What: Mayor W. Reed Gusciora will host a tour of the notorious Westside Plaza, which has long been a financial burden on the city since the poorly-conceived leasing agreement was signed back in 2009. Despite paying over $42,000 a month, the city receives no benefit from the site. Mayor Gusciora will brief attendees on the city’s efforts to purchase the property in order to pave the way for new development opportunities, including a Trenton Water Works customer service center, a West Ward public library branch, and more commercial tenants that would actually provide revenue for the city.
When: Today, Aug. 27, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.
Where: 215 North Hermitage Avenue, Trenton.
Who: Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, as well as members of City Council, county officials, and a dozen city development and community leaders.
Background: In March 2009, the city entered into a 20-year lease agreement with Westside Plaza LLC in order to develop the site for a new municipal court. However, the court project was abandoned, and the city attempted to extricate itself from the lease in July 2010. Litigation ensued, and the city lost on summary judgement in March 2012. Even though the property has remained vacant that entire time, the city is still paying $42,135 per month, which has been going up 10 percent every five years per the lease agreement. The city is still bound to pay $5,009,052 over the remainder of the contract. Today’s announcement discusses plans to purchase the property outright in order to justify investing in permanent enhancements to resident services, including a Trenton Water Works customer service center, a public library branch for the West Ward, and a woman’s health center. The city would also acquire the surrounding commercial units that could be leased out for additional revenue.
Please RSVP if you plan to attend and reach out if you have any questions.