The New Newark

From the NYT:

Work for Audible, Live Rent-Free?

Would you live in Newark if your boss paid your rent for a year?

That was the question that, the audiobook company, posed to its workers when it announced a housing lottery in January. The 20 winning employees would get $2,000 a month in free rent for a year if they signed a two-year lease at the newly restored Hahne & Company building in downtown Newark, a 10-minute walk from Audible’s headquarters.

Of about 1,000 employees in the company’s Newark and Jersey City offices, 64 applied. In March, the company, which has 16 global locations, expanded the offer, pledging a $250 monthly rent stipend for a year to any employee who lives in, or moves to, Newark. More than two dozen employees have taken advantage of that offer.

Audible is among a handful of companies around the country to offer housing assistance to its workers, although such benefits tend to happen in areas where the cost of living is extraordinarily high, which is not the case for Newark.

Only about 70 Audible employees working in the headquarters live in Newark, and that number includes those who took the company up on its housing offer. About a quarter of the company’s New Jersey-based employees live in New York City and Jersey City and the rest commute from elsewhere in the tristate area, coming from as far away as Connecticut.

Many Audible workers suffer through long commutes not because they can’t afford to live near where they work, but because they don’t want to. So for Audible, the incentive isn’t really about money; it’s about Newark. “Clearly what they’re trying to do is to get people to give Newark a try,” Mr. Lubell said.

Audible’s founder and chief executive, Donald R. Katz, has been something of a cheerleader for the struggling city, ever since he moved the headquarters to Newark from Wayne, N.J., a decade ago.

Conference rooms are named after notable natives like Aaron Burr, Gloria Gaynor and Shaquille O’Neal. Two years ago, the company helped start an incubator, Newark Venture Partners, to lure fledgling technology companies to the city. And next year, Audible will expand into three buildings on nearby James Street, including the Second Presbyterian Church from 1811, which Mr. Katz calls a “tech cathedral.”

For Mr. Katz, persuading workers to live in the city is a logical next step now that developers are pouring money into housing downtown. The first project to catch his eye was the Hahne department store at 50 Halsley Street, which underwent a $174 million renovation to build 160 apartments, a Whole Foods Market and a Rutgers University cultural center. “Young people want to be pioneers,” he said. But Mr. Katz, who is 65 and lives in Montclair, a wealthy suburb about 10 miles away, has no plans to move to Newark anytime soon.

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28 Responses to The New Newark

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. No One says:

    That Katz guy better watch out when IBM trains Watson to read books using synthesized dramatic voices, analyzing the text and context to produce the perfect emotion.
    Also, what could be more fitting than seeing a Montclair resident trying to lure people to live in Newark? Does the apartment come with an upgraded life-insurance policy?

  3. No One says:

    From the WSJ: Millenials want to own a home, but not spending their savings on Starbucks, avocado toast, and traveling is too big of a hassle.

    Most millennials have saved virtually nothing for a down payment on a home, according to a new study, suggesting many will face steep obstacles to homeownership in the years ahead.

    Nearly 70% of young people ages 18 to 34 years old said they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment, according to a survey by Apartment List, a rental listing company, expected to be released Friday. About 40% said they aren’t saving anything on a monthly basis.

    Even senior members of the group are falling short. Nearly 40% of older millennials, those age 25 to 34, who by historical measures should already own or be a few years away from homeownership, said they are saving nothing for a down payment each month.

    The study helps illuminate a tension at the heart of the housing market. The vast majority—some 80%—of millennials said they eventually plan to buy a home. But 72% said the primary obstacle is that they can’t afford it.

  4. grim says:

    Sorry, but how was the question asked?

    This can be interpreted different ways. They may have plenty saved up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean saved up for a down payment.

  5. jcer says:

    There are a lot of signs of life in downtown Newark….unfortunately you don’t have to go far to reach some scary places. I’m talking about weed strewn lots, and zombies walking around, the homeless in Newark are frightening. I also have little faith in Ras Baraka.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    But Mr. Katz, who is 65 and lives in Montclair, a wealthy suburb about 10 miles away, has no plans to move to Newark anytime soon.

