. In order to clear up any confusion as to the true nature of the Blue Claws deal, I did as was suggested, and obtained a copy of (most of) the lease. I will make this as confusing as possible. Ready? Article 4 states that the tenant agrees to pay a minimum of $100,000 per year for rent. In article 5, which is suspiciously missing from the copy of the original contract, it states who pays the utilities. From the third amendment to the lease agreement, I would believe that the township was paying the full electrical utilities. The amendment states that the town now will pay $75,000 in utilities to be subtracted from the rent which leaves us with a mere $25,000 per year, albeit we would no longer be stuck paying the full utilities which, i can only guess, was obviously well above $100,000.
In repayment for the few items that the team actually did contribute, such as baseball equipment or food kiosks, the township leaders were generous enough to share any grants that they were given such as the one million dollars given from the casino redevelopment act.
The leaders that green-lighted this project told us it was made in order to bring shoppers and business to our town. Please note on page 44, the township agrees it will do all in its power to have an entrance and exit to the Garden State Parkway near the stadium. If the intention was to bring shoppers, or to bring outside awareness to our town, why would you facilitate the average attendees ability to enter and exit a highway right near the stadium? Wouldn’t you try to steer them towards any shopping area at least?
Please note that the landlord agreed to do all it could to obtain a liquor license for the tenant, even though we do not share in its revenue. Was that to bring awareness to our corporate park? Does the industrial park look better if people are drunk?
Note on article 8 it states clearly that the naming rights, from First Energy, of the stadium go to the team owner. There was not any other major league ,minor league, or even pee wee league stadium that I could find, that gave the naming rights revenue to the team.
Of course the concessions go to the tenant, and the landlord does not have any rights to use any equipment for any event they may sponsor.
In section 6 please note, ticket sales and parking also fully goes to the team.
Since when is parking part of the baseball experience? The entire parking fee is always given to the hosting town.
So as senator singer previously explained on here, now the blue claws would like to add 2000 seats in exchange for a 10 year extension.
that would give them 30 years of paying $25,000 a year.
Why would any self respecting town ever agree to such a deal? Why did we agree to such a deal to begin with?
Why was there no clauses in place to share in revenue in order to repair infrastructure?
Why does the center of our town, nay, our entire town look like a pock on the face of New Jersey, while the stadium area exudes a facade of gentility to those that enter and exit to and from the parkway?
The final details of the Bears’ original lease agreement with the Essex County Improvement Authority had a number of provisions in it. Among them: The county was to receive $1 million a year in revenue, 25 percent of all concessions and advertising, 75 percent of luxury box sales and $1 from every ticket sold. The ECIA, which was responsible for selling the suites, would have also banked all revenue from naming-rights for Riverfront Stadium; however, they were never able to find a buyer.
Anyone that may have aided and abetted them, have some explaining to do.
Lakewood Downtown Commission.
There are 27 Comments to "Hershel Continues To Dig For Answers On Blue Claws"
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 10:30 am Gosh.. talk about a sweetheart deal.. What more are we still in the dark about???
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 10:36 am It’s the cell phone paradigm – give away the phone and bill for the minutes. The stadium is a draw and the idea is to cash in via UEZ proceeds from a mixed retail & entertainment district nearby. Unfortunately, certain parties have been attempting to block the development of such a district on property adjacent to the stadium for some time.
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 10:41 am The Chamsbridge Company also gets sweet deals. How do I sign up for a deal?
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 11:27 am oooooy heads will roll
- Ben Eliezer says: January 20, 2010 at 11:31 am Who pays the costs for police presence (traffic control, etc.) during events at the stadium?
- ki-la-shem. says: January 20, 2010 at 11:40 am hershel 4 mayor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 11:42 am Everyone complains about their high taxes. Imagine if there is a whole business district built up near the stadium that would offset the taxes that the residential segment has to pay. Lakewood is blessed with a huge industrial park. How much does that bring in? Still residential pays so much taxes.
- The Fine Print says: January 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm Section 20.05 >> “Recording of this lease shall be prohibited except…as required by law”
Can someone explain to me why the desire to keep these details out of the public record???
- The Fine Print says: January 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm # 2 & 7,
What other financial interest do you have in developing a retail/entertainment district near the Blueclaws?? All I know is that these developers always work out their own sweetheart tax abatement deals which won’t help lower my tax bill..
- send the blue claws to jackson says: January 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm So steve was right they are only paying $25000. I think we need a new comittee that understands business and will layoff employees and cut expenses!!
- hershel herskowitz says: January 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm There is no retail district built yet. There probably never will be. The commercial real estate market will be depressed for at least another ten years. All other towns that brought in minor league teams, did so in conjunction with a redevelopment plan. All other teams contributed to the building of their stadium. And ultimately all teams, even the unsuccessful ones, share their revenue with the town that hosts them. I do not know if the Blue Claws are sharing any revenue. I just know they are not sharing it with our town.
