firms and make a conditional designation this spring.

Hackensack

It's been nearly two years since the city unveiled a sweeping rehabilitation plan for its downtown, one that overhauled its development process and laid out a vision for the 160-acre district surrounding Main Street.

It was a move that was long discussed without much action, but there are now signs of progress. In June, Capodagli Property Co. broke ground on a 222-unit residential property on State Street, in the first of what city officials hope is a string of new projects.

Experts say the Bergen County seat has the attributes needed for a renaissance — access to mass transit and highways and anchors such as Hackensack University Medical Center.

Jenkins said Hackensack and Bayonne are similar in that both cities "have highlighted a number of places in town where they're really looking to push development, where they really do have a vision."

LCOR does not have projects in either city but is exploring the possibilities, he said.

Aside from the Capodagli project, city officials have said there are other mixed-use projects in its pipeline. The City Council in late January moved to formally adopt a redevelopment plan for a 4.3-acre city-owned parking lot, allowing it solicit proposals from developers.

The governing body also approved the creation of a short-term tax abatement program for developers and residents who build or make improvements in the 39-block rehabilitation area, also known as Upper Main Street. The city's ordinance will allow the city to create criteria and a negotiating process for offering the five-year tax breaks, giving it a key tool for attracting top developers, though it did not guarantee abatements for anyone who builds in the area.

Hackensack's rehabilitation plan was a long time in the making, coming to fruition about three years ago when city officials joined local business leaders who sought to overhaul their outdated zoning procedures. That culminated in the June 2012 blueprint covering 389 properties across the 160-acre district.

Rahway

The city has been dedicated to redevelopment for more than 15 years, and it has nearly a dozen projects to show for it, from hotels and apartments buildings to an expanded Union County Performing Arts Center.

But real estate insiders say it hasn't reached its full potential as a transit hub, considering its central downtown train station that offers a 40-minute ride to Manhattan. City officials don't seem satisfied, either, with a reported seven multifamily projects in their development pipeline that they hope will draw young urban professionals and artists.

RELATED: Real Estate Report: Bill O'Dea, with just a pad and pen, can tell if projects make sense

Carol Stern, a commercial real estate attorney with McCarter & English, said the cities best-suited for redevelopment are those that can draw young commuters seeking a walkable living environment.

"If they can get to work by mass transit and live where there is the ability to do what you need to do without a car, that's definitely a plus," said Stern, a partner with the Newark-based firm.

For a city such as Rahway, the potential is there.

"Rahway certainly has that possibility because it's at the nexus of two train lines," she said, referring to the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines that service the station. That's not to mention a "reasonably walkable downtown" and its arts component.

One of the state's commercial real estate powerhouses seems to think so. In November, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. announced it was acquiring a two-building, 159-unit rental property in Rahway for $46.5 million.

www.NJBIZ.com
__________________________
Hackensack council takes new steps toward redeveloping city-owned parking lot (http://www.njbiz.com/article/20140319/NJBIZ01/140319752/Hackensack-council-takes-new-steps-toward-redeveloping-city-owned-parking-lot)
By Joshua Burd
March 19, 2014 at 2:17 PM
NJBiz

A parking lot in downtown Hackensack will be put up for auction later this year, with an eye toward mixed-use redevelopment as the city continues its push to revitalize its main business district.

Developers will be able to bid on the 4.3-acre site in about three months, according to a news release from city officials. On Tuesday, the city council adopted changes to a redevelopment plan for the underutilized lot, paving the way for a project anchored by rental apartments.

The so-called Lot C site is just off River Street and along Midtown Bridge Street, sitting at the western edge of Hackensack's 160-acre rehabilitation district. City officials in 2012 adopted a sweeping plan to revitalize its ailing downtown, following decades of decline around assets that are normally attractive to developers.

The Bergen County seat was featured in this week's NJBIZ Real Estate Report as a town that's now just starting to catch the interest of developers.

The city council first adopted the redevelopment plan for Lot C in late January, but planners tweaked the framework ahead of Tuesday's meeting, the news release said. The changes include restricting the number of small studio apartments to 25 percent, limiting the number of units over 1,200 square feet to 10 percent and setting the range for total units at 240 to 440.

The council also will require a developer to complete the project in no more than two phases, with parking included in the first phase.

In a prepared statement, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said the changes "give the city much better control over what gets built on Lot C, how the development will look and how the developer has to proceed."

Interested bidders can obtain detailed information about the property and the auction starting next month, the release said. Anyone wishing to be eligible to bid on Lot C must submit a conceptual redevelopment plan 15 days before the auction and make an escrowed deposit of $200,000 to the city.

Other projects already are in the works in Hackensack. In June, Capodagli Property Co. broke ground on a 222-unit residential property on State Street, in the first of what city officials hope is a string of nw development.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 24, 2014, 10:39:49 PM
http://www.globest.com/news/12_821/northeast/multifamily/Daibes-Edgewater-invasion-Cornerstone-Demetrakis-344090.html

Last June, Daibes acquired property that includes the former office of The Record newspaper at 150 River St., the New Heritage Diner and the New Jersey Naval Museum for redevelopment.  His partner on that deal is James Dematrakis, who has just sold his newly built Infinity Apartments in Edgewater for $48 million(See today’s exclusive story in GlobeSt.com.)

“We see Hackensack as the next Edgewater,” Daibes said at the time of the Hackensack acquisition.  Daibes said he plans to build upscale high-rise apartment buildings along the Hackensack River side of the property and mid-priced apartments above retail on River Street. He also plans to build a hotel at the site.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 28, 2014, 02:55:46 PM
Hackenskack officials take necessary steps to auction off Lot C
March 28, 2014    Last updated: Friday, March 28, 2014, 12:32 AM
By Jennifer Vazquez
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

The City Council is inching closer to developing Lot C — a municipal parking lot adjacent to Bowler City off of River Street. The governing body introduced ordinance to amend the site's redevelopment plan, authorize the sale of the property and name an auction company to conduct the sale. 'I believe these changes give the city much better control over what gets built on Lot C, how the development will look and how the developer has to proceed,' Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said.

http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/officials-take-necessary-steps-to-auction-off-lot-c-1.753032?page=all
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 10, 2014, 07:58:40 PM
Hackensack parking lot sales deal reserves 200 spaces for public
April 10, 2014    Last updated: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 1:21 AM
By JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – At least 200 parking spots will remain accessible to the public at a city parking lot across from Foschini Park after the lot is sold to a potential developer this summer, officials said Tuesday.

The city is trying to sell the 4.3-acre Lot C in hopes of attracting a developer who will build residences or office space. The property is expected to be sold to the highest bidder at a public auction in June.

Lot C has 544 parking spots that are used by park visitors and customers at The Ice House ice rink and Bowler City, both of which lease space from the city.

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/hockey/hackensack-parking-lot-sale-to-keep-200-spots-1.878392
___________________________
Related story:

Hackensack is looking to develop parking lot
April 16, 2014, 9:41 AM
By HANNAN ADELY
Staff Writer
NorthJersey.com

HACKENSACK - The city is trying to sell a 4.3-acre municipal parking lot across from Foschini Park, hoping to attract a developer who will build residences and office space.

The City Council approved a measure on Tuesday to allowing the sale of the property known as Lot C to the highest bidder in a public auction. The bidder's plans must conform with a redevelopment plan that the council adopted on Jan. 28 that calls for residential, retail and office space and outlines architectural standards.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-is-looking-to-develop-parking-lot-1.746638
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on April 11, 2014, 09:59:42 AM
too bad the writer of the article doesnt know who the city manager is now.   does anyone proofread their stories anymore before they print them?  he just cut and pasted from a months old article they ran...
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on April 11, 2014, 07:25:00 PM
lazy journalism.  Do you expect any better from the Bergen Rag ?
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: itsmetoo on April 15, 2014, 11:56:10 AM
Yes, journalism today is not what it used to be.  It was similar lazy, and unconfirmed writing in the County Seat Newspaper.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 21, 2014, 08:52:33 AM
Hackensack will be home to new park, outdoor stage
April 18, 2014    Last updated: Friday, April 18, 2014, 12:31 AM
By Jennifer Vazquez
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

The city will create a new park, with an outdoor performance stage, adjacent to the new Hackensack Cultural Arts Center building on State Street. The park’s location will be on what is now municipal Lot W.
HACKENSACK — The city will be home to a new park complete with an outdoor performance stage, officials announced.

The governing body approved a $650,000 bond ordinance, at the April 7 Mayor and Council meeting, for the construction of Atlantic Street Park.

According to a city press release, a $268,000 matching grant from the Bergen County Open Space and Recreation Trust Fund will offset the cost.

http://www.northjersey.com/towns/park-outdoor-stage-planned-1.998844
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 22, 2014, 02:09:12 PM
New Jersey Telegraph.Com
21-04-2014

On Thursday, June 5, New Jersey Future will honor the Upper Main Alliance along with the City of Hackensack and DMR Architects with a 2014 Smart Growth Award. The Upper Main Alliance is being honored for its part in the creation of the Downtown Rehabilitation Plan for the City of Hackensack. The Rehabilitation Plan includes design regulations and flexible zoning that foster a revitalized downtown.

 - See more at: http://www.newjerseytelegraph.com/index.php/nrid/1478#sthash.d4rN705Q.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 01, 2014, 03:51:24 PM
To make North Jersey downtowns come alive, get people to live there
May 1, 2014    Last updated: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 12:00 PM
By JOAN VERDON
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The secret to reviving the downtowns in cities such as Hackensack and Paterson is to get more people living downtown, such as the much-coveted millennial generation, real estate experts said on Wednesday at a meeting on how to attract retail development to North Jersey's urban business districts.

Hackensack's one-way Main Street is seen as an obstacle to development. A move is afoot to make it two-way.    

"In order to have the type of downtown you want, you have to have residential. You have to embrace density, and you have to put people on the street," said Francis Reiner of DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, a redevelopment consultant who has worked with the city of Hackensack in its efforts to revitalize its downtown.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/attract-millennials-and-retail-will-follow-1.1006818
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 02, 2014, 01:23:06 PM
Hackensack council table bond approval for new park (http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/bond-approval-for-park-stage-put-on-hold-1.1007505)
May 2, 2014    Last updated: Friday, May 2, 2014, 11:12 AM
By Jennifer Vazquez
News Editor
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK - After several residents voiced their discontent over the city council's plan to invest money in a potential park and outdoor stage on Atlantic Street, the governing body decided to table the passing of the bond ordinance that would help fund the plan.

The action took place at the April 21 council meeting after residents complained that the city should not be frivolous with taxpayer money citing that there are other issues that need to take precedent such as road paving or the construction of a new recreation center.

