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Jersey City envisions arts district near historic Loew's
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on October 25, 2016 at 12:19 PM, updated October 25, 2016 at 6:10 PM

JERSEY CITY — The neighborhood behind the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Journal Square would be set for a radical transformation under zoning changes up for final adoption by the City Council tomorrow.

The changes would allow the Harwood family to construct residential high-rises and arts facilities on a roughly 2-acre area the family owns that runs along the PATH tracks. The area is now home now to parking lots and a garage.

The city hopes the changes will lead to the creation of a cultural arts district connecting the neighborhood west of the Loew's to Journal Square. The Harwoods would be allowed to build taller high-rises than zoning allows in exchange for creating spaces for theaters, art galleries and studios, museums, libraries and more.

The plans also call for improvements to Concourse West, the walkway commonly called the Loew's alley that offers a direct if narrow connection between the Marion neighborhood and Journal Square. The zoning changes would require developers to incorporate retail space within the concourse and adjacent plaza at the foot of Magnolia Avenue.


The zoning changes would allow for two residential high-rises, one near the foot of Magnolia Avenue and the other near the foot of Pavonia Avenue. The city would allow the developers to exceed the 37-story maximum on each in exchange for the construction of cultural arts facilities in the high-rises and in two additional low-rise buildings. A fifth low-rise building would be allowed to house restaurants, cafes and other retail stores.

The city also envisions an amphitheater, dog run and playgrounds on a site near Van Reipen Avenue.

If approved by the council tomorrow, the zoning changes offer a template to the Harwoods. There are no plans yet, Harwood said, adding that unlimited height restrictions would not lead to soaring skyscrapers.

"Nobody should have expectations that we're going to build another World Trade Center," he said. "It wouldn't be economical, it wouldn't be appropriate." Read more

And with that, Hallanan has already surpassed his predecessor's achievements. :P

Is a restaurant row coming to Jersey City's West Side neighborhood?
By Patrick Villanova | The Jersey Journal
on October 24, 2016 at 12:11 PM

A proposal to restructure the zoning along Jersey City's West Side Avenue to create a restaurant row on the commercial thoroughfare is set to go before the City Council this week.

An ordinance, which will be introduced on first reading at the City Council's meeting Wednesday, will add a roughly one-mile stretch of West Side Avenue to the city's Restaurant Overlay Zone (ROZ). The ROZ is an alternative-zoning category meant to encourage the creation of sit-down and take-out restaurants in order to increase economic activity, draw pedestrian traffic, and revitalize commercial corridors.

"Longtime residents of Ward B will recall that West Side Avenue was once home to numerous restaurants: Ilvento's, Jules, the Family Tree, the list goes on. They are all gone," Ward B Councilman John Hallanan said in a press release announcing the proposal.

"This restaurant overlay legislation which I am proposing will incentivize new restaurants to open along this vital business corridor in the heart of Ward B and inject some much needed street life to the area," Hallanan added.

By easing the zoning restrictions on restaurants along West Side Avenue, city officials say business and, ultimately, job growth can be spurred in the area.


The 14 blocks where zoning requirements will be amended under the plan fall between Montgomery and Claremont streets. In addition to support from Fulop, the proposal has also earned the endorsement of the West Side Community Alliance. Read more

JC Upfront:

Neighborhood News: Pet Shop Wine Bar Opening Soon, New Amenities Coming to JC Waterfront
October 19, 2016

**Pet Shop has announced that it will soon open its basement wine bar. The wine bar will serve natural wines produced by small independent farmers and curated by Cesare Vespucci and Laura Marchetti of the Maritime Republic. At first glance, it appears they’ll focus heavily on European wines with a handful of special beers and spirits. You can check out the preliminary drink and food menu here.

Calendar / Afternoon of Fright 2016
« on: 10-18-2016, 09:57am »
Afternoon of Fright 2016
Saturday October 22 from 2pm to 6 pm

FREE fun filled family friendly Halloween themed block party. Intended for children of all ages to get dressed up and have some fun. Music, entertainment and activities. RSVP now

From JC Eats:

La Mexicana To Replace Colonette Diner
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jersey City is getting another Mexican restaurant!

After Colonette Diner closed their doors, the space on Rt. 440 sat empty for quite some time but now it looks as though La Mexicana, a new restaurant and lounge, has moved in and is bringing it back to life.

