Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Talks on High-Rise for Cliffs Called Off

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Talks on High-Rise for Cliffs Called Off

Article excerpt

Less than a week after four former New Jersey governors urged LG Electronics USA to reconsider its plans to build a high-rise headquarters on the Palisades in Englewood Cliffs, talks aimed at finding an alternative ended without an agreement, the company said Friday.

In its statement, LG reasserted its commitment to its original 143-foot-high design, and blamed opponents' failure to abide by an agreement to avoid publicly discussing the project for scuttling negotiations.

The talks had been ordered by a judge to try to settle lawsuits filed by opponents of the building proposed at 111 Sylvan Ave., which would rise over the cliffs to become the only high-rise north of Fort Lee visible from the east side of the Hudson River.

The LG statement said that "groups aligned with the interveners" had failed to observe an agreement not to discuss the issue with the media during the process, instead releasing what the company described as "many inaccurate statements" about the project.

"For these and other good reasons, we believe that the good faith that LG brought to the negotiations was not matched by any of the plaintiffs or the interveners," the statement read.

Representatives of the opposing groups could not be reached for comment Friday.

The talks were called off by the mediator, retired state Superior Court Judge Daniel P. Mecca, said John Taylor, an LG spokesman.

The case will now be returned to Superior Court Judge Alexander Carver, who could rule later this summer, Taylor said.

"LG is confident that our case will prevail in the courts," he said.

The new headquarters would allow the company to consolidate 500 employees scattered in several buildings in Englewood Cliffs and 450 others in the tri-state area onto one site, with enough room to house a total of more than 1,200 employees.

The $300 million project would also be an economic boost for Englewood Cliffs, bringing in an extra $1.3 million in tax revenue.

But it has attracted a collection of powerful opponents -- including preservation groups with ties to New York's Rockefeller family, which spearheaded the Palisades preservation effort more than 100 years ago. …

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