The governing body approved the introduction of a $650,000 bond ordinance, at an earlier meeting last month, for the construction of Atlantic Street Park.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 04, 2014, 08:18:39 PM
Deal with Daibes to redevelop The Record's former Hackensack HQ falls through
May 3, 2014    Last updated: Saturday, May 3, 2014, 1:21 AM
By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
STAFF WRITER
The Record
HACKENSACK — A deal with the builder who had contracted to buy and redevelop the 19.7-acre site that served as home to

The Record for decades has fallen through, and city officials plan to meet with a "big firm of national repute" as a possible replacement, according to city spokesman Thom Ammirato.

The potential new developer has not been disclosed but the firm is expected to meet with city officials next week, said Ammirato and Stephen Borg, president of North Jersey Media Group, which owns the property.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/deal-with-daibes-to-redevelop-the-record-s-former-hackensack-hq-falls-through-1.1008283
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2014, 11:46:28 PM
Hackensack faces pushback on park plan as some residents call for pothole repairs
May 6, 2014, 10:20 PM    Last updated: Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 10:22 PM
By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
Staff Writer
The Record

HACKENSACK — The growing debate over whether the city should spend nearly $600,000 in public money on downtown open space comes down to an age-old fight: parks versus potholes.

In back-to-back meetings Monday and Tuesday nights, a parade of people made impassioned pleas to the City Council over which project needs the money most.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-faces-pushback-on-park-plan-as-some-residents-call-for-pothole-repairs-1.1010287
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 04, 2014, 03:34:22 PM
Hackensack delays sale of redevelopment site (http://www.njbiz.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140603/NJBIZ01/140609910&source=RSS/&template=printart)
June 03. 2014 2:02PM
By Joshua Burd

Hackensack city officials will delay the sale of a parking lot slated for redevelopment as they restructure the bidding process and resolve a historic claim that the state has on the property.

The city had planned to put the 4.3-acre lot up for sale to developers this month, with an eye toward a project that would include multifamily and commercial space. But officials recently discovered the state has a “tidelands claim” on the property near River Street, stemming from its proximity to the Hackensack River, according to a news release.

Brian Nelson, Hackensack’s city attorney, said that at one time the parking lot was probably marshland with small streams that have since been filled in, and that such claims are not uncommon. But before Hackensack can sell the property, it must pay the state to withdraw its claim, the news release said.

That could take several months and involve reviewing old maps and deeds, but will result in the city have unencumbered ownership and the ability to sell the lot, the news release said.

The so-called Lot C site is along Midtown Bridge Street and only steps from the river, sitting at the western edge of Hackensack's 160-acre rehabilitation district. City officials in 2012 adopted a sweeping plan to revitalize its ailing downtown, following decades of decline around assets that are normally attractive to developers.

The discovery came as city planners were completing their due diligence on the lot ahead of a sale, the news release said. They said the claim was only discovered now because the property has changed hands only once in the past 100 years, when it was sold to the municipal government by the city parking authority.

Now, the city also plans to alter the sale procedure from a simple bid process to one that requires prospective developers to submit a proposal that would outline the developer’s plan for the lot.

Hackensack officials said the amended process would give the city greater control over how the site is developed. Planners envision a site with 240 to 440 housing units in two buildings, 25,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the first floor and an outdoor public plaza or park.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 05, 2014, 08:56:06 AM
Hackensack Lot C redevelopment plan snagged by old tidal laws
June 5, 2014    Last updated: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 7:44 AM
By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The proposed redevelopment of Lot C is part of Hackensack's idea of turning its downtown into a regional destination for living, shopping and entertainment.
 
There’s nothing particularly scenic about Lot C, a triangle of asphalt near downtown Hackensack bounded by busy streets and a bowling alley. But once, before it was paved with asphalt, a section of this land was lapped by the tidal ebb and flow of the Hackensack River.

Now, that long-ago history creates a hiccup for city leaders, who find their plans to redevelop the parking lot — and inspire a downtown renaissance — stalled by New Jersey’s ancient claim to all land ever touched by tidal waters. That claim, validated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988, means the state owns an easement on Lot C, and anyone who buys the land must pay the state for those rights.

http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/hackensack-lot-c-redevelopment-plan-snagged-by-old-tidal-laws-1.1029678
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 06, 2014, 02:08:12 PM
Hackensack wins award for downtown rehabilitation plan
June 6, 2014    Last updated: Friday, June 6, 2014, 12:31 AM
By Jennifer Vazquez
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — The city, along with DMR Architects and the Upper Main Alliance, were awarded a New Jersey Future 2014 Smart Growth Award for the creation of the Downtown Rehabilitation Plan.

New Jersey Future winners are selected through a statewide nomination process by an independent jury of professional developers, architects, planners and redevelopment experts. Hackensack and Fanwood are the two downtowns being honored this year.

http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/city-honored-for-downtown-rehabilitation-1.1030398#sthash.Vj1XqJLF.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 10, 2014, 10:43:02 AM
Downtown Hackensack site slated for mixed-use tower after land assemblage (http://www.njbiz.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140609/NJBIZ01/140609746/Downtown-Hackensack-site-slated-for-mixed-use-tower-after-land-assemblage&template=mobileart)
By Joshua Burd, June 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Another site in downtown Hackensack has been slated for redevelopment, with plans calling for a 14-story building with retail and more than 300 residential units.

Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group, a firm that’s based in the city, said it brokered the sale of the 1.5-acre parcel at 150-170 Main St. The site was assembled from multiple owners and consisted of seven buildings and one parking lot, the firm said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in a news release from Alexander Anderson, and the firm declined to name the developer that bought the site.

The property is the first assemblage to close on Hackensack’s Main Street since city officials in 2012 adopted a plan to revitalize its ailing downtown, the news release said. It’s also one of several sites slated for redevelopment now that the city has relaxed zoning laws and granted new height allowances, as the governing body seeks to reverse decades of decline from its days as the epicenter of Bergen County.

“The beauty of this assemblage is in how it was conceptualized,” Eric Anderson, CEO of Alexander Anderson Real Estate, said in a prepared statement. “When the rehabilitation plan passed, many talked about bringing large projects to Main Street in Hackensack, but there were no lots large enough to accommodate serious developers.”

The project is pending approval before city officials, a spokeswoman for the firm said. Alexander Anderson also is working on six similar assemblage deals elsewhere in the downtown, two of which are expected to close soon, she said.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on June 13, 2014, 12:45:04 AM
Good project for Hackensack.  I only hope that their engineers have been apprised by city officials of the problems that occurred with the Paragon building, at State and Clay Streets.  The water table was so high on State Street that they could only have ONE level of underground parking.  They just couldn't dig deeper, so much water was coming in. They had to have an emergency Planning Board meeting to alter the site plan from two levels of underground parking to one level. 

Also, the bedrock was something like 150 feet down.  Don't remember the exact number. It won't be much less for Main & Mercer Streets.  I know bedrock in Hackensack is deepest along the Pascack Valley railroad line at around 200 feet deep. That is the original bed of the Hackensack River so many thousands of years ago.  People assume the bedrock is deepest where the river is now, but that is not true.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 12, 2014, 09:11:40 AM
Hackensack approves plan to develop high-rise apartment complex
July 11, 2014    Last updated: Friday, July 11, 2014, 8:44 AM
By HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

Once construction begins, the 14-story building at 150-170 Main St. should be completed within two years.
HACKENSACK — City officials have given final approval for construction of a 14-story residential and retail building on Main Street, which they say will spur redevelopment and help transform the downtown into a modern center for living, shopping and entertainment.

The Planning Board approved the application on Wednesday for the construction of the 382-apartment building at 150-170 Main St., which will have 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retailing. The building is to feature a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units and amenities such as a pool and a rooftop garden.

"This is a great application for the town," said zoning officer Al Borrelli. "It's a real catalyst for redevelopment and for the city of Hackensack and for Main Street."

http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/community-news/hackensack-high-rise-gets-ok-1.1049879
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on July 12, 2014, 08:45:54 PM
Amazing. 

Shergoh Alkilani has a proven track record.  He built the new building on Linden Street, and some much bigger buildings in Edgewater.  If he says this will be built, it will be built.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 02, 2014, 08:58:47 PM
Hackensack officials: abatements necessary for city’s growth
August 1, 2014    Last updated: Friday, August 1, 2014, 12:31 AM
By Jennifer Vazquez
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — Though the city council took action to establish a short-term tax abatement plan earlier this year, a presentation at the July 21 Committee of the Whole meeting outlined the necessity for long-term agreements.

During the presentation, Brian Nelson, the city's redevelopment attorney, detailed the need, and desired outcome long-term tax abatement agreements, also known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs), would have on Hackensack and the city's redevelopment and rehabilitation goals citing that abatements are "a necessary tool to encourage redevelopment."

http://www.northjersey.com/news/officials-abatements-necessary-for-city-s-growth-1.1060756?page=all
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 04, 2014, 02:17:56 PM
New round of debate set on N.J.'s liquor licenses
August 3, 2014, 7:42 PM    Last updated: Monday, August 4, 2014, 1:58 PM
By LINDA MOSS
Staff writer
The Record

Proponents of an overhaul of New Jersey’s liquor-license laws are expecting to gain some traction this year after decades of proposals and legislation kicking around unsuccessfully.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, has been circulating a rough draft of a bill that would update the state’s liquor laws. He’s been talking about the issue with “select groups” of stakeholders, including restaurant owners and real estate developers. In New Jersey, liquor licenses range from $50,000 to more than $2 million, which critics say is putting a damper on economic development.

Advocates say a change in the laws — which could include issuing more licenses — would spur restaurant openings throughout the Garden State and boost redevelopment projects in ailing urban and suburban downtowns.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/changes-eyed-for-n-j-liquor-license-laws-1.1061599?page=all
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Whitey on September 02, 2014, 12:23:18 PM
150-170 Main Street

The Planning Board has approved this 14-story residential and retail building on Main Street.  I put retail in italics because although the building will front on Main Street, only part of the ground floor will have retail space.   The redevelopment zoning code apparently requires 7,500 square feet of retail and that is what the developer has provided.  The remaining frontage on Main Street will apparently be a display window of some kind, but there will be no retail space behind the window.

Since the whole objective of the redevelopment plan is to revive retail on Main Street I find it amazing that the Planning Board would approve the application as proposed.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 03, 2014, 10:47:02 AM
I was unaware of this.  Thank you for pointing out the problem. 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on September 03, 2014, 10:50:16 AM
Letter To The Editor in today's Record:


Plan needed for Hackensack future

As a general in the Revolutionary War, George Washington chose Hackensack for his headquarters in 1776 so he could map out a path to victory. His time in Hackensack would prove to be a turning point in the war that helped boost morale as the Battle of Trenton that followed became the first victory for the Continental Army.

It is no surprise that Hackensack continues to be at the center of it all, situated along major train lines, bus routes, airports and roadways, and it is less than 10 miles from New York City. Hackensack is not only the headquarters of the Bergen County government and judiciary systems, but it houses one of the nation's Top 30 hospitals, Hackensack University Medical Center.

