Church Towers: Multiple Property Owners
Ramos on Church Towers
Here’s Councilman At-large Ruben Ramos’ take on Church Towers at the last City Council Meeting:
SEE PREVIOUS UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP…
Today we have a couple reader mail updates about Church Towers. The first, from Hoboken411 regular estevens – details the hypocrisy of close knit politics. And a second, from an anonymous reader who thinks the whole “waiting list” is another name for “racket.”
Can someone please send me something nice about CT??
Michelle Russo – millions in real estate commissions
“Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo recently declared that four hundred families in Church Towers moderate-income housing are at risk of losing their homes if steps are not taken immediately to preserve their low taxes and rents. The prior investigation of city and school workers who either own property or have substantial salaries (or both) suggests that they are not likely to find themselves thrown out on the streets any time soon. Additional research suggests that there is at least one more resident who should be able to weather any modest increase in rent. Michelle Russo, Michael’s mother, wife of former Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo, and reigning queen of Church Towers, has done well as a local real estate agent, particularly while her husband was still in office and had control of the local boards.
According to court records, Michele earned $190,000 in commissions for 1999 while employed by Riverside Realty, located in a Washington Street storefront owned by Anthony Russo’s cousin, Theresa Castellano. In 2001 Michele made $400,000. In the five years between 1998 and 2002 she made at least $1.5 million in commissions, $500,000 of which came from exclusive listings at 9th and Madison, PILOT’d condos built by URSA/Tarragon as part of the Northwest Redevelopment agreement created during Russo’s mayoral stint.
Michelle has since worked as a sales agent for Upper Grand Realty, a division of URSA/Tarragon and sales office for their many units built in Hoboken, most of which are in the Northwest Redevelopment zone. A source close to the developers says that she had annual earnings in the low six-figures until two years ago, when her employment with Upper Grand came to an end.
All this while living in a three-bedroom apartment in Church Towers with an estimated rent of $1200…”
Waiting list for whom?
Meanwhile – another Hoboken411 reader sent this brief note yesterday:
“What a bunch of knuckleheads!!
It all starts INSIDE the Management Office.. People on the waiting list for years and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere are 2 fancy furniture moving trucks moving in a new tenant whose bank account just got decreased by a few thousand dollars (I think its called a finders fee!!)
What a racket, just sit back on your rump and collect envelopes stuffed with green. So there you have it. Leave the other wealthy people out of it. Me? I wouldn’t pay a quarter to live in that roach and mice infected complex.”
Read more about the whole debacle below…
Now the subject of this Church Towers entry goes beyond “multiple property owners” and now encompasses “City employees” as well.
Hoboken411 reader estevens did a little more investigating to uncover at least 22 Church Towers residents employed by the city in some capacity making over $80,000 per year:
Many well-paid city workers live at Church Towers
“Attached are Church Towers residents who work for either the City of Hoboken or the Hoboken school district and make over $80K per year (or make less but live with another such employee who does).
Data was pulled from voter registration lists and state pension fund lists. Salaries are from 2007 and are approximate, given the potpourri of longevity payments, allowances, and other benefits which are sometimes included, sometimes not. Numbers do not include medical benefits, which can add nearly $20K in some cases. Salaries of residents who work in the private sector or public sector outside Hoboken were not surveyed.
[With the exception of two, all these individuals have voted recently at these addresses. One of the two is still listed at the CT address by the Whitepages online directory.]
Previous updates & multiple property owners below…
What is “fair?” And for whom?
Now I’m sure this will be a very divisive subject.
Hoboken411 reader estevens did some digging:
“Since Church Towers is in the news, I thought I might perform a quick-and-dirty search of CT residents that own property in town or “down the shore.” I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, what with LLC’s and game-playing with addresses. Property values are estimates from Zillow.com as available.”
(411 note: this is public information)
5 Church Towers
- Fesken, Anthony & Arlene – 204 Homestead Ave, Point Pleasant Beach – $480K
- Wickham, Richard & Carol – 226 Bay Terrace, Seaside Heights – $434K
- Rutkowski, John & Alana Negri – 209 Shuster Ave, Dover – $235K
- Romano, Anthony & Joseph (Trustees) – 41 Willow Court, Hoboken – $450K
- Ortega, Manuel – 631 Willow Ave, Hoboken – $400K
- Lanza, Diane – 210 Eighth St, Hoboken – $592K
- Lanza, Diane – 256 Clendenny Ave, Jersey City – $170K
- Mazzone, Frank & Josephine Mazzone – 628 Washington St, Hoboken – ?$$$
- Gigante, Achille & M & G – 408 24th St, Union City – $361K
10 Church Towers
- Muraca, Jack & Anna – 73 Carlyle Dr, Berkeley – $392K
- Cupo, Geo & Antoinette – 480 East End Ave, Brick – $177K
- Crimmins, Joseph & Kathleen – 621 Bancroft Rd, Brick – $620K
- Pepe, Maria – 2006 Bookbinder Court, Dover – $204K
- Luongo, Thomas & Antoinette – 602 Monroe St, Hoboken – $729K
- Knapp, Mary – 647 Garden St, Hoboken – $145K
- Russo, Michele & Michael & Anthony P – 1228 Oakwood Rd, Belmar – $463K
15 Church Towers
- Matthews, Charles & Janice – 463-5 Route 35N. Brick – $270K (assessed value)
- Manzetti, Richard – 479 Mohawk Dr, Brick – $177K
- Miranda, Joseph & Gail – 1500 Tamiami Rd, Lacey – $295K
- Lobue, Daniel III – 110 Paterson Road, Ocean Township – $405K
- Turner, Thomas & Antonia – 2108 Barnegat Blvd, Point Pleasant – $341K
- Aligo, Louis & Victoria – 221 Dupont Ave, Seaside Heights – $388K
- Radigan, Bruce & Marie – 31 Amy Drive, Stafford – $383K
- Taglieri, Michael & Louise – 43 Joshua Drive, Stafford – $375K
- Kearns, Kevin and Francis – 77 ½ Ocean Ave, Manasquan – $470K
- Tarantino, Carmela – 723 Adams St, Hoboken – $600K
I guess this topic can be broken down in two sections:
– Is extending the PILOTs agreement for 10 years acceptable – regardless who’s living there?
– At what point do folks get “cut off” from the privilege of living in affordable housing?
One person I spoke with drew a comparison to a parent providing their kids with allowances. “Once the kids grow up, become successful and can support themselves, should they still get the allowance?”