Update on Highland Place?

ml1

we have committees of all sorts to do all kinds of things.  It doesn't stop concerned citizens from taking action their own, does it?


mbaldwin
ml1 said:

we have committees of all sorts to do all kinds of things.  It doesn't stop concerned citizens from taking action their own, does it?

No, but unless you're working closely with the landlord and understand what his/her financial parameters and overall goals are, it's going to be very hard to effectively engage with prospective businesses. 


boomie

Isn't there some kind of ordinance around the downtown SID stuff that prevents landlords from keeping spaces empty for too long?  It's the kind of activity that brings down the whole area.


sac
boomie said:

Isn't there some kind of ordinance around the downtown SID stuff that prevents landlords from keeping spaces empty for too long?  It's the kind of activity that brings down the whole area.

If there isn't, there should be.  I'm not sure how you word it to be constitutional (or whatever), but if they can cite owners of residential properties for not mowing their grass or maintaining their homes, then they ought to be able to cite owners of commercial properties for not keeping their properties in shape to be going concerns also.


kthnry

Some municipalities (Washington, DC, for example) charge a much higher tax rate for vacant properties. It's been a few years since I lived there, but I think it's pretty effective at keeping landlords from leaving their properties empty.


bramzzoinks

That type of "discrimination" is not allowed under the NJ constitution.


kthnry
bramzzoinks said:

That type of "discrimination" is not allowed under the NJ constitution.

Do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing?


author

Till now a vacant restaurant has been quickly snapped up by a potential new owner.   I remember asking my Grandmothers sister why so many Greeks buy into the restaurant business.  She said "they think it will be easy"

Apparently this one is a special case because of the cost involved.  Is there a "quid pro quo" here

Can only a premium restaurant like Lorena's make a go of it?  Can two exist within a block of  each other?  Only the shadow knows................and he isn't talking


imonlysleeping

As usual, I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. 


author said:

Till now a vacant restaurant has been quickly snapped up by a potential new owner.   I remember asking my Grandmothers sister why so many Greeks buy into the restaurant business.  She said "they think it will be easy"

Apparently this one is a special case because of the cost involved.  Is there a "quid pro quo" here

Can only a premium restaurant like Lorena's make a go of it?  Can two exist within a block of  each other?  Only the shadow knows................and he isn't talking

bramzzoinks
kthnry said:
bramzzoinks said:

That type of "discrimination" is not allowed under the NJ constitution.

Do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing?

I would not want a higher tax on a vacant property. But I could see an argument for a higher rate per dollar of value for commercial than for residential properties. Some states do that. NJ can not.


author
imonlysleeping said:

As usual, I have no idea what the hell you're talking about. 



author said:

Till now a vacant restaurant has been quickly snapped up by a potential new owner.   I remember asking my Grandmothers sister why so many Greeks buy into the restaurant business.  She said "they think it will be easy"

Apparently this one is a special case because of the cost involved.  Is there a "quid pro quo" here

Can only a premium restaurant like Lorena's make a go of it?  Can two exist within a block of  each other?  Only the shadow knows................and he isn't talking

Again your Avatar is quite appropriate


yahooyahoo

Lorena's is a different dining experience compared to the Highland space.

It's small, intimate, and has no bar or loud noise factor.

My guess is that the bar kept Highland Place open longer than if it was only a restaurant.  Whoever goes into the space will need to have deep pockets and high tolerance for risk.


boomie
yahooyahoo said:

Lorena's is a different dining experience compared to the Highland space.

It's small, intimate, and has no bar or loud noise factor.

My guess is that the bar kept Highland Place open longer than if it was only a restaurant.  Whoever goes into the space will need to have deep pockets and high tolerance for risk.

Hence, no one.


author
yahooyahoo said:

Lorena's is a different dining experience compared to the Highland space.

It's small, intimate, and has no bar or loud noise factor.

My guess is that the bar kept Highland Place open longer than if it was only a restaurant.  Whoever goes into the space will need to have deep pockets and high tolerance for risk.

When Steve Crane moved over to Highland Place it should have been a win-win situation.  It was not

First breakfast was eliminated...............then despite Steve's great skills,  real lunch went south and 

Steve was told he would be in charge of catering.  Since I live near by I frequently passed the restaurant

and saw many patrons through the front glass windows,  especially when there was live music.

Despite it all the place sank further in debt.  Maybe had there been some kind of restaurant rescuer 

brought in there might have been a reprieve.


As long as the exterior is maintained and no obstructionist flies red balloons the town will not decay

 

ctrzaska
boomie said:

I think it's *****ty though.    I have lost my taste for ever walking in that place again.   I'm sure it will come back one day with new people and new patrons but I don't think I'll be among them.  The rich landowner can well do without me anyway.  

