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Archive for the ‘North End Redevelopment’ Category

In the future, when visitors stroll through the Casino and emerge on the sunny OG side, what will they find?   Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Undated

 

Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net.    May 30, 2019.  Ocean Grove, NJ.

If you read the Blogfinger North End Update below, you will see that Administrator Vito Gadaleta painted a portrait of deceptive simplicity when he described the procedure for getting the latest  North End plan off the ground.

He said that all the “issues” have been resolved, so a signed Redevelopers Agreement, which has been missing in action since 2008, is now on the launching pad.

His statement made it seem so easy: just take it to the Neptune Planning Board and then on to the Historic Preservation Commission: a piece of cake.

But not so fast Mr. Gadaleta!  You seem to have left out some important issues which, according to New Jersey Land Use Law, require your attention.

This huge commercial, mixed-use-development at the North End  is on the verge of being approved,  along with  the consequent big money that will ensue, and the citizens need to take a close look.

So here are the issues which worry us, even though Mr. Gadaleta and the Fabulous Five failed to mention them in their announcement at the last Workshop meeting.

a.  Are they going to persist in calling Lake Avenue a “roadway?”  Are they planning to turn the north end boardwalk into a roadway?    Or are they planning a new road parallel to the boardwalk?

b. What plans do they have for processing dirty street water runoff ?

c. Have they applied for  a CAFRA/DEP permit to protect our coastal waters?

d. Where is the site plan that will show pilings and elevations according to post-Sandy construction regulations?

e. Have they obtained a security bond that will guarantee that the redevelopment project will be built as promised in the Redevelopment Agreement, soon to be signed as promised by Gadaleta?  Where is the letter of credit from a financial institution?

f. If they are proposing something different than the original (2008) North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) then will they be scheduling public meetings for the input of citizens/residents ?

g.  What environmental studies have been done?  And what about engineering studies regarding the underground garage?

h.  If they plan to rebuild the Pavilion property, site of the recent fire, then will they get permission from the CMA  to provide access for trucks and other vehicles?  Will they provide parking as required by RSIS?  That property, east of the boardwalk, would not get parking access to the new garage.

I  If OGNED is the contract purchaser of the North End land, then will OGNED pay all the back taxes on the property?  And if the CMA sells the land to OGNED, then will the CMA be able to charge ground rents to those residents?

J. And for the part of the NERP west of the boardwalk, will there be enough parking to satisfy a traffic/parking study and will there be a way to get trucks and other vehicles  as well as utility access to those properties that face Wesley Lake?

K. Will the Planning Board be able to approve the new NERP  (which no one has seen yet) if some or all of the questions above remain unanswered?

So Blogfinger doesn’t know how many of these issues will apply, but it sure doesn’t sound as simple as portrayed by Vito  Gadaleta, spokesperson for Neptune Township.

 

TEDDY THOMPSON AND KELLY JONES  “Wondering.”

 

“Wondering
Yes, I’m wondering
Wondering if you might be wondering too
Lately, I’ve been wondering about this brand new rhythm in my heart
Lately, I’ve been been wondering why these thoughts won’t stop tearing me apart..”

 

 

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Ocean Grove. 2011 © Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Yellow warning flag is flying.

“Something familiar,

Something peculiar,

Something for everyone:

A comedy tonight!

 

 

“New complications,

Nothing portentous or polite;

Tragedy tomorrow,

Comedy tonight!”

*Stephen Sondheim:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

 

 

Raise the curtain at the Neptune Theater of the Absurd.  The stage is set for a tragedy:

Jack Bredin attended the Township Comedy’s meeting last night, and his conclusion is, “Ocean Grove is being sold down the river.”

After hearing OG’s  Carol Rizzo, the 2019  Neptune Township Mayor, effusively praise the “new” North End Plan, Jack sank down in his chair—He says that all hope seems to be lost as this show unfolds with its final acts waiting in the wings.

This drama about the historic town of Ocean Grove is now positioned to move forward in a direction that will be accepted by all the power players, leaving the residents of the Grove hung out to dry.  Once the contractors trucks begin to stir up the dust and clog our respiratory tracts, while creating a nightmare of congestion,  and a cacophony of noise, we will wind up with a large scale version of the Greek Temple on Main Avenue—a variation on a theme as the promise of historic small town OG will forever be lost.

