McGreevey: ‘Jersey City cannot afford the prospect of the Pompidou satellite location’


Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, a declared candidate for Jersey City mayor in 2025, is coming out against the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City project, insisting that the municipal government cannot afford to invest in something of this magnitude.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Jersey City cannot afford the prospect of the Pompidou satellite location in Jersey City,” McGreevey began in a statement.

“There are greater and more pressing concerns facing Jersey City, including: property tax and rent stabilization, the reconstruction of the Charlie Heger Ice Rink at Pershing Field, recreational facilities for our youth, as well as grappling with the need to repair our schools.”

McGreevey’s remarks come one week before the Villa Albertine, Centre Pompidou, and Hudson County Community College (HCCC), with the support of the city, will host a “Night of Ideas” at the college from 6 p.m. Friday until 1 a.m. Saturday.

He continued that while the Pompidou was announced in 2021 and initially slated to open in 2024, but it is now looking like late 2025 or early 2026, as Mayor Steven Fulop, also a Democratic candidate for governor, said in an interview exactly one year ago.

Furthermore, between the City of Jersey City and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, the State of New Jersey has allocated $58 million towards the project that has still not been spent, while the Pathside building cost $10 million, which was issued as debt for the JCRA and comes with 6.5 percent interest annually.

Also a former Woodbridge mayor, state senator, and state assemblyman, McGreevey said restoring the Pathside could cost between $10 and $30 million, while the memorandum of understanding for the project indicates the city is on the hook for $31.76 million to the Pompidou in Paris to date.

He also estimates annual upkeep costs between $5 and $15 million.

“The Pompidou satellite location is an unnecessary cost to Jersey City and will worsen the
potentially vulnerable financial position in which the city currently is,” McGreevey concluded.

“The significant funds required for the Pompidou museum in Jersey City will be better used to address financial liabilities, which the city must urgently address. We must live within our means.”

Just over a year ago, eight city officials, including Fulop, went to Paris to meet with partners about the Pompidou, which was paid for by over 60 private donors, as opposed to taxpayer dollars, as HCV first reported.

A city spokeswoman declined to comment on McGreevey’s take on pending city business, though this is the latest sign that tensions between the current mayor and a potential successor boiling over.

On the February 7th episode of HCV Live & Uncut, Fulop said he did not currently see McGreevey making the runoff, getting bested by Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2) and Ward E Councilman James Solomon, the latter who has not announced his plans for 2025 yet.

“If I was giving you an honest answer, I think today, assuming James Solomon gets into the race, [Council President] Joyce Watterman gets into the race, Bill O’Dea is in the race, former Governor McGreevey, [Hudson County Commissioner] Jerry Walker,” he began.

“I would say that … today at this moment, I would say the runoff is Bill O’Dea and if James Solomon gets into the race. I don’t think that Jim McGreevey’s getting any traction in the community, it’s a lot of people statewide …”

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  1. This is a fact. This money should be used for affordable housing,education,seniors affairs and most create programs for our youth.Why can we residents vote yes or no? We pay taxes.We decide.
    Many of u us do not speak French…French people never liked Americans So why spend our money? Either is McGreevey or O’Dea our next mayor think of us Residents first… Put it on the Ballot

  2. Like any municipality, Jersey City will be presented with opportunity costs when considering what it can, should, and must apportion and assign budgetary outlays to. At some point, though, it’s leaders will realize that this namesake of our State, this County Seat, cannot consider false equivalencies when determining what not to include in its yearly and long-term budgets. Mayor Fulop was astutely correct in bringing the Assistant Director of the Jersey City Public Library, Kate Davis, as well as the Jersey City Cultural Affairs Director to that meeting with stakeholders in France. How many of the naysayers to this Centre Pompidou in Jersey City aren’t ardently proud of our Statue of Liberty in Jersey City, don’t know that the French, our Oldest Ally, gifted Lady Liberty to us; that we could not have won our War of Independence from Great Britain without the talents, treasure, toil, bravery, and Supreme Sacrifice of the French? How many of these naysayers have not been to the Historic Apple Tree House Museum, and do not know that General Layayette of France met with General George Washington under the Apple tree namesake of that museum during the Revolutionary War, and that 50 years later, General Lafayette was presented a walking cane from the local populace at Five Corners made from this Apple tree? How many of these naysayers are not aware that the principal objective of Brigadier General Anthony Wayne’s July 21, 1780 Attack on a Loyalist Blockhouse in what is now North Bergen, was to divert the numerically superior British Forces in New York from attacking the French Forces which had landed in Rhode Island about two weeks prior? How many of these Centre Pompidou in Jersey naysayers don’t realize that our two Countries fought side-by-side in WWI (even before our Country officially became involved – see the Lafayette Escadrille); WWII? Jersey City, of course has to be good stewards of its resources, and must do right by all it’s constituents, particularly it’s most vulnerable.But Jersey City can walk and chew gum at the same time, and it must do so. This also should be an all hands on deck moment, as well, where other Municipalities in the County, the County, as well as New Jersey, for that matter, pitch in fair shares, as well, as all stakeholders for our upcoming Historic 250th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War plan to make sure that this milestone becomes a teachable event for the ages, and never forget or forsake the historic bonds of friendship between our Country and our oldest Ally, France. What better way than to promote this testament of our Countries shared history than the Centre Pompidou?

  3. We saw how well that advice from the wife of Luis XVI served them both! Perhaps you’ve never worn a uniform in Service to our Country. Is GE an over burdened taxpayer? When was the last time GE paid taxes? Paid their fair share of taxes? The highest tax rate under Eisenhower was 90%. Please explain to us how you are an over-burdened taxpayer. Next time you pass a Serviceperson or Veteran, you thank her or him for keeping you and I free. But never thank Reagan or his ilk. He NEVER wore the uniform, but drank the koolaid of his 2nd marriage father-in-law, an executive at GE, who convinced him that taxation is not a priority for the rich. I did where the uniform. The 14.7% pay raise he rammed through Congress for Servicemen and women was on BORROWED money that he NEVER repaid. Better to be tax and spend then borrow and spend. And what would you do for the beleaguered Ukrainians, thumb your nose at them, too?

  4. McGreevey is right on this one. We will never overshadow NYC, which is minutes away. Are people aware that Christ Hospital has tens of millions of dollars in debt they can’t pay???