City Council last week voiced their support for extending the proposed tax abatement for the developer of the Broad Street Bank Building apartment project from 30 years to 40 years after the developer cried foul about the original agreement.
“Some of us remember when this was a vibrant building, and we also remember the down years,” said City Council President Paul Pintella, after he voiced his support for the measure at City Council.
Representatives from the developer – Bayville Holdings – asked for the extension on the tax abatement as they prepare to negotiate their mortgage with the NJHMFA, saying the extension was necessary for the viability of the project.
Administration officials said that the city would receive significantly more funds under the extended Payment in Lieu of Taxes, going from roughly $5.5 million to $10.8 million, according to the Times of Trenton.
City Council members said they would grant the extension but they wanted to see a better marketing campaign to advertise the building for potential tenants of the early 20th century skyscraper.
City Council officials stated they were excited about the prospect of bringing people with disposable income into the downtown area, but curiously the building has an income ceiling for renters.
Despite one administration official saying the Palmer machine supports “mixed-income communities”, the practice is different from the preaching.
Households making somewhere in the neighborhood of $130,000 or more would be barred from renting in the renovated building, which is somethingcritics say doesn’t make sense for a city trying to redevelop its economy and reestablish a mixed-income community.
And Palmer has continually purchased low-income housing obligations in the form of Regional Contribution Agreements, filling many Trenton neighborhoods with low-income citizens in a city with few job opportunities for low-income households.
Residents at the meeting gave a mixed response to the extension for the developer.
“As a taxpayer, I don’t know about a developer blowing into City Council at the last minute and asking to rearrange something,” said South Ward resident Patricia Stewart.
“It’s a beautiful building, and I was tempted to move in for a nickel, but I am glad I didn’t,” she said, noting the months of delay for move-in dates.