Why?


boomie

They piss me off.   Usually when Coda is packed.   grin 


tomdevon

Let's see if this helps move things along at Highland Place:

http://villagegreennj.com/towns/maplewood-denies-highland-place-owner-liquor-license-renewal/


Formerlyjerseyjack
mjh said:
BrickPig said:

A neighbor and I have all kinds of plans for Hawk's, several of which will make good use of the fenced area beside it. The downside is I have zero business experience and absolutely no money to invest. But aside from that, it's gonna be great.

I told that girl I can start right away

And she said, "Listen baby I got something to say

I got no car and it's breaking my heart

But I've found a driver and that's a start"

Well, baby you can drive my car....


bramzzoinks

How does this not amount to illegal taking? I would expect the state to agree and this is just a blatent ploy by the town.


ml1
bramzzoinks said:

How does this not amount to illegal taking? I would expect the state to agree and this is just a blatent ploy by the town.

it's not illegal. Renewal of liquor licenses is not automatic and shouldn't be assumed.


Jackson_Fusion

Stating the obvious, there's more to this than a property owner having some troubles for a year. I find it extremely hard to believe that a town council, ours or any other, would move so aggressively without something beyond "hey we don't see enough movement".

As ml1 says, no, it's not illegal for them to do this. It may be actionable (so is everything under the sun). But it is most definitely hardball.


kmk

I am certain there is a back story or two - much we do not know.  Just as a strict moderator keeps a chat group moving ahead and on topic, our town's leadership needs to play hardball with commercial property owners to keep Maplewood village alive and thriving.


tomdevon
bramzzoinks said:

How does this not amount to illegal taking? I would expect the state to agree and this is just a blatent ploy by the town.

I think you're right overall, but the town didn't take the license away, it just didn't renew it.  The licensee still owns the license, but just can't use it until the town approves renewal or the state overturns the town's decision. 

However, I agree that keeping a license inactive for a year or two doesn't seem like solid grounds to consider someone an unqualified licensee.  The town has and does have liquor licenses that have been kept inactive/"pocket" for longer than this one, so this seems at least somewhat arbitrary and punitive.  At the risk of speculating, that may be why the one lawyer on the TC was also the sole No vote.  

That being said, this action (like the one at the new building across from the police station on Springfield Avenue) may show the owner that the town is serious and produce some progress.


ml1
kmk said:

I am certain there is a back story or two - much we do not know.  Just as a strict moderator keeps a chat group moving ahead and on topic, our town's leadership needs to play hardball with commercial property owners to keep Maplewood village alive and thriving.

the article has Nancy Adams alluding to the back story. My understanding is that unless the property owner were to significantly change his demands for prospective tenants, that space will remain vacant indefinitely.


imonlysleeping

Wow, indeed. Interesting that what could only really be Arturo's is interested in the space. Also interesting that Lembrich was the sole dissenting vote.


boomie

Good job by the Twp Committee, in my opinion.  


ms_cooper
imonlysleeping said:

Wow, indeed. Interesting that what could only really be Arturo's is interested in the space. Also interesting that Lembrich was the sole dissenting vote.

Very interesting indeed however, I am not surprised.

Lembrich and his team ran his entire single-issue campaign fighting the timely development of the post office space. 

It is my personal opinion that his desire to stall any forward movement at the Highland Place site is right in line with his politics.  

Empty buildings beget empty buildings; it is neither good for this town nor surrounding businesses regardless of the perceived condition of the building's exterior facade.

I applaud the TC for taking this stance and look forward to patronizing whatever new business makes a go of the space.


ml1

I don't know that I agree with that assessment of Mr. Lemrich's motivation for his vote on the HP license.  But IMHO, I would say that "keeping the village a village" includes trying to minimize the amount of time that prime retail locations sit vacant. 


tomdevon
ms_cooper said:
Lembrich and his team ran his entire single-issue campaign fighting the timely development of the post office space. 

It is my personal opinion that his desire to stall any forward movement at the Highland Place site is right in line with his politics.  

I think this is apples and oranges.  There's really no comparison between filling an empty space in an existing building and demolishing an existing building to replace it with something else.  You may disagree with Lembrich on both issues, but I wouldn't assume that it is for the same reasons on both.  I'm also not sure most would agree with you that the Lembrich campaign was a single-issue affair; I, for one, don't think a significant voting majority of town was that opposed to the Post House, and many likely didn't care that much either way for it to sway their vote.  

Also consider that a non-renewed liquor license may be a factor that makes the Highland Place space more difficult to rent since the new occupant is taking some additional risk that another application for renewal may not be approved, at least in a timely manner.  Probably not a big hurdle, but an obstacle nonetheless.  So I'm not sure which action on the renewal application is more likely to stall forward movement.  Hopefully you're right and the non-renewal spurs the owner into action.



In order to add a comment – you must Join this community – Click here to do so.