Located at 405 State Route 440, La Mexicana is most easily accessed by car although the 80 bus and light rail will also get you within easy walking distance. It's larger than most restaurants in Jersey City and it seems like the extra space will be put to use as more of a social spot rather than just purely for dining. They do have a liquor license and will be offering drinks. Read more

Vote No on casino expansion | Editorial
By  Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on October 14, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Everyone agrees that $4 billion in private investment is a great thing, especially if it helps create 43,000 jobs (directly and locally), generates revenue that will help seniors and people with disabilities, and turbocharges the revitalization of Atlantic City.

That's what the proponents of casino expansion say can happen next month if voters approve the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which calls for two more gambling facilities in North Jersey.

So what's not to like?

Drill deeper, and it's not hard to find out.

A prime objective is to help Atlantic City transition to a broader tourist economy by diverting an unspecified share of the revenue generated up north, but the 73-word initiative is so vaguely drawn it's hard to know how quickly that transition will come.

The amendment makes no mention of the tax rate imposed on the new casinos, and Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) accuses legislative leaders of giving developers too much of a voice in that decision: "If this isn't the tail wagging the dog," he says, "I don't know what is."

It also doesn't specify casino locations, and how much the state must contribute for infrastructure. Even though it is widely assumed developers Paul Fireman and Jeff Gural would build in Jersey City and the Meadowlands, they are essentially given free reign and a blank canvas.

And consider: Atlantic City's gaming future already appears dismal, so adding casinos in Bergen and Hudson Counties could cannibalize the market, unless it expedites AC's non-gambling development, job placement programs, and infrastructure improvements.

For these reasons, we encourage voters to vote no on Public Question No. 1 on Nov. 8.

That's already how it's been trending: A Rutgers poll from Sept. 10 has 58 percent opposing casino expansion and only 35 percent approving; a Stockton poll from Sept. 21 has 68 percent opposed. The Fireman-Gural group, known as OUR Turn NJ, has already suspended its ad campaign.

But we also encourage lawmakers and developers to take another crack at it – preferably before the ban on New York City casinos ends in 2020 – because this might be the last chance New Jersey has to keep its disposable income from flowing into neighboring economies.

They can start by heeding the lesson from previous initiatives. In 1974, there was a referendum to establish casinos in unnamed places with proceeds going to state treasury, and it was defeated in a 60-40 rout. Two years later, a referendum specified casinos in Atlantic City - with revenue going towards reducing property taxes and paying utility costs for seniors and the disabled – and it passed easily (56-43).

The next referendum must erase hypotheticals, specify the sites where they'll plant the shovels, and explain the tax structure. That way, it can't be beaten to death by New York-based opposition groups such as Trenton's Bad Bet, which spent $11.3 million warning us that casinos and traffic will soon clog our backyards.

That doubt has come to dominate the referendum debate.

Polling released by OUR Turn NJ showed that only 19 percent of New Jerseyans believe the state is headed in the right direction, that only 10 percent believe that the state can deliver on the estimated $500 million in annual revenue from the new casinos, and 50 percent think that revenue would be filched by politicians "for their own priorities."

Cynical bunch, New Jerseyans.

The Legislature tried to clarify it last month by proposing Assembly Continuing Resolution 206, which Gov. Christie supports. It states that casinos would be located near "appropriate infrastructure" that would minimize "impacts on residents," and that a panel would provide input on selecting the license-holders.

But the ACR still doesn't specify the tax rate, or how much revenue would flow to Atlantic City. And it may be too late to erase electoral doubt.

Voters aren't stupid. Until shown otherwise, they believe that Trenton can't deliver a sound strategy to reshape the gaming tableau, and their skepticism is justified.

WeWork exec says Jersey City not cool enough for his firm

Co-working giant WeWork has made headlines for its ambitious growth plan. Last year, co-founder Adam Neumann told the crowd at a real estate panel that the company was looking to take 30 million s/f in the next five years.

But despite the fact that the firm seems to be taking another 100,000 s/f of space somewhere in New York City every week, they are some places the six-year-old firm won’t be taking space any time soon.

Sean Black, an executive vice president at WeWork, told attendees at a CoreNet panel at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown that his firm is looking closely at Bushwick to open its next outpost, because, unlike Jersey City, it’s “cool.”

