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New Brunswick Redevelopment

Baglivo, Andy Interview Text

Interview with Andy Baglivo

Baglivo:        . . . about the impact of the arts.

Berkhout:       Yes.

Baglivo:         And he says, "Do you remember that?"

Berkhout:       Yes, he did.

Baglivo:         I said, "I'm an old guy, David." Record that.

Berkhout:       Okay, so just the technicalities here, we're doing this like an oral history project, so we don't know eventually what we're going to do with these things.

Baglivo:         They've been taking care of me for twenty years now.

Berkhout:       And a cookie, that's actually mine. I baked those; it was my mom's 98th birthday.

Baglivo:         Oh, I didn't see the cookie.

Listokin:         Oh, okay.

Berkhout:       It was my mom's 98th birthday yesterday.

Baglivo:         No kidding?

Listokin:         Oh wow.

Berkhout:       So we had a celebration.

Listokin:         That's very impressive.

Berkhout:       So in any case, we're videotaping and we're audio recording each of the interviews. We may only eventually just have the recordings, but it's possible there might be a final videotape or a publication or something, but we're not totally sure yet.

Baglivo:         Do I have to sign this?

Listokin:         Please.

Berkhout:       We're not sure yet. Okay, now we're recording.

Baglivo:         Do you remember what year you did that first study, David, at all?

Listokin:         Oh that . . .

Baglivo:         Very early.

Listokin:         The study that we were talking about?

Baglivo:         The impact of the arts on the. . ?

Listokin:         It must be thirty years?

Baglivo:         Probably.

Listokin:         It's . . .

Baglivo:         I know it was very early in the – what's the date today, I don't even know?

Berkhout:       Today is the 28th.

Baglivo:         The 28th.

Listokin:         It could be almost thirty-five; you know I mean it's really back when.

Berkhout:       I need to put it on record.

Listokin:         I always thought the planning program, being right in the middle of the city, you could learn something by looking out the window.

Baglivo:         Well some professors had the opposite view.

Listokin:         Oh, no, no.

Baglivo:         That they could teach us what we were doing wrong, believe me. (Laughter)

Listokin:         And I had my share of calls that were off. I remember when they started building the housing on Hiram Square and so then the thinking in housing was you had to go home ownership.

Baglivo:         Yes, right.

Listokin:          Now, of course that makes sense.

Baglivo:         Uh hum.

Listokin:         The first thing you build, people were hesitant to buy. When the first rental was built, it went like that.

Baglivo:         We had difficulty with the townhouses for quite a while, great difficulty with them. And when we wanted to go into the townhouses, the rentals, everybody including again some Rutgers faculty, urban planners or whatever they call themselves, said "People will not rent in a city." And you're right; they've probably got a waiting list down there now.

            Listokin:         (Inaudible)

            Baglivo:         Okay, I'll finish this later.

Berkhout:        Okay, you don't need – your signature and date is fine.

Baglivo:         Okay, fine.

Berkhout:        Okay, thank you.

Listokin:         Okay, well, on behalf of Rutgers and on behalf of Berkhout and me, thank you, this is a real pleasure. We often don't have an opportunity to look back and we have been given that opportunity now. We're talking to fascinating people who've had an important role in the city. This conversation guide was just that, it was just kind of . . .

Baglivo:         Well, I scribbled some notes on it.

Listokin:         Actually we're starting these things with – can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Baglivo:         Well, I'm a Rutgers graduate, class of 1949, just had our 60th reunion.

Berkhout:       Wow.

Baglivo:         And we managed to find about twenty guys still alive who showed up at Rutgers Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude. Most of my family are Rutgers graduates, too, including Mary, my daughter.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Who has done pretty well for herself.

Listokin:         And you were raised where?

Baglivo:         Newark, I'm a city street guy. I was born in Newark, so I know something about cities. And then I worked for the Newark Evening News for about twenty years, you know that was the big paper in the state.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And one of the top papers in the country, still miss it. And I was their political writer for most of that time, state and national, covering stuff like that. Then we had a very ill-timed strike, which closed the paper.

Berkhout:       That was in the seventies?

Baglivo:         It was – I'll give you the exact date because I'll never forget it.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         It was 1972.

Berkhout:       Okay, I seem to remember that.

Baglivo:         And it was a long, bitter strike. And I had been asked by a couple of Governors to join them in the communications area, Dick Hughes is one of them, and I said, "No, I love being a newspaper man. It's a love affair." And they would mention money, and I said, "Look, I took the vow of poverty when I became a newspaper man, you know." Then the paper closed down and I got a call from Bill Cahill and he said, "I guess I got you now. You have four kids and no income." I said, "Yeah, I think you probably have a much better shot at me now."

So I went down there, they created a position of State Director of Public Information, which was the first time they had that, it was usually the Press Secretary to the Governor. So my responsibility was to do – I helped write major speeches like State-of-the-State.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And I had an overseeing responsibility for all of the public information agencies and worked closely with the Governor on strategic kind of stuff like that. And in the meantime, we had a press secretary who handled the day-to-day media calls, you know and it worked out pretty well. And to this day, they still use that system.

Berkhout:       Oh, uh hum.

Baglivo:         They call our Communications Director or whatever they want to call him.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         I prefer, I asked for Public Information Director. I am still very sensitive to the flak business and all that stuff.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo: Then when Cahill left office after the Republicans did their usual death job on their own right-wing Charlie Sandman.

