11/20/2009

Housing Vision - Genesee St

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News had an article on the city partnership with Housing Vision LLC yesterday. While waiting for some additional information from Mayor Tucker I give this post as a lead in.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker announced at Wednesday’s Common Council meeting that Housing Visions Unlimited is buying 15 properties on Genesee and South streets. It will rehabilitate some and demolish others, replacing the demolished structures with newly built three-or four-unit housing.
Alderman-elect Jack L. Smith Jr., D-2nd Ward, said he and some other members of his United Neighborhood Watch Group recruited Housing Visions in an effort to clean up the neighborhood fast.
---------------------
The mayor said, “These houses are like ours, Victorians. They’re immaculately landscaped. They don’t tolerate any nonsense. They’re very rigid. They interview people. Any police calls, they evict people. They go through the properties once a month.”
Tucker's been throwing hints about this project for a while and its great to see it reach this point. Some additional information on Housing Visions LLC:
- Housing Visions LLC Main Website.
-A Neighborhood Revitalization Plan that makes all too much sense.
-Pictures of past projects and the group's history and humble beginnings as a group of residents in a neglected Syracuse neighborhood.
-Past investments in Syracuse, Utica, Binghamton, Cortland, Auburn and Oswego

It's a welcome sign having an organization with a proven track record coming in to tackle what many consider to be Lockport's neighborhood most in need. The once grand houses which still sit on the street are an important part of bridging the recent investment dowtown with the adjacent residential neighborhood and halting disinvestment form further radiating outward. This is the type of project Buffalo needed 20 yrs ago before the string of random demolitions and scattered out-of-place new builds. Along with additional planning (infrastructure improvements, incentives for private owners to get on board, etc) and home owner involvement, this could end up being a model for the WNY area if done right. 

Public meetings involving the project are as follows:
The site plans will be presented to the city Planning Board at a Dec. 21 meeting, and the next night, the Zoning Board of Appeals will consider variance requests for multiple dwellings in a single-family zone.
I'll post more as I hopefully obtain more information. Thanks to Alderman-elect Jack L. Smith Jr., D-2nd Ward (United Neighborhood Watch Group), Mayor Tucker and all those involved in finally laying a foundation for what I hope to be long needed turnaround in the Genesee St area.

UPDATE: Write up in LUSJ 11/29

189 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a blog about the new health care plan the mayor is going to push on the retirees in order to save $700,000? Great work!!

Of course though, are the firemen going to sue and get it overturned somehow???

MJ said...

wish granted. (i had forgot about it ;)

Anonymous said...

Good man!

Anonymous said...

why pick onthe firemen. were going to need them to pick up the people who will live in these...thee new, most expensive.architechturely significant (wait for it) crack houses in the whole of western new york.thats right 33 units of welfare for only nine million bucks.cant wait to see the people who will flock to this. maybe we can have a mensa club meet there.

G.I.Joe said...

speaking of housing...does anyone know who owns the property at Spaulding and Washburn. It's a white ( kinda) boarding house that's been boarded up for 5 years or more. A real eye-soar. The weeds are two feet tall. Must be a lawyered-up out of town landloard who has the city attorneys afraid to do anything. What a disgraceful mess. Maybe a relative, of a relative, of a relative, of a city official is the owner. Does anyone know???

MJ said...

I'm pretty sure that was owned by a local guy who lost it due to code violations. The house was deemed unsafe. At least I think it was this house. Not sure who owns it now.

Perfect place to sell for a $1 with a time frame for rehab.

Not every abandoned house need be a conspiracy...

G.I.Joe said...

No..but you'd be surprised. Like the South Street house owned by a "protected" city employee who's brother is a cop that was neglected for so long it had to be torn down. As usual if you're connected you can get away with just about anything.

Getting back to Spaulding and Wasburn...you must be thinking of a different SRO. This white elephant had a new roof put on it a year ago. I doubt someone would go to that expense if they weren't trying to save it. SO what do we do? ...just let it sit there and be ugly?

These properties down-grade the stature of the City just by their existence.Does the city have a plan to deal with these empty neglected houses? I'll bet not.

Patti said...

I agree with you Joe. These buildings make the entire City look like a slum. You can live in a decent home, which you take care of, but when the guy next door doesn't even cut the grass it affects the value of your house, as well as everyone else's.
It's really bad when nefarious persons use the building next door for a flop house, or a party place, or a rat breeding facility. It stinks and I must say that Building Inspections does NOT do a proper job in enforcing the laws on the books. The Norwegian rats aren't so bad - but those Canal Rats scare the crap out of me, hence their demise.

Franco said...

Is there a rule on the books about boarded up houses? Anyone know the ordinance?? It's a nuisance...right?. The city should do something about it. I think our city attorney has no stones.

Or maybe he owns the board-up company...!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should print pictures of these houses on the front of the local paper!

Patti said...

There are City Ordinances which cover all manner of lousy upkeep of homes and other buildings - things like cut the grass to make it secure so kids can't get in and hurt themselves to make it NOT hospitable for Canal Rats. The ones I'd like to see used are those where one guy in an SRO has electrical service and then has extension cords running from apartment to apartment and house to house. That's a huge fire hazard and the last thing I'd want to see is a fireman hurt or killed trying to put out a fire caused by the idiots who live in these houses and the landlord who doesn't give a shi1 as long as Social Services sends him the rents every month.

WHERE IS THE BUILDING INSPECTIONS DEPARTMENT?? These hazardous structures should be torn down and then give the landlord or owner the fricken bill.

Moe said...

the skinny I hear is that it cost too much to peruse the out of town slum-lords, at least that is the excuse people say is given by the city attorney, and his cronies.

MJ said...

I believe the owner is required to board 1st floor windows if a house is vacant for a certain period of time to "protect it"

I agree there should be some type of limitation on a period of time that a house is allowed to be vacant/boarded. It's a drain on the whole city as it eats away at the nearby tax base.

Court costs are high. Return would be small. There should be some fairly good examples from around the country on how to handle these types of cases with out of town/state/country owners.

Demolition should be the VERY last resort. Empty lots do not add to the tax base. "Missing" teeth do not add to the street scape or desirability. A rehabilitated house does.

MJ said...

The best way to get housing issues to be addressed by the building inspection dept is to call in the complaints. They do blitz a number of streets every year but can't monitor the whole city. We are the best set of eye's for what needs to be addressed near our properties. Call the inspection dept and report. Copy in your alderman.

If it is not taken care of it will eventually make it's way to the courts. After that I a not certain of what the law allows for.

Anonymous said...

u kno that if it was posted in the newspapr there would be screams of racism lol!

G.I.Joe said...

MJ..I'm afraid your suggestions are outdated. The Building Department knows about this particular property,so does the Mayor and so does the city attorney.And it sits, and it sits, and it sits with the only thing changing being the height of the weeds. Demolition is not the answer, but what is? Just leaving it sit there? Using the size of the problem as an excuse is just that ...an excuse. The Building Department under this administration is just another reactionary department putting out fires as they are reported, and never having a significant plan of attack in place to deal with the BIGGER problem of deteriorating neighborhoods. It's a sad situation.

MJ said...

I agree. I'm always preaching a bigger plan is needed for the city in many aspects. Otherwise it is the current slow road of decline.

Moe said...

Amen brother.... Amen

Patti said...

I've called Building Inspections MANY times for YEARS and they call ME crazy. Maybe they'd like to encounter a Canal Rat when they pull in their driveway!? I've also spoken to the Mayor and my Alderwoman. Maybe they're hoping this "new" owner will fix it up. I have no faith that she will. At least four others have sworn to "fix" it and they do NOTHING!
I've lived here for 15 years and have dealt with rats, other vermin, a roof that winds up in my yard whenever the wind blows and squatters who prefer the building rather than under the Big Bridge when the weather gets cold. So - NO help from the City. It's very frustrating. RATS - mice - PEOPLE who defecate on my lawn - owls - BATS - all of whom carry diseases which my pets are exposed to. I've said I've had it for YEARS and no one does a dam thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it gets me mad when thebuilding inspector doesn't take care of owls, mice and bats! Dang it, what do we pay them for?
I can't believe that would think you are crazy calling and complaining about them. It's their job to corral up these animals.

G.I.Joe said...

Another shocking post by an "Anonymous" poster.
You must live in the Town Anon11:22 because apparently you don't understand the problem. Maybe a comedy club will open here soon and you can try your act in front of a live audience.

I can't speak for Patti but it's obvious she's frustrated over what appears to be a department that takes it's direction from the Mayor, and only "plucks" the low hanging fruit.They avoid difficult problems, and target the easy ones. Her Alderman is mostly to blame. Pasceri is suppose to tend to her "flock". She isn't if she let's property in her ward become a nuisance.

GIJoetoo said...

There you go again Mr. GIJoe, you think you are the administrator hre or something. You have one huge ego that makes you think you are the only one who can state things here.
This is an anonymous blog where people can say whatever they want using whatever name they want. Quit acting like you are the god of the board.
And I personally think it is really stupid that someone would think the building inspectors would be in charge of corraling bats in an area. I understand how they would think someone complaining about thaat would be crazy!

G.I.Oz said...

I know it takes you awhile to figure things out..

but her comments about bats and rats had to due with neglected property not being addressed by the Building Department. Is that easier for you to understand now that I've explained it for you AGAIN? Stay Anonymous...don't change.

The Great and Powerful G.I.Joe has spoken...

Patti said...