He joined the firm in March of this year from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was an office leasing broker. He previously represented WeWork in a 2013 lease when the co-working firm took more than 120,000 s/f at 222 Broadway.

Black is now overseeing WeWork’s East Coast expansion, which includes New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., as well as Miami and Atlanta.

“Brooklyn has really emerged as this epicenter of where people want to be,” said Black. “If you look at Jersey City, it’s so far ahead relative to a lot of different product it has, but it doesn’t have life, it doesn’t have vibrancy, it’s not cool, it’s got no vibe.”

He did say there are plenty of things in Jersey City to like, noting that developers have had success there, including the LeFrak Organization, which started redeveloping the Newport area of Jersey City in 1986 and is now working on its 17th residential building there.

But ultimately, people who live in a neighborhood have to invest in it for it to become something great.

“People who work in corporate jobs, you don’t invest in your community,” said Black. “You go to work, work really hard, then you go home and relax, then go back to work. But that doesn’t really create community. You need people that invest in community.”

To find the areas that could become trendy centers of growth, Black believes in following the artists, a group that makes the kind of investment in a community that helps it grow.

“When the artists get there, they take a vested interest in those communities, and they begin to open up nice cafes, restaurants, they have events they’re hosting, creating connections, and that really builds something wonderful,” he said.

If WeWork decides to open a location in Bushwick, there is an obvious option in the formerly gritty area.

Savanna and Hornig Partners’ 95 Evergreen, the former Schlitz Brewery conversion, was just completed this summer, and developers are looking to attract creative and entrepreneurial companies to the five-story complex, which will have high-end office and retail space.

Where Williamsburg and Bushwick have succeeded, other neighborhoods expected to have a renaissance that some expected, have not, said Black.

“Lower Manhattan is the perfect exemplification of an area that should have been the biggest, the best, but it’s been not so great,” he said. “It has incredible transportation, lots of buildings, employees, but it’s got no vibe.”

However he gave credit to Conde Nast, the media giant that moved into 1 World Trade Center, for helping to foster a “chain reaction” that brought energy, entrepreneurs and small businesses to the area.

“Following artists and people making investments in areas and beautifying areas and creating communities, I think you’ll find a recipe for a winning formula,” said Black.

He listed the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood, San Francisco and Bushwick as places where WeWork wants to be.

“Most of these areas are not driven by large skyscrapers and buildings erected that build the charge. What leads the charge is where a vibrant community exists. What was the acorn? The artists in the creative sector,” he said.

In looking for new locations, WeWork isn’t trying to be the first company to make a splash in the neighborhood — they want to pick up where someone else left off. Good population growth, “high IQ” cities, great transportation are three of the most important metrics the firm looks at.

“We don’t want to recreate the wheel, we want to benefit from something that already exists,” said Black. “I would much rather prefer to pay an extra dollar in rent rather than be there first.”

Ultimately though, for Black, the choice often comes down to a feeling.

“One of the things I’ve learned from being a commercial broker, is we spend a lot of time doing a lot of really great analytics and financial runs and analysis, tax rent forecasting.

“At the end of the day, people are making decisions based on the way they feel. If you don’t feel good, if it doesn’t resonate with you, that’s a big deal,” said Black.

Jersey City's Iris Records commemmorates 20th anniversary with gala bash at Cathedral Hall
By Jim Testa | For The Jersey Journal
on October 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM, updated October 11, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Digital technology has changed our lives in dozens of ways, but a few simple truths remain: People still enjoy the old-fashioned pleasures of going to the movies, reading a book, and shopping at a record store. Nowhere is that more evident than at Jersey City's Iris Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a gala event at the new Cathedral Hall on Montgomery Street.

The anniversary bash will take place on Saturday, October 15. "This is a party for our longtime customers and new customers, our best customers and our worst customers, our ex-employees, and everyone who's been involved with the store," said Iris' owner, Stephen Gritzan. "It starts at 9 and ends at 3, there's a cash bar, free admission, and we're going to have our best DJ's playing a variety of music throughout the night."

Cathedral Hall is the deconsecrated St. Bridget's Church at 380 Montgomery Street, which has been repurposed by the Fourth Street Arts organization to host concerts and special events like this. "It's been a very unlikely 20 years here in Jersey City and I thought it was something that should be celebrated in a big way," said Gritzan.