Berkhout:       Oh yeah.

Baglivo: Remember? You know the interesting thing about the Republican Party in this state is we've only had two statewide candidates elected in the last, at least quarter century, Clifford Case, knocked out by a right-wing Republican. Bell, you remember? Bill Cahill,.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         Knocked down by a right-wing Republican from South Jersey, Charlie Sandman and that's – that seems to be their modus operandi, they would rather – they seem to rather lose with guys who are really with them on political philosophy that win. We'll see what happens this time, you know.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         So far, it's a little different because there are a lot of other things.

Berkhout:       We did have Kean.

Baglivo:          What?

Berkhout:       We did have Tom Kean.

Baglivo:         Oh you did, yes, you absolutely did, yeah. And we had Christy Whitman, too.

Berkhout:       Yes, right.

Baglivo:         So anyhow, that's where – and then when Cahill left office, I decided for once in my life I was going to try something where success or failure depended on me, not elections and strikes and papers going down the tubes and all of that kind of stuff.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo: And so I started my own little public relations thing and one day I got a call from Larry Foster, I don't know if you remember him?

Berkhout:       No.

Baglivo:         He was the Chief of – he came down with Phil Hoffman at Johnson & Johnson and I worked with him at the Newark News and he said, "You know we're starting – " He called me down and I had lunch with John Heldrich, the first time I met him. And he said, "We're trying to start something in the city. We had a public relations firm from around here and it wasn't working out and we wondered if you might be interested because you've got the combination of street smarts," whatever that is.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         "You know, familiarity with New Brunswick from my Rutgers days and some experience now at the highest levels. Would you be interested?" And I said, "Sure." First of all, I always liked the city, as grimy as it was getting, it was still the place where I got an education that I had never expected to get.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You know, without the GI Bill.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Which to me, is still the best public policy program ever devised in this country. So . . .

Listokin:         I assumed you had left Newark, you weren't living in Newark?

Baglivo:         I lived in Union where I still live, yeah on the suburban golf course there. So it worked out, it started slowly and the first days were you know at times very problematic.

Berkhout:       So when did you actually start, what. . ?

Baglivo:         I would say I started – I would say 1976 or something like that.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         1975 or 1976, right when they were just getting started. I think Devco hadn't even been created.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         Can I take this one?

Berkhout:       Sure.

Listokin:         Please, make yourself at home.

Baglivo:         Okay. Nobody is going to see me, except on film, if they even see that.

Berkhout:       Right.

Listokin:         I just had to meet someone today.

Berkhout:       (Laughter)

Listokin:         I'm usually . . .

Baglivo:         I said – look like a professor.

Berkhout:       Most of the professors don't wear jackets and ties.

Baglivo:         Well you look great, so . . .

Berkhout:       Thank you. I'm not a professor.

Baglivo:         I know. (Laughter)

Berkhout:       My mother always said it was important to dress well.

Baglivo:         Yeah.

Berkhout:       Also to think well, but . . . (Laughter)

Listokin:         It can't hurt.

Berkhout:       Right, that's true.

Baglivo:         It can't hurt.

Berkhout:       That's true.

Listokin:         Actually a little detour. What do you think was motivating him, I mean I can imagine, you know Heldrich and J&J and I mean New Brunswick had experienced change in the post-war period and what do you think. . ?

Baglivo:         Well I think it was a combination of factors, one I think the fact that New Brunswick did pretty well right after World War II, but then you began as highways were built and people were earning enough money to buy homes in suburbs, the exodus of residents, the middle income residents.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         I think the disturbances in the cities. They call them disturbances and I covered it and it was a riot in Newark.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:          You know.

Berkhout:       But there weren't any here in New Brunswick?

Baglivo:         Yes there were.

Berkhout:       Oh there were?

Baglivo:         Yes, there were.

Listokin:         Actually there were . . .

Baglivo:         There were. Nothing to compare to, but yes there were disturbances in New Brunswick, absolutely.

Listokin:         Someone mentioned to us in the Kerner Commission Report, which was a report on the riots.

Baglivo:         Right.

Listokin:         That there was some specific discussion of New Brunswick, which we'll have to look at.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         Berkhout, there were disturbances in the city.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         So I think that added – all over the country, people began to look more intently at what was going on in the urban centers. Up until now, everything was fine you know.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And then J&J, it reached a conclusion that they were outgrowing where they were, so they had a decision to make. And the decision was, as you all know and I think you have heard from many people, to go to this beautiful acreage they had out in Somerset County or to stay in the city. They have their corporate credo, which, believe it or not, they actually follow. I went in as a very cynical guy. I covered party platforms, you know.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And I said, "that's something you run on and then you run away from it afterwards", you know.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         But they really believed it and one of their planks is a responsibility to the communities in which they live. But they didn't want to stay here if they became an oasis in the middle of decay.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         So I think those three factors all began to push toward a sensitivity to what the future of New Brunswick going to be?

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         What is it? Are we going to be part of it or help to shape it and stuff like that? And I think that's what generated it.

Listokin:         If I could draw on your political expertise, what was. . ? The mayor at that time, where were they in all of this?

Baglivo:         Well the first mayor, see I still can't remember his name.

Berkhout:       Yeah, it was prior to Pat Sheehan.

Baglivo:         [ . . .] But you know we were fortunate in that we had good relationships with city hall.