While Hackensack boasts a population of 43,000, that number more than triples each day as the many other companies and institutions that call this city home open for business. In recent years, I have been privileged to watch Hackensack take significant steps to improve the quality of life for residents and commuters alike. The city's Upper Main Street redevelopment plan to develop mixed-use residential and retail buildings, expand parking and create green spaces will attract even more businesses and residents to this city.

Revitalizing Hackensack's downtown will bring in new talent and provide a much-needed boost to the local economy. This continued transformation will make Hackensack an even better place to live and raise a family, while attracting new visitors to our great city.

But we must not slow down. We must take this critical opportunity to expand the revitalization efforts under way in Hackensack. We need to continue strengthening our economy through smart investments and planning that will help this great city achieve its full potential as a thriving, sought-after urban core.

I have no doubt that these efforts will be smart investments in the city's future, because I have seen how the investments we made in HackensackUMC over the years have transformed our hospital into one of the nation's leading premier health care facilities.

I joined the Hackensack University Medical Center family more than 30 years ago and have been at its helm for the last five years. As the largest employer in the city, I can tell you that the HackensackUMC family is proud to call Hackensack not only our headquarters, but our home.

Hackensack's best days are ahead of it as long as we work together. I call on local elected officials, business leaders and other stakeholders in the community to host a summit about the future of our great city and how we can keep moving revitalization efforts forward.

HackensackUMC is invested in Hackensack, and I look forward to partnering with stakeholders in our community to ensure that redevelopment efforts are successful in the months and years to come.

Robert C. Garrett

Hackensack, Aug. 29

The writer is president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network.

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/the-record-letters-wednesday-sept-3-1.1079810


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 04, 2014, 11:30:05 AM
That's interesting.  And where was HUMC when the city needed a partner for the trolley-bus that ran Main, Anderson, Prospect, and Essex ?  That could have made the difference in making it economically viable.  And with better mass-transit, there would be less employees looking for parking spaces at HUMC.  Isnt that their biggest problem ?
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on September 05, 2014, 10:18:10 PM
Re: 150-170 Main Street - The display window is at the very end of the building. Part of the parking garage is behind this area. Stairs and street level entry are also located there. A display window was a better choice than a brick wall.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 06, 2014, 12:40:57 AM
If someone can tell us what is the footprint of the building, either in dimensions or square feet, that would help readers decide if 7500 sf of retail is enough.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 06, 2014, 02:00:17 AM
As I understand it, there is a 5 foot elevation change from north to south along Main which somehow limits use of the ground floor (perhaps to parking). I have not seen a detailed plan yet.  At any rate, I'm not thrilled with 7,500 square feet of retail space for a project this massive.  But let's not lose sight of the fact that this will bring hundreds of additional patrons to the downtown.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on September 06, 2014, 08:31:20 AM
Please don't forget that if this project is built as envisioned, and if 7,500 sq. ft of retail space is insufficient, then new businesses will gravitate to this general area in an attempt to meet the demand. The new merchants will have to lease and occupy space in vacant  properties which can only have a positive effect  on the Main Street retail corridor.
If this scenario occurs, landlords and property owners can become more selective when leasing their properties rather than leasing the space to anybody just to meet expenses.
Right now the supply exceeds the demand. The goal should be for the demand to exceed the supply. Economics 101.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on September 06, 2014, 03:04:55 PM
It is a beautiful building with about 300 feet Main Street frontage. All documents are available at the Building Department. I don't know if this photo does it justice but it shows the proposed facade and use on Main Street
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on September 06, 2014, 03:08:03 PM
On the left, at Mercer, are the Lobby & Office for the apartments. All the way on the right is the display window.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 06, 2014, 08:48:24 PM
Thanks for the photo and mini-drawing, I zoomed it to examine.  Looks like the lobby is on the corner, followed by a small office (unsure if that is the building mgmt office, or an office available for rent), then retail which is not very deep, and then the parking garage.

Based on the car symbols, it also looks like the parking garage's entry driveway is to Main Street, or is it just that the garage structure is there, with no storefront?  The pic is too fuzzy, can't tell.  Neither of those options are good, especially the first option. If someone knows the answer, please provide.

I only see 8 stories, what happened to 14?

I really think this is an excellent project, but in this case the Zoning or Planning Board did not do a good job steering the developer, tweeking this site plan. There are things that could have been done better.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on September 06, 2014, 09:56:52 PM
I will try to post a better image. Garage entry/exit is on Moore Street. The display window is right in front of where the cars are shown.This photo does not show the depth of the retail. It is about 3 times that depth. The photo does not show the full height. It is 14 stories. I think it is a great project. I was impressed with the presentation at the meeting.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: regina on September 06, 2014, 10:07:10 PM
Sorry plans are a bit wrinkled from being folded. This is street level. Apartments begin on 3rd floor. Parking is basement, 1st & 2nd floors
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on September 07, 2014, 12:09:55 PM
OK, so the "display window" will be filled with retail-looking things, and maybe some advertising. And the vehicle entrance is in the back.  Sounds better.  I am wondering if the setback is adequate for outside dining/seating for a restaurant.

I see there is just about 100% lot coverage, but I also recall that the roof will be green space for the residents and used for recreation.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 12, 2014, 05:06:44 PM
Parking rates may rise if Hackensack council OKs parking authority
September 12, 2014    Last updated: Friday, September 12, 2014, 12:31 AM
By Paul S. Hummel
CORRESPONDENT
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK – Parking rates may rise in certain areas of the city as much as 300 percent in 2015 with the establishment of a municipal parking authority if the Mayor and Council agree to all points of a proposal that was presented at the council meeting on Sept. 2.

Leonard Bier of the Bier Associates firm presented a video recommending increasing the per hour rate on Main Street and Bergen Street meter from $0.25 per hour to $0.75 per hour.

In addition, other areas such as Washington Place and Bridge Street, are facing rate hikes from this year's rate of $0.50 per hour. Furthermore, an average increase of about 45 percent in 2015 and 65 percent in 2017 for permit and garage parking.

http://www.northjersey.com/towns/parking-rates-may-rise-if-council-oks-parking-authority-1.1086571
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 28, 2014, 11:32:37 PM
Digital sleuth saves Hackensack long delay in redevelopment project

SEPTEMBER 28, 2014, 3:55 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014, 8:45 PM
BY TODD SOUTH
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Hackensack plans to develop a parking lot near the Ice House and Bowler City into a multi million dollar project.

HACKENSACK — A multimillion-dollar redevelopment of a 4.3-acre parking lot near the Hackensack River was facing years of delays because of missing property records and a set of Colonial-era state laws.

But a history-minded city employee made a discovery that may spare the city years of waiting and expense to get the project moving.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/digital-sleuth-saves-hackensack-long-delay-in-redevelopment-project-1.1097939?page=all#sthash.gvS5u6Pp.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on September 29, 2014, 02:05:52 PM
Here's a vote for the creation of the "The Hackensack HistoricAL Society".

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on September 29, 2014, 04:54:31 PM
Can that be done without changing the form of government?
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 09, 2014, 10:00:46 PM
Hackensack project would create hundreds of apartments in former downtown bank building
OCTOBER 9, 2014, 7:51 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014, 7:51 PM
BY TODD SOUTH
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

HACKENSACK – Construction could begin by January on a third major downtown residential redevelopment project that is likely to be voted on by the City Council later this month.

Three adjacent properties, anchored by 210 Main St., -- the former Bank of America building -- comprise the project that was publicly described in detail this week before the council. The project was approved by the city’s planning board on Wednesday.

Plans call for the development of 327 units total in the three buildings – 96 units at 210 Main St., 39 units at 214 Main St., and 192 units at 210 Moore St.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-project-would-create-hundreds-of-apartments-in-former-downtown-bank-building-1.1106379#sthash.vHX9Ti1u.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 16, 2014, 06:35:03 PM
Panel discusses ways to energize Bergen County downtowns

OCTOBER 16, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014, 1:48 PM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER | THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce President Paul Vagianos, from left, Fairview Chamber of Commerce member Frank Del Vecchio, Paramus Regional Chamber of Commerce President Fred Rohdieck and Hackensack Chamber of Commerce member Francis Reiner were part of a panel that discussed ways to energize Bergen County downtowns.

Ridgewood, Fairview, Hackensack and Paramus may have very different community identities, but they do have one thing in common: They all care about the development of their economic centers.

This was clear when officials representing each of these communities spoke on a Bergen Community College panel on Oct. 7 about the challenges and triumphs they have encountered during ongoing efforts to support their economic centers.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/business-leaders-agree-rising-tide-lifts-all-boats-1.1111089?page=all#sthash.A1VjkVtF.dpuf
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 25, 2014, 11:46:26 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/community-news/bid-awarded-for-park-s-construction-1.1117617
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on November 11, 2014, 06:20:51 PM
And once Main & State streets become two-way, there will immediately be a conflict between traffic flow and redevelopment.  And future city planners will change the zoning to limit redevelopment, because the street network won't be able to handle so many more units and their cars.  That's one of the main reasons the traffic flow should remain one-way.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on November 11, 2014, 07:32:38 PM
I agree with Just Watching not only for the reasons he talks about; but, for the astronomical costs of the undertaking. Just for sake of discussion, take a look at the area of Main Street and State Streets between Essex Street and Bridge Street and Bergen Street. The County has a huge building project underway  behind Court Street. At some point in time traffic flow into and out of the new facilities will have to be considered in conjunction with any one way change over. Even without the new building construction, the entire intersection of Main Street, Hudson Street and Essex Streets would have to be ripped up and reconfigured to allow for two way flow. And of course sewer, drainage and utility relocation would have to be accounted for.
That would all have to be tied into new signification at Main and Sussex Streets and Bridge Street as well as State Street.
An uneducated guess would be that one million dollars just for this one area would be in the ballpark.
If I am correct, EssexStreet is a County Road so until some kind of joint planning is undertaken, the whole one way/ two way issue is really premature.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on November 16, 2014, 01:11:08 AM
Bergen County's suburbs embrace a touch of the city (http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/bergen-county-s-suburbs-embrace-a-touch-of-the-city-1.1134517)

NOVEMBER 16, 2014    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014, 10:01 AM
BY JOAN VERDON
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

Demand for rental units near transportation has already prompted some towns, including Ridgewood, above, to alter their downtowns.

Robert Weiner, co-owner of the Bruce the Bed King mattress and furniture store on Hackensack’s Main Street, last week took his 96-year-old father to see a first in the 60 years since his family opened its store — a 222-unit apartment building rising on State Street, a block from downtown.

That project and two others that will put an additional 700 apartments on Main Street are the result of zoning revisions that Hackensack put in place two years ago and the first signs of a policy shift that could produce the biggest transformation of North Jersey’s downtowns since the arrival of the malls pulled shoppers away from town centers in the 1960s and 1970s.

