The biggest barrier to starter homes – zoning laws and NIMBY

From HousingWire:

Trulia: Housing market fails to produce what buyers really want

The gap between the homes consumers want and the homes available for sale continues to grow in many markets across the U.S., according to the latest Mismatched Markets report from Trulia.

In order to examine the widening gap, Trulia compared home searches with for-sale inventory on Trulia between April and June of 2017, and compared it with that same period last year.

The data showed potential homebuyers continue to struggle when looking for starter and trade-up homes, but expensive luxury homes are flooding into the market. Trulia’s national mix-match score for all homes increased from 92 last year to 14.7.

The total share of starter and trade-up homes dropped to 45.8% this year, down from last year’s 46.5%, even as the share of searches for these homes increased from 55.6% to 60.5% during the same time period.

As starter and trade-up homebuyers see falling number of homes available, with shortfalls of 8 and 6.7 percentage points respectively, luxury homes saw a surplus of 14.7 percentage points nationally.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate, New Development. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to The biggest barrier to starter homes – zoning laws and NIMBY

  1. grim says:

    Yes, I said it. The biggest barrier to starter homes isn’t builders, it’s typical American – Not In My Backyard – attitudes and exclusionary zoning that benefits the wealthy.

    See, the biggest issue behind building affordable starter homes is that the price of the dirt is more expensive than the house. How do you make dirt less expensive? You don’t, but you require significantly less of it to be purchased to build a house on. Small lot sizes, smaller setbacks, increased building heights, multi-family where it was not previously permitted, etc etc.

    (This is why housing is so much cheaper in places like Texas, where in most places the dirt is nearly worthless.)

  2. grim says:

    By the way, no demand for high end in NJ?

    I just drove past the Toll Brothers development in Franklin Lakes yesterday. Holy christ I didn’t realize that it was so big.

    60 Single Family Homes
    160 Town Houses
    55 Affordable Housing Apartments

    Also, take a look at the last part of that – we touched on this yesterday. Even high-end communities are now seeing urbanization in-fill. More than 200 multi-family units in haughty Franklin Lakes? Looking back through the news flow on this, clear that Toll played the builders remedy card on this (3b’s comment yesterday, forced construction to meet affordable housing commitments).

    Now really, I’m sure the townhouses will be $750-$1m, and the homes will probably be well north of $1.5m. Total resale value of the development has got to be $250 million at the low end.

  3. grim says:

    As of the 2010 census there were 3692 housing units in Franklin Lakes, this single development will increased that by 7-8%, a massive number. The point being, it is relatively easy to significantly increase NJ’s population and density with infill development. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Once that first one gets approved, and the town government gets a hit of the revenue crack pipe filled with 275 units, ain’t no stopping them. What’s this going to generate? About $6 million a year?

  4. Yo! says:

    According to housing super analyst Ivy Zelman, the most difficult state to build a house is New Jersey based on the length of time required to get a building permit. The study was done near top of last cycle, I doubt much has changed.

  5. Yo! says:

    Look at what is happening in Eatontown. Developers want to build housing on the site of a struggling mall, the local politicians support the project, but Nimbyism is stopping it.

    And this is town where population has plunged to a 50-year low and the value of the town’s largest eatable, the mall property, is melting away.

  6. Yo! says:

    Congrats to Hudson County mayors Fulop, Zimmer, and Turner for issuing hundreds of residential building permits per year.

  7. JJ fanboy says:

    Grim,

    Now now. Not everyone can afford to live in a highway in Wayne.

  8. 3b says:

    Grim it’s a revenue boost to Frankln lakes but if it increases school enrollment that leads to having to expand than it could be a loss. But as you say at those price points it may not increase school population as hard. 430 new rentals in Dumont however is another story. The towns with old rental units now housing families will be hard hit tax wise if in addition there is fill in multi family development in these towns as well.

  9. D-FENS says:

    Ugh…disgusting. Consolidation at the local level just can never happen in NJ because you’re asking public employees to consolidate themselves out of a job. They fight it tooth and nail.

    http://www.njherald.com/20170914/county-school-district-proposal-meets-first-wave-of-challenges#

    By David Danzis New Jersey Herald
    Posted: Sep. 14, 2017 12:01 am
    A local mayor’s proposal for a countywide consolidated school district has hit two stumbling blocks in the form of governing bodies in Andover Township and Franklin.

