Friday, December 16, 2005

O Devil what's Lakewood doing!

There goes the neighborhood.

Simply a disaster. More traffic. More tax dollars ( don't believe otherwise).

Call up your elected officials and ask them why the secrecy?

Shouldn't the entire public have a say?

They're: "hoping to sign an agreement within 30 days"??!$!!

APP:

The township is in serious negotiations with the New Jersey Devils to build an arena costing $40 million to $50 million within walking distance of FirstEnergy Park that would be the new home of the franchise's minor-league affiliate.
Such a deal under quiet discussion since the spring but first confirmed by those involved Thursday would move the team into a 7,000-seat arena to be built opposite the parking lot of FirstEnergy, home of the Lakewood BlueClaws, an affiliate of baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.
The arena would host 40 hockey games a season and could be a partner with the Devils' $310 million home under construction in Newark. Because the Devils would operate both venues, any concert, circus or entertainment event held in Newark could also be held in Lakewood, said Sen. Robert W. Singer, R-Ocean, who is helping negotiate the deal.
Singer is "hoping within the next 30 days we have a signed agreement," although Devils co-owner Jeff Vanderbeek described the talks as "preliminary discussions."Vanderbeek added he will "very, very seriously consider" any written proposal.
Still, local negotiators see the deal as a spark plug for millions of dollars in tax ratables for Lakewood and a chance for the Devils to solidify their fan base by shuttling the minor-league River Rats from their current home in Albany, N.Y., to the Jersey Shore.
More important, those advocates say, the arena also would bring mainstream concerts, hockey tournaments and national circus tours to Ocean County creating a new tourism draw for a seaside county known already known for its beaches.
"The opportunities are endless," Singer said.
Before hockey fans start sharpening their skates, though, the ambitious plan has several major obstacles.
First, Lakewood no longer has development rights to the 7 acres on which it would build the stadium. That land is under contract to ( Govoha's) Cedarbridge Development Corp., which has a deal in place with the township to create a high-tech office park next to the BlueClaws' ballpark at Cedar Bridge and New Hampshire avenues.
Second, the township has to figure out how to pay up to a $50 million price tag, which is roughly double what it cost to build the baseball stadium.
All hurdles aside, Ralph Zucker, a township-based developer, sees news of a hockey arena as a chance to create a town center in Lakewood. The baseball stadium and the new arena combined would serve, in his mind, as the anchors of a "lifestyle center" that would include more than 750 homes and apartments, a movie theater, a youth baseball complex, a hotel, 1.2 million square feet of office space and six "big box" retail stores.
Zucker's plan drew raves from elected officials when he pitched it last fall, but he was told the Cedarbridge agreement which he has no part of could not be changed.
Now, township officials are looking into what changes can be made.
"I'm telling you one of the things that excites (the Devils) is the mixed-use component," Zucker said. "What Lakewood and Ocean County will get out of this is multiplied tremendously if we get more than an arena."
The first thing Lakewood needs to move forward with the plan is an agreement with Cedarbridge to relinquish rights to the 7 acres the arena would sit on, said Township Committeeman Raymond G. Coles.

The agreement to build a 1.5 million-square-foot office park and an age-restricted housing development on 240 acres adjacent to FirstEnergy has long been touted by township officials as a way to bring high-paying jobs to Lakewood, even while some residents have consistently criticized it as a land giveaway.
Jack Mueller, who runs Cedarbridge, could not be reached for comment Thursday, but Lawrence Bathgate II, a lawyer with an office in Lakewood who brought the Devils and Singer together and is helping broker the deal said Mueller is amenable to returning the land to the township.
Officials would not comment on what Mueller would get in exchange, but Singer said he hopes to work out a deal with Cedarbridge in the next 30 days."We sat down with Cedarbridge," Bathgate said. "They will release the seven acres. It's not a done deal, but directionally, everybody's striving to get it done."
Singer said the township could solve its second problem paying for the construction by getting the land designated as a Revenue Allocation District, a little-known distinction that allows the district's tax revenue to be used to pay off the bonds.
"I've been told how we can do it," Coles said. "I haven't gotten anything in writing yet as to how it's worked in other places."
Coles isn't the only one short on information...