To be continued. (the retail 'district was just approved for 150 townhouses)
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm #9 – even if the developer got a complete tax abatement, the district would generate a tremendous amount of SALES TAX revenue which the city could utilize to offset your property taxes (UEZ sales tax goes to the city rather than the state). Put in parking meters in the district, a restaurant tax, etc. and it could lower property tax tremendously for everyone. That all depends on having the BlueClaws as a draw, however, which is why it is short sighted to attempt to financialize the Township
s relationship with them directly. They are merely the bait, the hook is the tax revenue from such s district (assuming certain special interests will stop trying to block its development).
- steve is right? says: January 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm Did someone say steve had anything to do with this getting uncovered? C’min. Who wrote that? Was it you steven?
- Just An Observation says: January 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm HH. You are awesom. The sleeping giant has awoken
- Trops says: January 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm Hershel Herskowitz Thank you.
- f18 says: January 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm Is Herschel chasidish?
- fan of steve says says: January 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm lets move the stadium to atlantic city
- Erliche yid says: January 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm Heads should roll! Who was involved in this masive scam? This the old story that is playing out across the country. The people in power feel comfotable in thier positions an start playing games on thier constituents CHESHBON. Thanks to TLS and Hershel these people are being exposed for what they are and should be removed no matter how long they have been in office or how much they did for BMG. WAKE UP LAKEWOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Camp Kanfei Yona says: January 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm I would like to rent the stadium for $25000 a year. It would be a great location for camp. Herschel can you help me with this?
- hershel herskowitz says: January 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm Please post suggestions advising what we should do about this. Should we call the Governor? Should we report this to the UEZ offices in Trenton?
Perhaps we can call the offices of the Minor League Baseball Association to investigate the owners of the Blue Claws for any improper influence peddling.
Or perhaps we need to do all three.
Please understand this whole controversy was only uncovered because the people that made this deal decided to make a press release bragging about the wonderful accomplishments they have achieved through this travesty.
It is one thing to secretly cheat our town out of what was set aside for our benefit, but it is a whole new level of thievery to publicly claim that it was good for us.
- Anonymous says: January 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm Heck, I pay more rent a year for my HOUSE, and I have to shovel my own sidewalk!
- former CKY camper says: January 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm heshy x2 and yehudah it would be gr8 if we can have camp there we’ll support the local businesses by buying the camp equipment and trip supplies!! it’s gonna b a knock!!!!!
- clifton ave says: January 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm great idea to have cky in stadium they do a great job and they pay there bills on time would be good buissness for downtown
- john says: January 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm blame public works for that too
- The Fine Print says: January 21, 2010 at 1:48 am Seems to me that the ink has already dried on this deal for the next decade. But it is clearly foolhardy to agree now to a future extension unless the Blueclaws’ owners come to the table with a more honest and realistic offer.
In fact, if I was representing the Blueclaws today, I would advise them to quickly scamper back into the dugout and not attempt anymore over-reaching regarding the lease terms.
Besides.. as it currently stands, even if they cover the relatively nominal expense for another 2000 seats (with township approval of course), based on the great turnout they’ve been experiencing, they would easily turn a nice profit on that investment in 10 years time..
- The Fine Print says: January 21, 2010 at 2:49 am To # 12,
1) You know yourself that you cannot possibly guarantee the Lakewood taxpayers that the UEZ designation will remain a permanent fixture in Lakewood. This means that when it’s gone, all those sales tax dollars will indeed go right back to Trenton.
2) Township residents would never agree to new ordinances establishing parking meters in any shopping region. You may not recall, but when just such an idea was voiced a few years back to install them in the downtown shopping area, both the residents and business proprietors protested quite loudly.
3) Again, no one living in this town is interested a new burdensome restaurant tax (or any other creative tax you can think of.) This will affect every restaurant business in town. Going out to eat and enjoying a a few nights out with friends or family is expensive enough already. So please keep your great ideas to yourself or take them to a different town.
I don’t know where your political philosophy lies, but we do NOT want any other taxes/surcharges/fees/whatever. It does not benefit the citizens of this town other than to shift some tax burden from one area to a new – previously untaxed – area. So who are you trying to kid? The only one really benefiting here is the DEVELOPER. And we are not interested in going on a “fishing” expedition with the bait and hook that WE will be paying for.
- The Finer Print says: January 21, 2010 at 8:38 am 1. The UEZ designation is a 15 year designation. If at the end of that period the designation happens not to be renewed, then you can monetize the relationship with the Blue Claws. You’d also still have a restaurant tax on the district, parking meters, etc. You could even pass a district sales tax.
2. The overwhelming majority of anticipated visitors to the proposed district wold be just that – visitors. You’d have little difficulty passing an ordinance passed which targets nonLakewood residents. Hotel taxes are ubiquitous in this country based upon the same psychology.
3. Who said anything about a burdensome restaurant tax outside of the specific shopping & entertainment district developed adjacent to the stadium? Your correct that it would shift the tax burden – from Lakewood residents to those coming from elsewhere to the games and shopping/eating in the district.