    After gaining support in the form of adopted resolutions from Green Township, Sussex Borough and Hopatcong, as well as his own Town Council, Newton Mayor Wayne Levante’s consolidated county school system proposal did not fare as well this week at two municipal meetings.

    On Monday, in Andover Township, Levante was challenged by Andover Regional Board of Education President Michael Fancher to provide data to support the claim that a consolidated district would yield significant savings for county taxpayers. Fancher said he was “very concerned” about media coverage of the issue that was lacking numbers and details of the proposal.

    “Why I’m concerned has less to do with what the topic is and more to do with the fact that I haven’t seen any data,” Fancher said. “I’m a numbers guy and I love data. I love to look at it, I love to pick it apart. I love to find where it works and where it doesn’t. And so far, in these articles that have been written, there has been exactly zero data with the exception of the numbers seven and nine (million dollars), which is the supposed savings that is going to come from this consolidation.”

    Fancher touched on a number of the potential issues he saw with the proposal, including dealing with union contracts, curriculum, transportation and geography of the county. In contrast, Fancher said real savings could be found by mandating shared service agreements and by altering state laws as they pertain to school purchasing and prevailing wage.

    Levante’s proposal calls for eliminating individual district superintendents and business administrators in favor of one of each under a single county office in addition to other layers of administration that are found in nearly every one of the county’s 25 public school districts. Fancher took issue with that idea as well questioning how two people could perform the work currently being done by 50.

    The Newton mayor has been traveling around the county to municipal meetings trying to garner support for the resolution, but also to find willing participants to fund a study that would examine the consolidation issue.

    “(Fancher) is mentioning no data,” Levante said on Monday night. “The thing is, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a feasibility study that would show the savings compared to what we have now. And here’s why we don’t have that information — because none of the superintendents, none of the school boards have provided that information. None of them are looking to do that.”

    On Tuesday, Fancher, who made reference to studies done on the county solar project and 911 emergency center before those multimillion-dollar projects moved forward, said, ” I don’t trust the studies. They’ve been wrong before.”

    After the two elected officials went back-and-forth a bit and several members of the public, including a former high school teacher and a past president of the Andover school board, gave their thoughts, the committee decided it did not have enough information to either support or reject the consolidation proposal.

  10. D-FENS says:

    26 school districts for 21,000 students in Sussex county.

  11. Xolepa says:

    Grim,
    Your comment on Franklin Lakes’ willingness differentiates with my town which would typically fight these developments tooth and nail. The tax impact is generally much higher than any anticipated revenue, except for 55+ communities.

    It seems that Franklin Lakes may not have had a low-income plan put in place.

  12. grim says:

    Between 2010 and 2016, Franklin Lakes school district shrunk by 248 students.

    Frankly, they need will need to add units simply to stabilize school enrollments.

    This is largely the trend across NJ. As school age kids per capita falls, existing school districts can accommodate more housing units with zero need to add new schools, buildings, classrooms.

  13. grim says:

    55+ communities should be illegal, age discrimination.

  14. D-FENS says:

    What’s the angle with 55+ communities? Twice now I’ve seen them build them in Newton with almost no interest from 55+ people. Are they trying to comply with affordable housing laws or something?

  15. grim says:

    Darling of zoning boards and town councils as they think that they can increase tax revenue without adding to school budgets.

    Suspect it would be more effective to build gay-only communities, as it’s clear that gay communities perform better from a real estate investment perspective, contribute more tax revenue, and generally gentrify more effectively, than heterosexual communities. Plus, fewer school age kids. Better educated (thus better workforce), and generally very high income as well. Subjectively probably less crime as well.

    If it’s acceptable to discriminate based on age, surely gay-only communities should be OK, right?

    God I want to find a developer with the balls to try this with me, the first planning board meeting would be incredible.

  16. D-FENS says:

    God I would love to hear someone propose that publicly in a town council meeting.

  17. D-FENS says:

    Just to see the looks on people’s faces.

  18. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The paradigm shift for declining US living standards going forward:

    Tiny homes and virtual kids.