Thank you G.I.Joe. To the obvious phony - put a sock in it.
How convenient that you left out the RATS and Squatters who live in the building once we get a little chill in the air. More than once I've encountered a homeless man going into the building when taking out my garbage. Several have said, with an air of entitlement, that they sleep in the basement due to the cold. Hence, the dog accompanies me. If he killed one of these creeps someone would claim to be a relative of the dearly departed and sue me.
I keep my house spic 'n span. Yet I deal with someone else's junk, roofing and crap on my lawn. And did you know that rats piddle ALL the time and their piddle is practically poisonous to the little bugger? Ask your vet, although I doubt you have a vet. It's terrifying to come home only to be greeted by a WATER RAT - not those cute, little Norwegian rats (although I hate those, too). I have to determine where the rat is before I get out of the f'n car. Rats normally run away from people, especially people in cars - these don't so why do they come AT me and the car. They're sick. Sick with something I don't want to catch from them biting me.
The Building Inspector LIED to the Alderwoman AND the Mayor, yet shortly thereafter he was made Department Head. Odd, wouldn't you say when the guy lied to his bosses and then altered public records to cover his a@@. Take a look at HIS house and you'll see why he doesn't do his job properly. Everyone who received a citation from him would only have to point at HIS house and they'd walk.

You, Sir, are a jerk.

MJ said...

Although off topic: That house is going to take money and time. Last I saw the lady who bought the house behind the church had new windows, doors, etc on it. She was on the porch one day we walked by to check out what was going on with the church and the house.

I also removed several comments at the end for clean up.

Patti said...

The house you're referring to MJ was purchased by a young woman and they're going gangbusters. I was inside when there were only furring strips on the walls then I was in it a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing to see the changes shs's already accomplished.
It's absolutely beautiful and will only get better.
As I'm sure you've figured out - "my" Church is at the corner of Market & Vine. That's where all the vermin live - animal and human. Dool has done nothing to rectify the situation & I've been "complaining" for years. I have no hope that the woman who bought it has the kind of money needed to make it habitable.

G.I. Joe said...

to all you Anonymous "spinners" who keep trying to discredit the Housing Visions project by tagging it as "more low income housing" you need to pay attention.

Through the hard work of several people, Lockport will soon experience the largest infusion of dollars into new residential housing in the city's HISTORY. It takes twisted logic to find a way to paint this positive move for the City as a negative. I urge you to do your home-work, and study the requirements for eligibility to live in the development. Some of you people have to p--- on everything or you're not happy.To replace the Ghetto that has continued to spread with a brand new housing development is a win for the city. To paint it in any other light is foolish and irresponsible, which has become the trademark of some of you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Joe. and for you people who would like to turn this into a political or election issue, Jack Smith was working on this project long before he became an alderman, let alone had any plans to run for Mayor. Jack's trying to improve the city. If you criticize that, shame on you. At least he's trying. That more than can ber said for all of the Monday morning quarterbacking and second guessing going on.

Anonymous said...

That's baloney, we have been asked many times what else we would do other than spend $9,000,000 on NINE houses on Genessee St and the suggestions have all been ignored.
For $9,000,000 ALL the houses on the street could be fixed up.
And the reasons this is a stupid idea are very simple;
- it adds more low income housing to a saturated area, encouraging more low lives to move here.
- it ignores current zoning/building codes of parking spaces and green space.
- It worked out to something like $250,000 per apartment. If it was your money, would you put that into an apartment anywhere? Just because it's tax dollars it's still our money.
- It's going to increase our county taxes as we will be subsidizing the rent on these 'palaces'.

All you zealots who went nuts on the LHS Sports Complex should be jumping all over this waste of money.

G.I. Joe said...

1/2 Truths and Sour Grapes....Mr. Anonymous

You keep saying things like "more low lives"

Have you read the requirements for occupancy? If you had, you wouldn't be saying what you keep saying about more low income families moving in. Also..if you consider federal grant money "your money" then you must be opposed to some of the slick deals put together by the GLDC, and do you also have a suggestion about what to do with "our money" that is ear-marked for the "Flight of Five"? That's your money too right? And were you standing silently when Jim McCann approved 4-5 units per house in a mad subdivision frenzy, creating low rent tenements? If you're going to be a blowhard be consistent and cover all of the sins of the past. Was the City going to buy all of the properties that HV was willing to buy?? NO....They would never spend that kind of money on residential renovation.

Try another approach you're wearing this one out.

Anonymous said...

Oh great master of this blog Joe,
-Oh so it is all OK to add more low income housing because we did it in the past, I see now. I guess I wasn't as smart as you to understand it.
-I am definitely against the locks project. What it will it do, add a few seasonal min wage jobs form the summer for us?
-The GLDC is ok when it is helping companies bring or add jobs here.
-Oh, so it won't be low income people now. So it will be higher income people that just don't happen to have any cars since there won't be enough parking for the apartments? Oh, and these people will be able to afford the rent on $250,000 apartments?
-I have heard the stories how tough these landlords are going to be. Big deal, you are still going to fill them with people on public assistance that we will be subsidizing their rents.
And to continue the tone of your comments, you are a first class jerk who thinks they know more than anybody.

G.I.Joe said...

I am not a first class jerk, more like a second class one and yes I do kno;w more than anybody! so don't argue with me!!

G.I.Joe said...

That was a G.I Joe Imposter..ha ha ha

You did get one think right Mr. Anonymous...

You know very little about housing and nothing about people...have a good night.

hitler said...

ah, great discussions from Joe again.. we don't need a fake joe, he does a good enough job discrediting himself

"Lockport will soon experience the largest infusion of dollars into new residential housing in the city's HISTORY"

care to prove that? also, are you considering private money only, or private and public money? are you considering private residences or apartments being built with the full intent to collect more taxpayer money?

hv does nothing but build rental properties using other people's money

they use the whole 'community' angle to try to get the city/town on their side

very few jobs will be created with these buildings

hv's hope is that when the tax breaks are up, they can sell the buildings at a profit... which wouldn't be too hard, as they didn't pay for them in the first place

but oh wait hitler, they are "non-profit" so they must all be paupers doing this for the good of humanity

you know what else is a non-profit?

the nfl

do you want to bid out your companies services to hv? pony up, because they charge you to make a bid

G.I.Joe said...

care to disprove it?

Gosh..insulted by a big mouth who calls himself Hitler? What a terrible blow to my self esteem.

This is an opinion blog isn't it?..oh wait..only your opinion is allowed..thanks for the insight Shicklgruber.

Lot's of criticism from the Fuhrer..but nothing to offer in it's place. Housing Visions..what a terrible thing to happen to Lockport. No.... no jobs for anyone..the units will build themselves. Local worker will be used. Go spread you propaganda.

To show what a consistent liar you are, you tell everyone that the NFL is a non-profit organization? The commissioners Office operates as a 503-C (?)...not the teams and the owners brainiac.

"Say it enough and they will believe it"...right?
Don't go away mad....just go away.

Anonymous said...

Housing Visions or anything else that will replace the WAR ZONE down on Genesee is music to my ears.

This project is GOOD for LOckport.

hitler said...

ok, so why was my non attacking, fact based post removed, when joe is allowed to spew his anger, hatred, and lies?

Anonymous said...

It would be good for Lockport if it priced logically. Do you really believe they can legitimately spend $9,000,000 on 9 houses? It should be obvious that there is something wrong with a project that is saying they are going to spend that much money.
Just think, Ulrich's house is appraised at (I think I remember) $650,000. So the money from this project could conceivably build 15 of his houses!
$9,000,000 , 9 houses, Genessee St - does this really make sense?

hitler said...

it makes sense if you are not spending your own money

G.I Joe said...

What's your problem? go out and get funding and come back and pick your own block and start your own residential renewal. No one is stopping you.

Spend your OWN MONEY on something that makes sense to you ! Do it! I'll welcome your effort too..but until you do, HV is a good start. It's not perfect but it's not going to hurt you..it's going to help this city. To deny that is to deny the obvious. Non-profits pay staff and expenses just like any other business.Seeing that you don't identify yourself I can't accuse you of not doing anything to help the city..so I won't, but based on your attitude I'd say you often sit on the sidelines and complain and do nothing more than complain.

Anonymous said...

any company who can't afford a bid fee or to pay for a license, or a building permit, shouldn't be in business.

hitler said...

i spend my own money on my property every day my friend

the difference is, i don't force you to at gunpoint

that, and i spend money to improve my lot, not to encourage low-income subsided renters to move in

again, i do not appreciate the personal attacks

G.I Joe says God Bless America said...

sorry Hitler..I don't see any personal anything here..it's about your relentless attack on this issue. There are a lot of people who take good care and spend a lot of money to improve their property I'm one of them. You're not the "Lone Ranger"..you're Hitler. Again with the violent references..gunpoint? You're being forced to accept the HV program at gunpoint?...funny

You've made several bazaar comments..I'm only responding. The bottom line is you don't have a solution to anything, just a desire to complain.

MJ said...

The goal here should be to replace low income housing as opposed to "add to it". This should be done by rehabbing existing structures. That's why I voted "yes" for the variances for the initial project but voted a couple "no"s for the second iteration.

$9M is not being given. Only a portion is grant money. A good portion is low interest loans. All of this money is directed to low income housing and cannot just be put to any use in the area.

A portion of the money goes to items such as sprinkler systems etc which are required on 3+ unit buildings.Some of the houses in the area are 3000+ sqft. Those would be two large apartments or one large single family residence. Each would be hard to float in the area at this time. Some well managed nice housing that does not scream "multi-tenant" could create a stable foundation in the area. But true change would only come if the city created additional incentives in the area for private homeowners/landlords to up their game also.

As noted above, HV was sought out by a neighborhood group (which included Jack before his public service) who were actively looking for a way to turn around their neighborhood. HV did not come here looking for handouts. HV was started by a group in Syracuse looking to turn around their neighborhood. Look at any of their existing projects and I think you would see it ups the game immensely from the bar set around here.

And conversely any one here could also seek this grant/low interest loan money to do these types of projects. It's all competitively awarded. Got a better idea that provides low income housing? Run with it. There would be a lot of people around here supporting you.