And, along with it will be the hopes for a pristine Wesley Lake, now known by  all concerned  as a “retention/detention basin.”

Let’s consider the players in this Greek tragedy known as “The North End Revelopment Plan.”  We have the main actors at Neptune Township along with the Chorus consisting of  the Home Groaners, the Camp Meeting, the Chamber of Commercials, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Board, and The Wesley Lake Commission.

And, providing the backdrop and script for this scandalous performance, there is the main villain of the piece—secretive local developers lurking off stage while pulling on the puppets’ strings.  Here is the cast of characters:

a. The Neptune Township Committee: Mayor Rizzo of Ocean Grove, who has swallowed the Kool Aid,  will lead those Neptuner sheep to unanimously approve the new plan.  She has appointed Committeeman Michael Brantley to take her place as the “Class one” member of the Planning Board.  She has abdicated her key role as the protector of the people at the PB. Brantley is a Neptuner through and through, and he will order the PB to approve the new plan unanimously.

Once upon a time there was a Committeewoman who favored single family zoning at the North End.  Mary Beth Jahn stuck her neck out for the best interests of the people and the town, and she was beheaded by the Monmouth County  and Neptune Democratic Party.

The Neptune Committee is indifferent to the people of Ocean Grove, and one party rule prevents any chance of changing the ending of this tragedy.

b.  The Rule of Law:  Normal procedures regarding land use law have been routinely violated in Neptune, but that crowd, along with their OG allies, does whatever it pleases.  And they are aided and abetted by favoritism offered by key unelected bureaucrats at Town Hall.

c. OG Home Owners Ass.  We don’t know their motives, but this group of turncoats continues to back the developers and Neptuners regarding the North End.  Ken Buckley who is on the HOA Board and the HPC told Jack that they are “backing the Plan.”

d.  Developers: (OGNED)    Most of these people are connected to OG, but despite that, they conspire, whenever possible, to exploit the people of OG for profit.   They are favored at the Mother Ship with zoning manipulations including those that increase congestion and ugliness in town:  Condos, Greek Temple, Mary’s Place, parking  torture, etc.

e. Camp Meeting Association.  They have removed themselves as Redevelopers,but that is just cosmetic.  The President of the the CMA told us publicly that his organization has been involved in negotiations to move the NERP forward. They have control as the land owners, so they are focused on making money.  They seem to have little interest in the OG residents community or the historical designation of the town.

f. Chamber of Commerce:  In many US towns the CC is community minded.  But this crew only cares about two things: profits and tourists.  They never get involved with community issues such as the North End. For them, the commercialized North End Plan will increase their membership as they continue to close Main Avenue for mindless tourist events and crowds.

g.  Historic Preservation Commission:  When they are not hiding under their beds, they are busy being hypocrites and they have stood by while the Neptuners seek to take over their guidelines on behalf of developers and contractors.

h.  Wesley Lake Commission, representing both sides, has stopped trying to clean the Lake and instead they support the Retention/Detention re-naming  in order to allow the Lake to be used to receive  increasing amounts of filthy ground water, thus saving the developers a huge amount of money to fix the ecology of the former “Wesley Lake”

i. The Residents of OG-–Those who envision our historic town as a lovely place with its Victorian architecture, parks, clean Lakes, parking for those who live here, reduction in tourist glut, solving the Asburian invasion, keeping our streets open, nurturing of the community with its kids, families, retirees, diversification, etc. will be the big losers in the North End project.

“Representative government” has failed here, and apathy reigns.   Only a major law suit in Superior Court  or an investigation by the NJ Attorney General could close this show down.

Once the curtain closes on all this, the corruption in OG/Neptune will continue.  Blogfinger will keep reporting the news, but we don’t see an alternative ending to this drama.   Jack says, “Ocean Grove is a door mat;  we’re sunk.”

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger:  Blogfinger.net.  January 15, 2019.  Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

TONY BENNETT  “Dancing in the Dark”

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Light, air, and open space is what we want at the North End.   Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff in Ocean Grove, NJ. ©

 

By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher and Paul Goldfinger, Editor.  Blogfinger.net

Let’s review some of the background of the North End Redevelopment Plan and then bring us all up to date.  At the heart of this post is the Township Committee meeting of October 22, 2018.

Redevelopment is a public project. A developer does not become a Redeveloper with the authority to develop an “area in need of redevelopment” until they have signed a contract with a Township called a Redevelopers Agreement. In Neptune Township there are “areas in need of redevelopment”, but there are no officially approved redevelopers.    What went wrong, and how can this happen?