Listokin:         And that was through the J&J?

Berkhout:       When you say "We had good – " J&J had good and your public relations firm?

Baglivo:         Yeah, well the people who were starting to get interested in doing something.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:          And not only were they, was there a good relationship, they were very competent, smart guys. Johnny Lynch was one of the smartest guys I ever . . .

Listokin:         Actually if we, on the who, like who were some of the principal . . ?

Baglivo:          John Lynch, Jim Cahill and . . .

Listokin:         And John Lynch was a Senator, a State Senator at the time?

Baglivo:         No, I don't think so. Then he became the state Senator.

Berkhout:       Just as an aside, is James Cahill related to the Governor Cahill?

Baglivo:         No.

Berkhout:       It's just a coincidence?

Baglivo:         Absolutely.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         That's actually a very common Irish name.

Berkhout:       I always wondered that, yeah, right whether the two were related.

Baglivo:         No, Bill Cahill was from South Jersey.

Listokin:         So John Lynch was what, an attorney in the city?

Baglivo:         An attorney in the city.

Listokin:         His father was, of course, [a senator and ] had a very prominent . . .

Baglivo:         So they had the political name.

Berkhout:       Had his father been mayor, too?

Baglivo:         No, I don't think so.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         If he was, it was way before I remember. His father was the State Senator and the son far outshone the father, let me put it that way.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         [ . . .] In fact, I'd do the legislative correspondents show, you know, and that was fun; he always wanted to skip lines or something. But John Lynch started with a political name and a relationship with the Democratic organization, which in this town is "The Organization."

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And he's smart and he knew politics and then he became a member of the legislature and he was in a leadership position. So not only did we have a good relationship with him on a city level, but now we got a guy for the first time probably in New Brunswick's history because his father was not that effective, who could do things for us and advocate for New Brunswick, you know. And then Jim Cahill . . .

Berkhout:       Jim.

Baglivo:         Yeah, I'm still calling him . . .

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Jim Cahill came along and he is a very competent guy, you know well-positioned within the organization and we've gotten along well with him. And in their own ways, different personalities, very different, but in their own ways and foresight and thought said they really should get involved, the city should be part of this process.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And you know politically, basically at that time we did not have the kind of relationship with the county, I don't remember – that we had developed later on under Dave Crabiel and people like that.

Listokin:         And the county at that early point was just kind of there, but not really connected to . . ?

Baglivo:         You know, until they began to see things happening. You know one of the things about revitalization is success attracts success. Nobody wants to invest money in what looks like a corporation or a business or a government or a city that's got problems ahead and no seeming plans and initiatives to address it, which we had.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo: And then later, of course, Dave Crabiel has been very involved and the county has been a very important part of the process. As you know, the county owns the State Berkhoutter.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And that was very important for us. And in Trenton, we wound up with a very powerful guy, much more powerful than strictly a State Senator; he ran one of the most important county machines.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         So we had, we had some advantages starting out and I think one of the things that very early penetrated these different turfdoms and I think without it you can't really [be successful. The key] is that we are all going to be regarded by the public as together. If we flop, nobody is going to say, "It was New Brunswick Tomorrow's fault or Devco's fault or the cultural center." As far as the public is concerned, we all doing the same thing and they don't differentiate. Problems are problems for them and if you guys are in charge, it's your problem.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         But they seemed to recognize that there was an interdependence that really was important to their own survival as well as obviously [ . . .]to make the city better because most of them are natives of the city anyhow.

Listokin:         Speaking of the natives, I mean where was the local community in all of this?

Baglivo:         Well that's interesting because when they brought me in, we had a lot of militant people in the city who claimed that this would all be an effort at gentrification, get rid of the minorities, that Johnson & Johnson was going to make a bundle of money and that kind of stuff. And they were very strong militants; I don't know where they all went. And we did not get much help, I have to be honest with you, from the faculty at Rutgers, some of them who, I guess, well I don't know what it was called in those days, urban planning or whatever?

Berkhout:       Well there was Tony Nelessen.

Baglivo:         Tony Nelessen, right.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         And there was a woman who I see is on your list named Briavel Holcomb.

Berkhout:       Briavel Holcomb.

Baglivo:         One of the most negative reports I have ever seen about what we were trying to do. I laughed when I saw her name; I didn't know she was still around. So, you know, they were not supportive, in other words. In a city this small, such a major institution as a state university, [ . . .] you sure want them to be part of you and behind you, you know?

Listokin:         And the university administrator hierarchy, where were they on this radar?

Baglivo:         I would say until Bloustein, not really at all. To me he was . . .

Berkhout:       So Mason Gross was not involved?

Baglivo:          He was in his own thing. And I don't remember the years with Mason Gross, if we had started . . .

Berkhout:       Bloustein started in the early seventies.

Baglivo:          The revitalization movement started around the same time.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:          I don't think Mason Gross didn't approve of what we were trying to do, but I think he had a lot of other things going for him. But I think Ed Bloustein really; well he was my favorite anyhow.

Listokin:         And what was he. . ?

Baglivo:         He just got involved. He would come to meetings, he would speak at meetings, you know and I think that synergy started to reflect on some of the other people. You know, we had people serving on our boards who were pretty highly ranked at Rutgers.

Berkhout:       Like Kenneth Wheeler.