A growing number of North Jersey municipalities, like Hackensack, believe that adding rental apartments in their downtowns is the key to revitalizing their Main Streets. Not everyone, though, is convinced that downtowns and residential apartments are a perfect fit.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on November 17, 2014, 07:30:34 AM
Great article.  I agree with Homer on his cost estimate, and if not it is on the low side. Could easily be $2M.  And yes, it would involve the County's cooperation.

Regarding the traffic flow, I was in downtown Ramsey that other day working, and had to travel their Main Street, with has one lane in each direction and parking on both side, just like the genius plan for Hackensack.  It was pure gridlock, and I wasted 10 minutes to go 3 blocks. And it was not because of a UPS truck parking to make a delivery, or a bus stopping to discharge and pick up passengers. 

Random cars ahead of me were interested in making left turns, and they had to wait for the opportunity because traffic was heavy in the other direction, which meant all the cars behind them were also waiting.  I am starting to think this will be the biggest problem in downtown Hackensack, of all the factors weighing against the traffic flow change.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on November 17, 2014, 07:49:27 AM
Word has reached me that NJ Transit has already been advised of the problems coming with the proposed change in traffic flow on Main and State Streets, and the impact on their bus routes.  They are not happy and their bus planning department is supposedly looking into it.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Whitey on November 17, 2014, 10:30:30 AM
I remember when Main Street was 2 way and the bumper-to-bumper traffic.  A single car attempting to back into a parking space would tie up traffic in both directions.  The planners have stated that redevelopment will not work without 2-way traffic and have cited examples of other redevelopment sites, but none are comparable to Hackensack.  Some, like Edgewater’s City Place, have a center divider and even then traffic can be a mess.  Ramsey is a good example, I usually look for a parallel street when driving in downtown Ramsey.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on November 17, 2014, 12:51:30 PM
During the two-way days, people who unsuccessfully tried to parallel-park on the first attempt weren't the only problem. I remember people who thought that a space might be opening up, so they just sat there while packages and people were loaded into the parked vehicle.

You could honk all day and they wouldn't move. Neither would traffic.

I wasn't happy when Main St became one-way, but the advantages became obvious over the years. It would be foolish to go back to two-way.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on November 27, 2014, 06:56:08 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/hackensack-may-get-2-way-main-st-in-15-1.1142599
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 03, 2014, 12:23:41 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-editorials/going-downtown-1.1135909
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 03, 2014, 08:43:24 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/business-group-to-host-meeting-on-hackensack-parking-rates-thursday-1.1145505
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 04, 2014, 11:08:21 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/consultant-suggests-higher-parking-fees-lower-time-limits-for-hackensack-parking-1.1146754
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 09, 2014, 10:56:27 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/hackensack-council-to-explore-making-150-river-st-a-redevelopment-zone-1.1149233
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 12, 2014, 08:29:36 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/community-news/parking-in-downtown-is-topic-of-city-forum-1.1152190
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 28, 2014, 10:47:23 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/business/small-business/a-brand-new-world-downtown-in-hackensack-which-appears-set-for-remake-1.1182008
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 29, 2014, 07:29:58 PM
http://www.fios1news.com/newjersey/node/48826#.VKHqbBB0NYA
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 30, 2014, 12:23:58 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/n-j-liquor-license-reform-brewing-for-new-year-1.1174900

The New Year may ring in with long-awaited liquor-license reform, with yet another effort at an overhaul brewing.
...
The goal is to support downtowns and redevelopment projects, because small local restaurants need liquor licenses in order to survive, Jacobs and NAIOP have argued. Smaller eateries often can't afford licenses, or there are none available in their towns to purchase.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 02, 2015, 07:19:53 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/business/technology/parking-taken-to-a-new-height-1.1262930
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 02, 2015, 11:30:32 AM
http://www.njbiz.com/article/20150202/NJBIZ01/301299998/Hackensack%E2%80%99s-grand-plan-starting-to-take-shape
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 13, 2015, 03:20:01 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/cart-storage-complicates-grocery-store-plan-1.1270829
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on February 13, 2015, 03:49:21 PM
Mr. Chiusolo's thinking on this application reflects a transformation of Hackensack's status from a buyer's market to a seller's market. In other words: if you want to come to the dance, follow the dress code. If not, we can wait for the right partner. Congratulations to John.
Title: Micro Breweries
Post by: Editor on February 16, 2015, 01:34:42 PM
http://www.bergendispatch.com/articles/35761952/Hackensack-Looking-For-Micro-Brewery-To-Stimulate-Rehabilitation-.aspx
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 17, 2015, 01:28:33 PM
Here's a better link to the latest NJBiz Article with full story.  No login required (for now)

http://www.njbiz.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150202/NJBIZ01/301299998/Hackensack%E2%80%99s-grand-plan-starting-to-take-shape&template=mobileart
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 02, 2015, 10:31:35 PM
http://m.bergendispatch.com/default.aspx?p=articles&news=35776646&title=Sanzari-Enterprises-Contributes-Funds-to-Support-Hackensack-s-Revitalization-Vision
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 06, 2015, 08:50:02 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/council-welcomes-breweries-1.1283628
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 11, 2015, 11:56:00 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-planning-board-takes-step-toward-readying-former-site-of-the-record-for-redevelopment-1.1286828

There was also an article about the city raising its sewer connection fees today but I do not see it online yet. The fee was raised from $1000 to $2500. 

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 23, 2015, 03:18:50 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/state-supreme-court-sides-with-hackensack-on-redevelopment-plan-1.1294152

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 28, 2015, 06:18:14 PM
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/stemming-the-blight-new-jersey-supreme-72570/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 29, 2015, 11:55:02 AM
Wow, this has really become a precedent-setting case affecting all of New Jersey.

I agree that there needs to be eminent domain, certainly for construction of schools and highway, etc.  And in the case of downtown areas in the State's inner cities, it is needed for economic development, to provide jobs for residents and tax revenues for struggling cities. Furthermore, the new development will have either residents or employees who will patronize local stores and restaurants, improving the economy. That is all good in principle. The issue is whether or not that principle is relevant in Hackensack.

Hackensack should consider itself VERY lucky to have won this, because that whole block is not blighted.  It's really just one property, and the property owner was taking steps to redevelop on his own.  The city is very lucky to have won.

I am glad for the precedent, and I believe that the precedent is needed more in much more troubled areas of Paterson, Passaic, Newark, etc., where there are many vacant properties, burned houses, vacant lots, graffiti and dumping, etc. These are areas with high crime and gang activity.  In some cases, there's a need to develop new housing that is affordable, and if a whole block needs to be cleared out, and most of it meets the definition of blight, that's a step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on March 29, 2015, 03:51:57 PM
This is good case law for our cities. There was a case in Connecticut a few years ago which put the brakes on the use of eminent domain which slowed down the redevelopment process in areas that needed it.
It is important to note, however that if cities use eminent domain to acquire and dispose of real property there is still the obligation to relocate tenants and pay fair market value to the property owners.
Just because a business owner has a successful business that is located in an area in need of redevelopment doesn't mean that he should get screwed because of the overall economic redevelopment process.
I think that the State of New Jersey has some control over relocation as well they should.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 30, 2015, 09:18:13 AM
And a New Jersey case law decision by the NJ Supreme Court is going to count more in New Jersey than some other case in Connecticut.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 01, 2015, 12:31:36 PM
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2015/04/long-anticipated_downtown_redevelopment_takes_shap.html

HACKENSACK -- The city is changing. The signs are everywhere.

 There's the six-story apartment rising on a State Street block that once sat mostly vacant. There's the former parking lot on Atlantic Street in the midst of being transformed into a park. And there's a bulldozer, lording over a pile of rubble destined to become a 14-story mixed-use development on Main Street.

 It's the biggest year yet for Hackensack's long dreamed-of redevelopment. The Meridia Metro development on State Street is set this summer to become the first new residential to project to open under the rehabilitation effort, and other projects have broken ground.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 25, 2015, 09:13:29 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/community-news/developers-donate-into-fund-to-revitalize-downtown-1.1317735
Title: Massive devastation in Hackensack's SoMer district
Post by: BLeafe on April 29, 2015, 01:01:21 AM
(For all of you unhip reverse bridge-and-tunnel types, SoMer is the area south of Mercer St. Be prepared to jump back and forth between the story and the pix...............a lot)


After photographing the rubble of 76 Main on Sunday morning, I headed up Moore St to go home (I live in NoPass - north of Passaic St). As I approached Mercer St, I saw what looked like the ruins of a very localized earthquake...........just utter brick (first picture, 3-photo stitch, click to enlarge and keep scrolling to the right).

It looked like a blown-out battleground. Coincidentally, stores across the street had signs that used words like "BLOW-OUT" and "BATTLEGROUND".

I parked my car and got out to investigate. There were barrels of.......something standing around and remnants of buildings that had front doors and nothing behind them, like a prop movie set of a town. If you needed a doctor or a lawyer, you had to crawl through a window and over mounds of rubble to get to one.

I felt bad for the buried authorized cars.

And there it was - THE BANK - still standing tall (and next to a slightly-clearer path to Blow-Out City).

I turned onto Mercer St to inspect the bank's north wall and its well-maintained interior ceilings. On the Main St side, I saw the welcoming front door and its address - 170X. But as soon as I got past the bank, I saw another 3-photo stitch-worth of flattened buildings.

I couldn't find Lowit's, but I did see the former home of The Wreckord in the background. Closer inspection revealed what appeared to be the huge graves of millions of bricks. It was too much for one broken brick that stood on the ledge contemplating, uh, something not good.

I had to look away and when I did I saw god-awful things: stairs and drainpipes that led nowhere and some horrendous orange-looking thing.

I couldn't take it anymore. I took one last photo of the bank, waved to the tourists on the aerial SoMer devastation tour, hopped in my car and drove home to the safety of NoPass, where I'll stay until rehabilitation is over (Main Street's, not mine).


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on April 29, 2015, 02:56:52 PM
If I am correct, the tracks were always the dividing line between the blighted area south of the tracks and the more active retail area north of the tracks. In that case, you would have SOTRA  and NOTRA.
Title: Re: Massive devastation in Hackensack's SoMer district
Post by: BLeafe on April 30, 2015, 11:25:53 AM
Wellllll...........I was kinda going for that hip SoHo vibe that utilized an abbreviation for an identifiable street (South of Houston St), as opposed to "tracks".

Sometimes these abbreviated combinations work and become well-known and other times......................well, have you ever heard of the Hackensack Tresge Co building (below)? (combination of Kresge and The Hackensack Trust Co bank building, whose name is pretty hard to read)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on April 30, 2015, 12:07:19 PM
Or an identifiable bridge which resulted in DUMBO.
Actually, life in The Big Apple was easier when you had The Five Points, Little Italy, Chinatown, The Village and my favorite- Hells Kitchen.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on April 30, 2015, 03:50:24 PM
Kresge... the forerunner to K-Mart
Title: Hackensack Trust Bank Building (Main & Mercer) is torn down
Post by: BLeafe on May 09, 2015, 01:32:34 PM
I only found out about this because a Hackensack traffic cop I was talking to on Friday morning happened to mention that they were taking the building down that day. I headed right on over.

