LG approved for new HQ
A rendering of LG’s headquarters
Local officials voted last month to allow LG Electronics USA to build its new $300 million North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, the Bergen Record reported. LG had filed an application last year to replace the company’s current headquarters on Sylvan Avenue — and office space it rents in two other buildings — with a 493,167-square-foot complex. At eight stories, the facility’s central building will be the tallest in the borough and peak above the tree line of the Palisades, a fact that has drawn criticism from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The Englewood Cliffs Zoning Board of Adjustment voted to grant the company several variances, including one that would allow a 143-foot-tall building in an area zoned for structures no taller than 35 feet. “This is really a major milestone and gives us the confidence to move forward with this major project,” said John Taylor, vice president of public affairs and communications at LG, which manufactures cell phones, televisions and other appliances. The company said it hopes to break ground in 2012, pending approval from the state Department of Transportation.
Mortgage fraudster gets 10 years in prison
A Connecticut man accused of masterminding a wide-ranging mortgage scam was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison by Hartford’s U.S. District Court, the New London Day reported. Syed Babar, a 29-year-old from New London, was also ordered to pay back $4.7 million in restitution for fraud that cost lenders millions of dollars. Babar pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and four counts of making false statements to the government. Prosecutors said he coordinated the sale of some 30 Connecticut properties to “straw buyers” for inflated prices. The buyers then abandoned the properties, usually without making any mortgage payments, allowing members of the conspiracy — including an attorney, an appraiser and a mortgage broker — to profit.
Simon says: New mall for Nanuet shoppers
Rockland County’s holiday shoppers will have a shiny new mall by Christmas of 2013, according to the Journal News. Simon Properties made its first presentation to the Clarkstown Town Board (which has jurisdiction over the hamlet of Nanuet), detailing plans to replace the current Nanuet Mall — Rockland’s oldest mall — with the open-air Shops at Nanuet. When completed, the new facility will cover 747,550 square feet and include a 12-screen movie theater, a fitness center and an upscale grocery store, the developer said. Most of the current mall will be demolished starting Jan. 1, and construction is slated to begin in March. Simon said it will leave in place about 400,000 square feet of the facility that it does not own, which includes a Macy’s and a Sears. The Nanuet mall has lost tenants for years to the Palisades Center in West Nyack, which opened in 1998, and Simon hopes a refurbished facility will bring customers back. “This has been a long time coming,” said Thomas Schneider, the executive vice president for development at Simon. “We are excited to get this project started.” Though Simon is in talks with possible tenants, he said, no details have been released about specific retailers.
Compiled by Russell Steinberg