We've heard our share of Toll Brothers discussions in the context of Manhattan and Brooklyn, but today we travel across the river to Jersey City where the final stages of a development fight over the Powerhouse Arts District are playing out. Earlier this year, the Toll Brothers got unanimous approval from the local planning board to put up three high rises in the district. The development--which will include buildings of 30, 35 and 40 stories--apparently tosses the original plan for the Arts District in the trash, although it will include a 550-seat theater. One of the issues is the fate of the historic Manischewitz matzo factory, which local preservationists want saved (the Tolls will save two walls of the building).
An email from the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy says:
Despite overwhelming opposition at public hearings, the City of Jersey City is going ahead with proposed amendments to the Powerhouse Arts District Redevelopment Plan. These amendments have been proposed by mega-developer Toll Brothers for the sole purpose of allowing it to realize extra profits at the expense of history, open space, and the arts. The Toll Brothers amendments would allow them to replace the historic A&P Annex (most recently the Manischewitz matzoh factory) with high rise towers...The next skirmish in the Battle of Jersey City is taking place tomorrow.
· Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy [jclandmarks.org]
· Planning Board Eviscerates Arts District [New York's Sixth]