The minute I got to Main and Mercer, the bank's clock was being smashed down. I never got off a shot of it and I have no idea why it wasn't preserved. I think the remnants are in the sixth picture, but I'm not sure because I couldn't get close.

I got there at 11am and left at 12:15. I figured I'd come back later when the building was lower.

It was lower alright. When I returned 3 and 1/2 hours later, it was done.

In the future, if anyone is aware of building teardowns that are about to take place, please let me know.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: itsamike on May 09, 2015, 09:00:54 PM
It was on the Nixle. Subscribe, if you haven't already.

https://local.nixle.com/alert/5409351/?sub_id=1262999 (https://local.nixle.com/alert/5409351/?sub_id=1262999)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on May 09, 2015, 09:24:40 PM
History in the making.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on May 10, 2015, 03:51:03 PM
It was on the Nixle. Subscribe, if you haven't already.
https://local.nixle.com/alert/5409351/?sub_id=1262999 (https://local.nixle.com/alert/5409351/?sub_id=1262999)

Thanks. It's a great idea, but the demolition had already started when that advisory was sent out - a little advance notice would be helpful. Also, if it doesn't mention the specific historic building being demolished, it's likely to be glossed over on this end.

I'm just trying to expand my contact list of those in the know a bit.

BTW - the traffic cop who tipped me off had written me a $57 parking ticket recently, so now we're buddies.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on May 15, 2015, 11:22:00 PM
Bob, they started taking down the smaller buildings next to this old bank weeks before.  Maybe the first demolition was at least a month before.  Have you not driven or walked by there  in all that time ?
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on May 15, 2015, 11:24:20 PM
Oh, and I also agree that the more iconic buildings should be preserved.  They could have built around that bank, and attached it to the new development.  And I'll be real upset if Poor's Tavern and that really old red-brick building (Main & Sussex) are torn down for some future development. Hackensack needs to balance history and progress. 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on May 16, 2015, 01:07:49 AM
Bob, they started taking down the smaller buildings next to this old bank weeks before.  Maybe the first demolition was at least a month before.  Have you not driven or walked by there  in all that time ?

JW, I took (and posted on the previous page) lots of pictures of all the demolished smaller buildings 3 weeks ago. Have you not paid attention to this thread in all that time?

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Skipx219 on May 16, 2015, 10:45:12 AM
I think the builder could have renovated the old clock and put it in the same place on the new building. The city should be more attentive to issues like that !
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 16, 2015, 12:05:07 PM
I had a bunch of conversations with the developer about the clock.  It was always his intention to preserve it.  He looked into it quite extensively. In the end, like the building, it was beyond redemption.  Getting the clock off the building, let along restoring it, would have been very difficult.  All the bracket-bolts inside the building were completely frozen. Even if they managed to get it off, restoring it would have been cost prohibitive.  All the internal components were rusted and fused together. There are no replacement parts available. Everything would need to be specially machined and fitted.  Thousands of dollars with no guarantees of success.

Believe me, I would have liked to have seen the clock saved but I don't think the city can or should dictate that property owners expend large sums of money for projects like this.  If there was a "save the clock" campaign to raise funds for a restoration project, I'm sure the owner would have cooperated.  There wasn't.  I'll also go out on a limb here and say that the clock, even if restored, wasn't much to look at.  Half of it was a lighted sign for the bank.  This was not "Big Ben".  That said, it was something of landmark that we all got used to seeing.  I get that. 

The developer also wanted to preserve the old façade at 170 Main and looked into bracing it with steel members to build around it (as you might see in Prague or elsewhere in Europe).  As it turned out, the installation/pounding of several hundred piles to shore-up the site negated that possibility (which would have been hugely expensive).

For the record, the city does make considerable efforts get developers to preserve history were possible. 210 Main Street is an example.  The developer had originally contemplated bifurcating the lobby to include more units.  The 1926 lobby ceiling would have been completely lost.  The city, working with its planner, prevented that.

We choose our battles.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Skipx219 on May 16, 2015, 01:47:11 PM
Thanks for the explaination & your effort !!
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on May 16, 2015, 07:45:50 PM
That IS a great explanation and we need more of that here.

Couldn't the clock have just been saved as an historic artifact with no money invested in repairing it? It would have looked nice mounted on a wall in the future Hackensack History Museum next to a photo of it on the bank in its heyday.

We have to think ahead so others can think back.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 17, 2015, 03:17:05 PM
Yes, I suppose the clock could have been saved if it could have been carefully removed and stored in a pre-determined place for safe-keeping, indefinitely, until such time as a museum is possibly established. All of this presupposes that the idea (and enough support for it) arose long before the building was under the wrecking ball.  That didn't happen despite ample opportunity and warning.  It should be noted that Lenny Nix actually filed a motion to stop the demolition from occurring at the 11th hour in Bergen County Superior Court based on historic grounds. He lost, but he tried based on his convictions.  Good for him (even though he publically called for my firing). 

The lesson here (for all of us, myself included) is: voice your concerns early and often in public, preferably at Planning Board, Zoning Board and Council Meetings.  The more frequent and numerous the voices, the more likely you will effectuate your desired outcome, for better or worse.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 30, 2015, 01:54:43 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/towns/hackensack-opens-the-door-for-a-brewery-city-says-project-fits-with-its-redevelopment-plans-1.1345551?page=all

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on May 30, 2015, 04:51:55 PM
Trivia question: how many towns will host a still (Pointon)and a brewery (micro) within a few blocks of each other and even legally?
Answer: where else-- Hackensack
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 27, 2015, 10:08:46 PM
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/main-street-v-hackensack-a-cure-in-the-91594/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 30, 2015, 02:53:20 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/marketing-hackensack-s-makeover-1.1382710
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 11, 2015, 06:28:32 PM
Creative Placemaking Video: https://vimeo.com/133460974
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 09, 2015, 11:54:02 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/hackensack-planning-board-approves-redevelopment-plan-for-150-river-st-1.1406259
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 07, 2015, 02:39:48 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/the-record-s-former-site-closer-to-redevelopment-1.1426651
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 21, 2015, 02:49:48 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-council-approves-redevelopment-plan-for-former-site-of-record-1.1437006

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 15, 2015, 11:18:16 PM
https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/alkovas-high-rise-takes-shape-in-hackensack/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on December 16, 2015, 07:26:15 PM
Is there one or two levels of underground parking ?
Title: The 150-170 Main St demolition/rehab site
Post by: BLeafe on December 31, 2015, 01:40:50 PM
This is how things looked on Christmas Day, 2015:


(click to enlarge)



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 23, 2016, 11:27:24 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/towns/at-forum-mayor-meets-with-residents-1.1497169
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 31, 2016, 01:09:00 AM
https://youtu.be/bL9Uod6KwfM
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 01, 2016, 04:18:57 PM
http://nj1015.com/new-jersey-municipalities-focus-on-downtown-development/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 16, 2016, 05:19:29 PM
http://www.hackensack.org/filestorage/6876/8403/8786/NAIOPNJ16.pdf

http://landscapearchitect.epubxp.com/i/636471-feb-2016/74 or http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article.php/28206
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 25, 2016, 11:51:38 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-advances-ordinance-to-propel-redevelopment-1.1518169
Title: Pile-driving headache
Post by: BLeafe on February 29, 2016, 03:40:54 PM
Wherever you are in Hackensack, you've probably heard the incessant piledrivers on Main St, just south of Mercer.

Last week, I could see two of them from my apartment - a half-mile away (the courthouse is a mile away).

Title: Pile-driving headache - up close and LOUD
Post by: BLeafe on March 01, 2016, 07:40:12 PM
I was in the area, so I shot the scene - stills and video, which I just posted on YouTube (I'd forgotten how much I used to enjoy shooting heavy metal).

Be sure to crank up the volume to get the full effect.


Click to enlarge pix.



https://youtu.be/AIEtL_ncV0s



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 01, 2016, 09:45:13 PM
Music to my ears.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on March 01, 2016, 10:22:27 PM
In the long term the noise beats out "The Sounds of Silence."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 02, 2016, 11:22:33 PM
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2016/03/hackensack_targets_city_lots_for_redevelopment.html

The rest of the downtown rehabilitation is well underway. There are about 700 units of housing under construction, and on Thursday, developer Heritage Capital plans to start interior demolition of the 10-story former Bank of America building on Main Street to clear the way for 127 more residential units.

"The influx of residents from this and other residential projects in the area will have tremendous positive economic impact on Main Street," Mayor John LaBrosse said of the Heritage development.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on March 03, 2016, 12:18:08 AM
Whoever builds on 20 Bridge St should be required to use this building name:


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 03, 2016, 09:16:09 AM
http://hackensack.dailyvoice.com/business/rutgers-architecture-students-look-to-improve-downtown-hackensack/640015/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 03, 2016, 03:00:17 PM
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2016/03/work_starts_to_convert_hackensack_mainstay_for_apa.html
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: just watching on March 13, 2016, 09:27:32 AM
interesting article. This is relevant to all the construction in downtown Hackensack. 

http://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp8QH64.html?articleId=6&WT.mc_id=2016-CPLTEST-FB-MC4-7 (http://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp8QH64.html?articleId=6&WT.mc_id=2016-CPLTEST-FB-MC4-7)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 23, 2016, 11:13:23 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-proposes-23m-in-infrastructure-projects-to-support-redevelopment-1.1532074

The city council proposed four major infrastructure projects Tuesday at a total estimated cost of about $23 million, including the conversion of Main and State streets to two-way roadways, the construction of a new sports center at Johnson Park, renovations to a city recreation center and various road improvements.

Related article: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen-county-leads-population-growth-trend-halts-flow-to-other-parts-of-n-j-1.1532063
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: NJ_Native on April 06, 2016, 03:02:11 AM
Hackensack, like many NJ towns, has tried to take advantage of the shift toward city living without truly understanding how successful urban locations form. The public investments, such as the PAC park, are great; but, tearing down older building stock with space for affordable small businesses to build luxury towers is all kinds of wrong. Cities are attractive when people can feel a sense of place and identity being there - destroying historic buildings slowly turns Hackensack into any generic NJ town. In addition to the architecture lost on Main Street, nearly 10 or so retail spaces have been eliminated. Because of the building's age, these spaces were affordable for local businesses. The project plans retail space for a restaurant or two small shops, which will likely be leased at much higher premiums that only chains can afford - and, again, chains = generic. Someone mentioned the developer wanting to include retail but couldn't do so.. that's almost certainly not the case. Just like he had no intention of preserving the clock or facade, he had no intention of adding more retail space in an untested market considering the extra costs associated with retail.

As far as preservation goes, the city absolutely could have required the developer to preserve any or all of the old buildings; this is common practice when a developer seeks assistance from the city: they must give back to the public through preservation, open space, etc.