And please please stop the personal back and forth or I'll be forced to delete comments containing some valid material.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry MJ we will have to agree to disagree. I think adding additional low income housing to an over saturated area is a bad idea (they should have been forced to go to one or two unit places) and saying they are going to spend $1,000,000 a house is a total red flag something is wrong (with gold plated sprinklers you couldn't spend that much there).
The city needs to change, someone should have put their foot down and said we are not going to continue to pack low income people in to this war zone, no matter how good the project looked.

hitler said...

again, in my defending myself from gi joe's relentless attempts to belittle me, by using very measured, no attacking, fact based information, i get removed

if you are going to remove a level headed calm response, please remove the message that the response is to

in the hopes that this does not get deleted as well, in with regards to the 'gunpoint' reference, i dare anyone to stop paying taxes that go to small private groups, and see how long it takes for armed men and women to appear at your door

that's not a bizarre comment, it is the truth

MJ said...

Hitler: I have not removed any comments since last Friday or Thursday. Make sure they are posted before you leave. Sometimes Blogger can be temperamental. I note "clean up" when I remove comments.

Anon 8:48: The documents with the total breakdown of the HV project costs are here in an older post. Take a look and feel free to point out which you feel are "suspicious".

Food for thought: 1) there will always be low income residents. Lockport is a city and absorbs way more than its fair share of our society's poor. Like any other city. It's the way our system is set up. We will not become a more prosperous commuter village like East Aurora or Lewiston. If we were to demo the area the poor would just shift to another part of the city (the same way they did when Lower Town was demolished.) They do not just disappear. If we magically emptied out all of the houses we would not have enough middle income residents coming in to fill them all in.

Lockport will have low income housing. People on Willow or Lincoln will not accept or stay near low income housing if we were to "disperse it". We need to do our best to make sure any low income housing meets high standards for upkeep and then do our best to promote investment instead of punishing it.

Programs such as HV (through the gov't) will cost more. But at the same time, which private entity would come in and even plop down $250k into that area and expect a return? After decades of down slide the turn around can and will be expensive. Especially when trying to tackle a large swath. Especially when conforming to historic area requirements.

Again, this has to be step one and further steps can not be left to wait. There needs to be proactive measures to get the private sector (nearby landlords and owners) to also invest and gain some inertia moving forward. Otherwise that expensive kick start will never see its full return. But unfortunately, it will probably never be done.

Anonymous said...

MJ,
A couple of numbers jump right out -
-For a non-profit, I see HV is getting a developers fee of almost $1,000,000!
-The builder is getting a profit of $500,000 (and a separate line item for overhead, so the $500,000 is all profit)!
-And then the $4,900,000 in building costs seem high too.

So much for a non-profit organization.......

Anonymous said...

So already $1.5M of $9M so already 16% of the funds are "profit". or money not invested. Plus you know all the rest of the money being spent will be have someones profit built in.
I have always heard a typical developers fee is 4-6%, the 12% HV is grabbing off the top seems pretty high!

How the heck can this non-profit defend this? Oh, wait, I know, they aren't putting up any of their own money - it's all our money.

Anonymous said...

ya ..YOUR money..right

anom said...

Yes, MY money, my TAX dollars.

Anonymous said...

I see...you only want YOUR tax dollars to be spent where YOU want them to go...maybe we should check with you when a house is burning down to see if you approve of the occupants before we save any of them with YOUR tax dollars......

volfiremanrneeded said...

Boy you are a jerk not to know what I meant. From your comment you must be a firefighter sitting there with nothing to do wasting our tax dollars. Well hopefully not for long... that would be one way to save the city a ton of taxes!

Anonymous said...

No..wrong again...I'm in favor an all volunteer fire department. I could have used another example I supposed, but the analogy of the use of TAX dollars that I used required a minimum of a 50 I.Q. to understand the connection..so of course you didn't get it and now you're all confused.

G.I.Joe said...

when you boys are finished maybe we can get back on housing and HV???

Anonymous said...

What a laugh when the king of the slammers pipes up about others!

Anonymous said...

Anyways, does everybody still think that HV is the almighty fairy godmother even though they will be making just under $1,000,000 on this plus their chosen builder will be making $500,000?
On 9 houses that is a nice profit~!!!!!!
I wonder if the city ever examined the numbers and saw this.

G.I.Joe said...

The answer is the same..

Got a better idea?
Got funding?

Do it! I'll support your idea too!

No ..just sit back and criticize other ideas...typical, and predictable.

G.I Joe said...

As far a being a "Slammer" I just respond to being slammed. People like YOU Anonymous 9:12, what ever your motivation, have little to offer but criticism. In the housing category Lockport has several Monday Morning Quarterbacks. You're just another one to add to the list.Your motives are questionable. The bottom line is HV is a reality and it WILL improve the landscape in a dismal area of the city that needs revitalization. Smith happens to have wanted change for his neighborhood bad enough to go out and MAKE IT HAPPEN.Keep spinning..but it's not working.

Anonymous said...

GIJOe, our resident expert on everything.

If you look back through the posts I have brought up many different ways I would have handled this, starting with incentives to re-convert houses back to one or two family and get the Rosenbergs involved, the family who has cleaned up one part of the street without getting $9,000,000 dollars given to them. Look through the posts and you will find them.

OK, for the sake of argument lets say its good to spend the money on that street, BUT A BIG issue is of the $9,000,000 does HV really deserve $1.4 Million as PROFIT?

hitler said...

not to mention, a profit of $1.4 million based on investing money that's not theirs, and collecting rent that isn't paid by the tenants

the tax code / grants are a game

hv plays that game very well

it has nothing to do with improving lockport, but gaming the system

encouraging owner occupied single family homes will improve lockport

approving hv was oking the status quo

who's spinning?

MJ said...

1) It's 9M on 33 units and not on 9 houses in the way some of you are trying to use it. That is 273k per unit. Still pricey yes. Considering a new basic 3 or 4 bedroom builders special built on a green field will go for about 170. But they also don't have 3 kitchens, 3 baths, full sprinkler systems, site remediation, lead and asbestos removal, exterior materials to SHPO standards etc.

2) That 500k on 5.9M of construction costs is 8.3% profit on the builder's end. That's hardly unreasonable. In the machine manufacturing business we looked for 30% return on projects. I don't know the construction industry well but most larger corporations wouldn't want to deal with products/projects etc under 15% or it would be considered a waste of resources.

3) The 900k on the 9M is also only 10% profit on the project. They are "not-for-profit" and not "non-profit".They also need to remain a viable entity, pay their employees, maintain offices, etc. Should we suggest 8%, 7%? Would 200k more off help?

4) "Your Money" is out their right now for bid to anyone in the state or country (low income housing grants,low interest loans, tax credits, etc). We can bid on it to revamp some of our low income housing or let some other municipality use it. But saying that is should be planned/designed properly to make the most of the project.

5) You are being insincere when throwing out 1.4M, 9M, 9 houses etc. These types of snippets and soundbites do nothing to further the discussion expect to rile people up. All those other ideas are valid and needed. At a minimum the city could also offer the same tax structure to any private owner. Even though it is still a big risk for any owner to put even a tiny fraction of this money into the area. Replacing/restoring structures to state historic guidelines would provide a jump start IMHO and providing additional support to other owners would give hope to additional improvement.

6) I own within 2 blocks of Genessee. I'd take SHPO guideline rehabilitations and a couple infills on the section near me. The biggest error in the current iteration is not enough rehabbing of existing structures and the infill at the Scrito Trophy lot is not appropriate as I mentioned at the variance meeting on them.

7) Maybe there is some small possibility that HV became "evil game players" along the way looking to steal all of our money but that that neglects the fact that is was started by normal people looking to improve their own neighborhood. That is something everyone here claims they want to do. Or the fact that concerned home owners in the target area researched the issue and sought them out. HV did not come knocking on our door to sell us snake oil.

8) I guess to sum up my stance I am for the rehabbing of houses in a depressed area to SHPO standards with some smart infill. I am for the parallel effort to create policies to have home owners do the same. I am also for concurrent infrastructure improvements (streets/sidewalks/trees) to further show commitment to the area.

Lots of changes and planning need to be done to see any demand for transition to less units and investment. This is not a silver bullet but could be a proper piece of the puzzle and a a quick sign of investment if done right. If further incentives created demand by the time that HV was allowed to sell these (if they chose to) there is no reason they could not be sold for market rate apartments. Especially if something was done to create a walkable DT right next door.

Sorry for all the verbiage.... ;)

MJ said...

Removed comment calling out other commentor's name etc. Please only express your ideas.

anom said...

MJ - ask one of the contractors coming into your meetings what they would estimate it would cost to rehab a house, inluding sprinklers, etc. Unless you are talking granite kitchens, whirlpools, etc I am confident the price won't be anywhere near $1m per house.

G.I.Joe said...

Anonymous...because you are Anonymous I can't tell what your posting from all of the other Anonymous poster's..sorry.

MJ...you did a great job of going into the details. I'm sure some posters will be disappointing and will continue to disagree. I also anticipate continued spinning.

I'm sure the debate will continue, but I would hope we can find common-ground while developing new ways and pooling ideas like "rewarding home owners who are willing to upgrade and repair their property" rather than punishing them with a shocking hike in assessed value.

Anonymous said...

get over it...it's good for the City..
Not bad...good

Patti said...

I'm VERY offended by hitler's nom de plume. NOT kidding. I'll have to think of some phrase which identifies him w/o using his "name" I guess.
Now if I could just remember what I said I'd be happy. I know it was worthwhile

I'm in favor of Housing Visions. I wasn't always in favor of it. Initially it didn't sound so good - as if one were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now? Having done a bit of research, i.e. newspapers, State of New York, etc. I'm all in favor of it.
I don't suppose any private builders will decide to drop several $200,000 single-family homes in the neighborhood any time soon.
I hope that was close to the original.

Anonymous said...

MJ - I'm sorry but isn't it 9 houses? yes it is 27 units, but I don't think saying it's 9 houses is wrong. Plus, it even seems worse to hear it's $273,000 per apartment vs. $1,000,000 per house. Who in their right mind would spend $273,000 per apartment?