  19. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    My parents (both 81, good health, both drive) live in a place like this now. They had to submit about 80 pounds of paperwork to get one of the affordable apartments. They are located in Franklin Township, which is part of Somerset.

    Interestingly, the 1 BR apartments are identical but there are two prices, the “low income” rate and the “moderate income” rate,. The 2 BR units, like the one my parents rent are only available to “moderate income” applicants. Nice, new, elevator building with balconies. I think my parents pay a little over $1,000 per month rent.

    I believe the units are all “over age 50”, no school age kid. They weren’t hot about living in an old folks environment. As it turns out, they are the old folks.

    I just drove past the Toll Brothers development in Franklin Lakes yesterday. Holy christ I didn’t realize that it was so big.

    60 Single Family Homes
    160 Town Houses
    55 Affordable Housing Apartments

  20. Grim says:

    The trend and popularity of the tiny trailer park homes is proof of the acceptance of the longer term trend.

    The first part of the acquiescence was that people would move to place like NC or Texas, because they were unwilling to accept the trend. Throwing tantrums over the fact that they deserved mansions too, so they would run away to find one.

    Ultimately, it will apply everywhere. Silly to force yourself to chase the past.

  21. grim says:

    My money is on the millennials embracing this trend and not on the idiots fighting it.

  22. 3b says:

    Grim it’s interesting that Franklin Lskes school age population is dropping.

  23. 3b says:

    And meanwhile the River Dell funding battle continues. It’s in the state Supreme Court now for final determination.

  24. 3b says:

    Regionalization will only happen if is forced.

  25. grim says:

    Don’t tell Pumpkin, Wayne lost 658 in that same time period (as did most NJ towns outside the urban core).

    http://www.nj.com/education/2016/09/millennials_suburban_flight_causes_drop_in_school.html

  26. grim says:

    Sussex is a disaster:

    SUSSEX SPARTA TWP 3,873 3,275 -599
    SUSSEX VERNON TWP 3,710 3,180 -530
    SUSSEX HOPATCONG 2,113 1,588 -525
    SUSSEX SUSSEX-WANTAGE REGIONAL 1,459 1,086 -373
    SUSSEX BYRAM TWP 1,027 874 -153

  27. grim says:

    You’d probably need to build 4000 housing units to make up that enrollment loss.

  28. 3b says:

    Grim some very interesting numbers there. For inrsance Hackensack up by 744 in that time period at the time a massive new multi family rental development opened next to Riverside Square Mall. Just saying.

  29. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Don’t worry, just like “With the baby, comes the bread”, “With the Section 8, comes the babies.”

  30. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    NIMBYism is going to hold back this state as it already has. The whole reason you can’t travel from Mercer County to well…anywhere efficiently is because Princeton blocked the 95 extension years ago. The lack of that badly needed freeway is the primary cause for many jams along 287 and Rt 1. With population going up and the roads already clogged, this state is going to desperately need a few more freeways. The people will always scream about it affecting the natural landscape…it’s friggin stupid.

    The parkway runs through Allaire State Park and no one notices it. Freeways preserve your town’s way of life. Every day I drive through Princeton, they have giant trucks going through their roads. They deserve it.

  31. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Shkreli jailed (bail revoked) for offering $5,000 for one strand of Hillary’s hair on Facebook. He was probably going to show she has the genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s (my conjecture).

    Watch what you post if there is a Democrat judge nearby.

  32. joyce says:

    Grim,
    You previously said tiny house trend should be discounted; did you change your mind or am i misreading you?
    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2016/07/12/trading-lawns-for-square-footage/#comment-720159

    Grim says:
    September 14, 2017 at 8:54 am
    The trend and popularity of the tiny trailer park homes is proof of the acceptance of the longer term trend.

    The first part of the acquiescence was that people would move to place like NC or Texas, because they were unwilling to accept the trend. Throwing tantrums over the fact that they deserved mansions too, so they would run away to find one.

    Ultimately, it will apply everywhere. Silly to force yourself to chase the past.

  33. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I admire that he has the balls to tell it like it is. Only thing he is missing, people are not mature enough to know “that nothing is for nothing.” They just like to complain and expect to get something for free.

    “He was joined by transportation expert Martin Robins in Trenton, where the Fund for New Jersey’s transportation policy paper was released. Florio is on the Fund for New Jersey’s board.