Hackensak is attempting to build the "there" in downtown which is its fatal flaw. Residential usually isn't developed until an area becomes attractive due to the mix of businesses and attractions nearby. Building these luxury towers first without the market for the kind of retail needed to support its residents is a tough sell, and will simply promote continued use of cars to go elsewhere to shop.

The town is doing a terrible job in vetting these projects' designs. The Main Street project is one of the widest towers I have ever seen and is completely dominating and out of scale to the downtown. This should have been broken into 2 towers. More retail space should have also been required. Meanwhile, it's clear that they are planning in a vacuum. Otherwise, developing standards for State Street would have been prioritized to facilitate urban-oriented uses and live/work residences to support Main St. retail. Because of this lack of vision, the State Street project was approved despite including no commercial space AND presenting a bank wall to the new PAC park. Unfortunately, this is why that park is destined for failure. Public space needs surveillance to maintain safety, through patios, residential porches, etc. The park is surrounded by nonactive uses, creating the perfect place for crime and loitering.

The City needs to prioritize preservation, develop design standards for State and River, and create a plan for connecting downtown to the waterfront. Additionally, there are several schools nearby - dense student housing would bring retail demand without the pressures of luxury projects.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 06, 2016, 09:21:06 AM
Sense of place is very important.  Bear in mind the city was able to preserve the old Masonic Temple and adaptively reuse the building for the new Performing Arts Center.  That was a strategic decision.  The building would otherwise have been torn down.  Older buildings are being preserved to the extent they can be.  210 Main, Hackensack's first skyscraper, is an example of that.  It is being adaptively repurposed for residences.

I, like many others, would have liked to have seen 170 Main preserved as well.  After touring the building, it became increasing clear that it was truly beyond redemption. The interior suffered from a multitude of "unsympathetic changes" over the years and would have required cost-prohibitive alterations just to make it safe and habitable. It sat vacant for 18 years for that very reason.

Retail is also important and there will be plenty of retail on Main Street, mixed with other uses, that will now be supported by residents that weren't here before.  The new Creative Placemaking efforts and other cultural offerings will go a long way towards ensuring that residents have reasons to come and stay.  Apparently, many developers already feel that Hackensack provides the right mix to support the demand and they are setting their price points accordingly.

Uses at Atlantic Street Park will be ancillary to the new, adjacent Performing Arts Center.  The Park will be monitored and enjoy regular and frequent programming.  Crime will not be an issue here.

All projects are being done in accordance will a very carefully planned, award-winning Rehabilitation Plan which I would urge people to read.

http://www.njfuture.org/smart-growth-101/smart-growth-awards/2014-smart-growth-award-winners/hackensack-downtown/

http://www.hackensack.org/filestorage/6876/8403/8786/8788/Redevelopment_Plan_Amendments.pdf


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 22, 2016, 09:12:45 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/town-government/council-introduces-redevelopment-plan-for-former-restaurant-1.1550648
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 05, 2016, 02:48:45 PM
https://livelovely.com/properties/94-state-street-hackensack-nj-07601?lid=23874197
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 10, 2016, 09:02:21 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/cars-are-tiny-but-competition-s-intense-at-a-mini-z-race-track-in-hackensack-1.1569222
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on May 12, 2016, 10:10:45 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-planners-put-final-stamp-on-subdivision-of-former-site-of-the-record-1.1577059
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on May 23, 2016, 02:51:42 PM
Time for another stroll...........

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 06, 2016, 12:27:56 PM
http://hackensack.dailyvoice.com/business/longtime-hackensack-pizzeria-changes-with-neighborhood/664493/#.V1WJlPOaUHo
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 20, 2016, 08:42:01 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/building-a-different-n-j-1.1618429
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 21, 2016, 02:59:52 PM
http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/a-new-style-of-development-in-nj_c
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 14, 2016, 12:20:03 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-planners-ok-multi-unit-residential-building-1.1629788
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 14, 2016, 02:13:15 PM
https://www.bisnow.com/new-jersey/news/neighborhood/how-1b-will-transform-hackensacks-downtown-62585
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on July 14, 2016, 09:31:27 PM
It's all great, but this means it's also time for Hackensack to strengthen its Rent Control Ordinance.  Last I heard, Hackensack allows 5% a year.  Many places are changing to the CPI-U for NY, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island.

It makes no sense for everyone to be maxed out on rent. It's better to have folks with as much disposable income as possible. Consumers power the consumer economy.  Or in the absence of strong rent control, consumers power the greed of landlords, and all that rent money is sucked out of Hackensack and usually out of New Jersey.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 30, 2016, 01:36:48 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/town-government/pilots-redevelopment-agreements-approved-1.1636858

See also: http://www.hackensack.org/pilots
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 09, 2016, 02:58:45 PM
http://www.njbiz.com/article/20160809/NJBIZ01/160809788/hackensack-planners-ok-downtown-apartment-building
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 22, 2016, 06:26:08 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/news/hackensack-seeks-developer-for-4-3-acre-lot-adjacent-foschini-park-1.1648914
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 23, 2016, 03:01:25 PM
http://newyorkyimby.com/2016/08/request-for-proposals-launched-at-large-mixed-use-site-in-downtown-hackensack-new-jersey.html
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 16, 2016, 12:17:41 PM
http://www.njbiz.com/article/20160916/NJBIZ01/160919857/alexander-anderson-negotiates-two-leases-in-hackensack
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on October 01, 2016, 06:42:23 PM
Not a lot of visible change:


CLICKit!



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on October 03, 2016, 09:59:49 PM
They are digging way more pilings, and for much longer time than anyone wanted.  I wonder if they are able to hit solid bedrock to build this tower.  They might be hitting rock 150 or 200 feet down, but maybe it's loose stones and not real bedrock capable off supporting a high rise.

 I am starting to wonder if the entire project might be in jeopardy due to the geology.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 04, 2016, 09:10:26 AM
Issue with neighbor's building.  They are working to resolve.  Should be up and running again in 2-3 weeks.

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on October 04, 2016, 02:40:14 PM
Somebody is losing a lot of money on this project.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 06, 2016, 10:05:23 AM
https://re-nj.com/hackensack-seeks-pitches-for-mixed-use-redevelopment-site/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 12, 2016, 11:52:49 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2016/12/12/hackensack-plans-boost-retail-parking/95358150/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on December 15, 2016, 02:47:15 PM
Any idea of the height of the residential aspect?

Why the need for a parking garage when there's a municipal lot right across the street? Much of the revenue from that lot comes from monthly space rent for the vehicles of the social workers at Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare, plus the company's vans that they use to transport their disadvantaged clients every morning and afternoon. CBH is in that wraparound yellow-brick building that fronts Main, Ward and State streets.

It's also Lot 11 in the rehab plan, so if CBH goes, so does all that revenue - I'm guessing that's about 75 spaces' worth.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on December 15, 2016, 04:48:26 PM
Probably five feet higher than your tripod extended.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on December 16, 2016, 10:00:02 AM
The below image gives me the bad news.

Unless they chop off 3 floors, there goes my view (and photography) of the river.  :(


CLICKit!



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on December 16, 2016, 03:26:48 PM
Ol'Homer doesn't think you need to worry for a few more years.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on December 17, 2016, 01:55:08 PM
I appreciate that, Homie.

Now if I could just unsee that article............

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 20, 2016, 11:37:32 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2016/12/20/hackensack-ok-more-retail-and-residential-units/95671714/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 18, 2017, 11:33:02 AM
Remaking of Hackensack's Downtown is in Full Swing (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017/01/the_city_has_approved_four_projects_totaling_456_residential_units_and_11000_square_feet_of_retail_space_that_are_expected_to_break_ground_this_year.html)


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on January 18, 2017, 02:58:22 PM
there should be absolutely NO trees planted on the Salem St side of the 240 main st project.   the street is way too narrow to begin with and every truck will hit the trees as they are moving in the lane. 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on January 18, 2017, 11:00:00 PM
Speaking of narrow streets  - and as someone who drove up and down two-way Main St a million times in the 60s and 70s - I think it might not be a great idea to go back to two-way again because Main St will become very narrow again.

With only one lane to work with - the one you're in - there would be no way around any unloading trucks or thoughtless people who insist on double-parking for "just a minute" (or three) to snag an about-to-be-vacated space, pick someone up/drop someone off or load the trunk with a companion's purchases.

The most frequent impediment all those years ago was innocent people trying to parallel-park into metered spaces. If you're behind them today, you can jump into the other lane and go around them, but everything stops dead with two-way, which will bring us back to the same frustrating mess that made some people start to avoid Hackensack back then.

I would think that the change to one-way on both Main and State was a way to alleviate the traffic on Main by putting a good chunk of it on State. One-way was a welcome relief from the hassle of driving on Main St. Two-way also means that the number of buses and bus stops will double to accommodate the new southbound traffic that now runs on State St.

I hope the powers-that-be will thoroughly think this through. The statement that "other towns don't do it" doesn't mean we can't be the first - especially if it makes traffic run more smoothly.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Whitey on January 19, 2017, 09:12:39 AM
I could not agree more.  I remember the days of 2 way Main Street and a driver attempting to back into a parking space ties up traffic in both directions.  The Planners have testified that a vibrant shopping area requires 2 way streets but many of the examples they give apply to wider "Main" streets, some with center islands.  Bergenfield addressed the issue of a 2 way street by permitting parking only on one side which is better for traffic but requires convenient off street parking.  The governing body is committed to a 2 way Main St. no matter what.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: johnny g on January 19, 2017, 12:14:05 PM
I haven't been on Main St on a weekday in many years, but honestly....besides the 165 Westwood bus, does it get THAT much auto traffic like it used to, say back in the 70's and 80's?. This may be a silly sounding question, but wanted to ask it anyway....now with the "Hackensack Shoppers Parking" areas, wasn't much of that supposed be eliminated...parking woes, etc
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on January 19, 2017, 02:29:59 PM
The traffic is not that bad and it would be nice if it stayed that way. But condense today's two northbound lanes into one and then put all the southbound traffic that's currently diverted to State St into the other lane and you wind up with a mess that will indicate that we've learned nothing from fixing the problem correctly a couple of decades ago.

What happens when there's an emergency on Main St and a firetruck/police car/ambulance needs to get through? How will either lane pull over to allow passage? I wonder what fire, police and EMS people think of the switch back to 2-way.

Fortunately, we have a member of one of those groups on this board who can hopefully enlighten us.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 19, 2017, 03:46:18 PM
Yes, the two-way conversion plan addresses the points raised in the prior posts. 

- Buses would be re-routed along State and Moore with bus stops moved from Main Street.  Some stops would be along cross-streets. 
- The need to parallel park is eliminated through the use of gaps every two parking spaces so that cars can pull in without backing up. This is known as "Tandem Parking". See image below.
- Loading area locations and permitted hours will be re-worked so that any traffic caused by loading is minimized.