Baglivo:          Like Kenny Wheeler and after him, Nancy Winterbauer, who has been it quite a while and who I think has been fabulous for the board. So we're beginning to get the Rutgers participation. If Bloustein didn't come, he would usually send a pretty high-level representative. In other words, he didn't just blow us off. And then you know there is one question I saw in there, you know do you have any regrets about something?

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And my regret, one of them, is that I don't know how long Lawrence was the President.

Berkhout:       A long time.

Listokin:         It was quite a few.

Baglivo:         But that's the point. Well what the heck, you want me to tell you the truth, right?

Berkhout:       Let me see it was, because I know, I worked . . .

Baglivo:          I'm beyond the statute of limitations

Berkhout:       I worked for Kenneth Wheeler, he hired me. So it was from 1989 to 2003.

Baglivo:         And that was a very important . . .

Berkhout:       It was like fourteen or fifteen years.

Baglivo:         It was a very important period.

Berkhout:       Yes.

Baglivo:         And I felt that we lost them, that was a dead period as far as Rutgers involvement, really top-level involvement. He didn't seem to be interested, he came to a couple of meetings and then we never saw him again.

Listokin:         And with the current university administration, is it just. . ?

Baglivo:          It seems to be much; it seems to be getting better at it.

Berkhout:       Yeah, I actually just heard that McCormick's wife now is on the City Markets, is involved in City Markets.

Baglivo:          No, I think that.

Berkhout:       And is actually getting involved and at the State Theatre, maybe.

Baglivo:         Maybe.

Berkhout:        So. . .

Baglivo:         And the fact of the matter is the project we just broke ground on . . .

Berkhout:       Yeah, the Gateway.

Baglivo:         Directly affects Rutgers, you know.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And then of course McCormick had the vision of closing College Avenue.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You know, so he had interest in making Rutgers part of what, the good stuff, the positive stuff that was happening because some of it was actually having a direct impact on Rutgers. Certainly that project up on the hill there is a, you know got great . . .

Berkhout:       And I guess was Rockoff Hall proposed under McCormick or had that actually started the planning under Fran Lawrence?

Baglivo:         Not under Fran Lawrence, no.

Berkhout:       So it started under McCormick? Okay.

Listokin:         Actually we've spoken about others, but if we could go back to – you left state government and then John Heldrich asked if you could come, just speak more about your involvement, your roles and positions. . ?

Baglivo:         Well what they – at that time, what Johnson & Johnson said is, "You know, we are deeply involved in what's happening. We need certain skills and resources which they either don't have or can't afford and you have the kind of background that could be helpful not only in giving advice and counsel on everything from political matters to, you know, tactical policy. So we would like you to be a resource that we contribute to NBT."

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:           Devco and the cultural center, help them with their PR. And I have done that over the years, I still am, Thea, I am not former.

Berkhout:       You're still on their, they still hire your firm?

Baglivo:         They don't, they hire me, I'm my firm. [ . . .]

Berkhout:       They hire you, okay.   Do you still have your firm or is your only

work. . ?

Baglivo:         Well I call it; it's Baglivo Public Relations, which is me.

Berkhout:       Do you have any job other than the J&J one?

Baglivo:         Oh, I have other clients.

Berkhout:        Oh you do, okay.

Baglivo:         Oh yeah. No, I learned very early don't put your whole future into anybody.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Because you never know what's going to happen.

Berkhout:       So they felt that they had no one on the J&J staff. . ? Because certainly they have a big communications department but that's marketing their firm.

Baglivo:         They were specialists really . . .

Berkhout:       So they didn't have politics. . ?

Baglivo:         They were specialists really in corporate kind of stuff and did a very good job on it.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         But none of them had government background.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         None of them really, to tell you the truth, really had much newspaper background either, which in those days was important. [ . . .]

Listokin:         So can you talk a about maybe some of the specific things you were doing as far as far as the. . ?

Baglivo:         Let me tell you about one of the first things that I got deeply involved in. As I said, we had a lot of critics. And as you know, I guess I was guilty of it as a newspaper man, is the critics will get all the space. So when they were talking about making final decisions about staying in New Brunswick or getting deeply involved or committing resources of both money and people, they said "Hey you know, people don't want us to do this." I said "How do you know?" "Well", he said "Don't you read the papers?" I said, "No, that doesn't reflect what the average guy who lives in New Brunswick thinks. He works, comes home, gets his supper, picks up the newspaper, puts the ballgame on and falls asleep."

So he said. "Well, so how are we going to find out what they think about it?" So I said, "How about a poll?" And he said, "Who would do it?" I said, "Well I would not recommend a private professional for-profit firm." I said "Rutgers," you know I have always had good experiences with them because I used to lecture over there sometimes.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         I said "The Eagleton Institute, they have a poll." And I said, "And one thing about it is it's very difficult to say that a university, particularly a prestigious one like Rutgers, would have a poll that would say, "Hey, what do you want us to find?"

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Which is a charge rightfully or wrongfully that they make on other polls.

Berkhout:       Yes.

Baglivo:         [ . . .] So he said, "Okay, go talk to them." So I talked to them and they were very interested, you know they had never done anything quite like that. And they said, "But you know, we don't know what we're going to find, but whatever we find, we find."

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Whether you are pleased with it or not. So I said, "We roll the dice," and it came up pretty positive for the people. You know for a city that was going downhill and, you know, had the usual blahs at that time, it was pretty good.

Berkhout:       So the poll asked how people currently thought of the city or what they would think if J&J stayed and redeveloped?