In 2005, and again in 2008, at a time after redevelopers were selected by the Township for two large projects, the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee went into executive session behind closed doors to negotiate Redevelopment  Agreements for:

  1.  West Lake Avenue in Midtown
  2. North End in Ocean Grove

But the choice of redevelopers was done out of sequence in the Grove, and Redevelopers Agreements were ever finalized.   The Township should have waited for the Township Attorney to first negotiate and have signed the Redevelopers Agreements before selecting anyone as a Redeveloper.

These agreements would have provided  the Township Committee with guaranteed provisions to insure the timely construction of the redevelopment projects, the qualifications, and the financial capabilities and financial guarantees of the redeveloper (s) before the Committee selected a Redeveloper for either project.

Signing a Redevelopers Agreement would usually take place at a special 10 am meeting on the same day the Redeveloper is officially selected by resolution.  In the event that a developer does not sign an agreement within 10 days of being selected, he should be dismissed.

Ten years ago, our Governing Body did not properly vet their Redeveloper friends for the North End of OG (CMA and WAVE,)  and after being appointed as the only horses in a horse race, they never crossed the finish line due to the fact that they could not come up with the necessary money and then they all backed out.  Thus the North End Plan was never implemented.

As a result of that failure, the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee is technically still in executive session for all these years and that is why the Mayor’s Committee will not now reveal any information to the public.   And thus there are still no Redevelopers for these two projects.

Now, after 10 years of nothing being developed through the redevelopment process, and while everything is being developed all around us by “general development,” Dr. Brantley said, “I think we have to review all the redevelopment projects,” and then the Township hired a “special redevelopment attorney”  for the unenviable job of trying to pull these projects out of the mud.

Shortly after that, this past month, our new Mayor, Nicholas Williams, reports the following: “Thanks to the non-stop work of our Redevelopment Committee, residents will soon be hearing about two major investments that will transform our community for the better…..”

And then, like magic, there appears on the agenda of the October 22, 2018 Township Committee meeting, a Resolution, No. 18-369, regarding the West Lake Avenue project in Midtown.  The Resolution was approved, appointing BAW Development, LLC, as a “Conditional Redeveloper” while also approving a “Pre-Redevelopers Agreement.”  This agreement is for a 6 month period of time when a formal Redevelopment Agreement will be signed.

We believe that this so called “Pre-Redevelopment” process is not permitted by State Standards, Municipal Land Use Law, and Redevelopment Law.   We think that this new process has been invented to find an end-run around the usual legal procedures to move such projects along and which have failed so far in Neptune Township. In addition, this maneuver will prevent any other developers from bidding on these projects while the Township dithers.

The new Redevelopment Attorney said at the meeting that they will use the same process with the North End project in OG.   That is why we are extrapolating what was said about West Lake to what will likely happen for the North End.

We think that the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee is failing we the people by remaining silent.  Where is the transparency?

Ocean Grovers:  Keep your eyes and ears open as this situation evolves—our local government seems to be placing the best interests of Grovers at the bottom of the pile.

 

MUDDY WATERS:

 

 

 

 

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Power to the people of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo taken in Ocean Grove, NJ ©

Power to the people of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo taken in Ocean Grove, NJ  by Jean Bredin.©  Reposted from Jan. 2016. ©

 

FRANK SINATRA    Just substitute Ocean Grove for Chicago.

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OG North End . No parking. Really?   c 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo.©

 

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This is a monument to double standards, favoritism, failure to follow State laws (e.g. RSIS) and callous disregard for the people of this town. Do you want that repeated at the North End?   Be aware!  Blogfinger photo on Ocean Avenue ©. 2016

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher.

At every Township Committee meeting, someone from the OGHOA stands up and asks the Neptune  Township attorney whether WAVE finances have been settled in order to allow a Redevelopers Agreement to be signed.  And each time  they are told that no progress has been made.

However, those financial negotiations are only one item that needs to be addressed before a contract between WAVE and the Township is signed, and the Township and the Groaners need to read the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP)   which was signed in 2008 and which still remains in effect.

There is a North End Redevelopment Subcommittee which has been supposedly following the entire project since 2008, but they don’t seem to be meeting.

