Sunday, September 7, 2014

Senior Center Cost Dispute to be Arbitrated

The city's longstanding dispute with a developer over senior center build-out costs and condo fees may be settled through arbitration, according to a resolution up for passage at Monday's council meeting.

The meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.

Corporation Counsel Vernita Sias-Hill has recommended the action and the resolution will authorize her office to proceed to arbitration.

The issue dates back to 2010, when the city received a bill for nearly $300,000 from Dornoch, the developer that built a new senior center and veterans' center with three floors of condos above. The deal had been touted as costing the city nothing, but in fact both centers have condo status, meaning they must share in common expenses for the building.

The developer had also fitted out the senior center to the liking of members and wanted the city to pay for the work and furnishings. Dornoch claimed the center's condo fee was $2,750 per month starting from November 2009. The veterans' center has yet to be occupied, but was also going to be assessed a monthly fee once the city took ownership. Part of the dispute centered on how the monthly fee was calculated

The condo deal was first announced in 2006. It became a campaign promise of then-Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs when she sought a second term on 2009. She held an event there just before the June 2009 primary, but the center did not open until late in 2009. The residential condos were slow to sell, and the development, dubbed "The Monarch," began accepting rentals some time after the City Council denied a proposed tax abatement.

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  1. Maybe we should charge Donoch full price for the disaster called the Monarch. The only thing royal about that was Sharon's bungling of the deal. I know we can't get the money back from the County, which I think ripped off Plainfield, it always does, but its a nice thought.

  2. Now if Dunn, Sanders, and Tolliver were handling this it would be settled without going through arbitration!

  3. I sincerely hope that there is a resolution between the developer, Glen Fishman and the City regarding the Senior Citizen Center. The owners at The Monarch totaling 22 have seen their property values dropped precipitously not only because of the market but because of the callous disregard of the developer in maintaining the property, Glen Fishman owes well over $200K in obligatory HOA fees for his 41 rental units. His further insipid behavior includes not paying property taxes on these rentals. Regrettably, The Monarch has failed to live up to its moniker and many hard working Plainfield condos owners including myself have suffered as a result of this insidious arrangement. Two owners have already placed their units on the market and others will follow. The Monarch HOA will continue to aggressively pursue control, accountability and transparency from the recalcitrant developer otherwise this will end up as one of Plainfield's most abysmal failures.

  4. King Gerry Gerry was the boss of Mayor Sharron Briggs and was the one that pushed this project into being a condo building instead of just a senior building . What is he doing to help promote the sale of these condos? He is advising developers to come and build more so he can have more developers donate to the democrats .The Teppers Building is also still has problems.Plainfield needs to clean up downtown first and uplift the Real Estate values in this city before we build any more new apartments or houses.

  5. Wasn't this one of Sharon's big deal? And Taylor talks about recalling Mapp. She is so out of touch and so obviously political. She is a faithful supporter of Jerry Green, and she is just as clueless.