  1. What's Govoha's Cederbridge Development getting in return? What happened to their grand plans?
  2. What exactly are all the stipulations in the contract ( e.g. how's maintenance, taxes, revenue distributed)?
  3. Why have they not sought the input from the community?

Maybe Lakewood wants to become the capitol of minor league ballparks. Or at least the builders do.

posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 3:45 PM

15 Comments:

Anonymous A struggling frum lakewood taxpayer said...

Call Bob Singers Office and ask to speak to his "legislative aid." Tell her that we do not want this stadium. His # is (732) 901-0702.
50 million dollars comes out to a couple of thousand bucks PER FAMILY. The article expressly says that the "disricts tax revenue" will be used to pay off the bond. Thats our tax money. And we'll be paying it off for the next 30 years. (Its gonna be like 150 million if you calculate the interset on the bond).

PLEASE CALL BOB SINGER.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous ראש הישיבה זצ"ל said...

שומו שמים

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Mirerr Talmid said...

Maybe BMG will finally let a "minor league" Yeshiva in town.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

There's no more land left!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The deal was kept quiet until after the elections, we voted for them now we are the only ones to suffer.
What is coming next? How much longer is the yeshiva and the vaad going to have a party at our expense?
What will a stadium do to our kehila? Aren't there enough michsholim already? How did the daas torah allow Govoha's Cederbridge Development to have any part of this?
(maybe we will a a kosher circus on chol hamoed, that can afterwards be assured?)

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the devils just got a new arena in newark. how are they going to play 40 games (thats just about ALL their home games every year) in lakewood?
so whats the newark arena for?
and how can a pro-hockey team have a 7,000 seat arena? even the devils draw more fans than that

3:44 PM  
Anonymous A struggling frum lakewood taxpayer said...

Call the VAAD office as well and leave a message. I'm not sure they really care but if enough people call, they might have second thoughts.
The number to the VAAD hotline is:
732-961-1161. T
And remember to call Bob Singers office. He is the guy with the real power to make or break this deal. His # is (732) 901-0702. Ask to speak to his legislative aid and tell her that we do not need this.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

read the article its a minor league team not the actual NJ Devils

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIDICULOUS !!,
BMG knew along time ago they were going to flip the Cedarbridge property, the proof ?? Look what they built there in all the time they owned it A ROAD !!Yep NOTHING else was done there just a street , wait till the value goes higher, someone to take it off their hands , BMG is a corporation, not a yeshiva , Call singer's office !!Call the Vaad .

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The yeshiva received a chunk of valuable land in return for allowing the last stadium to be built. What will they receive for this one?

Of course, that piece of land costs the taxpayers a good chunk of change every year, seeing that it was financed by a multi-million dollar bond (i.e. loan), which the township (read: the taxpayers) are now paying off.

Now we have news of more shenanigans by the builders and the yeshiva. What will it cost us this time? Who knows? Who cares? Not the vaad or the yeshiva, that's for sure.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the hypocrisy of the roshei yeshiva's letter that came out after the Blue Claws stadium was built. They allowed it to be built; they benefitted from it; but then they yell and scream about how dangerous it is to our ruchnios! Maybe they should have thought of that before they took the bribe.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Rischel said...

Yeshiva stands to make between 200-250 MILLION Dollars on the deal. The town has agreed to rezone the land for 750 - 1000 housing units and retail space.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarbridge was put up for a so called rigged bid process (it was pre-allocated-& the bid requirements were so that no one had a chance to try). we paid for it with a stadium "rachmonah li'zlan" plus heavy tax dollars & a churban to our youth.

The famous saying (was never wrong) "if you can't figure out what's happening, FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL".

Elections were just a blink behind us, stadium, cedarbridge, reassment etc.
You know bonds aren't limited by the State Cap law which is supposed to prevent exorbiant Township spending.

Yudel Shain
"Der oilum shluft".

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... a churban to our youth."

Oh, please. Get over yourself, Yudel. The stadium's impact upon the youth of the community has been z-e-r-o.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, it hasn't affected the youth (why should it?), but the rest is on target. Two out of three ain't bad.

5:29 PM  

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