The other thing is that the $940,000 is pure profit for HV, there are budget lines for their overhead (re: salary) costs. I would love to see a report from HV as to how much money their directors make, I have a hunch it's very high!

So they are going to spend $9,000,000 of taxpayer money (grants and gov't sponsored low interest loans), taxpayers are going to subsidize the rents (a $273,000 apartment would rent for thousands of dollars in the open market) and to top it off they aren't going to pay much (if any) school or city taxes. On the upside we will have 9 nice houses in the war zone. But why would anyone else put their own money into enhancing the neighborhood when HV gets all the breaks?

And I am sorry, I can't see giving HV almost a million dollars to put this all together.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Broken Record...It's a done deal.

Embrace it...

Shemp said...

Anom 10:11 - I sent all the info to Readers Digest. They did the article a few years ago about the county spending the tobacco money on the golf course as an example of wasting tax dollars. Hopefully they expose this one as a gigantic waste of money.
Nobody has pointed out, HV will be making a profit if $100,000 per house, more than a Genessee St house is worth!!!!

hitler said...

so patti, are you offended by mel brooks as well?

hitler said...

"I don't suppose any private builders will decide to drop several $200,000 single-family homes in the neighborhood any time soon."

nor did hv patti, and that's the problem

MJ said...

You also wouldn't find any buyers for them even if you heavily subsidized the purchases.

Anonymous said...

HV couldn't build $200,000 houses and still get their $100,000 profit check out of them!

G.I Joe said...

Spin Spin Spin...you're crack'n me up....

The readers Digest remark is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I bet they do some hard-hitting investigative reporting.LMAO

I have a better idea, why not see if you can get Maziars to look into it......oh God...my sides hurt from laughing so hard.

I'm glad I can give my TAX dollars to HV to help clean up the "mess". I'm happy to give them YOUR tax dollars too!Like I said in an earlier post, give us a list of what you want your tax dollars to spent upon and we'll see what we can do...too funny, too funny

Moe said...

what is the purpose of all of the complaining about Housing Visions? Hasn't the decision already been made to move forward with the project?

I'd like to get a real update, without all of BS and name calling. is that possible?

Anonymous said...

Remediation of the old Scirto's trophy shop has begun, I think, at least I saw them digging up the lot today.

hitler said...

again, joe just ignores everything and blames everyone for having an opinion

we could accuse you of spin yourself joe, but only one side isn't trying to polish a turd

Anonymous said...

Should this discussion be moved over to the mayoral race thread. But then who do you blame, Tucker for approving letting HV make a million dollars off us for building 9 houses or Smith for starting the scam?

G.I. Joe said...

Guess what the ball is rolling and you can't stop it.......I'm not sure who's more offensive Hitler or the relentless Anonymous posts from " A scam? Why don't we blame you for your relentless baseless personal attacks on everybody.You represent what's wrong with Lockport.Congratulations.

Your name alone is offensive Mr. Hitler..and you're motives are blurred like your logic. Polishing a Turd...how cute. A real class act.

You're welcome to your opinion...you just don't like it when someone consistently reminds everyone that you're opinions are nothing but mindless chatter. You have nothing to offer but off color offensive smart-a55, sophomoric remarks..like I suggested before...don't go away mad...just go away.

hitler said...

ahh, proper discourse from gi joe again

isn't it funny how someone who uses the surname of hitler is more into honest discussion than someone who commands god to bless America?

all i was asking for is honest reasons why you believed what you do and every time you lash out blindly

i never told anyone to leave a blog that i don't run

i don't agree with mj, but i understand why he believes the way he does

i could get into things more, but i'm trying to keep this on the level that mj would approve of

to the anon above, i blame both smith and tucker for this. it's sad how we turn a blind eye to property violations, but just rammed HV's project through with every waver they asked for

Patti said...

No, Glenn - I am not offended by "mel brooks." I did think you would be more original, but as long as you stick to mel that does it for me.
Hitler is now MEL. Hooray! The rest of us now know who is insulting us.
Sorry for my absence - a few more important things reared their ugly heads.

hitler said...

no idea who glenn is, and no idea who this mel is who is insulting everyone, but my reference to mel brooks has more to do with aspects of his comedy that deal with hitler in a farsical light, specifically "the producers". if you are offended by the sheer combination of letters that spells out hitler, i would think that you would be offended by mel brooks.

G.I Joe said...

HV may not be good for you or your ideology, but it a good thing for Lockort.

Hitler..who ever you are stick to the topic and stop calling names and everything will be just peachy.
If you don't like the fact that Tucker supported HV...don't vote for him next election.

I'm in favor of HV and like you...... I'm disgusted that the Housing Department is dysfunctional like you say they are...so there.... we can agree on one thing.

Just because I say to "leave", you're upset? You ignore 50% of everything else I say..ignore that too.

hitler said...

i didn't ignore it, i just got tired of reposting what blogger lost as i've mentioned above.

but please, where did i call someone names? if you want to start talking about being off topic, start looking in a mirror before you accuse others.

don't pat yourself on the back too hard, you've amused more way more than you can ever 'upset' me. i'm just pointing out the hypocrisy that you are claim that i don't want anyone else's opinion here, but that i should leave. sounds to me that you are the one who does not want anyone to express an opinion counter to your own.

by the way, what's this "ideology" that i have that you seem to know all about?

G.I Joe said...

This is about Housing Visions remember..

Forget about me..forget about you...It's a good program for today's problem. If you have a better program, or any program at all..I will support you...even if your name is Hitler. But I don't think you do....You just don't like this program.
When I say an "Idea" I don't mean a couple of bleep's on this blog...call a meeting and present your plan....let's see what you really have.

hitler said...

ah, so forgot about your accusation that i did nothing but call people names

there are many ideas in this thread and others, some by me, some by others, it's not up to me to collate them all, nor is it up to me to "call a meeting and present [my] plan". that's what our elected officials are being paid good money to do.

but since you insist, i'll quote an anon from above..

"If you look back through the posts I have brought up many different ways I would have handled this, starting with incentives to re-convert houses back to one or two family and get the Rosenbergs involved, the family who has cleaned up one part of the street without getting $9,000,000 dollars given to them. Look through the posts and you will find them."

looks good to me.

G.I. Joe said...

That is a good idea but I think that's what FHA mortgage and construction loans are for. I don't know the Rosenberg's, but there are several families throughout the city that have probably accomplished the same thing they have.

Again...I'm trying to be fair in spite of the fact that you won't back off and you keep throwing barbs at me.

It's easy to come on here and talk about all of these great ideas in "theory", several people do it quite well. Actually putting the program together is much more difficult..that's where my reference to a meeting came into play.Talk is just talk, that's all it is.

Your comment about what elected official are supposed to do sounds a little naive doncha think? The point is... most of the effort has come from advocates for better housing like Jack Smith. Give the guy some credit instead of trying to chop him off at the knees.

I feel that until you, or anyone else is willing to spend the time and his own money as Smith has to try and make his neighborhood a better place, remark's made about what should have, or could have been done,are blatantly unfair.

G.I.Joe said...

name calling?..I think I saw you call a blogger a "terrorist"

Patti said...

YOU suggested Mel Brooks - that's where it comes from. You, obviously, are not sticking to your own suggestion.Mel Brooks was a comedian - a good one, and yes, I know what "The Producers" was all about - saw it in NYC. Why don't you go with Alois Schicklgruber? Just plain old "Al" would do nicely.
Restaurants? Give up that idea. Start with the fact that it's the toughest business to make a go of anywhere in the U.S. Next consider your audience. People in, and north of Lockport seem to NOT appreciate good food. Certainly not enough to pay for it.
Someone, earlier, mentioned a cafeteria type outfit. Not a bad idea... As long as they had a lot of fatty food for a reasonable price. People here seem to appreciate lousy food. Put a lot of gravy on anything and it becomes edible I guess.

Anonymous said...

Joe you obviously don't have a clue about the Genessee neighborhood or you would know who the Rosenberg's are. And why in heavens name would anyone get construction and fha loans to fix their houses up when HV is given all the money, let alone given a $1,000,000 profit on top of the free money? If I had a house there I'd keep it as run down as possible, why pay more taxes (especial'y since HV isn't going to pay any taxes), and it's not like because HV is building million dollar houses rents are goin up on the street, it just means taxpayers are going to have higher rents to subsidize.

hitler said...

so now joe you are the victim in the whole thing? now all of the sudden you are being 'fair'? what did i do to deserve such nice treatment? when i called another commenter a terrorist, because he used the full name of one. a man of faith like yourself should have recognized the name of a religious terrorist right off the bat.

maybe if my full time well paid for job was to run the city, i would have the free time and resources to make this wonderful presentation that you are expecting me to. i also don't see how just because a plan exists it's suddenly the best thing ever, and without any form of criticism. why would i give someone credit who's not fixing the problem?

hitler said...

patti, you need to keep yourself from getting in a tizzy. i feel so excited for you that you went to the big city. you're the one who decided to call me various names under the guise that the combination of letters that spell out hitler, without any context, or without any designation to which hitler was posting was highly offensive to you. in response, i mentioned the song springtime for hitler, and asked if you found that equally as offensive. as you apparently do not, i am left to wonder what the issue actually is.

and then, just like joe, you accuse me of doing nothing but insulting everyone. just like joe, you should check to see what your walls are made of before you throw stones, you know, when you are basically calling everyone in lockport and north slobs who eat anything with gravy on it.

Anonymous said...

I notice some people in this discussion looking to place blame for the conditions of some properties in the city. The Mayor claims that all department heads report to him, so therefore it must be the Mayors fault for those properties being in deplorable conditions. Can the Mayor take credit for a 9 million dollar project to revitalize a neighborhood? NO! Jack Smith and a group of volunteers are making that happen. We've been hearing for years about how the Mayor's going to get grant money for the Flight of Five, where is it?