    “We have to talk to people and tell them the options and tell them the cost of congestion. … That’s starting to be a problem,” Florio said. “People are mature enough to know that nothing is for nothing.””

    http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2017/09/jim_florio_wants_you_to_pay_more_tolls_higher_mvc_costs_and_a_per-mile_fee.html#incart_river_home

  34. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The guy gets it, too bad most adults can’t comprehend this.

    “The economy is at stake if the state doesn’t have a good transportation system to get commuters to high paying jobs in New York and to move goods in and out of the port, Florio and Robins said. A deteriorating system is harming the economy now, Florio said, citing warehouses that are moving to the Lehigh Valley region in Pennsylvania.

    “If we fail to raise the funds, the transportation system will begin to decay and the state economy will fall behind,” Florio said.”

  35. grim says:

    did you change your mind or am i misreading you?

    No, the same position. The tiny house trend is still a ridiculous outlier. Building pretty little wagon houses is a nonsensical solution to the housing problem. It’s not scalable, it’s not legal, it’s not practical, and it’s a waste of money. What’s important about the trend isn’t the fact that they are making junky trailer homes chic, it’s that they are willing to forego square footage at an extreme level to remain in a specific area.

    This is no different from new construction housing sizes continuing to expand, realize that these expansions are happening in places far away, where dirt is cheap. See my comment above about idiot boomers and gen-x’ers unwilling to accept this, uprooting their lives simply for the ability to afford a McMansion in a far away place (“SEE, I GOT MINE TOO NOW”). Yeah, see, you got your McMansion, it’s exactly like the other 1,600 that Lennar built in your county.

    Two completely different behaviors being driven by the exact same underlying issue. It’s how the demographics are reacting to it that differ so dramatically.

  36. The Great Pumpkin says:

    So tell me again, how I overpaid if I was looking for house for life with all the bells and whistles, and horn honks, and burnouts, and tire squeals, and engine revs, and litter?

  37. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Back in the ’70’s and 80’s when executives were frequently transferred to other states for a few years – We knew people who sold their house in NJ, bought a YUGE house in soe far off cheap state (by that era’s standards) and then when they transferred back to NJ, even with the profits from selling their YUGE house in Illinois or Texas or wherever, they could no longer afford the very house they used to own in NJ.

  38. grim says:

    Instead of stupid little shoebox deathtraps, perhaps the millennials should take over city councils and push for wholesale master plan and zoning rule changes to reduce lot sizes, reduce dwelling sizes, and push for building codes to accommodate smaller units.

    Yeah, I realize this is hard. On one hand you have the ADA mandating a 36″ turning radius in a bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair, and the building code mandating you have 15″ clear on either side of the shitter, you know, for elbow room. And at least 21″ free space in front of a tub or shower. You know there are minimum requirements for habitable spaces? A kitchen must be at least 70 square feet, a bedroom must be 70 square feet. Put this all together and it’s impossible to make a small apartment.

    We have a system hell bent on doing everything to avoid small affordable homes. You now have a whole movement (which is still an outlier), saying, f*ck you, I’m going to put this thing on wheels and except it from all your stupid rules.

  39. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Expat, I’m highly stressed at work, and you made me play right into it yesterday. Yes, I’m easy to set off when I’m stressed to the limits at work. I fell for it yesterday, but I will not waste my time on a troll that has nothing better to do, but rag on someone for buying a home they are proud of.

    Funny thing, you bust my balls for buying my second home for 655,000 at the young age of 31 (when most people my age couldn’t even buy a starter home), yet you rent. Go buy a house and then come bust my balls. I don’t need to hear crap about my house purchase from some renter.

  40. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Oh my. Stress at work and can’t satisfy your wife at home. Maybe less posting and working on what should be your priorities?

    Remind us again why your wife wants to move to a real neighborhood like Urban Club Rd? Is that moving with you, or without you?

    Hahahahahahahahahaha

  41. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    BTW, Pumps – seems like someone else is thinking about renting. The stress of all the massive payments isn’t for everyone. I sure hope a second rate Kindergarten in a declining school system is worth it.

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    July 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Wife is trying to convince me of a house on urban club road, but I’m trying my best to convince her to take advantage of this 2.75% rate, or sell it all, leverage up, and rent. New house would be close to 30k in taxes…happy with the 18 thousand on the double lined county road, or as expat would say “the highway.”

