Monday, September 19, 2005


trumped again

The campaign to attract artists to the warehouse district of Jersey City has netted its first success: a noted actor, speechmaker and performance professional. Yes, Donald Trump is getting in on the PAD. Technically, the multimedia superstar and all-purpose clown is moving across the street. But the only people who are going to know that are members of the planning board and those who, like me, have the map of the district taped to their refrigerators. To everybody else, it's just going to look like Lloyd Goldman has a new neighbor, and one with whom he shares more than just a tax bracket.

The plan for the development, initially (and perhaps still) called Harborspire, has been around for many years. It was always supposed to be the tallest residential building in New Jersey -- fifteen stories higher than the Marbella, even. So I am not sure what Trump is contributing to this project besides his name and his money.

But that's probably enough. Donald Trump is a come-lately to this party, but his attendance reinforces something that we all already know: New Yorkers working in the financial services industry have embraced the convenience of living here, and are relocating in droves to commuter towers. Sad to say, the stigma of Jersey was the last bulwark we had against total colonization. Trump's enthusiasm for Jersey City ought to finish the job of completely destigmatizing addresses on this side of the Hudson for employees in finance, insurance, and real estate.

But the really tragic thing is that just as Trump's name legitimates Jersey City for financiers, it delegitimates it for everybody else. Those on the outside who consider our Downtown little more that a big sandbox for multimillionaire developers now have Exhibit Z. Likely this is the one that will clinch the case, too -- because while Hyman, Goldman and Dean Giebel have earned an intense local antipathy, we've never had an international villain pulling strings around here before. It's hard to pretend your Downtown is cool, artsy and cutting-edge when Donald Trump is moving in. Posterity, forgive us.

i couldn't agree more! we've been here since 97 and i can't believe that that DONALD TRUMP will be developing here. after all that we've been through fighting lefrak, the worst of them all has arrived. any idea on what kind of abatement the donald will be given?
It's so sad, and I'm very much afraid to see how things will go from here. The old Uncle Joe's-area had provided a decent buffer between financial types and downtown JC, but I'm afraid it will only go downhill from here on out.
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