Disgraced former New York Gov. and now prominent real estate developer Eliot Spitzer has a 26-story, mixed-use tower planned for Jersey City’s Journal Square in his first foray into New Jersey.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This latest groundbreaking represents the significant growth and investment we’re attracting to Journal Square as a result of the Fulop Administration’s focus on reviving the one-time economic hub into a sought after destination to live, work, and play,” city spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione told HCV.
The event was not advertised to the press, though one reason for that may be due to it’s brevity: it appeared to last for only about eight minutes based on an Instagram Live video of the proceedings.
During his remarks, Spitzer, who resigned in 2008 after 14 months after the New York Times reported he frequented a high-end prostitution ring for years, said this would be his first of three developments in Jersey City.
“The largest of three we’re doing here in Jersey City and it is spectacular: the city is booming, it is that critical combination of culture, which is evidenced by the Pompidou Centre joining us down the street here in I think a year or two – which is I think a remarkable affirmation of what has happened here.”
Mayor Steven Fulop summed up his feelings in a Facebook post on his public page last night.
“This long planned project will be across the street from the Pompidou Centre Jersey City, the Loews Theater and lots of other activity that will be re-energizing Journal Square. This is the former governor’s first foray into NJ after developing in NYC for decades,” he wrote.
The plan for 415-435 Summit Ave. was approved by the Jersey City Planning Board in January to construct a 26-story, mixed-use tower with ground floor retail space, 386 residential units, residential amenity space, as well as a parking garage for over 50 parking spaces and 200 bicycle spaces.
While Spitzer’s well-publicized, career-ending indiscretions came to light over 13 years ago, he is remains in an ongoing legal battle with an alleged Russian call girl who claims he assaulted her. Spitzer has also previously sued her for fraud and extortion, the New York Daily News reported.
On social media, dozens gave Spitzer, who now runs Spitzer Enterprises, a chilly reception, with just 10 of the 79 comments on Fulop’s Facebook post visible.
“Disgraced former governors love to reinvent themselves here. Will Cuomo be next?,” wrote Cynthia Hadjiyannis.
Some also took aim at the former politician on Instagram.
“This is just an exercise in bad judgement all around, the least of which is featuring Spitzer at a press conference on the same day the Cuomo scandal is once again dominating the headlines,” stated Mark Quigley.