RUMOR ALERT: Two more giant buildings coming to LB? [UPDATED]

City Councilmen Anthony Eramo kindly took his time to update us on this property:

Anthony Eramo

Hey guys – just saw this. This property has been in litigation for decades. We just brought in outside counsel to deal with it. Though we can’t comment on details of the case, I can assure you that absolutely no members of the city council or administration support a project of this magnitude.

——

Two more buildings? 19 stories each? and it’s not the superblock?What? That is what was posted on the popular (and awesome) Project 11561 facebook page.

Where are these rumored and mythical buildings supposed to be? The cat house off the boardwalk between Monroe and Lincoln blvds. Developing…

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65 thoughts on “RUMOR ALERT: Two more giant buildings coming to LB? [UPDATED]”

  1. Hey guys – just saw this. This property has been in litigation for decades. We just brought in outside counsel to deal with it. Though we can’t comment on details of the case, I can assure you that absolutely no members of the city council or administration support a project of this magnitude.

  2. The City Council and ZBA are 2 separate and distinct bodies.
    After looking at some of the legal docs, it appears this case was going on long before the super block.

  3. It would be extremely hard for the Board of Zoning Appeals (Local Democrat Club) to deny a variance anywhere here after approving the ones for the Superblock. A one-year law student could tell you that.

  4. Wonder why they didn’t chime in here when there was discussion on the monstrosity approved for the super block. And, since the ZBA apparently has complete autonomy does it matter that the Council doesn’t support this?

  5. It was nice of Anthony Eramo to take the time to comment, however, it would have been more useful if he and all the other members of the Council had made their opposition to the huge scale of these buildings publicly known to the ZBA. These suits had been pending for 30 years and IMO, there was no need to settle them this year. Especially since whoever “negotiated” for the City gave everything away. There is no upside to these three monoliths for anyone but the property owners and developers. And I guarantee you there will be another application from Monroe Terrace.

    For all the good this administration has done, allowing this egregious destruction of the ambience wipes the good out.

    I can’t say how disappointing this news is.

  6. Exactly right. Its amazing who people are willing to accept – “we rammed that 17 story housing project down your throats, but don’t worry we aren’t going to do it a second time. Really, we aren’t. Trust us.”. And people believe them. Keep your eye on Broadway at laurelton blvd as well for hi-rise development.

  7. Sam – I live next door at Lafayette Terrace. Could you share any information you have? Everyone who owns a co-op loses with the development of these mammoth rental buildings. Thx Sam

  8. Stop being so negative people lets see what the zoning board is going to do. They said they were only approving the superblock and with that approval they got he local theater to be reopened and a sewage pipe upgrade and repaving of a terrible road all in the deal. Not going to be that easy for these other buildings. Worst case at least if they wait until the superblock buildings are complete and settled for a least a year until they decide on other properties. I’m pretty sure that the school on washington is closed with only this summer camp left so that is where I think the next development is going to be because the developer is going to have to pay some hefty money for that property and is going to want a return on investment as fast as possible. I’m actually really excited about the superblock I’m ok with change this city needs something up there and on the boardwalk and the smorgasbord isn’t it. Also remember everyone the zba is appointed by the council vote in the next election if you don’t like whats going on!

  9. @West End Tom – Folks who normally might buy co-ops could rent. The potential renters of luxury apts. do not have to put down 10% of the purchase price as do potential co-op purchasers. This is my first co-op Tom, so if I am wrong, please correct. Thx

  10. So Eddie, what you are saying is that even though the City Council and ZBA are 2 separate and distinct bodies (technically), the City Counsel can exert influence in how individual members vote? I thought most of the ZBA members have served through the previous administration, one or two even appointed by Mr. Theofan if I remember correctly, so how does that work? Also, the superblock and that property, while near one another, present some distinctly different issues for the ZBA to consider… not having any legal background, I wonder if the Superblock variance creates such and automatic precedent. Thank you for helping me to make sense of this.

  11. @Lori…
    Admittedly, I’m no expert, but I don’t know if more rental opportunities means less potential buyers. People who want to buy (who can) buy, and those who don’t/can’t, rent.