  42. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If you sell everything and rent you might be able to buy a public company and become a CEO. You can even change the name to Pumps Pancake in a Can.

  43. The Great Pumpkin says:

    So happy my first floor is leaving…..they were a friend of a good friend. Rents going up from 1250 to 1500/1600 range.

  44. The Great Pumpkin says:

    What is that, a decent car payment right there? Plus, I haven’t raised any of the other units for two years, so that’s up too. So should be clearing a nice extra 4,000 grand a year. Glad I was smart enough to save a down payment and tell me my grandma I want to buy it at the end of my teenage years.

  45. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Here’s your validation, Pumps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KatoqA6EVK4

  46. leftwing says:

    From yesterday and today, interesting discussion on what constitutes suburban/urban and infill of population. Thoughtful. Thanks. What this blog used to be before it became pumpkin splooged.

    From a longer term, bigger picture perspective on population density (notice the ‘star’ legend as well and think where that may be today): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1892-UNITED-STATES-POPULATION-DENSITY-Map-Old-Antique-Original-Map-/352147911101?hash=item51fda6b1bd:g:uh8AAOSwM7BZlgdd

    Re: the ease to build in NJ from Franklin Lakes discussion today, I would take the other side of the argument. COAH was shut down for nearly two decades administratively, they had to go to court to get its implementation out of the agency and to the court to oversee. Although it ultimately permitted an increase in FL of 7-8% of housing units it took 15 years and the State Supreme Court to get there. Not easy.

    Having said that, I do believe higher density infill building is inevitable in easily commutable ‘suburbs’. The NIMBY factor often centers around schools. As I’ve argued previously the biggest fraud being perpetrated upon citizens of NJ is that a highly ranked, blue ribbon school district accelerates your child’s acceptance to top universities. High end suburban residents are beginning to realize it does not, and that in fact other factors being equal it hurts. Once this conclusion takes root you will see the NIMBY resistance to infill fade. Ultimately, in less than a generation, some of our closer in nicer suburbs will more resemble Forest Hills or Park Slope, and parents can fight over the advantage of getting their kids into PS 321.

  47. JCer says:

    Why would you ever buy a million dollar home in Wayne with 30k in property taxes? If you like the area take advantage of the soft market in franklin lakes, property tax rate is almost half, with the low interest rates it makes way more sense to pay 1.2m in Franklin Lakes with 18k in property taxes than 950k in Wayne with almost 30k in property taxes. Not that I have anything against Wayne but at the higher price point I don’t see it as a strong market, especially with high taxes.

  48. Libturd sporting Tiger Wood says:

    Holy ravioli! I just caught up on the last two days here.

    Escapee, glad you made the sensible choice and didn’t get wrecked. My parents and sister in law both fared fine. Sadly, if a real big one comes, many fewer will leave and Florida will not always dodge the bullet like they did (besides the Keys).

    Advice to all…ignore the Pump.

    Grim, was surprised to hear recently that the Montclair School System enrollment was like 10% lower today than it was back in the 30s!

    As for stopping development. Small rich towns can’t compete with these developers either. Look at what happened down by Nicolo’s. Developer bought out an entire block of homes and a few retailers and will knock them all down to build a huge residential complex hiding behind COAH rules which disturbingly favor the developers. No one’s home is actually safe. Buy a home in an area zoned for denser development than your home and you could very well be stuck living next to a high rise with no defense.

  49. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    LOL. I worked in the middle tower of those 3 buildings in 1987. I developed lottery software for state lotteries, $35K/year salary, which wasn’t too bad 30 years ago. That was when I lived in Wayne. I’m glad they didn’t have security cameras back then. Why take a girl you just met at TGI Fridays anywhere off-site when you could just bring her up the elevator to your fancy office. That was a great Summer. I had a race car and was going to Lime Rock, Pocono, Summit Point, Bryar (before it was NH Motor Speedway), and Watkins Glen just about every weekend. Drive all night so you could drive all day and then drive all night again on Sunday to get home.

  50. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Of course I would take my real girlfriend with me on the weekends. She was my pit crew.