Baglivo:         Well now we didn't get involved in J&J.

Berkhout:       So it was "What do you think currently about the state of the city?"

Baglivo:         "What do you think about living. . ?" It's a, some of the same questions.

Berkhout:       Yeah, still remain, right?

Baglivo:         In fact, I brought the latest one for you.

Berkhout:       Oh, okay.

Baglivo:         We have done that because tracking becomes important. [ . . .]

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         So a good number of those questions are repeats, you'll see, from the very beginning and that's how we're able to say, you know, how much percentage-wise, the favorability of the residents and all . . .

Listokin:         Can you speak to how the Eagleton Poll may have shaped policies that were taken that may not have been taken in the absence of . . ?

Baglivo:         Well for one thing, it showed us right off the bat; it demonstrated that all of the people in New Brunswick were not anti-renewal. It also showed the people at J&J who were going to be putting up the money that the people felt good about them.

It also showed that the people felt pretty good about Rutgers. You always heard about Town and Gown and how they fight with each other and all;, well it didn't show that. It showed phenomenal positive ratings of J&J, phenomenal positive ratings of Rutgers, which have continued to today. You know 80% or whatever it is.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         So that was important. It suddenly made the opinion-makers and the money-providers at Johnson & Johnson aware that this was not a lost cause. So that particular phase of is, "The people don't want it" – that kind of, the Eagleton poll and we did it every two years and we have done it. There is no poll like it in the country.

Listokin:         So when the poll was started, really the final decision on J&J staying and investing was made . . ?

Baglivo:         They wouldn't put it – they wouldn't put it succinctly. I felt when the reaction came to me, "Well you know the people don't really – why should we force stuff that they don't really want?" That's when I said, "Well how do you know that?"

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And that's when they said, "Well you know, read the papers this and that. We've going to make a bundle of money on this, J&J is and we're pushing the blacks out and the poor out." And I think the way we framed those questions, working closely with the people at Eagleton.

Berkhout:       Janice Ballou, right?

Baglivo:         Janice Ballou and before her was a guy who came back, he left and then came back. What's his name?

Berkhout:       Cliff?

Listokin:         Zukin?

Baglivo:         Zukin, yes and he was the first one. And then we had some other ones who now do their own polls.

Berkhout:       Correct. Pat Murray . . .

Baglivo:         Pat Murray or something like that?

Berkhout:       Murray.

Baglivo:         And somebody went up in Connecticut.

Berkhout:       Yeah, right.

Baglivo:         We worked very closely with them. It was not us dominating them or them dominating us. And when we got the answers, they were going to write a narrative interpreting these things and I get to look at it. And then if I saw stuff that I though was a misinterpretation, we would talk about it.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And sometimes they would say, "You're probably right about that." Or, they would say, "No we don't want to change this. We feel too strongly about it." So that poll over the years has been a guide to us if we're doing something right or if suddenly we see them saying, "What are you building all of those apartment houses down there for? [ . . .] We're never going to live in them." And so you are looking for danger signals, too. And there have been some changes in strategy, I really can't cite them for you, but it has been used.

You know John Heldrich, for example, I think he goes to bed with that poll at night. (Laughter) He's the only, as far as I know, he and I are the only guys that have read it from cover-to-cover. He reads all of the tables and all that stuff. So that was an important thing then.

Listokin:         We've observed the poll as almost like a consumer marketing tool.

Baglivo:         Yeah.

Berkhout:       Right.

Listokin:         For a company that personifies consumer marketing.

Baglivo:         Sure, absolutely. But in there, they started out with a wrongful perception.

Listokin:         Perception.

Baglivo:         You know whereas on their other products, they start out and then decide how to market them. So now you've got – you are able to persuade people who were overemphasizing the impact of criticism from either the activists or some of the Rutgers urban professors. Now you had to know, "Yeah, okay we think maybe we ought to do this, but can we do it? Is this city salvageable? You know, so how do we do that?" So we bring in the American Cities Corporation, [ . . .].

Berkhout:       Leo Molinaro.

Baglivo:         Who you ought to put on your list.

Listokin:         We will talk to him.

Berkhout:       We have, we were. . .

Baglivo:         Oh yeah.

Listokin:         And they were brought in as like a . . .

Baglivo:         Come in and look at the city, do you think we can save this city? Does it have strengths, does it have weaknesses? Does it have assets? When that came back, it not only said that. . .

Oh before that, I have to – the stage was set by Dick Sellars who was then Chairman of the Board of Johnson & Johnson. He made a speech before a group of business people called New Brunswick at the Crossroads.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And he raised those issues, is this city. . ? Can it be saved? Should it be saved? How should it be saved, and that kind of stuff? And that really triggered, I think motivated a lot of people who were on the sidelines saying "Oh – should we get involved in this thing or is it going to flop like everybody, most other cities had flopped."

Berkhout:       Right.

Listokin:         And some of those sideline people being. . ?

Baglivo:         Businessmen, professionals, educators.

Berkhout:       By the way, did you write the New Brunswick at the Crossroads speech?

