Thursday, April 25, 2013

Borg family remains mum on 20 acres in Hackensack

There are signs of renewal in Hackensack, but not at the old headquarters of North Jersey Media Group and The Record, above and below. In 2009, they abandoned the city where the newspaper prospered for more than 110 years, and the pullout of hundreds of employees hurt an already struggling Main Street.




Today's Page 1 story on possible anchor stores for a 55-acre project in Teterboro appears to end speculation that the Borg family was courting Walmart for the 20 Hackensack acres once occupied by The Record.

Many residents of Hackensack reacted negatively to the Walmart rumors, fearing traffic jams.

But given the newspaper's low quality of local journalism in recent years, a retailer that offers low prices and low quality might be appropriate for the land on River Street.

Discussions with city

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono has said officials have had discussions with the Borgs about their plans, but he wasn't at liberty to discuss them.

Today's story on Walmart and Costco Wholesale doesn't mention North Jersey Media Group's Hackensack property, which has become an eyesore.

The stores wouldn't open in Teterboro until October 2016, The Record reported.

How about a land swap? 

Many residents of Prospect Avenue would like to see the Borgs negotiate a land swap with the developer of a controversial, 19-story Long Term Acute Care Hospital proposed for a small parcel between Prospect and Summit avenues, near Golf Place.

Residents have been fighting the plan, which was rejected by the city's zoning board, 5-0, in 2012 after 3 years of hearings, but the developer has appealed the denial to Superior Court. 

Tonight, the Prospect Avenue Coalition is sponsoring a third forum for the 11 candidates in the May 14 City Council election, all of whom support the residents.

Well-traveled

On the front of Local, The Record's Hannan Adely  reports the Hackensack City Council on Tuesday voted to amend the city code to allow Class II police officers, "who have the power" of regular cops, "but make a fraction of the pay" (L-1).

The byline of Adely, who is assigned to cover Hackensack, also appears today on a front-page story about a walking tour of Paterson's Great Falls "that you can download to your smart phone" (A-1).

But I question the accuracy of the headline:

 "Historic tour goes high tech"

The tour, according to the story, is new, not "historic." 
 

6 comments:

  1. Ya know, if they pay their taxes and stay within city code, it's really none of your business what they do with it....do you really think they should sit down with you and discuss their plans?

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  2. Well, if I'm elected, I'll try to have the property declared to be in need of redevelopment.

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  3. Arbitrarily? Good to know.

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  4. It's not arbitrary. The property has been vacant for nearly 4 years. Hackensack can't afford property owners who abandon the city, pulling out hundreds of employees, and then don't develop. The Court Street Bridge rehab made 150 River Street more attractive to big-box retailers, who apparently like to have more than one access to interstate highways. But a perfect solution is to sell the property to the developer of a controversial high-rise hospital, allowing him to build a low-rise building with plenty of parking in a commercial zone. Why, I'll bet The Record building could be refurbished for use as a Long Term Acute Care Hospital, saving the developer a ton of money, and allowing Prospect Avenue residents to sleep at night, if all of those business jets owned by Mac Borg and other fat cats don't keep them up.

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  5. You got that right, Mr. Sasson. The Record building would make a great long-term care center, having already served for several decades as a mental institution that was run by the inmates.

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