Patti said...

Tsk, tsk...
Good night Schiklgruber...

G.I Joe God Bless America said...

Hitler....say what you want I'm going to proceed with my comments without you. There's no hope for you. You're looking for a fight while I'm trying to work toward improving housing in Lockport. Go knock yourself out. As far as Anon The Great is concerned, who the Hell cares who the Rosenberg's are anyway?

The fact is this...the area looks like the slums of a major city. You just talk about it and like to run your mouth under the cover of anonymity. Some of us are doers others like you are TALKERS.

You and Hitler just keep spinning your crap. Those that agree with you will listen others will ignore you. You deserve to be ignored.

I do however want to thank both of you for the exchange of ideas.When someone as reprehensible as both of you demonstrate your opposition to a cause like Housing Visions, it's obvious that you're motivation goes far beyond housing renewal, and gives logical people a valid reason to oppose you..Spin, Spin, Spin, Spin.

Have a nice day.

G.I Joe said...

The Building Inspection department needs new direction, and apparently a new leader.

There are so many problems in Lockport it appears they've decided to do nothing.

Look out of most homes and you can see a "problem" property. They haven't been able to figure out what to do about it. All you hear is about how "overwhelmed" and under staffed they are.

I'd like to hear less excuses and see more action.

G.I. Joe said...

I'm starting to dig into the Housing Visions project a little further. I'm discovering that the $9 Million number the keeps being "floated" by the nay-Sayers is PRIVATE MONEY..NOT TAX DOLLARS. So how do ya like them apples!

Anonymous said...

True or not?

Patti said...

That's what I discovered when I did a little research into the program, Joe. How can anyone, in good conscience, be against this opportunity under these circumstances? And Jack Smith DID start working on this before he even RAN for Alderman. He had no skin in the game other than improving his City. He was made aware of it through others who had done it in their cities to great reviews.
The Building Inspection Department should be turned upside down and thrown away. The only one I find "keepable" is Clayton. Just take a look at Jason's house and you'll see why he doesn't think anyone else cares about THEIR home. It's a junk yard.
Just because he wants to live that way doesn't mean the rest of us want to nor should 'cause he thinks everybody wants to live in a dump.

Moe said...

The Building Inspection Department...

A bunch of Misguided souls....Time for a house cleaning.

G.I.Joe said...

you got it right Patti...

Patti said...

Thank you, Joe...
Only following your lead.
And before anyone jumps on this - I don't know who G.I.Joe is and Jack Smith and I do not get along. Sometimes the truth is hard to accept.
Oh, and by the way, Building Inspections is a rattlesnake den "run" by an incompetent fool who can't even keep his own yard cleaned up yet he'll be quick to call me "crazy" because I'm sick of doing his job. Maybe he should take a look at the Penal Code and see where he fits in. There's another lawsuit just waiting to be filed based on the mouthy p.o.s. who's the worker guy for the latest owner of the Church. That guy sure doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut to protect his buddy Jason.
Clayton is a good guy. And, no - I don't know him nor am I related to any of them.

Anonymous said...

Joe you are so ignorant. You pretend to be an expert but don't even know what the Rosenbergs have done on Genessee, and then you say they are using private money. The money is coming from low/no interest loans from NYS, Federal historical tax credits and community development funds - so all their financing is tax payer funded. Plus they have tax abatement s for 20 years!!
Plus the rents will be subsidized by taxpayers through social services.

And on top of all this they are making $100,000 per house the renovate!!!

What a racket.

Patti said...

A lot better than the income from property taxes we're getting now, eh?
And those rotting dumps will cost a bundle to tear down if the City has to pay for it. None will catch fire due to shoddy electrical and/or a lit cigarette dropped in the bed covers or "meat on the stove" any of which they're overdue for and any of which could kill children and firemen. And maybe others in the neighborhood might feel a little more pride in their homes if their neighbors' looks nice and they'll put some effort into theirs, etc. etc.
There's no way you can spin this into something bad for this City.
Calling Joe, and now me, ignorant sure doesn't improve your standing Mr. Anonymous.

G.I Joe said...

Name calling again....Call me a name one more time and I'll have to exclude you from my prayers.

The money HV uses is not tax money. Again I don't care who the Rosenberg's are. I would suspect They aren't any different than anyone other family who renovated a run down home in Lockport. I drove down Genesee yesterday morning. All I saw was the usual trashy boarded up houses and a few that looked pretty good by the funeral home. What is your obsession with the Rosenberg's? Are you possibly Mr. Rosenberg?

Did I miss something? What do you think we should do for the Rosenberg's?

Key to the city? Gold Watch? What's your point?

Mr. Rosenberg said...

I heard it was all private Money....!

Anonymous said...

I didn't call you a name, I said you were ignorant.
The Rosenbergs renovated all the houses you saw that weren't trashy, and they did it without using tax dollars - thats the point I am trying to get in to your head, difficult as it may be. If they can do it why does HV need $1,000,000 a house?

And again, how can you be so ignorant to say the money isn't tax dollars?

And Patti, I'd rather pay the $20,000 to tear them down then the $1,000,000 for every house that is being paid to build them up, especially with the $100,000 profit the HV directors are pocketing for each house.

Patti said...

YOU aren't paying for ANYTHING, Mr. Ignorant.
Unfortunately, you're the ignorant one here - and yes, I know the difference and I, too, believe that your calling me that is a slam. A bashing. An imbecilic, uninformed, loathsome personal attack.
You are the ignorant person. If you'd done a lick of research into this Housing Visions situation you would know the truth. Yet you're still being hateful and drenching the public (or at least the people who read this blog - & that number increases every day - it'll be over the moon as we approach Election Day) with a diatribe which is only lie, after lie after fraudulent lie.
STOP IT NOW!

G.I. Joe God Bless America said...

To Mr. Rosenberg and the Anonymous poster who "knows everything" ( must work at city hall) I say......... whoopty-freakn-do!! !

I'm sure Mr. Rosenberg did it out of his love for Lockport and Genesee St. No profit motive there...right? He lives is both houses? No tenants in either? No federal loans or FHA money involved?

You know a lot about this stuff. Wow...you're a genius!

So why don't you and The Rosenberg's get together, buy up two block worth of depressed housing and do you're own thing ! Then you'd be subject to the same logistic and dynamic challenges HV had to deal with throughout the process.

If it's so easy DO IT! Can I get that through YOUR head..STOP TALKING AND DO IT!

Anonymous said...

Wow Patti - kinda getting out of control again aren't you? maybe you should go out and swim a few miles in the canal, or clean up an environmental waste dump or call the building inpsectors to get rid of bats again!!
I have not put one lie out there. HV is getting $9,000,000 of taxpayer money (be it 0/low interest state loans and tax credits). The are makilng a PROFIT of almost a million dollars, or $100,000 per house the rehab!!! You don't think that's wrong?
And as far as far as the ignorant guy, yes Rosenberg has tenants there and hopefully he makes money, but try hard to understand this. The point is he did it without taxpayers paying him $100,000 profit per house, without getting tax breaks, etc. They do it the way it should be done.
And if you wanted to give me $9,000,000 I would buy and renovate the entire Genessee St, not just 9 houses!!! And I would do it following existing laws, provide enough parking and I wouldn't dream of building $270,000 apartments in Lockport.
Of course then I wouldn't make the $100,000 PROFIT HV is going to make on each house.

G.I.Joe God Bless America said...

Hey Mr. secret Anonymous poster..

Can you understand this ?

Your information is inaccurate and lacks credibility. Tell us who you are...maybe we'll believe you then. Are you on the "Uncommon Council"??? You know a little too much to be a casual observer...

Your negative examples are incomplete.You conveniently leave out details, and more than likely you probably have a really bad haircut.

You try to prop up your theories with lame twisted excuses when they lack factual support.

You didn't answer my question about the Rosenberg's financing either..

Any HUD, FHA, IDA or other public funds?

Ya...that's what I thought you hypocrite....

G.I. Joe God Bless America said...

Mr. Anon .......my understanding is that the original HV plan was to take Genesee from Pine to Washburn, and the block behind it ( can't remember the name). After the Bush Administration Financial Meltdown, funding dried up and the project was limited to a smaller footprint.Maybe if we're lucky HV will help us with another desperate area of the City...Or Maybe the Rosenberg's will do it?????? LMAO....

Anonymous said...

Showing your ignorance again Joe. If you admit I know so much then why do you keep saying what I write is a lie? duhhhh
And HUD and FHA are not financed by taxpayers like the mortgages HV is getting are.
Tell me exactly what I have wrong -
HV is using taxpayer money to finance this.
They won't be paying taxes for 20 years
Rents will be subsidized by Niag County soc services
They are making a PROFIT of $100,000 foreach of the 9 houses!

whats a lie there?

G.I.Joe God Bless America said...

Never used the word liar...did I? Patti called you a liar. I don't think you're a liar...I think you're misinformed.

I should have said "act like you know a lot about the subject" because you obviously don't.

My Bad.....

You've got the talking points down, Just keep repeating them...That's the strategy isn't it?

Your thesis is flawed...duh

Anonymous said...

Mr. ExPert of all things Lockport, - exactly how is my thesis flawed? What am I saying that isn't a fact?
You keep repeating yourself with that, but you don't ever specify one thing I am saying wrong. You tried and failed when you said it was all private financing, when it is all taxpayer funded financing.
Come on, dispute one thing I am saying with some facts of your own.

Tell me exactly what I have wrong -
HV is using taxpayer money to finance this.
They won't be paying taxes for 20 years
Rents will be subsidized by Niag County soc services for each of the 9 houses!

Anonymous said...

Continued - the last (probably most outrageous) line got chopped off-

They are making a PROFIT of $100,000 for each of the 9 houses!

G,I, Joe God Bless America said...

None of what you're saying is fact based...read MJ's explanation and review of the program.

