Written by KOTW
Sunday, 06 February 2011 00:00
February 6, 2011 (Harrison, NJ) The Wall Street Journal carried a feature article on Harrison's Redevelopment efforts. The article entitled, Harrison Tries To Score With Development, centered around Harrison's Redevelopment plan including the Red Bulls Stadium who the writer called the centerpiece of the redevelopment plan.
Map graphic courtesy of the Wall Street Journal (c)2011 Wall Street Journal
Several local businesses were mentioned in the article including La Pizza's manager Rick Lady; Spanish Pavilion's co-owner Jerry Fernandez, and Exit Realty's Broker Al Silva.
The article also covered all of the development projects: The completed Hampton Inn on Passaic Avenue at the far end of the redevelopment zone.
The Pegasus Group and Ironstate Development in progress rental housing project immediately adjacent to the Harrison Path Station and Harrison Parking Garage. The target renter appears to be young professional who commute to New York City.
The much delayed Advanced Realty Group Riverbend project in front of the Red Bulls Stadium on South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. The best quote of the article was Advanced Realty Group Chief Operating Officer's Peter Cocoziello quote that the town was "in the process of reviewing our plans" and that he expected construction to begin later this year. The Advanced Realty Group Riverbend project has been approved for years. A poor economy has stalled the project but for sure the town is no longer reviewing their plans. If Advanced Realty Group does not move ahead with the project soon, Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough and the council's patience may run out and they may not renew Advanced Realty Group's redevelopment rights. It is time to start construction.
The Millrose Developers River Park, a joint venture between Millennium Homes and Roseland Property Co., along the Passaic River and a short walk to the Harrison Path Station whose first phase was completed in 2007 but whose second phase stalled because of the economy. The article stated that the second phase was under way but there is no evidence of continued construction as far as we can tell.
The article also mentioned the lack of infrastructure to support the influx of Red Bull fans on game days. Mayor Raymond McDonough and the Harrison Council have introduced a revised Parking Ordinance to address resident complaints that Red Bull fans are taking up the limited parking that exists in Harrison during Red Bull games and events. That Ordinance is up for a vote next month and is likely to pass. The Ordinance limits parking on town side streets to Harrison residents with parking permits on game days. There is sufficient parking in the Harrison Parking Garage and local commuter lots to meet parking demands and fans are encouraged to "Go Green" and take the Path train service which is within walking distance of the Red Bulls Stadium.
The most revealing quote of the article was from the managing director of the New York Red Bulls, Erik Stover who stated "Right now we are the brightest candle on the cake but the rest of the development might be more important to the people of Harrison." Of interest is that Stover recognizes implicitly that the Red Bulls have not contributed to lessen the tax burden of Harrison property owners. The Red Bulls have appealed their tax assessment causing Harrison property owners to have to raise those additional funds on their behalf and the additional costs of hosting the Red Bulls stadium have decreased the quality of life of the average Harrison resident who has to deal with lack of parking, traffic jams, and limited access to their residents whenever there is a Red Bulls game or event. With stalled housing projects causing lack of additional revenue, the Red Bulls Stadium may be good for the New York Red Bulls but not for the average Harrison resident. The Town of Harrison had to bond additional money to make its Red Bull Arena bond payment. The economy coupled with the burden of the Red Bulls Stadium bond debt has caused Harrison's bond rating to be lowered making a bad situation even worse. Let's hope that the Wall Street Journal article is the catalyst that revives the projects on the drawing board. The Town of Harrison could use the additional tax revenue.