Baglivo:         I helped on it. I helped on it, yeah. But he, Sellars is terrific. He's still alive, incidentally but very, very sick. [ . . . ] So that came back and so he set the stage. And then he led the way in bringing in American Cities and that now – Molinaro wrote the report, came back and said "Yeah, if you do it right, this city is salvageable." Why? Well first of all, it's manageable in size, you know 40,000 people.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         You know? It is not in such a state of decay and advanced urban [decline] [ . . .] When I first came here, they said they were going to drive me around the city and show me all of these terrible things that are happening. So they drove me around some neighborhoods that they thought were terrible. And I'm looking at them [ . . .] and I said, "You know, in Newark this would be a pretty good residential neighborhood." (Laughter) So they had, they had a misconception about that.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And so he [Molinaro] said, "it's not that far gone, you're catching it." When Sellars coined a phrase "at the crossroads," he was right. We could go down; the trend was definitely down as business and residents left. And then he said, "What you have to do is you have got to have a true partnership." He said, "Everybody talks about public-private partnerships; in most cases it's a slogan, you know, but you really need one in this city with the community, the corporate interests, and the professionals. You need that kind of a thing, but mostly public-private and you certainly need the city government with you."

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         "Because no matter what you do, city government has the final say. If they are not going to give you a building permit to do something you want to build right here. . ."

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         "You're dead in the water." And he proposed creating this kind of an organization and that was the beginning of the New Brunswick Tomorrow process, [ . . .]

Listokin:         And I guess separately, Devco.

Baglivo:         At first, New Brunswick Tomorrow did it all and you know, looking for potential economic development and things as well as social issues. Then they realized a couple of things which I think made us successful where others have failed, you know in addition to the obvious assets like Rutgers and J&J and county seat and all that kind of stuff. They realized that if you have a true partnership there, you know where you are working together, it could work.

And Molinaro said "None of these can work by themselves, you can't do it privately only, you can't do it publicly only, you can't do it community only. If you don't do it together" – and I think that was a fundamental turning point in planning New Brunswick's future that they decided that you can't just do bricks and mortar.

Listokin:         I guess the partnership approach and very early on, you know we're going back quite a few decades saying, "We need the bricks and mortar and the social side."

Baglivo:         Right, that's what we did.

Listokin:         Which New Brunswick Tomorrow . . .

Baglivo:         That's what we did. It was actually a stated mission, a policy you know at that time. We had to do them both together. So then the logical step was to create, since they were really fundamentally different kinds of approaches to revitalization, to create Devco as the [economic] [ . . .] development arm and J&J and NBT under John Heldrich, who was the founding chairman, concentrating on making certain that some of the benefits of economic development and renewed tax revenues are used.

Listokin:         The social side.

Baglivo:         The social side, you know. And incidentally, essential public services like street cleaning and stuff like that.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:          And I think you know – then – well, let me just give you a figure there that I just – I did a little research because you know my brain is getting old.

Berkhout:       You seem to be remembering a lot of details, so . . .

Baglivo:         Well when you live through something like that, you know it – this forced me to start thinking about it.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         So I've enjoyed the process that you're undergoing now.

Berkhout:       That's good.

Baglivo:         Because it forced me to do stuff that I had taken for granted and almost forgotten. In 1943, the central business district in New Brunswick was collecting $1.8 million in taxes.

Berkhout:       $1.8 million, $1.8 million in taxes.

Baglivo:         Right. In the early 1970's, that figure had dropped to $300,000 in taxes. Now that's a startling figure.

Berkhout:       Wow.

Baglivo:         How [ . . .] are you going to provide all of the services. . ?

Listokin:         And of course, costs had gone up.

Baglivo:         Sure, you know.

Berkhout:       Wow.

Baglivo:         So I, I just thought that – we have worked together, not always in harmony. You know there are times you know when . . .

Listokin:         And "together" as the public and private and then the different actors.

Baglivo:         And then the different actors and individuals and goals and all. The one thing I think we have been very fortunate in New Brunswick, because Molinaro pointed it out, too, another important factor in renewing city leadership. And you had a guy like John Heldrich come, I mean he just – to this day, he's – even though he's retired, so called "retired," he's working harder today than he did there before.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You had top corporate leaders like J&J, Jim Burke, Dave Claire and guys like that who were interested in it, who decided to go ahead and build here, a fundamental decision. J&J leaves the city and none of this happens, I think, or very little happens like that. So that was a – but that decision itself was based on their, you could say that their confidence was such, that something good was going to happen in New Brunswick, that they would not be left here, something positive was underway.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Both from the point of view of public perceptions and you know plans for the future.

Listokin:         John had mentioned some influence from the Greater Hartford process.

Baglivo:         He talks about it.

Listokin:         What's that?

Baglivo:         I didn't go up there with them.

Listokin:         So that was very early on?

Baglivo:         Yes, Hartford was – there were not many cities you could go to and see success. Hartford for some reason, at that time, was.

Listokin:         I can see . . .

Baglivo:         They had a great, progressive mayor.

Listokin:         I can see where they would see in Hartford the main corporate entities; you know the insurance companies and view it in the same light as. . .

Baglivo:         And they had a process, they called it the Hartford process.

Listokin:         Right.

Baglivo:         I don't think it has continued with the success that it had then.

Listokin:         No.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Whereas we have, but yeah he went up there to see that.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And came back, you know convinced that we were doing, the approach we were using is correct and also recognizing again that our starting point wasn't nearly as difficult as theirs, because with the size of the city.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And the decay of the city.

Listokin:         Alright . . .