You are missing the point. What can you do that's better? Or are you just a speech maker? I keep telling you to go do it and you just keep yap yap yapping and repeating your nonsense over and over again.

You're a professional complainer, and most people I know have no use for people like you.

You can keep posting all the negative crap you want to post. When it's all said and done that's all you do is talk.

Anonymous said...

Housing Visions uses private financing....

Moe said...

Maybe there's space for you in one of the HV buildings?...I bet your place is a real mess...

Anonymous said...

OK Joe, way to rebut my arguments with such an intelligent reply, "none of what you are saying is fact based".
I guess obviously you win with that very intelligent reply to my questions. No wonder you are so well respected (sic) on this board.

G.I.Joe said...

Thanks for assuming the position of "Blog Judge".

Let's see...you and a guy named Hitler don't like what I say. You're in good company..

After the housing Vision project is completed come back on the board and tell everyone how much it's improved the area and the city in general.

We'll look forward to your mia copa.

Anonymous said...

I definitely will. So if it works we should do all the houses. Let's see, there's probably 300 houses in the war zone. We can have HV fix them all up at $1,000,000 per house for a total of $300,000,000.
Oh, and then since HV charges a fee of $100,000 per house for their PROFIT, they will make $30,000,000 so they will be happy too.
Sounds affordable to me!

G.I Joe God Bless Amercia said...

Here's what I think you should do.

Take the population of the US which is approximately 311 Million people, and figure out what portion of what you describe as the HV "profit" emanates from Federal funding. Then do the same with the State of New York who's population is now about 19 Million people. Take HV's "profit" ( because in your world a 503-C has no expenses) per home and divide it proportionately by each of the population numbers above to get your "skin" in this "game".

Then we'll take a collection and send a check to your city hall office. Then you won't have to worry about your personal financial liability any longer, and maybe, just maybe, you'll shut up and enjoy the beautiful buildings that will soon be the "New Genesee".

Have a safe and HAPPY Independence Day!

Patti said...

Okay - I WAS going to ignore this today-gotta get to the salad and baked beans - but I can't let some of these comments just go refuted. Unfortunately, too many people will believe them.
The one that beggars belief is the ongoing repartee re: taxpayer v. your tax money. HV uses private funding. What is so difficult to understand?
FHA? HUD? Fannie Mae? Freddie Mac? Talk to Barney Frank about those publically funded outfits. They've come close to destroying the country-don't compare apples to pumpkins for crissakes.
And do quit insulting me and calling me names in a public forum. You're just jealous.

Anonymous said...

For people who think thery are so intelligent you two are so hard headed.
1- They are selling federal historical tax credits (taxpayer money!!!) to get the loans. Research it and try and figure it out. They are also using 0%/low interest NY state money!! Their financing is coming through taxpayer wallets. Do you think any private lender wouold be stupid enough to give $9000000 for houses on Genessee St???
2- Read the budget for the project (though there are some big words there). You will see a line item for "overhead". That covers their organizations expenses like salaries, lights, etc. Then you will find a specific line item call PROFIT, with $940,000 in it, or about $100,000 a house. Do you really think they deserve $100,000 a house PROFIT (again, not expesnses) for rehabbing those places?

And I hardly think 9 houses out of 100(?) are going to make a "new" Genessee st.

G.I Joe God Bless America said...

hey..Mr. Broken record..what are the number of "rehabs" vs. new starts? Their strategy has never been to rehab very much.

And you made your point..no matter how convoluted it was....so now what? I'm never going to agree with you. So stop trying to convert me. It ain't gonna happen.I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy either.

Keeping with your tradition of exaggerating everything... 100 houses on Genesee? I see it all now...you're just another "bean counter". You have no vision what so ever.You're a blank page.

And you also have no CLASS. In between your diatribe you could have had the courtesy to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day.

When you come up with the $ amount I asked you for, tell me what it is...oh it's to small to be important? OK..thanks

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you just keep saying I exagerate everything without stating any facts, typical of you.
How many houses do you think there are on Genessee St? Since you didn't know who the Rosenbergs are, have you ever even been down the street? Do you have any PTS problems?

Yes, the dollars should be too small to worry about, anyone spending $1,000,000 per house anywhere in Lockport is nuts, or just ripping off tax payers!

Anonymous said...

Housing Visions is Good for Lockport....

Anonymous said...

hey Richard.....I'm glad you retiring soon...you're burned out...

Anonymous said...

I have a question for the "anonymous" poster that is concerned about this money being taxpayer money. If the city could get the money Tucker wants for the flight of five would you be critical of that, too? or are you just "concerned" because Jack Smith is involved in Housing Visions?

Patti said...

Ah... 10 points to Anon 8:20pm! You said it, kiddo!
Sounds like a disaffected Mike Tucker hater or Jack Smith supporter to me.

There's no reason we can't have both, but if we keep on dithering about either project (both of which would be GREAT for the City) we'll lose both.
Would THAT make you happy? (Unfortunately, it probably would. Go get another beer.)

Anonymous said...

Yes I would be worried about the locks money. I have nothing against Smith other than this, and I am not a fan of Tucker for approving it. This has nothing to do with politics but rather common sense. IMHO, if something doesn't make sense, even though the moneys not coming out of your own pocket you should spend it like it is. Would anyone really write a million dollar check from their own account to add more low income housing to a saturated area? Would you pay a company $100,000 profit to renovate a house? Politicians need to spend money like it is their own money.
I think the locks are a fantasy. For historical reasons I would like them restored, but I don't believe that Lockport will ever produce tourist jobs other than a few tour guides for the summer - and to me in this economy that amount of money should be spent creating jobs. In good times I would love them restored , but for historical reasons.
Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Oh Patti, don't you have any priests to run out of town, fires to fight, canals to swim, toxic wastes to clean up, people crapping in your yard to clean up after or something to do?

Anonymous said...

And if you try and think intelligently about this, since both Smith and Tucker support it, it is not a political issue between them.

Moe said...

HV and the project is a Win for Lockport...

There is funding available throughout the system. If it's not used here...someone else get's it.

It's not like "our" property taxes are being used the fund the project..you know...like the concert series.

hiter says flying spagatti monster bless america said...

ah don't worry anon.. this is nothing but a circle jerk where patty and joe do nothing but shout down the naysayers as gravy eating slobs who don't want anything good for lockport

where they have no problems calling people liars but if you dare ask them anything you are doing nothing but attacking, meanwhile doing all the attacking themselves

instead of backing up what they have to say, they act like crybabies, but what else have we come to expect from these two?

MJ said...

The profit margins were addressed above. Yet somehow people still shoot out the same basic numbers over and over. You either agree with the 10% profit margin or not. Feel free to ask other general contractors what profit margins they look for in a bid for overseeing a project.

Loans are always other people's money. My mortgage, automobile loan etc all use "other peoples" money. It's kind of the way the system works. Sorry for using your money in advance.

It can also be looked at from the angle of professional sports. You almost always over pay to get players to come to a team with a down market or years of poor performance. If done right you can create a culture shift. If done wrong you can waste money. We all know gov't usually ends up wasting money usual with one shot fixes that fix nothing.

If done right (more rehabs instead of new builds) and great management (HV has a great track record) you form a base. An over paid base but let's remember: no one is knocking down the door to do something in this location. not even HV as they were sought out by actual residents and owners in the neighborhood to come here and pitch their service.

The city needs to get in line with infrastructure improvement, private owner incentives, strict housing code and quality of life enforcement etc to water this expensive seed or we end up with nothing. I'd also like to see on street parking (kind of ridiculous for no on street parking in a city). Instead of going all out, which we won't, start a permit system in this area ($25/mo). Create fund for this money to seed back into the neighborhood in terms of tress and other improvements.

Anonymous said...

MJ - my problem is I don't see the need for a supposed non-profit to make that much profit on a project as oppsed to a for profit company. And please remember this is pure profit as their overhead is a line item. Private companies take risks and use their own money (along with loans) on projects.
I say supposed non-profit because while I believe their corp. is a non-profit I would like to know how much their director and board makes from HV.
Loans are other peoples money, but generally they are comprised of money freely given, i.e. savings acoounts, cd's, etc. The money HV is using are from taxes which are generally (lol) not freely given.
Your idea about on-street parking is right on, especially with wide streets such as Genessee. Since that isn't a given though, HV should have been made to follow out existing laws on parking spots. They are there for a reason.

Patti said...

Oh, RATS!!!
I had a well thought out response to those denigrating me - Schicklgruber and one of the anonimini - but I have to go out and pick up the used condoms in my backyard.
You guys don't ask questions - at least not legitimate ones - all you do is bash. Personally.
Perhaps if Building Inspections did their job, HV wouldn't have been necessary to jump start that dump of a neighborhood. There are tax credits and CASH out there for people who want to improve their homes - no one takes advantage of them - they don't care.
GIJoe and I don't always agree, if you've noticed, but that doesn't mean we tell lies about the other. Sorry, gotta run, I see a defrocked priest running down the street and I've gotta make sure he winds up in the Canal - after I set him on fire of course.

Gi.I. Joe said...

Anonimi..I like that..

So that's your argument..the government takes your money against your will, (not given freely) and gives it to poor people, and others you don't like, for projects you don't endorse. Why didn't you just say that in the first place?

Now we know what you're really made of. Finaly we see your true colors..this isn't really about Housing Vision this is about taking your money.

Oh I love giving a good portion of my money way. It's my favorite past time.

And you call others "crybabies" ?

On Park Ave. behind Waterman (?) the city allowed the property owners to pave their front grassy area so that they could park their cars.

Nice touch..I don't suppose you have any objection to that...do you.

Someone please help Anonymous He has lost his soul..........

Shemp said...

...someone please help GIJoe he has lost his common sense.....

Anonymous said...

Park ave and Waterman dont intersect .
You must be living in NYC.So i could see why you are confused.

Anonymous said...