    Successful for a reason.

  7. Steamy Cankles Foundation says:

    Best thing on Halsey Street is Hobby’s. If you leave Hobby’s at the just the right time, you get the treat of hearing a prerecorded Imam chanting the daily prayers from a really loud PA. It’s completely freaky, but eerily beautiful. There’s a pretty large mosque down there. There’s also a gorgeous temple on Broad Street that’s been long boarded up.

  8. chicagofinance says:

    By Peter Berkowitz
    May 21, 2017 5:47 p.m. ET
    The campaign against free speech on American campuses rolls on, steadily decreasing the domain of permissible ideas. But the case of Paul Griffiths, a professor at Duke Divinity School, is something new. The defense of liberty of thought and discussion itself has been transformed into a career-ending transgression.

    The case was brought to light in late April when Rod Dreher of the American Conservative published a series of email exchanges. It started Feb. 6, when Anathea Portier-Young, another Divinity School professor, distributed a facultywide email. “On behalf of the Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee,” she wrote, “I strongly urge you to participate in the Racial Equity Institute Phase I Training planned for March 4 and 5.” Ms. Portier-Young promised colleagues that the weekend program would be “transformative, powerful, and life-changing.”

    Ms. Portier-Young, an Old Testament scholar with expertise in “constructions of identity, gender, and ethnicity, and traditions of violence and nonviolence,” approvingly quoted the Racial Equity Institute’s guiding ideas: “‘Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force, one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history.’ ” She also included the institute’s call to political action: “ ‘To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent, and committed effort.’ ”

    Late in the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Griffiths replied in a facultywide email. Noting that Ms. Portier-Young had “made her ideological commitments clear,” he stated that he would “do the same, in the interests of free exchange.”

    Mr. Griffiths, a professor of Catholic theology, was good to his word. “I exhort you not to attend this training,” he wrote. “There’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty,” he continued, and it would reflect “illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies” and be “definitively anti-intellectual.” He noted that “(re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history.”

    He then entreated the faculty to rededicate themselves to their scholarly and pedagogical mission: “Each of us should be tense with the effort of it, thrumming like a tautly triple-woven steel thread with the work of it, consumed by the fire of it, ever eager for more of it.”

    That evening, Dean Elaine Heath entered the fray. Announcing in her own facultywide email that she was “looking forward to participating in the REI training” and that she was “proud that we are hosting it at Duke Divinity School,” Ms. Heath—also a professor of missional and pastoral theology—expressed confidence that the sessions would improve the school’s “intellectual strength, spiritual vitality, and moral authority.”

    Having sided firmly with Ms. Portier-Young, the dean proceeded to outline rules of acceptable discourse in facultywide email exchanges. “It is inappropriate and unprofessional to use mass emails to make disparaging statements—including arguments ad hominem—in order to humiliate or undermine individual colleagues or groups of colleagues with whom we disagree. The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution.”

    Yet Mr. Griffiths’s three-paragraph, 228-word email made no disparaging statement about any individual, much less expressed bigotry of any sort. Unless—in accordance with the illiberal spirit that has taken root on our campuses—one equates unsparing criticism of ideas with attacks on a person and redefines “bigotry” to mean deviation from the progressive party line.

    Ms. Heath instigated a disciplinary procedure against Mr. Griffiths for “unprofessional conduct,” and Ms. Portier-Young filed a complaint for “harassment” with the University’s Office for Institutional Equity. Last week Mr. Griffiths announced he was quitting effective at the end of next academic year.

    “Harsh and direct disagreement places thought under pressure,” Mr. Griffith wrote last week in an love letter to the university and the life of the mind in Commonweal. “Pressure can be intellectually productive. . . . But pressure also causes pain and fear; and when those under pressure find these things difficult to bear, they’ll sometimes use any means possible to make the pressure and the pain go away. They feel unsafe, threatened, put upon, and so they react by deploying the soft violence of the law or the harder violence of the aggressive and speech-denying protest. Both moves are common enough in our élite universities now, as is their support by the powers that be. Tolerance for intellectual pain is less than it was. So is tolerance for argument.”