  51. Yo! says:

    Continental Plaza in Hackensack sold for $58 million in 1981. Last year, it resold for $63 million – as the broker bragged about the office park’s “unparalleled position in the market.”

    I don’t know what is more pathetic in suburban NJ, the office real estate market or the real estate brokers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1981/04/12/nyregion/continental-plaza-sold-for-58-million.html

  52. Yo! says:

    I am not an expert on the office market in Kabul or Port au Prince, but I would bet they are better investments than office buildings in suburban NJ.

  53. JJ fanboy says:

    Are hipsters the new Starbucks? I remember 15 years ago articles would say buy a place where they are building a Starbucks because Starbucks does such extensive demographic research.

    Look what the hipsters have done to Brooklyn in the last 15-20 years. I’ve also notice the few places in Arlington and Fort Worth I’ve seen hipsters congregating are also the places going through urbanization. There’s a block on Abrams in Arlington that was 1 story tall tired looking retail. It has been torn down and looks like a 3 or 4 story structure is going up with retail on the ground floor and apartments or condos above. Across the street are restaurants and pubs. That block is the only area in Arlington I have ever seen groups of hipsters. I haven’t gone back to that area in a few months and feel the urge to check it out this weekend. Last time I went I had to explain to my kids what man buns were. I think they may be damaged for life.

  54. JCer says:

    Yo, the only use for a suburban office building on NJ is as a conversion project.

    Hipsters are an indication that young white folks are moving into an urban area, as they gain mass there is gentrification. If you start to see hipsters it is a good investment unless 1 gets stabbed and they run off to a new neighborhood.

  55. 3b says:

    Yo. Continental plaza had been for sale for years!! Place appeared to be empty.

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I used to think Continental Plaza was the sh!t in the late 80’s. After being an aerospace software engineer with a Secret clearance in the mid 80’s, in the sterile environs of a Wayne office park, it was such a pleasure to be even in Hackensack with real people and fun around you after work. I used to throw after-parties in the boss’s corner office and at least one of my friends peed in one of his potted plants, though I’m not sure if any girls did. I worked for Ticketron, but not the concert ticketing part, the lottery division. We also had a big basement computer facility where I would run my code on my own mainframe to test it. We did have some kind of ticketing operation also in the basement (operations, not retail), but Ticketmaster was eating most of our lunch by then in that business. We did used to have advance notice of when tickets were going on sale and we were allowed to slide the ticketing girls in the basement a credit card number and they could get us about 4 good floor tickets each for every concert. Good times, good times.

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I even used to go to the spa at across the street at Bloomingdales for facials about every other week back then too (no the kind of facials Pumps likes to watch). You should have seen the looks I used to get at the racetrack bathrooms putting on my eye gel and moisturizing cream, skin repair products, etc. in the mornings before qualifying. I was a metrosexual even before they coined the term.

  58. grim says:

    I remember 15 years ago articles would say buy a place where they are building a Starbucks because Starbucks does such extensive demographic research.

    No longer true, I believe Wayne now has 5 Starbucks locations. I’m not sure what Paramus is up to, but we may lead the state at this point. Maybe Woodbridge?

    (1 on Rt 23, 2 on Hamburg Tpke, 1 Willowbrook, 1 West Belt Complex)

  59. grim says:

    After being an aerospace software engineer with a Secret clearance in the mid 80’s, in the sterile environs of a Wayne office park

    BAE?

  60. grim says:

    Didn’t they convert a bunch of office buildings on River Rd in Garfield to mixed use? It’s the oddest looking development ever. A bunch of shit retail on the first floor, with apartments above, set back way from the road.

    Pretty sure that’s not what they were thinking when they coined mixed-use and live-work.

  61. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Yep, but it was still Singer-Kearfott back then (GEC Marconi after that, then BAE, I think). Can you believe they let a kid like me write digital voice software and, even more scary, target-sorting message generation?

    BAE?

  62. 3b says:

    Left wing 1 42. I said the same thing . Very interesting discussion one of the best in quite some time. And no arguing for the most part just a simple but intelligent back and forth discussion. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  63. leftwing says:

    “Expat, I’m highly stressed at work…”

    Office has you running 3x daily to Dunkin’ now?

  64. grim says:

    Those Kearfott guidance guys are still around, they are in West Paterson now.