    The research I’ve read basically says that there isn’t any proof that more rentals -> lowers home value.

    Though, overcrowding, construction, all that might. But new construction also makes your neighborhood more attractive when it’s finished.

    Fortunately, what’s going up are luxury buildings – that tends to raise existing values and raise rents.

  12. I agree with your analysis Tom. I’ll add that it seems to me (no expert, ex renter, coop owner, and now homeowner of a two family I live in) that people who rent tend to fall in love with LB, leading the to buy in, often as coop/condo owners.

  13. It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that the City Council and the Zoning Board are both of one mind. The Council and the Zoning Board (with the exception of the one non-Democrat Zoning Board member) endorsed 20 story building.

    Each of those members (with the exception of the one non-Democrat member) are chosen by the Democrat Club which is run by Zapson, who appears to also be the attorney for the Superblock developers.

    The single member of the Zoning Board who opposed the development will be removed from the board by Zapson’s club this fall when his term expires.

    Once 20 story development has been granted and permitted by the Zoning Board, it is difficult for the board to deny future applications for similar development. A future denial can be deemed “arbitrary and capricious” on appeal and cost the City’s taxpayers in a lawsuit.

    Isn’t that exactly what happened in 1960 with six story development on Shore Road?

    The Democrat Club paved the way to riches for the six story developers as they are doing for the 20-story developers. As anyone can see, Long Beach is for sale.

    And the residents and taxpayers aren’t getting a dime.

  14. How are the residents and tax payers not getting a dime? Will the owners of the Superblock not be paying new taxes on their building? Will the people who live their not bring money into the community?

  15. Tom, you’re right. The increased density will bring in new taxes. But they will also require more and increased infrastructure and services.

    And yes, these new renters will spend some money here, though less than homeowners or condo owners would.

    I look at it this way: Since the taxable value of an apartment unit which houses a family is far less than that of a single family home housing the same people, the taxes derived (per resident) are less. Does that apartment-dwelling household require less municipal services? Less police? Less fire protection? Less school capacity?

    Inviting large scale development always requires major infrastructure improvements, the cost of which are seldom recovered.

    In a former historically corrupt zoning amendment, Long Beach welcomed shore-front high-density housing in the early 1960’s. The City has been virtually bankrupt since, even though its population nearly doubled.

    What’s most insidious here is the misrepresentation. The lies, back room dealing and insider back scratching.

    Eramo posts here as champion of the residents’ disdain for further highrise development. Behind your back he is officially endorsing, promoting, supporting and rallying for the same development he denounces here.

    It’s disgusting.

  16. They say the same thing with every new building that goes up – and somehow a majority of residents here seem to believe it, even though it never works out that way. The City gets more congested, more subsidized housing is located here, quality of life declines, taxes rise, borrowing rises, its an endless cycle. Yet most LB residents are in a daze – toss a few fireworks shows and concerts at them, send them a free calendar every year, make them believe that continued promotion of tourism somehow makes LB a better place to live – and they seem to buy it.

  17. @sam – I agree with you. Last night I was having a conversation with a friend that while Long Beach provides the entertainment of a 3 ring circus, our attention is diverted such that we can be swindled…

  18. Full disclosure. I lived in a house before Miss Sandy visited. After observing the screwing my friends and neighbors received in dealing with insurers, contractors , the City etc I wimped out, sold the house “as is” after doing necessary basic repairs and bought a co op in a high rise where I sit right now.

    I have visited beachfront communities along both coasts and the nice pleasant ones have no high rises at all. Then you have the congested , densely populated ones , all with a large number of high rises.

    Then difference is night and day.
    The six story buildings should never have been built. They block the views of the beach and ocean, spew out pollutants into the air, cast shadows all over and cause parking overload. But they are here and that’s not going to change.

