Thursday, April 30, 2009

ARRA Money for Tepper's?

Among items on a "shovel-ready" list of projects for possible funding under the American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act of 2009 is a $345,000 allocation for "rehabilitation of vacant, unfinished space" in the former Tepper's building basement. The proposal is to establish a CCTV monitoring center and Community Policing offices there.

Some may remember the initial proposal many years ago to put a senior center in the basement. Sen. Frank Lautenberg secured nearly half a million dollars in grant money for the purpose. But seniors rejected the idea and now are looking forward to a brand new senior center on the ground floor of "The Monarch," a condo project at 400 East Front Street. The grant money could not follow the seniors to the new location and was used to create what City Administrator Marc Dashield called "pretty much a vanilla box" in the basement while officials mulled possible uses. The work was done quickly just before the grant was due to expire.

Plaintalker posted several articles about the grant's use for the Tepper's basement. Click here to read the file. The cost of the cameras, their installation downtown and 24/7 monitoring is not included in the ARRA proposal. The project has a 180-day timeline if approved.

There are several other items of interest on the ARRA list, including a $1.5 tab for a youth center that appears to coincide with Jerry Green's wish to acquire the old armory on East Seventh Street. The armory had also once been touted as a possible senior center, but seniors rejected it. The state owns the armory and wants to sell it. Plaintalker will have more on the subject later.

Sidelight: The city is actually one of three condo owners in the Tepper's building and as such is liable for condo fees since it took possession of the basement several years ago. The other two portions are commercial space on the ground floor and 75 residential units on the upper floors. At The Monarch, the city will also become a condo owner when it takes possession of the senior center and will be responsible for about 13 percent of the cost of maintaining the building. Each of 63 condo owners on the top three floors will also share common costs.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...


One option is to utilize some of the space for a small cable television studio. The station would then have ADA-compliance, as there is no elevator at the current location.

10:36 AM  
Blogger olddoc said...

Wasn't there in the past six months a resolution to use expiring grant money and or enterprise zine funds for this project before the council? I don't remember if it was tabled or passed.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

I know there was talk about the need to outfit the space, but I don't recall any proposed allocation or any final decision on what should go there.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neighborhood House,
South Second St Youth center,
Boys & Girls Clubs,
BUF [Former Grant Ave Comm Center],
Bd of Ed pools, indoor track etc.
Hannah Atkins Rec Center,
Salvation Army &
All the churches
What have I missed that we need to buy the beatup Armory?? Don't some of these need SUPPORT & IMPROVEMENTS first ??

6:38 PM  

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