  65. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Yeah, I seem to remember they were splitting the company into Kearfott Guidance and Navigation (or something similar) and everything else. It was the everything else part that ended up becoming BAE.

  66. leftwing says:

    Yeah, have to fit hipsters somewhere on the gentrification food chain now.

    Used to be gays to the YUPpies through the DINKs (not sure if that nomenclature is still even correct). Guessing hipsters now follow the gays and pre-date the YUPpies. Starbucks likely between YUPpies and DINKs, Whole Foods following DINKs?

    Asbury was crazy this last Sunday, packed. Cross between NYC and the shore. Or a high-end Coney Island. More man buns and groomed beards than countable. Have two ‘lifestyle’ businesses nearby run by hipsters. Maybe I’ll chat them up next time I’m there and find out where they rest their buns.

  67. Juice Box says:

    Kearfott Guidance? What was the other one in Wayne called?

  68. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Yep, I remembered it right:

    In 1987 Singer split Kearfott; the Kearfott Guidance & Navigation division was sold to the Astronautics Corporation of America in 1988, and the Electronic Systems Division was purchased by Plessey UK. In 1990 GEC-Marconi bought Plessey and renamed the unit in Wayne NJ GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems.

    Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), or GEC-Marconi as it was until 1998, was the defence arm of The General Electric Company (GEC). It was demerged from GEC and acquired by British Aerospace (BAe) on 30 November 1999 to form BAE Systems.

  69. 3b says:

    There is a Starbucks on rt 4 approaching the bridge.

  70. Juice Box says:

    gec marconi in wanye that is it.

  71. Juice Box says:

    F- Starbucks.

    McDonalds sells $1 cofee and $2 McCafe beverages that include coffee, frappes and latte.

  72. 3b says:

    Continental plaza huge complex like that and it’s being repurposed for other uses. Does not say much for north jersey office space. Also on Hackensack Ave where kinderkamac road ends the old Bergen county D p w where they stored sand/ salt for snow removal was torn down and construction has started on 600 unit mult family project. Don’t know if it’s condos or rentals or a combination of both. I suspect all rentals as the physical location is dismal.

  73. grim says:

    Wait, Little Falls not Woodland Park.

  74. 3b says:

    Interesting thing about Asbury is the straight visitors are more flamboyant no offense intended or have more of a let it all hang out philosophy than the gay community.

  75. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Than makes more sense. When I was there we had plants in Little Falls(mostly navigation), Totowa, Fairfield, and Wayne. I surmised we had a little over 6,000 employees in the mid 1980’s because that was about the difference in number from one paycheck to the next every two weeks. We hired about 350 “fresh out” engineers every year back then (as in, “fresh out” of college). They used to spend so much recruiting us that they did something pretty darn smart. For about our first 6 months us fresh-outs used to meet about 2 half days a week in Little Falls, in groups of about 50. The purpose was to get us acquainted with the company, but also to inform us about every time of work that was being done around the company. They told us if we weren’t completely in love with our job and were interested in another area of the company they would much rather have us transfer somewhere else in the company rather than leave for another job (since we were all assumed to be interchangeable blank slates, predominantly electrical engineers). It was actually a pretty cool first job because it was like an extension of engineering school, hundreds of guys just like you in the same place.

    Wait, Little Falls not Woodland Park.

  76. grim says:

    New Thread! Up!

    I haven’t said that in 10 years!

  77. Libturd sporting Tiger Wood says:

    On the number of Starbucks. AC has you beat. There’s one in nearly every hotel now. Jersey City has a bunch too for the same reason.

    I saw a dude jogging without his shirt off in Bloomfield yesterday, with the man bun and full groomed beard. Interestingly enough, my barber (Joe the racist) goes to Italy for two months every Summer so I seek clippers elsewhere every August. There are now four barbers in a two block section of Broad Street downtown. The girl who cut my hair was all tatted and pierced (probably into k1nk) but a great conversationalist. Her place was brand new and I asked her if she felt the barber explosion was sustainable. She said that men don’t go to stylists anymore. I said, it will switch back eventually and lamented how dumb man buns were. She actually agreed with me. She said a lot of stylists are done. She gave me a great haircut and shave too. So is Bloomfield the next Harrison?

  78. The Original NJ ExPat says:

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