    By tripling the size of allowable new buildings I feel the character of LB has been further dramatically altered. And not for the good. Despite protestations that this will not lead to more of the same ,it’s obvious to me that the door has been opened and that its only a matter of time before big money interests gobble up vacant land or knock down marginal buildings and apply to erect more 18 story buildings.
    Any lawyer worth her salt will argue with persuaiveness that withholding approval for new buildings is prejudicial in light of prior approval for others.
    Money may even pass hands,( as far fetched as that may seem, LOL), and the culprits and scoundrels that allowed all of this will be enjoying retirement in some high rise less beach front community.
    It is what it is. The best part of LB extends southward from the inland side of the BW. Go enjoy it and watch out for the jellyfish.

  19. @Eddie..

    As far as the schools are concerned, I doubt that most of the people moving into the 1 bedroom and studio apartments, which I think is what most of these are, are going to have children.

    But this really jumped out at me…

    “these new renters will spend some money here, though less than homeowners or condo owners would.”

    /\ How do you figure this? Do homeowners drink more? Do home owners eat out more? Do homeowners have more gym memberships or need to use the laundromat, more often? I don’t get where you’re going with this one. Also, let’s say you put 3 houses on that lot instead of this building, the sheer # of people alone you’re introducing to the neighborhood stands to be better for the businesses.

  20. i’m as skeptical as anyone, but can i just add this?

    1) Do we even know what kind of document this page is from? From what I’m gathering, it’s part of ongoing legal proceedings. Based on the comment from Councilman Eramo, I’m not guessing it’s a settlement (purely a guess). It would be tremendously helpful if the city (or the person that originally posted it on FB) shed some light on that element. I’m pretty sure the city could do so without incurring any legal ramifications.

    2) The super block was zoned for mixed use and as an economic development zone, so, while we all may not love what became of that, i do think the city right when it said it doesn’t likely set a precedent. that zoning doesn’t exist anywhere else in the city and certainly not on the cat condo property.

    i know nothing from nothing, but i’m seeing this as haberman aiming for the sky as part of legal posturing. i think it probably premature to start saying the sky is falling until we learn a little more.

  21. Very odd that Mr. Eramo is “on the job” against this when he said nothing against the superblock. Getting taxes from the superblock buildings was supposed to be one of the benefits but I’m told that may not be true because of the way real estate taxes are divided between commercial and residential real estate and that rental is commercial category. Anyone know?

  22. There are tax concessions available that the City or the County can bestow on a development such as the Superblock. I haven’t heard of any such tax abatement being pursued, but it’s always a possibility.

    The City Council seems to be giving your City away to its friends, family, and Zapson clients so why not give away the Superblock future tax revenue?

    And, yes, apartment owners spend less in local businesses than do condo owners, who spend less than do individual home owners. They may drink as much beer and eat as much food, but their purchases relative to home maintenance, decorating and upkeep are significantly less. That saving is often one reason why they don’t own homes.

  23. @Eddie

    that sounds like twisted logic. you might as well add that boat owners who own homes spend more than boat- less homeowners and renters bc they have a boat to maintain and decorate.

    first, there’s nothing that says they buy all these decorations in local businesses, and fixing a dishwasher or a heater doesn’t necessarily mean they’re putting it in the local economy.

    it’s all pretty baseless. collectively though I think you’d be hard pressed to prove that a there bedroom house is going to out more consumer cash into the local economy than the 19 story luxury apartment complex.

  24. Despite all the palaver and bloviating the indisputable fact remains that the character of this city will be dramatically altered by the erection of these buildings.

  25. These three towers were not here when you switched from renter to coop owner to home owner. You do not know the effect supply and demand will have on co-op owners. All your posts, past and present, are written to support anything the city decides to do.

  26. I don’t support “three towers”. Nor are they here. I responded to WE Tom’s thoughtful response to you with my two cents. Your posts can be characterized as “the sky is falling on me NIMBY isms” (not that you care to ever think about what you write or try to really read what people have written). The “brilliance” of your statement: ” Folks who normally might buy co-ops could rent. The potential renters of luxury apts. do not have to put down 10% of the purchase price as do potential co-op purchasers. ” speaks volumes… as does your inability to respond with even one focused response to numerous questions posed to you. No Lori, I do not support a hospital next store to you so you can feel safe and secure. And no Lori, I don’t believe the ZBA should be basing their decisions on how they might impact your coop investment. I saw the value of my coop investment fall 50% after purchasing it in 1985 at top of market. Panicked, I sold it before I could get full return on investment. I could have made a killing if I waited 3 more years. I’ve learned. That’s life Lori. Good luck to you.