State Street is being converted as well.  It is a wider street and can accommodate much more traffic. This also addresses the concerns for first responders who can't drive north on State in its current configuration. State, River and Moore (to a lesser extent) would be the "go to" streets for thru-traffic.  You don't want fast moving, thru-traffic on Main Street. A healthy Main Street has slow-moving, pedestrian-friendly traffic.

Finally, the Rehabilitation Plan (http://www.hackensack.org/filestorage/6876/8403/8786/8788/Redevelopment_Plan_Amendments.pdf), passed by the prior administration, calls for the two-way conversion:

A critical element to the future success of Main Street including the existing and future commercial development will be the conversion of the existing oneway street network into a two-way street network.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on January 19, 2017, 06:55:00 PM
Yeah, I know I'm late on this.

I hope it all works out and that the children of those thoughtless double-parkers of yesteryear haven't inherited the gene that makes them decide to park in those gap spaces for "just a minute" (or three).

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 19, 2017, 08:05:22 PM
For those people, there will be additional PEO's (Parking Enforcement Officers).  :police:

In related news: http://www.northjersey.com/story/money/real-estate/2017/01/19/hackensack-building-redeveloped-apartments/96772650/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on January 19, 2017, 11:32:54 PM
I totally agree with BLeafe and Whitey.  The plan for the conversion of Main & State Street is doomed and cursed from it's very inception.  This has been studied and studied and studied by more consultants than I can count for 30 years, and every one of them says "don't do it". Then the city hires another contractor under the specific understand that he approves of the conversion.  Basically he's like a hooker selling himself.

I have been against this disaster in the making, but I am no longer in Hackensack to do anything about it, other than alert NJ Transit, which I did a few years ago.

When I do return to Hackensack to buy something, visit a lawyer, or eat in a restaurant on Main Street, I can cruise north and look for spaces on either side of the street.  After the conversion, only 50% of those spaces will be available, only on the right side.  And actually LESS THAN 50% because of the tandem plan eliminating spots.  And I'll be driving a lot slower because it'll become a narrow crowded street. So finding a spot is going to become dramatically more difficult. They think they are helping Main Street, but instead they are killing it.

Want to see how it will be, go to the Main Street in Ridgefield Park.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: johnny g on January 20, 2017, 08:00:47 AM
Good example using the Main St in RP...as far as I know that's always been a two way. Main St in Hackensack being a one way for so many years I would agree the transition BACK to a two way would take a LONG time to get used to. Had it always been a two way like in RP drivers and pedestrians wouldn't know any other way
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 20, 2017, 10:49:47 AM
There were many people against the one-way pairing back in the 70's saying it would kill business.  In fact, the conversion ultimately had a huge negative effect on business. Ask any of the few remaining business owners who remember the two-way streets.  I did.  They told me it was one of the worst things to happen to Main Street. Likewise, existing business owners will tell you they are in favor of the conversion back to two-way. Developers, whose residential units support local business, won't build here without the conversion because the one-way pairing is a liability when it comes to renting units.

In the 70's, the concern was primarily on moving traffic and circulating it to municipal lots.  At the time, the thinking was people are going to malls because they can't find parking in the downtown.  In actuality, ease of parking was not why people were flocking to the new malls. Malls were indoors, warm in winter, cool in summer, dry, secure, lit properly, had cheaper merchandise made for the masses, etc.  After the conversion, traffic indeed moved faster,- right through (not to) Hackensack.  With the one-way pairing, the municipal lots were hard to find, especially for new visitors. I've lived here my whole life and still really have to think about how to get to a municipal lot. 

Now, things are different.  Downtowns are more about experiences and less about retail.  They are about restaurants, libraries, bars, nightlife, art & culture, haircuts, manicures, exercise, etc.  Macys and Sears are closing hundreds of stores. Why?  Retail is being decimated by online sales. Traditional downtowns now have an edge over the malls. People are returning to the downtown to live, work and play.  They don't need to drive to the mall.  In fact, many of these new residents don't own cars.  They commute using mass transit and use Uber & Lyft. 

Conversion to two-way once again provides simplicity.  The one-way pairing has outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any usefulness at all.  Hindsight is 20/20 so I do not begrudge the decision to do it in the 70's.  It was a response to a perceived problem which I do not think anyone at the time fully understood, nor could they have. Who knows? In 50 years we may have to do it again due to changes in circumstance.

By the way, any loss in spaces caused by the tandem parking (between 10-15%) would be made up through additional municipal parking off Main Street.  Several scenarios are being contemplated. Finally, new meter fees would cause higher parking turn-over on Main Street, making spaces on Main more available than they are now due to meter feeding.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: johnny g on January 20, 2017, 12:54:07 PM
Out of curiosity is there a plan for also changing State St to two ways? Also, can you imagine the photo ops awaiting for Bob when people fail to realize Main is now a two way and drive the wrong way on the left side?  8)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 20, 2017, 02:00:49 PM
Yes, State is being converted as well. See my post from yesterday.

Prior to the conversion, there would be a public outreach campaign so that regular commuters to Hackensack won't be surprised.  For anyone not familiar with the area, it will be quite natural.

I'm sure Bob will find photo ops either way.  8)
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on January 20, 2017, 02:41:14 PM
LIFE is a photo op.  ;)

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on January 21, 2017, 02:57:04 AM
Editor, found my letter from 8/22/2014 to NJ Transit. The situation is way more complicated than you have briefly explained, and you didn't mention at all the racism of shoppers. Folks from around Bergen County and higher-income parts of Hackensack were so racist that they no longer wanted to walk around downtown Hackensack, and that the malls were "whiter". Disgusting, and true. This was part of a national phenomena in which people were rejecting the cities as places to shop, live, or work, and they were fleeing to the suburbs. Now this trend has reversed, and a great many people, especially the younger generations, enjoy the ethnic and racial diversity that cities offer.

I also find it to be absolute nonsense that developers are turned off by the existing road circulation pattern. What will really turn them off is gridlock conditions. It was gridlock in the early 1970's, with far fewer cars on the roads than 2017, and much less development in the area. Change it back now, and it won't be like 1970, it will be a pure catastrophe. To do this now, and at the expense I've read, will become known as the greatest boondoggle in the history of Hackensack.

*****
Dear NJ Transit officials,

I was born and raised in Hackensack, and I am old enough to remember the gridlock traffic conditions in downtown Hackensack, especially Main Street, when the streets were two-way.  This was resolved in the early 1970’s, when Main and State Streets were re-dedicated as one-way streets. My understanding is that NJ Transit was active in pushing for the change to speed up buses on Main Street.

The City of Hackensack is now very actively working to restore two-way traffic to Main Street, with one lane north and one lane south. There are some very determined merchant leaders who are convinced that the conversion of Main & State Streets into one-way streets in the early 1970’s heralded a rapid decline in retail in Hackensack. That is incorrect. Here is what actually caused the decline in retail on Main Street, Hackensack:

1971 --- Bergen Mall becomes an enclosed mall         1.25 miles away
1971 --- The Arnold Constable Department store closes      @ Main & Passaic Streets   
1974 --- Paramus Park Mall opens               5 miles away
1975 --- Riverside Square Mall opens in Hackensack      0.75 miles away
1982 --- Garden State Plaza becomes an enclosed mall      1.5 miles away
1980’s --- mass conversion of storefronts into law firms
1991 (est.) --- parking meters reduced from 2 hours to a 1-hour limit
1985 – present --- the reaction of many customers to an increase in homeless persons and beggars
1950 – present --- the prejudices of many customers; their unwillingness to accept major
     demographic changes in Downtown Hackensack and surrounding neighborhoods

Further complicating the decision to revert to two-way streets is a major building boom in the downtown and vicinity. I fully support the building boom. However, all of this construction and future construction in coming decades will completely overwhelm the road network if Main and State Streets are changed from one-way to two-way traffic. These projects include:

-   222 units at State Street --- under construction
-   382 units at 150-170 Main St (14 stories) --- approved July 10, 2014
-   270 units at 210-214 Main Street by Heritage Capital --- final approval anticipated in Fall of 2014
-   Est. 350 units --- Camden street 100 feet east of Main street --- developers have purchased the Oritani Field Club
-   Hotel with 240-440 units; 4.2 acres on East Salem Street near River Street
-   Hotel, 500 residential units & retail on the currently vacant campus of The Record, 30 acres at Atlantic & River Streets
-   New Bergen County courthouse, Court Street near Main St --- under construction for $147,000,000 (largest public works project in the history of Bergen County), including rehab of the old courthouse for continued use
-   Other major projects planned.  For a complete listing of the properties being assembled and brokered, contact Alexander Anderson Real Estate Group, 14 Bergen Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601; 201-343-6640.

Note also that parcel delivery companies like UPS and FedEx were far less prevalent in the early 1970’s than today. Their trucks constantly stop on Main Street, blocking one lane of traffic. Right now it is possible to pass around them by switching lanes. It’s annoying, but the traffic flows. Once the streets become two-way, UPS and FedEx will cause much greater gridlock.

If Main and State Streets are reverted to two-way in Downtown Hackensack, traffic will come to a virtual standstill on Main Street, especially from Essex Street to Passaic Street.  NJ Transit Buses will be delayed an additional 15 minutes, at times. 

Over the years, the City of Hackensack has paid numerous consultants to study the traffic flow, hoping to find a way to make it work as two-way.  They all said “no”, until a new firm was recently hired under the explicit instructions that they must say “yes”.

The irony is that two-way traffic is not going to attract more retail customers.  As I drive north on Main Street, I can look for spots on BOTH SIDES of the street. My ability to find a spot will be cut in half when the street becomes two-way.  I am not looking forwards to that at all, or to dealing with gridlock traffic. I still come to Main Street to visit certain stores and restaurants. More importantly, I care about my hometown. The merchants who want this aren’t even helping themselves.  This is just the most awful and dead-wrong public policy decision being imposed upon everyone.

NJ Transit and the County of Bergen are the only entities with the power to stop this unmitigated disaster.  Please put the stop to this.

Sincerely,


Eric Martindale
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 22, 2017, 11:31:05 PM
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017/01/in_bergen_county_an_upscale_downtown_struggles_for_answers.html

Echoes some the issues I raised earlier about the changing nature of downtowns.

"We are living in a new world in terms of retail, a lot of people are shopping online," Greco said. "Downtowns need to offer something people can't get online - a meal, services like a hair salon or shoe repair or an experience."
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 25, 2017, 04:12:48 PM
Not in the Rehab area but close.

http://hackensack.dailyvoice.com/news/hackensack-signs-redeveloper-for-86-million-project/697554/

http://www.hackensack.org/headlines/?FeedID=1067

Very exciting.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on January 26, 2017, 03:43:30 PM
How much water was on that property during Hurricane Sandy, and how much are they regrading and raising the ground elevation, as part of this project.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on January 27, 2017, 07:13:12 PM
during Sandy the water came up just past River St in that area.   
 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on January 30, 2017, 10:13:18 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/01/30/hackensack-names-redeveloper-public-parking-lot/97249284/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on January 30, 2017, 11:52:57 PM
you need schools to put these kids in.... 
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on January 31, 2017, 12:23:39 PM
With the increase in population, there's an obvious need for another school to be built in Hackensack.  The best location is the vacant lot on Gamewell Place, and possibly take a few houses on Union Street.  All the new high-end units in downtown are going to need a school very close by.

