Jersey City looking to steer tax breaks away from waterfront

August 21, 2013 09:13AM

The new mayor of Jersey City wants to take generous tax breaks away from the waterfront and apply them to less prosperous neighborhoods in the city. Steve Fulop said his plan – which will be announced this week – would give developers the incentive to begin building in areas other than the waterfront, which has experienced a surge of projects in recent years. In particular, Fulop is looking to transform two neighborhoods – Journal Square and Bergen-Lafayette — that are well-connected to Manhattan by public transit.

The change in strategy suggests an effort to lure companies and residents away from New York to the two neighborhoods.

“There’s a window for us to be aggressive,” Fulop told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.

In the past, Jersey City’s waterfront tax abatements led to the development of several high-rise towers, including those that house the offices of investment bank Goldman Sachs and wealth manager Merrill Lynch.

Jersey City has “utilized the program much more than the neighboring communities,” Robert Kossar, an executive managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle who brokered deals for developers using the tax breaks, told the newspaper. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani