Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop won the latest round against the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, as the freeholder board revoked a $300,000 grant the facility had earmarked for specific repairs.
Fulop and the Friends of the Loew’s have been going back-and-forth for years over what the future of the theatre holds and resolution number 14, which would’ve taken away $535,841.40 from the theatre – which they planned on using to fix fire and safety code issues.
The agenda item brought a number of supporters of FOL to 567 Pavonia Ave. on Thursday afternoon, but before anyone took the podium, the board reduced the amount to $300,000.
Jersey City activist Yvonne Balcer then led the charge to try to get the board to vote the matter down.
Pattie Giordan, the president of the Friends of the Loew’s, said the grant was initially supposed to go towards air conditioning a decade ago, but litigation prevented that from happening.
Things got a little more complicated when Roberta Tarkan, an attorney representing Friends of the Loew’s, said the resolution was legally deficient.
County counsel Donato Battista and District 9 Freeholder Al Cifelli seemed to have a hard time seeing her perspective on the matter, with FOL Director Colin Egan throwing his two cents in.
At the end of the day, the board approved the measure by a vote of 7-0-1, with District 2 Freeholder Bill O’Dea abstaining since he is a member of the FOL board.
District 3 Freeholder Gerard Balmir was absent from the meeting.
After a long court battle, a judge upheld the group’s lease on the building in March, putting the kibosh on Fulop’s plans to have a high-end concert promoter run the theatre.