Berkhout:       Now could I just ask, you talk about leadership and Heldrich, which we understand and Sellars was really the first executive there to get that started. So and I certainly know who Jim Burke is and I guess John said that he's probably not able to be interviewed. But what about David Claire, what was his. . ?

Baglivo:         [he has been ill] [ . . .]

Berkhout:       Really?

Baglivo:         [Yes] [ . . .]

Berkhout:       Yeah. See, we should have done this ten years ago.

Baglivo:         I don't think we had a good a story to tell you ten years ago.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         [ . . .]

Listokin:         So if you can take us a little, we're now launched with New Brunswick Tomorrow and Devco and the partnership process. I mean, I know of some of the early projects, but if you can just talk about them.

Baglivo:         Well first of all, once we announced that we were going to have this, you talk about expectations suddenly raised in people, right. Well you don't start go out and start building a building or anything. So we decided we had to have something visible, even if it was not a big deal, that they could see. So Johnson & Johnson built that little park on the corner there, which is still a nice little park.

Berkhout:        . . . Park.

Baglivo:         The railroad trestle on College Avenue, on George Street rather, just before you come to Old Queens, was rusting.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         I mean it was ugly.

Berkhout:        I remember that, yeah.

Baglivo:         It was really ugly. So we said, let's paint the [ . . .] thing. Paint it and say "New Brunswick" or whatever, "Healthcare City," or whatever, so to put some visible things that they could see.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And the billboard, there was a big billboard right on the corner there by New Brunswick Tomorrow. So we tried to give them, whether – it didn't hurt, but it was the only thing we could do at the time. And then we needed something more substantial obviously. There was a hole in the ground up on George Street next to what they called Plaza One Building.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And it was there, it was cleared.

Listokin:         That would be cleared from urban renewal?

Baglivo:         I guess it was a long time ago, you know. And that happened in a lot of cities in the day. They tore down stuff and . . .

Listokin:         A lot . . .

Baglivo:         I think it is happening again now with the economy and the vacant lots. But it was there and I.M. Pei had suggested a commercial building there, which he designed. And so, we started to work on Plaza Two. You didn't have to worry that much about acquisition or demolition.

Listokin:          Now Plaza One had existed already?

Baglivo:         Yeah, Plaza One was there.

Listokin:         It was there already?

Baglivo:         Yeah, Plaza One is the . . .

Berkhout:       The white . . .

Baglivo:         The white one.

Listokin:         The white one.

Baglivo:         And . . .

Listokin:         And that had been what, that was – who did that or who knows?

Baglivo:         A business building, I don't remember.

Listokin:         Okay.

Baglivo:         I wasn't here.

Listokin:         But we now have the – we have the assembled site for Plaza Two and then Pei.

Baglivo:          It was the first; it was the first real commercial building built in New Brunswick in the             memory of anybody.

Berkhout: Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And that helped a lot.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Listokin:         And was that in vision that who would occupy. . ? J&J. . ?

Baglivo:         J&J took some of it, but other people took parts of it, too, insurance companies and like that. But it was a very attractive building, as an I.M. Pei building would be.

Berkhout:       And by that time, I.M. Pei had already been contracted to design the headquarters?

Baglivo:         I.M. Pei had been – I forgot to give you that. I.M. Pei was brought in once it was decided that the public would be receptive, two that the city had the potential.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         So what do we do? So we brought in I.M. Pei. I have to say this; the quality of the consultants that we engaged very early was superb. American Cities, Rouse, I.M. Pei, you know, so – let's see . . .

Listokin:         So the decision on building the headquarters here, that precedes the Plaza Two or about the same time?

Baglivo:         No, a little after. Incidentally, one of the things I found and I don't know how many people have this; this was the plan that I.M. Pei -- and it's extraordinary. Because he said, "Over here, you ought to build a hotel. Over here you ought to build a cultural center. And over here, you ought to do this, and it's unbelievable."

Berkhout:       Hum.

Baglivo:         Whether we did it deliberately or were lucky – and I'm going to let you have this for a while; I thought you might want . . .

Listokin:         Okay, we'll make a copy and get it back to you.

Baglivo:         Yeah, I don't think there are many around.

Listokin:         Now was Pei working with American City or . . ?

Baglivo:         No, no.

Listokin:         Or they were in that initial effort and then . . .

Baglivo:         Once Pei, once American Cities said, "Yeah, you can do it, but you've got to do certain things" and the partnership and all of that stuff. And then we said, "Okay, we can do it." It was staged, you know. First for the public was the community opposed to it? Do we have the assets to do it, so what do we do? And we brought him in and he did this thing.

Berkhout:       Hum.

Baglivo:         And I'll let you have it and you're going to find out the downtown plan, Commercial Plaza just what I'm talking about.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         The cultural center.

Berkhout:       Hum.

Baglivo:         Commercial plaza, there it is.

Listokin:         See, that may be one of the few plans that a lot of it came to fruition.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         Well, I was amazed. I had forgotten that he had so directly pinpointed stuff.

Berkhout:       Yeah, John Heldrich said he took him up in a helicopter.

Baglivo:         Yeah.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:          He had actually pinpointed stuff. Sometimes you get a conceptual plan, which is just that.

Berkhout:       Right. Now we are not going to interview Pei, but his colleague, Henry Cobb, Harry Cobb.

Baglivo:         Henry Cobb did a lot of the work for Pei.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         You got him?

Berkhout:       Yes.

Baglivo:          Great. You want to take this?