The following is a partial list of separate items that the Redevelopment Subcommittee and the OGHOA should have been following, because these issues need to be addressed before the Committee and a redeveloper sign a Redevelopers Agreement to develop the North End project.

Page 23 of the NERP:    “The redevelopment agreement (s) shall contain provisions to ensure the timely construction of the redevelopment project, the qualifications, financial capability, and financial guarantees of the developers (s) and any other provisions necessary to assure the successful completion of the project.”

–Qualifications means, what has WAVE ever built?

–Financial capability means, do they have the money?

–Financial guarantees would require a letter of credit from a bank, payable to Neptune Township if the project is not completed on time pursuant to the Redevelopers Agreement.

–Timely construction of the project means a schedule of dates for when each phase of the project will be completed. The Subcommittee must prepare this schedule

Page 24 of the NERP:  “A redeveloper shall be required to pay their proportional share of the cost of any studies, plans, reports, or analysis prepared by the Township or its designated redevelopment entity as part of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan. Any such payments required to reimburse the Township shall be specified in the Redeveloper Agreement.”

–The total could exceed $800,000.00, but according to an OPRA request, many financial records have been destroyed. They must be recovered by the Subcommittee.

Page 19 of the NERP—-under “property to be acquired:”

–“Neptune Township will limit its use of eminent domain to instances where there is a clear public purpose, such as roadway improvements.”

Page 8 and Page 13 of the NERP show a redevelopment map and minimum front yard setback requirements. These pages when viewed together, identify:

–The last block of Beach Avenue to the west.

–The boardwalk to the east.

–The Wesley Lake walkway to the north.

–These 3  are shown as existing municipal streets according to the plan, but they are not; and they need to be acquired through the process of eminent domain before the Redevelopment Contract is signed.    We cannot rely on a fraudulent map.

Page 14 of the NERP—–  Required offsite improvements: “The redeveloper shall reconstruct the structural retaining wall/bulkhead along the site’s frontage on Wesley Lake”

–What is the estimated cost of reconstructing the bulkhead?

Page 6 of the NERP:—-Boardwalk:  “The site is bisected by the boardwalk which provides pedestrian access to Asbury Park to the north and to the Ocean Grove beachfront. The designated developer will be required to create a gateway design feature at the north end of the boardwalk”

–A gateway design feature has not been selected. It is now up to the Subcommittee to select this design feature such as a statue or monument for that location, along with the estimated cost.

Page 14 of the NERP:  What is the estimated cost of “site improvements for streets, water supply, sanitary sewers, and storm water management facilities?”

Page 19 of the NERP—-Easements: “Provisions should be made for an easement to allow access to the eastern parcel (the Pavilion Building) for services, garbage collection, and deliveries.”

Several other major issues related to the NERP must be addressed:

–What is the estimated cost to prepare a plan for the underground parking garage?  Currently there is no plan for a parking garage, and what is the estimated cost to build the parking garage?

–What is the estimated cost to excavate and remove the soil from the site?

–What are the estimated costs to drive the pilings and to construct the hotel? There also is no plan for pilings.

–What are the estimated costs to build the single-family houses and multi-family condominiums and townhouses?

–What are the estimated costs of rebuilding the North End Pavilion (ie the White Whale?)

–What are the estimated costs to rebuild the boardwalk to 60 feet, pursuant to the redevelopment plan, and at what elevation?

–What are the estimated costs to build a waterfront promenade along Wesley Lake?

–What are the estimated costs to build the proposed boat docks? And, can you have a boat dock in a detention basin?

–What are the estimated costs to build the pedestrian bridge over the boardwalk connecting the hotel and the pavilion.

 

Note:  The Committee must be mindful that there will be only one (!) monolithic structure on Block (1).  The pilings, parking garage, hotel and residential units are all attached.

Reporters’ Note:  Before signing a contract with WAVE, the Township must have an estimated total cost of the project along with security bonds from WAVE in that total amount payable to the Township if the project is not completed on time.

So far, after 8 years, the Township Committee has nothing.

We do not need another Esperanza in Ocean Grove.

There are no OG songs, so try this one on for size:

 

 

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Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, reporter and researcher @ Blogfinger.