I give up argueing with walls. yes you are right Joe, I have been doing all this argueing and research because I don't like paying taxes and I hate low income people. You got me you are SO smart. I forget that most people love to pay tax money, especially when it builds million dollar houises for low income people and give NON-profit companies $940,000 of profit (whoops, how can a non-profit make a profit???).
I guess it's been too much for me to think about.
bye.

GI Joe said...

Anonimi 7:10..read it again... then make your comment.....where do you see the word "intersect"??

MJ said...

The zoning board is very hard stance against front yard parking. It was most likely either done illegally (call them in) or grandfathered in. It is another side effect of the silly banning of on street parking in a city.

And again, it's not-for-profit not non-profit.

G.I Joe said...

No...... it's a side-effect of Jim McCann's time as the head of that department apparently done with Mike Tucker's approval...ya they're grandfathered because no one has challenged it.

There is also a very small "Cottage" on Beattie across from the School District offices where the owner has literally had a concrete playground and parking space constructed and represents the front yard of the property.

So how did that get past the Zoning Board? Or the Mayor...it's right down the street from his house.???

Anonymous said...

The refuseale of street parking where deemed necessary (houses without driveways is a good example)is not helping our city. We should be a little more accomodating to these situations. Perhaps that would make the H.V. a better sell to most, especially in a community such as Lockport. It would also prevent people from parking in right-of-ways, front lawns, or making concrete front yards.

MJ said...

The mayor has no control or approval. It's the zoning board's decision. He has no say in regards to which are considered legal ones.

Again if you believe it was done without zoning appeals approval call it in. Get others to do so too. You will force the city's hand.

Only allowed structures are those put in before the code was put in effect or given a variance. Not to say that people do not go ahead and do it only to say they "did not know". I'm pretty sure there was a case a few years back where they made someone tear up new work that was illegal.

The board did make a tough choice to allow grandfathered ones to be rebuilt no larger than they existed. The trade off here was that if not allowed, people would just allow the existing one to deteriorate and become an eyesore to save their parking.

Pretty much all requests were denied while I was on the board except for one where it was a corner lot and a stamped brick driveway was put in on the side of the structure. Code technically calls the side frontage hence the quandary and eventual split vote.

The best thing is to allow on street parking. That's what streets are for in a city. There would be no need to pave over front and back yards if the ban was not there. It creates its own problems.

Anonymous said...

MJ...the mayor has control over everything....
Just ask him.

Anonymous said...

Whats the difference in 'not-for-profit' and 'non-profit'?

MJ said...

My understanding was one that related to tasks not related to making a profit (like a charity) and the other was but not necessarily for a gain (shareholders). I could be wrong. HV is not a charity. It needs to function, pay employees (they are not volunteers) etc.

As for their internal finances, those I do not know.

Anonymous said...

I know it's a dead horse but please remember there is a line item for overhead which includes salaries.
I just think there is something fishy when they are able to grab that large of a profit percentage (same as a private company). I wish we could see their internal finances, i.e. how much does their chairman make a year.
Perhaps Jack can get us that info.

Anonymous said...

dead horse..very dead....

If you so extremely opposed to the project call the Attorney General.

Anonymous said...

MJ - when I ask the questions about HV I realize it's too late, but it isn't too late to find out what we are dealing with. I am not trying to create a controversy, but I would like to know. I tried to find out the info but it doesn't seem to be available.
I am hoping Jack Smith can produce info for us.

MJ said...

I have never said it was too late.

Their first proposal (heavier on rehabs) they did not get the funding for as they lost out to someone else. So they let their options to buy lapse.

The current second proposal they teamed up with the YWCA and are still working on funding. I believe one of the reasons for the lower rehab #s is owners started asking more for properties.

If the funding is not found there may someday be third try etc. So although variances etc were granted for the first and current one, there is nothing saying that will be something in the ground soon or at all or that new round of variances for tweaks in the project will be needed.

MJ said...

I am talking about "pure profit". Bid jobs always include labor costs. In the machine design/build business it was roughly 30% materials, 40% direct labor, and 30% profit. The "profit" went to non-direct employees,(secretaries, janitors, IT, accountants, building, insurance, utilities, equipment, etc. Over the coarse of a year you were left hoping you had an overall profit when all was said an done. Enough jobs finished at a needed profit to keep solvent.

There are two different documents you are looking at in the other post. One is for building the structures (the 9M, 900k numbers etc) and the operating costs once built. I believe the salaries and operating reserves you are talking about are from the operating budget (i.e. after they are built). The two are unrelated on this topic.

MJ said...

Construction
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38900161/LCH-Development-Budget-10-6-10

Operating (after build)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38900154/LCH-33-Unit-Operating-Budget

Anonymous said...

My understanding is everything has been approved for an August start..no?

MJ said...

from the Land Bank post. (keep HV here or in another HV post please)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We're venturing off topic here with old rehashed "news". But...

Where did you get them adding more to existing homes?

These are mostly 2-3 bedroom apartments not studios. If you followed along I think only 2 rehabs are currently planned. The rest are new builds including 2 large 4 unit structures on the Scrito Trophy site. Those units are for the YWCA portion of the project for domestic abuse victims. Only need one car for each of those units. Every apartment meets the city minimum of 650 sqft.

Looked at the plans
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48636624/Attachment-B3-Preliminary-Plans-2
and sqft Data
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48636735/Attachment-B3-Preliminary-Data-4

and explain the "crammed".



A 3000-4000 sqft Victorian is unrealistic as a single family use. Some of those are huge. Maybe on Bidwell Pkwy in Buffalo but not on Genessee in Lockport. Prime use would pry be a 2000 sqft main residence with a 1000sqft income/in-law suite. or similar.

The two existing units that needed the parking variance because SHPO will not let them cut down a tree on the property. There are multiple items in play for each variance.

G.I.Joe said...

I disagree with your assessment of 3-4k homes

I'm talking about putting 4 and 5 units. They exist..let's not be naive.

No one want's that. No one I know wants 40% of the city to be multi family.

MJ said...

So was I. I was countering the people that said they all need to be single family. Not going to happen. Because it is a city not a cul-de-sac out in Amherst. Cities work on a certain amount of density. Some people with money do like to rent. You need to give them an active DT/commercial strip to rent near.

The HV's are not 4-5 units crammed into an old house. The 4 unit ones are large new builds.

G.I. Joe said...

I got it now..I agree.

I see HV as the first link in a chain to upgrade the center of the hub..the hub of activity. Maybe housing visions or someone else would like to come in and convert some commercial "shell" such as "Harrison place" to residential.

Anonymous said...

MJ - I know from your previous blogs you are happy with the lack of parking, but as a ex-landlord I think it is a huge mistake, in my experience you can not get good tenants without providing parking for two cars, especially 2-3 bedroom apartments. I know, I know, HV are supermen at getting and keeping tenants - but they are all going to be non-working people who don't have desires to even work if they don't care about transportation.
- I was mistaken, I saw they are demolishing one 3 unit and making it a 4 unit, but the other extra units are b eing built on vacant lots.
And I'm sorry, I do respect your opinions but this is Lockport. We will never have people with money living near downtown as long as we keep adding low income housing to the war zone. Plus we will never have a 'vibrant' downtown until we get rid of the tower, which will never happen.

I guess I am a pessimist, without a drastic change in the job market here this city is going to keep going downhill quickly as we continue to keep adding to our welfare rolls.

G.I. Joe said...

Look Anonimi..I know you were replying to MJ..but just let me say that non of can see into the future. The steady decline of Lockport can be turned around.

I want you to remember one thing.

"Fresh Water"

You and I may not live to see it, but fresh water for industrial and human consumption will soon be more valuable than oil or gold....and guess what..we're surrounded by it.

Housing Vision and the project t hey have proposed is "blip" on the screen. This could be a gateway moment however, and nothing we do to better the city should be ignored or written off as a waist of time.

MJ said...

I am not happy with a "lack of parking". But it of coarse is relative. It was ridiculous for the city to ban parking on all streets in the city while at the same time having large parking requirements in dense areas of the city. It conflicts. And you then end up with paved front yards and back yards. Hardly an upgrade.

There needs to be a transition. You do not go to the end in one step. We could ban all low income apartments in the area and all we would end up with is streets of empty houses. They are a symptom of low demand and not a cause. Same reason why some sort of subdividing was needed in the past though we can say it went too far. But these structures would not have survived as single use residences with how large they were. They are still here to possibly live another life because of the change of use. Mine used to be a double at one time and now it no longer is.

As in my "Walking the Beat" post the biggest and quickest change would be on the street police (out of patrol car) presence and quality of life enforcement.

Second is a project like HV. As realist we must realize this is a current low income neighborhood and money is available on the state and federal level for low income housing. High quality well managed structures from an organization with a great track record is an upgrade and a start. It shows some movement and investment in the neighborhood. This money is not for an project that hearts would desire. I'd have "better" uses for it also.

Third is the city offering private owners extreme incentives to invest in this area that does it's best scare away a smart investor (at least the one's who don't try to profit on an area on the down slide.)

Fourth is making DT a more dense and lively area that people would like to live within walking distance off. People near Elmwood in Buffalo complain about lack of parking etc but it is that lack of parking and pedestrian oriented development that make it such a draw. It's not worth having easy parking if the place is not worth going too.

Urban park towers has nothing to do with the success of DT and is only a crutch. Every society through history has had its poor etc. The problem DT is that we demolished half of it and there is not much "there" left. We are starting to fill back in. If we could zone away auto oriented developments like Walgreens and Family Video we start to repair the void. And parking and people need not be exclusive. UCC is one of the best local example of that.

Anonymous said...