    At Duke Divinity School, the defense of liberal learning and teaching itself is now beyond toleration.

    Mr. Berkowitz is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

  9. Alex says:

    At Evergreen State University in Washington State, students in past years held an event in which non-white students and faculty would select a day to not attend classes to protest so called “white privelage”?

    This year they switched it and demanded that NO white students or faculty attend classes on their dedicated day.

  10. Steamy Cankles Foundation says:

    At Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville Kentucky, we simply don’t accept people of color.

  11. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    SFW (unless you work at a college or university)

  12. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Have lots of respect for Gates, he gets it.

    “I am not a self-made man. My parents started me off in life with every possible advantage.

    So the disadvantaged world J.D. Vance describes in his terrific, heartbreaking book Hillbilly Elegy is one that I know only vicariously.

    While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it.”

    “I think the book was such a good read in part because of Vance’s bravery. Vance learns early in life that there is “no greater disloyalty than class betrayal.” Yet by writing this book he risks being called a traitor by portraying a culture that, in his view, is suffering from self-inflicted wounds.”

    “The key take-home for me is that whatever else we do to address the complex realities of poverty in America, we must find more ways to surround children with high expectations and as many loving and caring adults as possible.”

  13. The Great Pumpkin says:

    This still doesn’t mean I support school choice. Picking these poor kids up and throwing them in a classroom full of rich kids is not the answer. It will just be further punishment and a reminder of how bad their lives really are. Going to have a negative impact on their self esteem and outlook of themselves. Then the majority will just become bitter and angry which is not good for anyone.

  14. Steamy Cankles Foundation says:

    Dang. Vacation over.

  15. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Don’t worry, trying my best to not annoy this board with my posts, but an addiction is an addiction…lol So here and there, some posts will appear.

  16. No One says:

    Bill Gates is massively pu$$ywhipped. Somebody get him a testosterone injection.

  17. jcer says:

    Stu, Hobby’s is pretty good that neighborhood it’s in is down right scary…… even on a game night.

  18. jcer says:

    Gates is like every other extremely rich Bast*rd, he stepped over and scr*wed over so many people to get microsoft into a dominant position. Paying penance does not make up for basically being a sociopath your entire life(no different than Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, the real people behind the products were run over).

  19. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pumps – all done with your dickhead reflection?

  20. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    FASP1 : PNW , stop @ 77.67

  21. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    chifi – every time I think I congratulate myself for having a pretty decent command of the English language, especially for an engineer, I come across a sentence like this that makes me appreciate those who dedicate themselves to the arts. Thanks.

    “Each of us should be tense with the effort of it, thrumming like a tautly triple-woven steel thread with the work of it, consumed by the fire of it, ever eager for more of it.”

  22. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    In Canada, the theory has spread that real estate values can never-ever go down in any significant way – on the theory that they always go up – because they didn’t take a big hit during the Financial Crisis, and because the prior declines have been forgotten. So optimism about rising home prices had been huge. Now weekly polling data by Nanos Research for Bloomberg is showing the first signs of second thoughts. Two weeks ago, the share of people saying home prices would rise in the next six months was a record 50.1%. The following week, it dropped to 47.7%. In the most recent poll, it dropped to 46%.

  23. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pumps – Just like a child molester, you have to feed your sickness…and then congratulate yourself for not ruining more lives than you normally would.

    Don’t worry, trying my best to not annoy this board with my posts, but an addiction is an addiction…lol So here and there, some posts will appear.

  24. Juice Box says:

    All hail Amazon and their 1 million sq ft Carteret warehouse. The Kiva robots are pulling and packing my order right now for Sunday delivery.

    The pump seal on my in-ground pool pump went kablooey today and the water leaking out blew the bearings on the motor I just replaced last year. For the trouble of pulling it apart and installing new bearings and seals etc it simply is just not worth the time of fixing again.

    A whole new unit from Amazon is $400 delivered (by this Sunday Guaranteed). It is $200 less than the local pool Leslie’s Pool store that has it in stock. I can wait a day….

  25. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    My daughters are starting to become acquainted with what teenagers are working arond town. That’s a good thing, right?

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