Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Muhlenberg community meeting tonight

2013 Commemoration of Muhlenberg closing. Left to right:
Joan Van Pelt, Councilor Rebecca Williams, Mother Carolyn Eklund, Dottie Gutenkauf.

Tonight will see the third and final community meeting for input concerning the future of the Muhlenberg Hospital campus. Led by Heyer, Gruel & Associates, the meeting gets under way at 7:00 PM in the cafetorium of Emerson Community School.

About a hundred residents and other interested parties took part in each of the first two meetings. Speakers made it clear that residents have two main issues --
  • The community needs healthcare-related uses at the former hospital, with proposals ranging from a short-term acute-care facility to developing a medical mall; and

  • Total opposition to JFK's proposal for more than 600 'luxury' rental apartments.
The Mapp administration looks to proposals to be worked up by the consultants as a way to bring JFK into more realistic negotiations.

In addition, Mapp has raised the issue of JFK's tax liability to the city for having abandoned the purpose for which its tax exemption was originally granted.

The elephant in the room, of course, is JFK's asking price. Though I have yet to hear a firm number, it is clear that JFK is trying to get a buyer to chip in $13 million or so to cover bonds floated for Muhlenberg back in the day.

A realistic price for the campus and its buildings, based on an apprraisal, would obviously be much lower.

This is your last chance to chime in on the issues. The consultants have said they expect to have their report ready for presentation to the City by the end of the summer.

Emerson Community School is located at East 3rd Street and Emerson Avenue. Parking available in the school lot on Emerson Avenue and on the street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

As a resident who fought against the building of the Kingdom Hall on Woodland Avenue, I see the same defeat looming on the protest of the JFK apartments.
Money has already changed hands.

In the case of the Kingdom Hall, the residents wanted homes to built on that plot of land. Common sense would dictate that a tax paying entity makes more sense than a tax exempt entity.
A minimum of 4 homes could have be constructed on that site, paying $10,000.00 or more in property taxes.

The end result of Mulhenberg site will be a compromise on the number of rental units. I suggest the homeowners in the vicinity appeal their property taxes, because your home values will take a dramatic hit. Or better yet SELL.

Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: I assume you were referring to the fact that JFK has a profit-making dialysis center on the MRMC property, and has for many years. I assume JFK rents them the space. Doesn't that void any non-profit claim they had and have continued to have since they left Plainfield? If any of us rented to a profit-making operation, you can bet the tax assessor would be camped on our porch/stoop. ptk