Statement by Mike Francisco President, Harsimus Cove Association, Regarding the Proposed Sale of 8 Erie Street, Jersey City, NJ

8 Erie between Bay and 1st Streets
8 Erie between Bay and 1st Streets
Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011 – “Recent coverage of the proposed sale of 8 Erie Street, better known as Jersey City Police Headquarters, has focused on the construction of a parking structure, yet no such land use has officially been proposed. Rather, the issue of immediate concern is the apparent haste that the City is showing in selling the property. It strikes us as odd that the City would be satisfied with selling 8 Erie and an adjacent parking lot—prime real estate in historic Downtown Jersey City— for a pauper’s sum of $4 million. Anybody who has recently looked at the price of a single-family row house knows that the stated sale price of 8 Erie and the adjoining parking lot is alarmingly low.

“Most troubling about this situation is that the proposed sale of this landmark building in the heart of the Harsimus Cove Historic District has not been opened up to the public. The residents and business owners in Harsimus Cove and Downtown Jersey City should have a say in what ultimately comes of this property. For example, the Jersey City Board of Education’s Department of Early Childhood Education has for years looked for available space Downtown. And perhaps local businesses could make a strong argument for the construction of a parking garage on the existing lot. We will not have the opportunity to find out until the City engages in a fair, transparent and public vetting of all redevelopment proposals.

The Harsimus Cove Association wants to guarantee the highest and best use of 8 Erie Street for all of our residents. As bad as the City is in need of money, the purchase price of $4 million is hardly adequate or ‘fair market value.’ We must begin to think long-term and not throw away the opportunity to do what is right for our neighborhood—not just for today, but for the future. The process must be open and transparent, with input from this association and the residents of Jersey City.

“We urge Mayor Healy and the City to make this the transparent and open process Jersey City deserves. Please don’t sell our neighborhood and our future short.”

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Updated May 10, 2011 with links to the following articles citing this statement:

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