  27. Agreed! I would be absolutely against them. But let’s remember that Anthony introduced this as a rumor and consider JM’s wise comment:

    “The super block was zoned for mixed use and as an economic development zone, so, while we all may not love what became of that, i do think the city right when it said it doesn’t likely set a precedent. that zoning doesn’t exist anywhere else in the city and certainly not on the cat condo property.

    i know nothing from nothing, but i’m seeing this as haberman aiming for the sky as part of legal posturing. i think it probably premature to start saying the sky is falling until we learn a little more.”

    I know nothing from nothing too. But I do know that you are so right Beachguy, “the indisputable fact remains that the character of this city will be dramatically altered by the erection of these buildings”. And that JM’s point is a good one.

  28. Exactly – the towers are not here. Therefore you cannot project supply and demand on co-op and rental apts. Hope you lose the next election…

  29. I know I shouldn’t respond but must: In the next election, I will vote for any decent credible candidate who is not running with the party that presently has total control of the City Council. I am very concerned about the dangers of one party control. I prefer voices in opposition that may inform my own understanding of the issues and perhaps alter my own point of view. I would love to see a bright young independent give it a go even as I understand that this is “pie in the sky” wishful thinking. Now Lori reread all of the respectful responses you have received in various threads that you have voiced an opinion on. Identify the questions you have been asked in order to support your positions and answer them if you can. Due date? By election day?

  30. For those of you slamming Lori I find her comments quite on point. She’s a concerned citizen who calls it as she sees it.
    Plus , she once said one of my comments was funny ( which it was meant to be). So how could I disagree with her?
    In any event , TILB. Once large sums of money lurk in the background, or foreground for that matter, you may possibly
    See dramatic changes along the already crowded beachfront in the form of changed zoning laws, variances and more buildings three times the size of those in existence.
    Time for a third party.

  31. So tell me, what do you think about the cash settlement for the superblock lawsuit, an amount which totals a very large percentage of the debt we are endlessly told is the fault of prior administration’s, not resulting in a concomitant tax reduction for all of the city’s residents?

    I mean, now that the old debt can be retired and such…

    I’m just curious.

  32. @Beachguy
    You are correct sir. I’ve been to many places and made the same observation myself. Indeed, I watched it occur in my lifetime in Ocean City Maryland where my parents live.

    Putting aside any opinion on the commercialized boardwalk there, with the exception of the oldest part of the city and sections adjacent to the Delaware state line, it was largely a community of single family homes; many of them the picturesque “Hatteras” style ranches set up 6 to 8 feet on piers as a hedge against storms.

    Today the beachfront is nearly a continuous row of condominiums and hotels; some high rise, other’s 6 stories or less, but the effect is still to distract from the atmosphere that was there in the ’60s; not to mention the effect on traffic, parking, etc.

    What’s most maddening to me is that many of those who are on the bandwagon for this wave of development were erstwhile committed opponents of the same, at least on the public record, a short 5 to 6 years ago…

    My regards

  33. Slamming? Re read! I just met the real Lori and introduced myself once I realized it could be her. We had a friendly conversation and agreed to disagree on some points, but found common ground in eye to eye honest neighborly conversation that had us shaking hands as individuals who respect each other’s voice. Anthony, your wonderful blog creates wonderful moments that you will never likely know about. Our face to face also exposes the limitations of blog posts. Decent people who care about the common good, regardless of ideological orientation, can find common ground as they “try to make sense” of complex issues. Nice meeting you Lori! And thank you, neighbor to neighbor, for trying to do good.