Gritzan opened Iris Records in the storefront at 114 Brunswick St., in 1996. "There was nothing going on in the neighborhood back then," he recalled. "Downtown Jersey City was a ghost town. A lot has changed since then, and I'll tell you, with everything I see going on with gentrification and rents... I tell everybody, there's not going to be another party. I suspect I won't be here forever. So come to this one."


WFMU deejay and former Maxwell's owner Todd Abramson will be among those spinning records at Cathedral Hall. "We'll have house, disco, garage, every kind of music," said Gritzan. "We've had a lot of really great people spin records in the store and at the Record Riots over the years and we'll inviting all the best ones to come play at the party."

The Iris Records 20th Anniversay Celebration will take place at Cathedral Hall (380 Montgomery Street, Jersey City) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Iris Records is located at 114 Brunswick St., and is open noon – 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Jersey City Record Riot will take place at Grove Street Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Restaurants & Bars / The Old Spot
« on: 10-06-2016, 04:28pm »
The Old Spot - Hot Pot and Grill
523 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City NJ 07302

Preview from JC Eats: The Old Spot Now Open

Restaurants & Bars / The Hutton
« on: 10-04-2016, 11:14am »
The Hutton
225 Hutton Street
Jersey City, New Jersey
Call (201) 839-5382

The Hutton, located in the Heights of Jersey City-offering a great selection of beer, wine & amazing food created by Chef Deuhana Vargas Opening Soon!

Polls: New Jersey residents oppose casino expansion
Sep 30, 2016

Voters are overwhelmingly opposed to North Jersey casinos, according to recent polling from Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and Trenton’s Bad Bet, a group fighting the ballot question.

The Stockton poll released Friday found that 68 percent of those surveyed oppose the plan to allow two casinos in northern New Jersey, while 27 percent support casino expansion beyond Atlantic City. That poll was conducted with 638 likely New Jersey voters by the Stockton Polling Institute from Sept. 22 to 29. The margin of error is 3.9 percent.

A survey by Trenton’s Bad Bet found the ballot measure losing by 20 points — 36 percent of 600 likely voters were in favor of expanding gaming, while 56 percent were opposed. That poll was conducted Sept. 20 to 21 and has a 4 percent margin of error.

In North Jersey, 63 percent of those surveyed oppose casino expansion, while 74 percent of voters in the state’s eight southern counties also oppose it, according to the Stockton poll.

“These results should provide some comfort to residents of the Atlantic City region, which has seen the loss of 5,400 casino industry jobs since the start of 2014,” said Sharon Schulman, executive director of the Hughes Center. “Clearly the voters — especially those in South Jersey — do not want to see Atlantic City casino competition within the state.”

The polling from Trenton’s Bad Bet showed opposition to North Jersey casinos is being driven by voters’ overwhelming belief that state officials repeatedly break promises to voters, and the North Jersey casinos would be no different. The survey reported that 69 percent of voters believed the “special interests get rich and we pay the price” if North Jersey casinos were to open.

Trenton’s Bad Bet said they will have spent $6 million through Oct. 3 on television ads focusing on not trusting state officials to do the right thing.

Voters will decide whether to approve as many as two casinos in North Jersey during the Nov. 8 election. The ballot question states the new casinos must be in separate counties and at least 72 miles from Atlantic City, where four casinos closed in 2014 and another, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, is set to close Oct. 10. Deutsche Bank said last year that North Jersey casinos could generate $500 million in gambling revenue.

Possible casino locations being discussed, if the referendum is approved, include Jersey City and the Meadowlands.

Further details about the exact location of the casinos wouldn’t change the opinion of the majority of those surveyed, according to the poll. More than half of those surveyed said knowing the specific locations would have no impact on their vote.

Government & Politics / Steve Fulop, we hardly knew ye
« on: 10-03-2016, 12:00pm »

Read more:

Steve Fulop, we hardly knew ye
By  Drew Sheneman | The Star-Ledger
on October 01, 2016 at 8:00 AM, updated October 01, 2016 at 8:05 AM

Restaurants & Bars / Mathews Food & Drink
« on: 09-30-2016, 11:47am »
Mathews Food & Drink
351 Grove St
Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

Opens October 5th. Here's a preview.

From :fulop:'s email to me:

"Three years ago, residents of Jersey City gave me the opportunity to be mayor, and I have been thankful every day since for that privilege. While we have made great strides forward, I also realize that there is still work that needs to be done. That is why I announced my plans to run for re-election as mayor of Jersey City. My hope is that you will give us the chance to continue the incredible progress we have made during the past three years.

