Paul Mulshine: "Sen. Richard Codey and property taxes: Crossing the West Orange line"
The Star-Ledger - September 10, 2009
Was it a case of the Democrat deserting the sinking ship?
I'm talking about Senate President Richard Codey and his move from West Orange to Roseland.
When I inquired recently about the problem of property taxes in West Orange, many residents brought up the case of Codey's escape from a town that ranks near the top of The Star-Ledger's Tax Trauma Index.
"I like where I live," Codey said. "I just moved to the border."
“West Orange development plan on hold”
The Star-Ledger - September 09, 2009
WEST ORANGE -- In response to months of public outcry, the mayor of West Orange withdrew a controversial bond ordinance from the town's $250 million downtown development plan last week, putting the project on hold while he seeks alternative ways to help finance it.
The $29 million bond, which was scheduled to come to a council vote next week, would have paid for about 200 housing units for the Main Street development, which will ultimately include 18,500 square feet of retail space, a 635-car parking deck and 87 condominium units on 20 acres.
"City Dealing To Make Luxe Condos Cheaper"
New York Post - August 24, 2009
The owners of two distressed luxury condo buildings -- one in Harlem and another in Downtown Brooklyn -- are in talks with the city to unload their unsold units at fire-sale prices as affordable housing, The Post has learned.
City officials won't say where exactly the buildings are located while they are negotiating with banks that have foreclosed on the properties.
If the deals close, the units would be the first in a program pushed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to spend $20 million to put vacant apartments on the market at a steep discount in order to expand the city's affordable-housing portfolio.
"Paul Mulshine: Even Edison couldn't invent a reason to stay in New Jersey"
The Star-Ledger - August 23, 2009
John Schmidt was showing me around West Orange the other day. The first sight was inventor Thomas Edison's estate. Edison is buried on the grounds.
I wondered for a moment what he would think if he were to come back to life. Would he once again choose to locate his business in West Orange?
Not a chance. One look at the property-tax bills and he'd keel over and be back in the grave.
Schmidt, for example, pays more than $33,000 for a nearby home that is quite pleasant but certainly not a mansion. Even down the hill in the less luxurious parts of town, people pay $17,000 on a split-level.
"N.J. home sales, prices rise in second quarter"
The Star-Ledger - August 13, 2009
New Jersey was one of 16 states to see a double-digit increase in the number of existing homes sold in the second quarter over the first, though there were still fewer sales than during the same quarter last year, a national real estate trade group said.
The median prices of homes sold in the second quarter were slightly higher in most areas of New Jersey in the second quarter over the first, but still down compared with last year, the National Association of Realtors said today. Home sales, excluding new construction, in New Jersey rose 11.8 percent in the second quarter, while sales throughout the Northeast rose 15 percent.
'West Orange residents question $250 million development plan"
The Star-Ledger - July 15, 2009
WEST ORANGE -- A group of West Orange residents are continuing to challenge a $250 million plan that would add more housing and businesses on Main Street, arguing that the project will cause taxes to spike or property values to sink.
On Tuesday, about 10 residents turned out at a council meeting to again question the development. Last month, more than 200 residents crammed council halls to complain about a bond ordinance proposed for the project, and the council has since been "inundated" with e-mails and phone calls on the matter, council president Susan McCartney said.
Some residents insisted that the declining economy can't sustain the plan, which includes 609 housing units, more than 50,000 square-feet of retail space and a parking deck on more than 20 acres of the Main Street area....