Tuesday’s City Council Conference session will include a presentation from Baltimore-based Landex Corporation. This is the group responsible for the Cityside apartments in various locations around town.
According to a report in the Times last week, Landex has proposed a property swap with the City of Trenton. Landex wants the City to turn over 14 buildings it owns in exchange for 22 Cityside buildings around Passaic and Spring Streets. The 22 Cityside properties currently each house 2 rental units, but under the proposed plan, the homes would be converted to single family, owner occupied units. Landex also wants a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement, as well as a commitment of some Regional Contribution Agreement (RCA) monies as part of the deal.
Speaking for Landex, Chairwoman Judy Siegle admitted that renting to Section 8 tenants here in Trenton has not worked out as planned for the company.
Council President Paul Pintella and Council Vice-President Cordelia Staton both commented on the lack of quality in the current Cityside buildings.
It appears that under the proposed deal, Landex will utilize the RCA money and PILOTs to fund the conversion of all the properties into owner occupied units.
In essence, this failed corporate landlord that has been sucking up government money in the form of Section 8 rental payments, now wants the city to underwrite its exit from the rental business and support its development of properties for sale.
Once again, we have a would be developer coming to the city with its hands out looking for a contribution/financial support from our depleted coffers.
If Landex’s business model didn’t work out in the first place, what makes us think this new enterprise will succeed?
And what of these Section 8 tenants, where will they live? If they need rental assistance, they surely aren’t going to be able to buy one of these new homes.
Even if they could somehow finagle a deal to purchase a home, if they were “bad tenants,” how are they going to fare as property owners?
Nope. This seems like another bad idea that needs to be shot down.
We keep hearing that things have changed in Trenton and how developers are seeking out opportunities here in the city. But it always seems that they are seeking opportunities to get public funding, at least in part, for their projects.
One bad idea after another is presented, and there always seems to be a member of the administration ready to go to bat for the developer.
When will we learn to just say no?