  34. It was nice to meet you too. I apologize for my defensiveness in past posts, but there are times people write who have personal “agendas,” whether it be financial, political, etc. Upon speaking with you, up close and in person, I now understand that you do not have a personal agenda. Though we may not agree on everything, we do both want the best for Long Beach. Perhaps we will get the opportunity to brainstorm one day and come up with viable solutions and compromises.
    Best of luck to you and your family.

  35. @Anthony Eramo, Thank you for shedding some light to this. For everyone questioning what document this portion is from. It’s From: Stipulation of Settlement Index No. 001138-04 between the Sinclair Haberman LLC and the City Of Long Beach in the Nassau Supreme Court.

    As Allison presented, The Corporate Counsel in fact signed this stipulation. You can FOIL this and read the 40 page document (Like I have). And I have dedicated some time to going to City Council meetings to find out exactly why our Corporate Council would sign this stipulation without the authorization from our City Council.

    Just to put this in perspective for you (If you haven’t seen me at the Council meetings, or read my blog) The City Council and iStar held a public hearing before sending the 15 story proposal in front of the Zoning Board. This allowed the public to ask questions, This allowed the public to voice their concerns to both our elected officials and the developers before they could apply for permitting and variances from the ZBA.

    In this stipulation, The agreement is for Haberman to move forward with two 19 story towers (Not the three smaller buildings (Mirroring the current Sea Point Towers) to be pushed directly to the zoning board, and have no disruption from the city council what so ever. That is stated several times in this stipulation which our corporate counsel signed, without the city council’s authorization.

    I’m just stating facts here. I thank SeaByTheCity for once again shedding light on a very important issue. As John Mcnally has stated the Zoning board hold the ultimate authority, but we can speculate they will hold off on approving permitting as much as we can speculate as to why the Zapson backed Corey Klein was instrumental in signing this stipulation just days before writing to the Nassau County Supreme Court Justice that he’s removing his signature from the Stipulation and attempting to make it null and void, and a few days later Long Beach City Council hires outside attorneys and removes Corey Klein from the case.

    I can speculate as to why the City Council didn’t make a press conference as to their process for holding our Corporate Counsel accountable for signing the stipulation for the 33,750 of us residents, and now taking on outside attorneys which are paid out of our taxes.

    And of course I can speculate as to why the City Council won’t make any such press conference as their Zapson crony, Corey Klein, pushes his campaign forward a step closer to City Judge and attain more power for the Zapson Democrats…But I won’t speculate here on SeaByTheCity.. This has too much integrity. I would like to simply offer more updates to this, here is my blog I’m writing about this unfortunate issue http://www.morningdovelb.blogspot.com

  36. My opinion Joey. There is more to this story of back stabbing then we know. Jack usually throws Corey under the bus so he doesn’t look bad. “Not me it was Corey” As if conversations were never had that had to have been had. The firm that the city hired is Nigros interesting right. Nigro’s is zapson pick. Corey was a bad boy and ran too when Zapson told him no. When building came to light everyone started saying not me not me….. Who takes the fall? Just a thought. They aren’t going to let Jack look bad he the puppet for zapson. LB Politics

  37. This city does NOT need more large buildings & decisions made because of who your friends or enemies are. Enough banana republic stuff. See: thelongbeachsun.com

  38. Eddie, you have it exactly right.
    eramo overbuilt his own house on Florida St. will no concern for his immediate neighbors. why should we believe he would act differently in respect to his council position. yes, a city council member that claims to represent the ‘working families party’ has endorsed an overbuilt – non-zoning compliant elevated housing project. And please do not forget that eramo was endorsed by Zapson for his short lived assembly run. As someone who has worked in the field of architecture for over ten years i cannot state strongly enough that this building department and ZBA are far from qualified to oversee the building effort that has transpired post-Sandy and continues to go on.
    it is a crime that the LB building department does not have an architect, engineer or urban planner on staff. the LB building department is being spearheaded by a former fire dept. chief – how does this happen?

  39. This seemed to be an indirect statement of remorse from Eramo for the Istar variance. But he and other council members have been silent now that Istar is seeking a Pilot that was not on the table earlier.

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