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Old 09-17-2011, 09:46 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
13,040 posts, read 12,889,745 times
Reputation: 4331

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraysFerryB4 View Post
He really hung his hat on what he feels "we" (he) accomplished in 1999. Yes, they did do a good job but alot of it was a gamble that paid off. They made good choices and cleaned up areas, I can't deny it. He brought up that restaurants were really what people come to town for. I'm sorry but I don't see the town's economy relying on the success of restaurants alone.
As far as what the young, pre-first child home buyers want is a place to congregate after they eat...there is nothing but the PATCO headed to Philly or 1 stop to Haddon Twp.
It's getting to be like the town in Footloose!
I went to Collingswood for years to pay my mortgage. I always stopped at the RX Pharmacy to pay my bills, but they left years ago. Then I'd wander into some of the antique stores, but they started leaving, one at a time. I never went there to go to a restaurant. The rule of thumb is to have a few restaurants, some places that sell clothing, then fill in with an assortment of other stores.

I think that the story about Trader Joe's & the beer & wine is just that, a story. The chains know the state laws. The law has been relaxed to allow 2 stores in the state, instead of the previous one, but the stores always put those stores in North Jersey because of the population density there. I shopped at the Delaware Trader Joes for years, because I hated the parking lot at the Marlton store. Collingswood wouldn't offer a better situation for parking, so why would they want to put booze there? (Unless, of course, the mayor was trying to tell them that everyone in Center City would hop the speedline & beat down their doors. Yeah, something definitely smells about that story.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Collingswood
279 posts, read 262,042 times
Reputation: 129
The best part of the Lumberyard "fix" is that the rental plan won't even cover debt service. All the borough is going to do is buy the units by issuing debt, rent them out so they can meet the terms of their existing loan agreement, and you guessed it, take on more debt under the existing agreement! I was at the meeting. I also loved how Maley tried to explain that public financing was required for the project since private developers wanted to build a high-rise to offset the land acqusition and clean-up costs. It seems that the borough subsidizing the clean-up cost and lowering the asking price on the parcel would have accomplished a similar result without betting the municipality's solvency with public financing. I also can't believe that Maley hasn't worked with Main Street to slash prices and have a fire-sale at this point. With Moody's putting up roadblocks on the ability to issue more debt service, isn't now the time to cut losses rather than postpone profits at the expense of paying additional, higher-than-investment-grade interest?
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
13,040 posts, read 12,889,745 times
Reputation: 4331
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_567 View Post
The best part of the Lumberyard "fix" is that the rental plan won't even cover debt service. All the borough is going to do is buy the units by issuing debt, rent them out so they can meet the terms of their existing loan agreement, and you guessed it, take on more debt under the existing agreement! I was at the meeting. I also loved how Maley tried to explain that public financing was required for the project since private developers wanted to build a high-rise to offset the land acqusition and clean-up costs. It seems that the borough subsidizing the clean-up cost and lowering the asking price on the parcel would have accomplished a similar result without betting the municipality's solvency with public financing. I also can't believe that Maley hasn't worked with Main Street to slash prices and have a fire-sale at this point. With Moody's putting up roadblocks on the ability to issue more debt service, isn't now the time to cut losses rather than postpone profits at the expense of paying additional, higher-than-investment-grade interest?
Is there enough time for a recall on Maley before the next election? This guy should be removed before he does any more damage. He can't possibly be consulting with anyone who's reliable to come up with this crap. It sounds like he's using a Magic 8 Ball as his consultant.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:55 AM
 
13,591 posts, read 17,043,342 times
Reputation: 11706
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_567 View Post
The best part of the Lumberyard "fix" is that the rental plan won't even cover debt service. All the borough is going to do is buy the units by issuing debt, rent them out so they can meet the terms of their existing loan agreement, and you guessed it, take on more debt under the existing agreement! I was at the meeting. I also loved how Maley tried to explain that public financing was required for the project since private developers wanted to build a high-rise to offset the land acqusition and clean-up costs. It seems that the borough subsidizing the clean-up cost and lowering the asking price on the parcel would have accomplished a similar result without betting the municipality's solvency with public financing. I also can't believe that Maley hasn't worked with Main Street to slash prices and have a fire-sale at this point. With Moody's putting up roadblocks on the ability to issue more debt service, isn't now the time to cut losses rather than postpone profits at the expense of paying additional, higher-than-investment-grade interest?
It sounds like the developer/investor wanted one type of project, while the town itself envisioned something different for that space. The developer agreed to the towns vision when the town agreed to underwrite the project. Sounds to me like Maley and gang thought they knew real estate development better than real estate developers. I guess having a high-rise on Haddon Ave. would have conflicted with someone's preconceived notion of "Mayberry". The town was probably also hesitant over a mixed use high-rise project as the one that currently exists in the town has been a source of continual headaches and issues.