On July 27, 2016,  we posted a summary regarding the North End Redevelopment Plan.  You should read it before you proceed with this article. Link below:

https://blogfinger.net/2016/07/27/just-wondering-doubting-thomas-wants-to-know-if-there-are-any-tid-bits-regarding-the-north-end-project-nerp/

Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a "developer." on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a “developer.” on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

One issue that was raised on July 27 was:   “Why was Committeeman Michael Brantley inspecting the North End property on July 27, 2016, at 11 am? He wasn’t going swimming. He was dressed in a business suit and was with two other ‘suits.’   Shouldn’t he explain himself since the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) is a public project? Doesn’t this look peculiar?”

At the August 22, 2016 Neptune Township Committee meeting, Brantley volunteered that he indeed wasn’t swimming when he visited the North End on July 27 wearing business attire.  He explained that he was there showing the re-development property to a developer who evidently was not WAVE, the developer who has been sitting on this project for 8 years.

This information tells us that the Township is tired of waiting for that derelict property to be turned into something functional,  historical and beautiful. We know that despite the long engagement, the Township is not married to WAVE, because those parties never signed a redevelopers agreement.

Some of us hoped that if the WAVE plan fell through, that the Township and the CMA, especially with new Committeemen on board, would do the right thing and revert to original zoning for 25 single family homes.  But evidently  that is not in the cards since Brantley, the Committeeman who made the motion to adopt the NERP in 2008, is still looking for a big commercial project, and why not, since it means more money for the Township, the developers, the CMA and perhaps others who are in play to get rich on such a plan.  The heck with the Master Plan and the wishes of most citizens in the Grove.  Check the Blogfinger poll below from January, 2016. Click on “view results:”

Also, in our July 27 piece:  The Township Attorney Gene Anthony said that he had nothing to report publicly at the Committee meeting about the North End negotiations because he hadn’t heard from WAVE or their attorney.

Well, it seems that the Township has been taken for a ride by WAVE because at the August 22 Committee meeting, the Township attorney once again reported  that WAVE  (represented by William Gannon III)  failed to contact him with certain financial information.

The entire process continues to be cloaked in secrecy—it’s a fog that doesn’t lift, but since it is a public project, transparency  should be required.  But not in Neptune Township where they ignore NJ RSIS laws, where they hold secret, behind-closed-doors meetings regarding the North End, where they don’t reveal the identities of those who would develop the North End—ie WAVE,  and where they don’t represent the views of those who elected them .

And, Committeeman Brantley, who was the developer that you were showing around?  Why have you failed to reveal publicly that you are conducting such a search, and are all the Neptune Township Committee members aware of your efforts?    And has the Committee formally put out a required public request for developers to look at the project?  And, Dr. Brantley, which other developers are you speaking or negotiating with?  And, finally,  Dr. Brantley, how about explaining to the public why you believe the NERP to be the best course of action for the people of Ocean Grove?

Back in 2007, WAVE was handed the redevelopers mantle without such a public search process.  We know that some developers did look at the project, but WAVE was predestined  to be the crown prince no matter what.   Consider this email to Blogfinger  from a developer who tried to be hired for the job:

Entire content of an email from a redeveloper regarding a North End proposal. We are not revealing that company's identity. Blogfinger.net ©

Entire content of an email from the president of a major developer regarding a North End proposal.  Blogfinger.net ©

The Neptune Township Committee is behind the NERP (North End Redevelopment Plan).  In 2007 they provided legal cover for the CMA/WAVE planners to get the zoning that would be essential to substitute 160 condos for the 25 Victorian single family homes that was the original zoning.

Our new Committeemen (2016) have now inherited  the zoning charade and all that goes with it including the secrecy and the questionable motives of all concerned including the OGCMA.  If the NERP gets into legal trouble, the entire Committee will be exposed including you freshmen.  Is this what you entered public office to do?

We ask that the Neptune Committee give up on WAVE and cancel the phony re-development zoning, returning the Grove to single family housing at the North End.

Editor’s Note:    If you enter “North End Redevelopment” into our search box at the top of this homepage, on the right, you can catch up on our many articles about this subject.

 

 

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Tree meets wood at the North End boardwalk in Ocean Grove.. May 23, 2016

Trex meets wood at the North End boardwalk in Ocean Grove.. May 23, 2016. click to enlarge the splinters.  Blogfinger photo ©

 

Workmen strive to get done by Memorial Day. 5/23/16. Blogfinger photos. ©

Workmen strive to get done by Memorial Day. 5/23/16. Blogfinger photos. ©

BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS:   “Stir it Up.”