Jersey City has led New Jersey on countless issues during the past three years, from open space initiatives, to housing starts, to job creation, to paid sick leave, to the minimum wage... the list goes on and on. While there is more work to be done, I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, and know that we can build on this success with a second term.

My commitment to Jersey City has never been stronger, and I hope our residents are willing to give me an opportunity to continue moving our city forward.

I love Jersey City, and I know we will continue the progress towards an even better city."

Fulop announces re-election bid, ending flirtation with governor run
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on September 28, 2016 at 3:42 PM, updated September 28, 2016 at 4:37 PM

JERSEY CITY — Mayor Steve Fulop ended his three-year flirtation with a 2017 gubernatorial run this afternoon, saying during a brief address in front of City Hall that he will instead seek re-election as mayor and back Democrat Phil Murphy's bid to become governor.

Speaking to a group of about 100 city workers, members of the press and curious onlookers, Fulop said he wanted to avoid a "bloody" Democratic primary next year and continue what he called the "progress" his administration has made in Jersey City since he was elected mayor three years ago.

"Over the last couple weeks I've been doing a lot of thinking about what's in the best interests of Jersey City, what's in the best interests of the state of New Jersey and where I am situated that I can be most meaningfully helpful to moving an agenda forward that's progressive," he said.

Today's announcement stunned New Jersey political observers who had been bracing for a showdown in next year's Democratic primary for governor. It also shocked many of Fulop's closest allies, who sources say had been kept in the dark about the decision until this morning. As Fulop spoke this afternoon, his aides and allies looked crestfallen.


Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany and ex-Goldman Sachs executive, appeared by Fulop's side today. He blasted "the failed leadership" in Trenton and vowed to eradicate "special-interest politics.

"I want to thank Mayor Steve Fulop for sharing my commitment, my deep commitment, our deep commitment to unifying the Democratic Party and getting our state back on track," Murphy said. Read more

I'd like to think he's doing this just to fuck over Bill Matsikoudis, a.k.a. Salacious B Crumb to :healy:'s Jabba the Hutt. Which I fully support.

Sources: Fulop to call off run for governor, endorse Murphy
By MATT FRIEDMAN 09/28/16 08:52 AM EDT

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop will not run for governor in 2017 and will instead endorse Democratic rival Phil Murphy, sources tell POLITICO New Jersey.

The shocking development comes after the 39-year-old mayor has spent the last three years positioning himself to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, currying favor with Democratic leaders around the state as his allies set up a multi-million dollar super PAC expected to boost the bid.

Fulop has announced a 2 p.m. press conference on the steps of City Hall in Jersey City. Two sources with knowledge of the plans said he will throw his support to Murphy, a millionaire former U.S. ambassador to Germany and the only formally declared candidate for governor.

Fulop, who was elected mayor in 2013, was considered all but certain to run and at times considered a frontrunner for the post. He initially said he planned to make a decision about running for governor in December.

But the mayor also figures largely into the ongoing Bridgegate trial, potentially testifying about how Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign manager and aide at the Port Authority used a job Fulop had taken at a car-import related business that leased space from the agency to pressure him to endorse Christie’s 2013 reelection. Fulop did not endorse Christie, which prosecutors say led to Christie’s cabinet members canceling meetings with the mayor.

Meanwhile, Murphy has been picking off several Democratic endorsements in Bergen County, which had been considered strong Fulop territory in a statewide run.

Fulop also faced criticism when his allies’ super PAC accepted $1.4 million in anonymous sources, $1 million of which was later revealed to be from for-profit hospital owner Vivek Garipalli, whose company Fulop’s administration had attempted to award an ambulance contract.

Fulop’s support of Murphy — of whom he’s been highly critical — could consolidate North Jersey Democrats, setting up a potential clash between North Jersey Democratic power brokers and George Norcross, the millionaire insurance executive and political patron of Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who has also been laying the groundwork for a run.

Fulop’s decision could also head off messy down-ballot primary battles for Senate, Assembly and freeholder seats throughout much of the state as different slates align with different candidates for governor.

Fulop did not immediately respond to a call to his cell phone.

Read more

Just spotted some fancy lights and fancy people hanging out inside WEH.