And then, END ALL THE GERRYMANDERED school districts that were lain out generations ago to address racial imbalance issues that no longer exist.

There can be a school district that would handle from the hackensack River to the center of Hackensack, and from Anderson Street to Essex or Kansas Street.

That way the other school districts can be more or less centrally located around their school, instead of these bizarre extensions into central Hackensack for Fairmount, Nellie K Parker, and Fanny Meyer Hillers.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Homer Jones on January 31, 2017, 05:31:59 PM
Maybe with all the approvals being given by the Planning Board and Council, the Board should consider hiring a professional planning firm to look at the City's master plan and work with the Board of Education so that everything going on in the City is tied together and moving in the right direction. Sorta makes sense.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 01, 2017, 11:46:56 AM
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017/02/booze_could_hold_key_to_downtown_hackensacks_rebirth_business_leaders_say.html
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on February 02, 2017, 02:38:09 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/money/real-estate/2017/02/02/hackensack-office-building-getting-new-life-as-apartments/96157334/
Title: Before & (TBA)
Post by: BLeafe on March 04, 2017, 11:17:17 AM
This is a perfect candidate for a "before" rehab shot.

Looking forward to posting the "after" one.


CLICKit!



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on March 21, 2017, 03:01:18 PM
Recent posts here were moved to new topic: "Overcrowding in School District (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php?topic=3528.msg11894#msg11894)"
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 13, 2017, 10:35:58 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/04/12/hackensack-council-approves-tax-break-main-street-project/100390180/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 14, 2017, 08:06:44 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/04/14/hackensack-planners-back-proposal-apartments/100390352/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on April 19, 2017, 10:48:39 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/business/2017/04/13/north-jersey-becoming-apartment-haven/99532186/


The People's Guaranty and Trust bank building on Main Street in Hackensack is another site where proposals for a transformation are underway. Project developers have a $35 million plan to create 127 apartments at the Trust building as well as the adjacent building, adding restaurants and stores to the mix. With several other even larger residential projects in the planning phase in the downtown's core, city officials hope to emulate the "live, work, play" model.
Title: Moore Street projects
Post by: BLeafe on May 29, 2017, 01:15:03 PM
I skipped the Moore St side of the project at Main and Mercer because it looks pretty much the same as it did last year. Any word on why progress still seems to be stalled?

The first 5 pics show how things are looking at 210 and 214 Main from the back. I found the open hole in the bank wall and the accommodating interior light tempting, but I didn't have my vault-opening tools with me.

In the last pic, I'm not sure what project is slated for the NW corner of E. Salem and Moore, but it appears to go all the way down to the library.

And, of course, you can see the work at the old Oritani Field Club on E. Camden at the end of Moore St.


Click to enlarge.



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on May 29, 2017, 02:51:02 PM
at moore/main and salem they are tearing down the BCCAP building and putting in a Meridia apartment building, in an L shape around the buildings on Main St that would not sell.  4 or 5 stories tall.  with stores on the first floor.
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 28, 2017, 03:04:13 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/06/28/hackensack-city-council-sells-public-parking-lot-11-7-million/433297001/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on June 29, 2017, 12:13:37 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/06/29/hackensack-artists-turn-ordinary-utility-boxes-into-masterpieces/430228001/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 04, 2017, 02:34:48 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/07/03/hackensack-turning-busy-one-way-streets-two-ways/432300001/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 12, 2017, 02:51:37 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/entertainment/2017/07/12/hackensack-summer-concert-series-cultural-bridge/464875001/

Title: State St repairs begin
Post by: BLeafe on July 12, 2017, 06:34:05 PM
I'm not going to follow this job down to Essex St, but I can at least post what I've seen in the last week or so from home. If anyone else takes some shots that they happen to see elsewhere on State St, please post them.

(1-4) Although State between Ward and Passaic will remain one-way, they started chopping up part of the sidewalk and road right next to 40 Passaic on July 5.

(5) By July 8, someone had moved one of the large arrow signs over one lane - the lane where traffic was supposed to go - so it now became an obstacle course that was mostly an inconvenience for buses.

On Sunday the 9th, I walked over to 40 Passaic to see what they did to a street that I thought didn't have to change. The sidewalk's been halved and a good chunk of the right lane now has a curb in it (6). I don't know what that's for. The work continued around the corner onto Passaic St (7).

(8,9,10). There's not much left of the State/Passaic island.

On the 10th, the State sidewalk got new concrete and the adjoining new curb area got pounded (11). By evening, the sign confusion returned (12), but only to people in my building whose apartments faced State St.

On the 11th, the new curbed-in area got concrete (13), while on the 12th (today), the island only got the washings of a dirty cement chute (14). The truck left without pouring any cement. Odd.


Click 'em.



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 12, 2017, 11:47:42 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/07/13/hackensack-planning-board-approves-first-plans-redevelop-old-holman-moving-site/473200001/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on July 20, 2017, 03:37:02 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/hackensack/2017/07/20/hackensack-awarded-1-million-grant-main-street-improvements/492501001/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on August 15, 2017, 05:43:11 PM
https://jerseydigs.com/hackensack-development-395-main-street/
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: vsasson on August 16, 2017, 11:14:58 AM
Preschool building damaged by 14-story project is coming down:

https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2017/08/demolition-under-way-to-kick-start.html
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 07, 2017, 08:31:47 AM
https://jerseydigs.com/hackensack-real-estate-22-west-camden-street/

(The Planning Board granted final site plan approval for this last night in addition to granting final site plan approval for the Holman site at Main and Anderson.)

Almost missed this one: http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170731/njbiz01/170729792/glory-days-restored-developers-officials-hope-to-return-bergen-county-city-of-hackensack-to-past-success-through-mixeduse-projects

Title: Re: State St repairs begin
Post by: BLeafe on September 07, 2017, 06:06:09 PM
Something new today on State St to see from my living room - line scraping. While one guy tried to sand off painted-on street lines, another guy followed him with a broom. They didn't seem to be making much progress, but they kept at it and eventually semi-succeeded.

Meanwhile, another guy was trying to push curb water up a slight incline with a broom and for some reason, the water kept running back to the street.

Sometime later, I noticed that lines had been painted for 3 big spaces (top pic) in an area that has had (and still has) two two-headed meters (4 spaces) for decades. The first person to use one of the new spaces (red car, middle pic) seemed so completely confused that the car wound up parked with the front end over the line and with a 2-headed meter (barely visible) blocking the driver's door.

The next 2 drivers (bottom pic) managed to park inside spaces, but there's a whole space to the far right that's now not even in play anymore.

Is this some early step where the meters get replaced soon after by 3 individual meters?

If you go back to the shot of the guy pushing water - which is about 20 yards south of these spaces, you can see the dividing line between where it was just paved last week and the unpaved section between this point and Ward St, which includes where these 3 new spaces are.

Why are they doing any road improvement when there will be heavy equipment there soon tearing down those 3 buildings?

BTW, as of yesterday, the Hanson office was still open and doing business. It's likely the drivers of the pictured cars were there to go into Hanson, but I didn't actually see anyone go in today.

It's my understanding that asbestos remediation and demolition were scheduled for August/September, but I've yet to see any sign of either activity, so what's the updated schedule?


Click to enlarge.



Title: Re: State St repairs begin
Post by: BLeafe on September 09, 2017, 08:23:24 PM
One driver is paying attention to the lines and one prefers the meter (where the ignored fourth space is).

Can anyone explain why there are now only 3 spaces for 4 meters?


Click to enlarge.



Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: ericmartindale on September 10, 2017, 12:23:20 PM
YES, the new parking pattern is to have longer spots so cars don't have to back into the spots. 

You can't make this up, it's that stupid.  Evidently this has been done in other cities, but I've never seen it
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: BLeafe on September 10, 2017, 03:00:40 PM
I know about the upcoming parking pattern, but wouldn't it be more sensible to yank the old two-headed meters out first and install two new single meters BEFORE you paint the new space lines to avoid the confusion that currently exists?

Besides - wasn't this plan supposed to be for the new two-way streets to avoid backups due to lengthy parallel parking attempts, since drivers can't go around them? This one block of State St between Ward and Passaic is to remain one-way, so why change it and halve the spaces when drivers can still drive around parallel parking attempts?

Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: irons35 on September 10, 2017, 06:07:44 PM
 I guess you have never been in Westwood or Ridgewood...  both use the 2 space system on a very narrow main street... and it works...
Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on September 11, 2017, 04:32:04 PM
I can't tell from the picture but some of the striping is temporary.  It'll be right when its done. Meters will be dual-head and except payment in a variety of forms.

Patience, please.
Title: Re: State St repairs begin
Post by: BLeafe on September 26, 2017, 11:05:18 AM
On Saturday, I saw 3 shredder trucks almost surrounding the Hanson Realty building, but the only bucket of paper I saw came out of the CBHC building (the yellow one on the left), where I still saw office material being removed yesterday, so I doubt that any sort of remediation has started there yet...........and there've been no trucks seen that would be related to that.

This notice was posted on the Hanson Realty front door last Thursday, but I didn't get a chance to see what it said until today.

So, as of tomorrow, it appears that all 3 buildings will be good to go................literally.


Click to enlarge.



Title: Moving day at Hanson
Post by: BLeafe on September 27, 2017, 04:23:17 PM
I took a couple of shots and sent them to the company.


Click to enlarge:


Title: Meanwhile, over at Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare...............
Post by: BLeafe on September 27, 2017, 04:37:19 PM
They're still bringing some stuff out of the building, but today I saw about 6 of these containers being brought IN.

No idea what they are.


Click to enlarge:


Title: New trees for State Street
Post by: BLeafe on October 05, 2017, 02:09:10 PM
On Monday, I saw a USDOT truck on State St that seemed to have a large, rocket-shaped something in the back. Turns out there was a tarp covering something else, which were a litter of baby trees.

One was placed in a wheelbarrow and was soon out of my view, so I don't know where it wound up............somewhere around State and Passaic streets, I guess.


Click to enlarge.


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on October 10, 2017, 02:53:29 PM
http://hackensack.dailyvoice.com/real-estate/developers-break-ground-on-luxury-hackensack-apartments/723800/?utm_source=breaking-email-news-alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-hackensack-22345
Title: Let's build some of these
Post by: BLeafe on October 27, 2017, 10:41:44 AM
(or is that we're already potentially doing?)


Title: Re: Area in Need of Rehabilitation
Post by: Editor on December 11, 2017, 02:31:33 PM
https://jerseydigs.com/439-main-street-hackensack-development-proposal/