I disagree on Urban Park, it is a large detriment to downtown. Not only it's low income clientele, but the fact that basically it fills up one side of the street in the main dt block, with the best view. It has to be a huge factor as they figure out what to do with the parking ramp, without the tower there would be so many more options.
And you have made it very clear in your posts you are happy with less parking, truthfully (though I do respect you) I think a little too much for someone on the zoning commission. You said yourself a while ago that the buildings going up on the Lockport Trophy site should have been smaller which would have allowed for legal (not paved front yard) parking. Did the city say NO to HV on any of their requests for variances? I didn't hear of any. It seems like something like parking or improved architecture could have been negotiated in.

Patti said...

There is money and tax credits out there, available to persons who have a certain type of home and are willing to do certain things in certain ways. Hopefully the Housing Visions project will encourage others in the neighborhood to "keep up with the Jones's." Here's where Building Inspections MUST step in. If it doesn't, HV or any other potential outfit considering Lockport will run away, fast, to find a city that actually wants them. This back and forth squabbling is only harming our future.
I agree the parking is an issue, but with the large number of people who have black topped their front lawns getting away with it, I'm sure HV will reach an accommodation with the City which will satisfy them AND the City. When Mr. Dool can put a "Warning" on my car at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, when my car was NOT in violation, perhaps I can understand why they don't have time to deal with dangerous structures. That type of behavior must not be allowed to continue. I'll take you back to the fire caused by a dropped cigarette or 5 families drawing their electricity from one outlet resulting in a fire and the death of a child and/or fireman. They really have to step it up or someone is going to die.

G.I Joe said...

If you have looked at their (HV's) portfolio I honestly can't see how you could have reason to complain about the architecture.

Would it be possible to have one of the lot's be used for "overflow" parking, be metered, and operated by the city?..or is that I dream I had last night....

MJ said...

I was on the Zoning Board at that time. I could only vote on the variances and not the architecture/site plans. I voted no on a couple of them. I am now on the Planning Board. If it were to have come before me I would have voted no on the site plans/architecture. They can be done better for our urban context even though they are a big upgrade for most typical low income housing. If we are putting in the effort and money let's go all the way and hit the urban details.

The trophy site has no front yard parking. My gripe there was the parking is all on one pad in back making it look like a low income complex instead of meshing with the adjacent neighborhood along with ignoring the north corner which is a focal point as the road bends there going south. And I doubt the domestic abuse women have more than one vehicle each.

I always refer back to the Yogi Berra attributed quote "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."

For some reason we welcome demolishing/ poorly developing an urban area until there is not much reason to go there anymore - hence "enough" parking. Look at an aerial of downtown. It's half parking.

We must remember this is a city albeit a small one. We will not "out town" the town by paving over everything. Our success will be in our strong suits of a walkable infrastructure which does no good if you are just walking past oil stained, cracked parking lots and driving from point to point.

What are some the most successful and vital walkable urban streets around here? Elmwood in Buffalo, A large section of Hertel in Buffalo, Center in Lewiston and Main in East Aurora. They are dense. Parking can be a pain but is found withing a few minutes at peak times. But they are chock full of buildings and things that people want to be around and can walk along. And people attract people. Drive around there on a Saturday or Sunday and see how many people are out and about. Do the same here with our plenty o'parking.

Does family video need 37 parking spaces? Are videos in that much demand? And even if they for some reason are, does the parking need to be the main feature we interact with when walking by?

Patti said...

I, too, am not impressed with the architectural renderings we have seen. Particularly when the money available will only be available to those who maintain and/or improve their homes to their original conditions - most of which are the Victorian or Italianate structures. We're not going to hand out money to somebody who wants to take their huge Victorian and chop it into 6 apartments. We're looking at owners who will take one that's chopped up and wants to put it back together to an appropriate style.
To the naysayers who complain that the City doesn't give a s8it about that neighborhood - it's the first one we're doing. The area has been mapped & photographed & there's not much more we can do until SHPO gives the go ahead. It is the original "downtown" housing and it only makes sense to start there.
By the way, though it doesn'[t really matter, it was Mike Tucker who found out about and set up our Commission. He's the guy we have to thank for all this.

MJ said...

The problem with SHPO is that they require the houses to fit in but not "match" too closely. The smaller houses are not bad it's just the entry door set-up that screams dual unit instead of one nice house.

The big ones on the Scrito lot are nice enough structures for a historic feeling professional park or similar but fail to mesh with the rest of the area.

The plans are 70% of what they could/should be.

Anonymous said...

honestly...he's the Mayor...isn't that what he's suppose to be doing? I think he shoulda-coulda done a h3ll of a lot more.

Patti said...

I agree with you MJ. I find them disappointing, personally. They look like a "project."
And yes, "our" money will only go to those who will return these homes to their original splendor. The money can also go to those homes which have already been designated as "Historical" by the Feds and/or those in Federal Historical Districts - like Market Street.

G.I. Joe said...

Patti I usually agree with you but "project" is too strong.

I think the best way to solve "this problem" of what to do about Saving Historic Lockport" is to categorize everything. Starting with Historic Preservation down to "we'll give this nearly destroyed Victorian for $1 if you have the funding to "restore it to it's original glory."

But folks if you wanna give Tucker some credit OK, if you wanna criticize him OK, but all we ever do around here is freakn' TALK ABOUT IT. Whether you think Jack Smith is what you want or not...from what I've seen him do, I think he's the guy to follow through with some of these GREAT ideas we all have.Tucker won't listen to anyone and moves on very few ideas. Look at all of the good ideas on this blog. They all go to waste because "City Hall" isn't interested.

The wheels of progress in Lockport on several issues, are moving very very slowly..can someone please move the ball down the field...please?

Patti said...

I agree with you G.I.Joe - it is too strong a word. Perhaps if I'd said "they all look alike" or "they look like the cookie cutter homes in some subdivisions" it would be better.
What we've already done is to categorize the City into several areas of interest. The first area, for which we've completed the initial survey required by SHPO, is the same as the one described herein as the "War Zone." It was determined that this area, being the oldest in the City, and needing immediate rehabilitation and/or knocking down, is the one which we needed to protect first. That's why it was chosen.
After this area is completely approved by the State, and if we get the funding, we'll move on. We have tossed around several areas but haven't settled on one yet. I don't think we will until we see how this one turns out.
We're also considering, strongly, taking care of the already Federally designated Historic Homes and Districts. Just because you've got a plaque on your house doesn't mean anything more than what the plaque says. It also prohibits the owner from changing anything. This is usually not something the owner wants. If the State has any money at all, we'll be able to give these owners some money for maintenance. They still cam't change the exterior.
Just so you know that "all we do is talk about it" isn't necessarily true. When you're dealing with the State and Federal governments, those wheels do grind slowly. What would be great is if all the naysayers here and elsewhere would get together and do as they do in Buffalo occasionally - a ton of people get together for a week-end and go to work on a block. Then we'd actually get to know one another and improve our City at the same time.
I also think we'll see a lot of balls flying down the field from now 'til November. Elections have a funny way of moving things along.

Anonymous said...

Jack Smith is trying to improve the city?? Go look at his ward and let me know how is he doing? The guy is a phony is no backbone plain and simple!! I dont think, well, I hope the people of Lockport are not fooled by his BS, judging from the turnout at his fundraiser I think most people see him for who he really is!!!

G.I. Joe said...

Another comment from a political hack that has nothing to do with HV, and is a weak attempt to distort the truth.

If you want to make a campaign speech "Simple Simon" find another forum.

Anonymous said...

You're right GIJoe..I've been a jerk making all of these insulting comments.

Jack Smith is the answer to all of the city's problem and can initiate some meaningful changes. he's.....

Honest
Fair
trust worthy
Open to new ideas
Answers only to the people not special interests

I misspoke ...sorry

John Adams said...

Yes! let's look at Jack Smith's Ward. The city is about to embark on the most aggressive residential rehabilitation project in Lockport's history. An infusion of millions of dollars to improve the 2nd. Ward and Lockport.

Voters who want to see what hard working honesty looks like, they need to look no further than Jack Smith. There's a lot of time before the general election. The city will know Jack Smith by November, and they'll see why he should be mayor.

MJ said...

How anyone could expect a first term alderman to turn around the Genessee-Washburn area in 1.5 years is beyond me and ridiculous.

Aldermen are also not autonomous rulers of their ward. They are law makers. This is where they should look to excel. There are 100's of city's finding success in different areas. Our goal should be to find the best of each and implement them. Along the way we may be inspired and come up with some of our own.

I've found Jack to be a nice guy who always is willing to give me information. I've found the same in Tucker.

hitler said...

"The city is about to embark on the most aggressive residential rehabilitation project in Lockport's history."

i asked joe for some numbers to back this up, and was just told to go away so i'll ask you. what was the 2nd most aggressive project? also, as this is an apartment complex, it's a bit untrue to call it a purely residential play.

i'd actually say the most aggressive project that was done in lockport which included residential and commercial property was urban renewal, and look where that got us.

besides, the amount of 'improvment' has yet to be seen, or do you always count your chickens before they hatch?

GI Joe said...

chicken counter...right

Anonymous said...

Wow what an ambitious rehab project------ NINE whole houses!! Of course it is $9M, so that makes it big. Too bad they just didn't spend $10M on one house, then it would be the biggest project! LOL

again, not political as yes Smith is leading this but Tucker approved it all.

I just wish Smith would give us the info as to how much does the ceo of HV make a year? Notice no one will come up with this number.....

GI Joe said...

Wow..what a jerk...

hitler said...

so, no facts, or as you would classify them joe, lies

Anonymous said...

Anybody read the Buff news about how these tax gifts are killing cities? This project is a good example,they will be paying $13,000 a year for taxes on 33 apartments. If half of that goes to the schools, the will be paying $7,000 a year for what, probably at least 66 (33 apartments x 2 kids) kids? So we are providing the money to build them, paying the rents through county soc services taxes and now we will all have to make up the property taxes they won't be paying.
great deal for Lockport!

And anybody find out yet how much the ceo of HV makes?

Anonymous said...

Well I know next year he will make $940,000 from us!

Anonymous said...

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