 

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This is the boardwalk in August, 2015 in front of the White Whale.   No one knew that the piles and sand underneath would be unable to support the new boardwalk.  Blogfinger photo.  ©

This is the boardwalk in August, 2015 in front of the White Whale. No one knew that the piles and sand underneath would be unable to support the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo. ©

The original cost of the North End boardwalk reconstruction was to be $622,739.00 to Bird Construction.  On March 14, the Township committee adopted a resolution  (change order #1)  which authorized an additional $72,942.58. Note that this project was supposed to be completed in March.

The problem is that flood waters from Sandy ran under the White Whale and washed out the sand and damaged the concrete piers which were supposed to support the new North End boardwalk under the asphalt at that northern location.

So now new piles are needed, and a new increase in cost ($55,000 for change order#2) brings the total cost up to $811,534.20.  Some of that funding is being provided by the CMA.  The latter change will be voted on at the April 11 Committee meeting

We thank Citizen Reporter R. S. for contributing to this report.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

 

DORIS DAY and DANNY THOMAS:

 

 

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Welcome to the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment zone. Blogfinger photo.

Welcome to the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment zone. Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.net.     Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger.

Since 2007, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and the North End financial backers–WAVE— have been promising to move ahead with the North End Redevelopment Plan. That official NERP was passed by the Neptune Township Committee in 2008.

In order to get the process really moving, beyond the conceptual phase which has been dormant  for years, at least 3 affirmative votes by members of the new 2016 Neptune Township Committee would be required to approve a Redevelopers  Agreement  (contract) with WAVE regarding that 2008 NERP.   After that, a resolution approving the contract would be signed by the Mayor and the Township Clerk. Public hearings should be held to announce the new agreement.

If WAVE wants to change the plan from the 2008 concept to something else, then the entire process has to start again from scratch.

At the February 8th meeting of the Township Committee, the Committee’s attorney, Gene Anthony, announced that he had recently received a message from WAVE that WAVE and the OGCMA were completing their private agreement and that, secondly,  WAVE has a new investment “partner.”   When everything is finalized, they will combine their financials and make a presentation. They will have to disclose everyone involved who has over a 10% interest in the plan.

We don’t know if any of the present members of the  Township Committee have attended any of those private meetings along with the Township Attorney.   We don’t know if any of the 2016 Committee know  much about the NERP and its questionable features.

The agreement announced by Mr. Anthony should be completed by mid-February, so then we’ll see if Sisyphus can push this boulder up the hill.

SINEAD LOHAN

 

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Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times Advertisement Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyShare This Page Email Share NY Times

Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In a front page article in the NY Times*, it is reported that the Justice Department is looking into secret investors who are behind high end real estate deals. They are especially interested in professionals such as real estate agents, bankers, and lawyers who are involved in developing such entities.

Oftentimes shell companies are formed such as LLC’s**  (Limited Liability Corporations)  that shield the identities of investors. Frequently foreign buyers are involved using cash payments as they seek real estate deals to hide or launder their money.

Currently the investigators are focusing on New York City and Miami.

There is an LLC that is involved in the North End Redevelopment Plan. It is called WAVE, and we posted an article about it in April, 2015.

https://blogfinger.net/2015/04/16/peeling-back-the-layers-of-nerp-and-wave/

Since 2007. the identities of the WAVE investors have been hidden, even though they have been doing business with Neptune Township, the governing entity that is in charge of the North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.

You would think that any group doing business with the Township would be required to disclose the identities of its investors, and if it refuses, the Township should open bidding for others to be redevelopers of the NERP. But the Township continues to be involved with WAVE.

This is not to say that there is any evidence that WAVE’s principles are doing anything illegal,  but any entity doing business with the Township should be totally above board  and transparent, or it should be excused from participating in this project. This is about appearances, and the Township ought to make sure that its business associates are squeaky clean.  As far as we can tell, the Committee does not know whom it is dealing with.

**”Simply put, an LLC is the least complex business structure. Unlike an S corp or C corp, an LLC’s structure is flexible. It also gives you the perk of pass-through taxes, limited liability (obviously), and legal protection for your personal assets. Plus the added benefit of looking more legit than the other guys.”  Internet definition.

NY Times link:*

www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/us/us-will-track-secret-buyers-of-luxury-real-estate.html?_r=0

CAROL HANEY   from the Pajama Game.

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