Tag Archives: Corporate welfare

Visioning?

What’s up with the so-called “visioning workshop” the Mayor & Council have set for next Thursday, June 27, from 7 to 9 pm, at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue?

They’re testing public support for a plan to build ASAP at least 500 more apartments on River Road, near the 245-apartment Ivy project at the corner of River and Watchung.

To achieve that, they would offer developers a 30-year property tax break, prompting them to build even if the market is weak, and forcing us taxpayers to assume the risk that the rents won’t keep up with rising municipal costs.

The alternative is for the Borough Council to wait and see if the River Road property owners choose to build more apartments without a tax break, which the owners won’t do unless, until, and to the extent they (and their lenders) think they can get rents high enough to pay regular property taxes and still make a nice profit.

(Either way, the apartments will be at least 15% -20% affordable, and the developer won’t give the Borough a riverside park – or anything else – for “free.”)

With the 245-unit Ivy project sitting half empty next door and big apartment buildings going up all over the state, should the Borough plunge ahead with a scheme to build a 500-apartment project that may or may not produce enough revenue to cover Borough costs?

Or might it be wiser to wait and see how many more apartments the market can support at River Road?