Some fancy people from here went. :nerd:


Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami's family sued Elizabeth for anti-Muslim harassment
By Stephen Stirling | NJ Advance Media for
on September 19, 2016 at 12:07 PM, updated September 19, 2016 at 5:19 PM

ELIZABETH — The family of Ahmad Khan Rahami, arrested in connection with weekend bombings in Seaside Park and New York City, sued the city of Elizabeth in 2011, alleging a pattern of harassment and religious discrimination by city officials.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, the Rahami family said Elizabeth police officers repeatedly forced the closure of their family restaurant, First American Fried Chicken. The lawsuit alleges one man frequently entered the restaurant and told family members "Muslims don't belong here" and "Muslims are trouble."

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage confirmed the longstanding issues with the family, but said the city's actions against their restaurant were strictly code-related.

"It was strictly about neighbors calling about noise," Bollwage said. "It was never ethnicity or religion or beliefs or anything like that."

The restaurant was raided by authorities early Monday, hours after a bag of explosives was found near the Elizabeth train station. It is not yet known if Rahami had any connection to the Elizabeth explosives.

Ahmad Rahami was taken into custody late Monday morning, after allegedly shooting and wounding at least one police officer in Linden.

He was wanted by authorities in connection with a pipe bomb that exploded in Seaside Park on Saturday morning, and a pressure cooker bomb that exploded in Chelsea later that night, injuring dozens.

The family alleges in the suit that police and city officials selectively discriminated their restaurant, forcing them to close early. Bollwage said the city passed an ordinance forcing the restaurant to close at 10 p.m.

"When they opened the business, in 2002, they were operating it 24 hours," he said. "After receiving a series of complaints of noise and large crowds gathering late at night, the city passed an ordinance forcing the business to close at 10 p.m.

Court papers show two members of the Rahami family were arrested during a confrontation with police in 2009, stemming from an officer issuing a summons to the establishment for being open late. The suit alleges the Rahami family attempted to file a complaint against the officers, but the complaint was denied by the police.

Ahmad Rahami is not named in the lawsuit, but his most recent listed address is that of the family restaurant. Neighbors said they had seen Ahmad Rahami working at the restaurant. Read more

Developer touts casino plan as 'windfall' for Jersey City
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on September 12, 2016 at 12:08 PM, updated September 12, 2016 at 2:25 PM

JERSEY CITY — Voters here in Jersey City are getting some special attention from Paul Fireman.

Fireman, the former head of Reebok International whose net worth stands at $1.03 billion, wants to build a casino just south of Liberty State Park. With the new ad campaign Our Turn NJ, he's hoping to convince New Jersey voters, and those in Jersey City especially, to approve a referendum on November's ballot that would expand casino gaming outside of Atlantic City.

Though Fireman, 72, hails from Massachusetts and lives now in Palm Beach, he is no stranger to Jersey City: he owns the posh Liberty National Golf Club, which opened in 2006 and has attracted luminaries like former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Sitting in a conference room last week on the first floor of Liberty National's clubhouse, Fireman said he believes the opposition to bringing casino gaming to Jersey City is misguided. Dismissing the word casino, Fireman said his plan is to build a $3 billion, two-tower resort called Liberty Rising that includes a hotel, restaurants, a spa and, yes, a casino with about 6,000 slots and 500 tables.

"It's going to be an icon," he said. "This thing's going to stand out like a beacon of energy."

Opposition to a Jersey City casino has focused on concerns over traffic and problems critics say casinos attract, like prostitution and vagrancy. Fireman dismissed those objections.


Fireman focused on what he said are the monetary benefits his resort would bring to Jersey City and its population: up to 9,000 construction jobs and 6,000 jobs with the resort, all union gigs. He also said the resort would bring Jersey City $65 million in taxes and fees in the first year and $3.9 billion over the course of 30 years, money he said could help pay for programs and services in the city's most impoverished neighborhoods. The city's budget was $571 million this year.


The statewide referendum, if approved, would allow two new casinos to open in North Jersey. A second casino is planned for the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. Democrats in North Jersey have largely backed the referendum, which has the support of labor unions as well.

Fireman has been targeting state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with campaign donations. Last year, he gave a total of $45,900 to 16 legislators.

Bill Cortese, spokesman for anti-casino expansion group Trenton's Bad Bet, told The Jersey Journal that Fireman's statements "reject reality and push a false narrative" that North Jersey casinos will not have adverse effects on their home communities.