As far as having a firesale, I would think that would be up to the developer as well as the town. If they sold the units off at a massive loss, the developer would need to book those losses and write them down, it could be a major issue for them. Remember, Main Street is just the realtor company and really doesn't have any skin in the game. At this point, probably the best thing the town could do is take over the units and rent them so that there is some cost offset. The town could also claim these as an asset on the books. When it comes to the actual project, I don't know what else they could reasonably do.

Moving forward, it's become painfully obvious that Maley's time is done. There needs to be a change and I think you will see one. The problem is someone needs to come up with real solutions on how to dig the town out of debt to reverse the current rating downgrade. As much as people scream alcohol, the reality is that it's only a very small part of the needed changes. We are talking about what $8.5 million just for this project? A one time license sale may generate around $500k-$1 million and then what? It's obvious that alcohol alone isn't the answer and if you can answer what to do about the rest of the money needed, do you really need the alcohol?
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:49 PM
 
665 posts, read 772,950 times
Reputation: 237
Maley said that due to poulation, only 3 liquor liscenses can be granted in Collingswood. Somehow the Jersey shore towns are smaller but have more....I'm a little confused there.
As far as a firesale on the Lumberyard, you can read an ad in the PGN showing that "prices start at $210K. This would be a "firesale" compared to the the $265k and higer prices so that seems to have occurred. I think that pricing like that is "too little, too late" and getting out of this hole will take an extremely tactful approach.
As far as alcohol, i think Collingswood has to try and become a destination. Antique car shows and parades are too nice but they bring no revenue to the avenue. It has to be a place where people want to go for more than dinner.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:25 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 2,205,955 times
Reputation: 423
Minor side question.

When Walmart opened in Audubon they forced (or so I thought) Fantasy Showbar on blackhorse pike to close. Drove by it the other day and it looked opened again as Jersey Girls or something. When did this happen? Just something I noticed and wasn't sure about.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:17 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
908 posts, read 958,643 times
Reputation: 433
To bad they didnt make the Lumberyard project into individual townhouses with garages, I believe they would have sold since Collingswood seems to appeal to younge families not younge singles. Those condos will not sell and will be a burden on the Collingswood taxpayer, especially when younge families start leaving to sorrounding towns with better homes at reasonable prices.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:27 PM
 
665 posts, read 772,950 times
Reputation: 237
Natas..the fantasy showbar was "re-imagined" last spring to open this summer. I did not know that Wal-Mart closed them down.
I totally agree with NJPhilliesPhan, townhouses above the PATCO with cityviews and garages would have sold faster. They could have deeded the other lot for parking from the get go. The project was very "emperor's new clothes" as nobody seemed to act in a timely manner to do something to get the ball rolling. I cannot even imagine a fix to the issue. I'm suprised they did not go to auction before they were downgraded.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:49 AM
 
8 posts, read 7,137 times
Reputation: 12
Fantasy Showbar isn't in Audubon and its closure was unrelated to the Audubon Crossings development. The reopening is also unrelated. It's in Mt. Ephraim. My understanding is that Wolfson Verrechia, the developer for Audubon Crossings, had expressed interest in the FSB property years ago but it didn't happen.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:54 AM
 
8 posts, read 7,137 times
Reputation: 12
About Collingswood's debt problems: most residents seem to hold on tightly to the idea that Jim Maley is the last hope of keeping Camden on the other side of Rt. 130, so expect his reelection next year. Remember, a lot of them have a personal real estate investment for themselves and their kids in Colls, even if they were sold a bill of goods that doesn't really exist. It's a lot of hands over ears and "la la la la la la la la la I can't hear you" to anyone who tries to speak the truth around Collingswood. That's why Jim keeps PR people and others on staff, drawing salaries (not to mention ad buys in Philly magazines, etc), when people who provide essential services are being laid off.
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