"What gaming expansion supporters aren't telling people is that new casinos will worsen already nightmarish conditions on New Jersey roads and completely ignore the nearly bankrupt transportation fund which has brought infrastructure upgrades to a standstill," Cortese said.

Some of the funding behind Trenton's Bad Bet comes from the Genting Group, which operates a Queens virtual casino.

Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat who is widely expected to seek his party's nomination for governor next year, made headlines in April when his formerly firm support of gaming expansion and Fireman's casino plan in particular softened after a trip to Atlantic City, whose leadership is opposed to casino expansion.

Fulop, who said he would oppose issuing city permits and zoning approvals to Fireman even if November's referendum passes statewide but loses with Jersey City voters, said the $65 million Fireman says will flow into city coffers from Liberty Rising doesn't sway him.

"That's a big dollar amount but it doesn't necessarily offset some of the concerns with regard to challenges that it brings, whether it's crime or prostitution or traffic," Fulop said. "I need to get to a place of understanding where casinos have been a benefit to any municipality that's been a host. It's hard to find one."

Asked what he will do if Jersey City voters approve the referendum, Fulop said, "People aren't going to be supportive of it. If I'm wrong then I'll work with the people of Jersey City and do what they want."
Read more

  The historic Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in downtown Jersey City


Good catch. I got that directly from Todd's email.


As North Jersey casino question looms, pro-Jersey City casino website launches
September 6, 2016 - Jersey City, News - Written by John Heinis

With New Jersey residents set to decide whether or not casino gaming will come to North Jersey on November 8, a new website is advocating for a 90-story hotel and casino complex known as Liberty Rising in Jersey City.

“Liberty Rising is a world-class resort with gaming that will bring jobs and economic opportunity to Jersey City and the surrounding region,” according to a website created by Our Turn NJ.

The $4 billion luxury complex, the brainchild of billionaire Reebok founder Paul Fireman, would potentially be located at 100 Caven Point Road – which is south of Liberty State Park and between an industrial area and Liberty National Golf Course.

The website says that the project would not disrupt residential areas near LSP or impact traffic on the Jersey City waterfront and would also provide easy access to the NJ Turnpike and Manhattan.

Furthermore, Our Turn NJ states that the large-scale entertainment center would be 100 percent privately funded, create 9,000 union construction jobs, as well as “6,000 resort operation jobs.”

Back in January, Hudson County View first reported that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, an expected Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said that a local casino would bring “a revenue boon” to the city, creating anywhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

After a spring visit to Atlantic City, Fulop backtracked on his pro casino stance, stating he would support North Jersey casino gaming – just not in Jersey City, leading to a heated Twitter exchange with state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) back in April.

Lesniak, who is also mulling a run for governor, said then that he’d be all for a facility like Liberty Rising coming to Elizabeth – the largest municipality in his legislative district.

Lesniak, state Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-3), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11), among many others, are pictured with quotes favorable to expanding gaming outside of Atlantic City on a section of the website titled “Our Support.” Read more

Home for the Holidays with
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Saturday, December 10, 2016 Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 8:00 PM
Tickets $35.00 - $45.00

The Bowery Presents and Todd Abramson are happy to announce a very special holiday concert with the always captivating Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings on Saturday, December 10th at The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre. Sharon will be performing songs from throughout her career, including selections from It's A Holiday Soul Party. The historic Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in downtown Jersey City is the perfect venue for this amazing show. Bring your dancing shoes! Tickets go on sale Friday, September 9th at noon. GET TICKETS HERE!!!

Restaurants & Bars / Re: Würstbar
« on: 08-18-2016, 08:36am »
Whoa—poutine. I'm sold. Via JC Eats:

Würstbar, 516 Jersey Ave, is a German-inspired bar and restaurant with a gourmet sausage-focused menu that also includes fries with housemade dipping sauces and poutine.  They have some basic sausages like beef, bratwurst, and kielbasa with traditional toppings ($7.50) as well as a long list of specialty sausages with their own paired add-ons like the Game Day, a chicken sausage with buffalo blue cheese sauce, celery ribbons, and fried chicken skins or the Hound Dog, a regular frank with bacon, sweet plantains, and Thai peanut aioli, all ranging from $9-$12. They'll also have some game choices like venison and any combination can be made with a veggie dog for a vegetarian or vegan option.

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