Berkhout:       Yeah, sure. Thank you.

Baglivo:         Yeah, no I was always amazed with that. And so we were off and running, you know. The initial, the initial – we understood.

Listokin:         We had American Cities doing that initial and then Pei is brought in with sort of like a . . .

Baglivo:         A conceptual plan, yeah what do you do here, you know. And also although we, although from the beginning there was recognition that you just can't build your way into right, revitalization as we said. You had to take care of the people and social services and all that kind of stuff. So . . .

Listokin:         Where was the city's planning entity in all. . ? Were they kind of there but not there?

Baglivo:         I don't even know. I never dealt with them much. They guy they got there now is pretty good.

Listokin:         Glenn Patterson.

Baglivo:         Yes. He's pretty good.

Listokin:         He was my student.

Baglivo:         What?

Listokin:         My student.

Baglivo:         Well despite that, he's still pretty good.

Berkhout:       (Laughter)

Baglivo:         (Laughter) He really is good, he is not impressive when he makes a presentation.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         But if you listen to him and see what he's saying, he's a very competent guy.

Berkhout:       He seems a little grumpy.

Baglivo:         Yeah, well that's . . .

Berkhout:       He should be optimistic.

Baglivo:         You know, when you get . . .

Listokin:         And I've been trying to nail him down for an interview and I haven't been able to.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         No?

Listokin:         Okay so let's – so we have the city, again the J&J headquarters and then lots of other projects. But what do you think were some of the important ones that really changed?

Baglivo:          I think the first one, the Plaza Two Building, because for the first time they saw it and it was a handsome building, and it was the first one that anybody could remember, I think that was important. I think, I think our – and this was Sellars again, capturing the State Theatre which had by then . . .

Listokin:         Can you talk a little bit about that?

Baglivo:         Yeah, it was a porno house.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You know, if you walked into it, you couldn't see two feet ahead of you, it was so black. Not that I ever spent any time there, of course. But we wanted that captured, it was a natural, beautiful theater with the great . . .

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And Sellars out of his own pocket, I think, put down a deposit and held it and that saved that building for us. And I think – if you ask people in other parts of the state, the cultural center is the one thing they'd mention, restaurants they mention, and I think it has made New Brunswick . . .

Listokin:         Which is heavily linked to the cultural center . . .

Baglivo:         Yes, absolutely. On, no question. You know, it's made New Brunswick a destination city.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         People come here for that, the buildings are great. You know they like to see. . . But I think why do they come here from other places, that's it.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         So I thought our capturing of the State Theatre was important.

Listokin:         How about the Hyatt?

Baglivo:         They Hyatt was extremely important.

Listokin:         Was that difficult to bring about, to bring in. . ?

Baglivo:         Historic preservationists held us up for a while and cost us a lot of money.

Listokin:         That was in Hiram?

Berkhout:       There was a Texaco station there?

Baglivo:         It was a parking lot and a gas station there.

Berkhout:       Yeah, so why would historic preservation . . ?

Baglivo:         You ask him.

Listokin:         (Inaudible)

Baglivo:         I think they said something about they might find some privies down there.

Berkhout:       Oh, I see.

Baglivo:         And the privies would tell them what they were eating at the time.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         So we had to hire . . .

Berkhout:       An archeologist.

Baglivo:         Yeah, we had to hire the same guys that were telling us that you can't do this.

Berkhout:       (Laughter)

Baglivo:         They made a lot of money on us, believe me.

Berkhout:        I say.

Baglivo:         I hope I don't sound cynical, but it's true.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         So we had to go through that. And then once they decided . . .

Listokin:         And I guess Hiram Market, too.

Baglivo:         And the Hiram Market, that was even tougher.

Listokin:         On the back end of it.

Baglivo:         That was even a tougher of a thing to get through the historic preservation. And in fact they hired, Devco hired a very – I forget the name of the firm, but it was a well-known firm to come in and survey it and see. And they gave me a report which said that some of the buildings, historic, were crumbling and couldn't be saved. So could you redevelop an area where you had one building that's still lasting and the other one is falling down, you would have to do hopscotch all over the place.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And they finally got permission to do it, step-by-step. That was a cause of a lot of controversy in town, you know. We saved the synagogue.

Berkhout:       And part of the Old Bay building, Kenneth Wheeler said he made a big stink and some part of that building kept.

Baglivo:         And so that was, yeah that was the difficult part in some of those early projects. But as we, one of the interesting phenomenons that happened is when we started to try and build things and Chris Paladino – I, well, he wasn't here, but he could tell you more about it, it was all mostly government investment, UDAG funds and stuff like that.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You know, nobody was going to invest their own money here. But as they began to see, you know things were happening, little by little, and now they kill each other to get the contracts to build. The developers are all fighting with each other which I thought was very, very interesting. But that was another thing we had to go through at the beginning, how do we fund these things? And we had a lot of UDAGs. I don't even know if they have UDAGs anymore.

Listokin:         Well I think on a per capita basis, New Brunswick is either first or second in capturing them.

Baglivo:         I think they were right up there.

Listokin:         And that was due to good political connection?

Berkhout:      That was Lynch and Crabiel?

Baglivo:         Well not so much Crabiel, Crabiel was a very good guy around here. But if you sent him to Washington, it wouldn't have worked out.

Listokin:         So to what would you attribute. . ?

Berkhout:       So who . . .?

Listokin:         You know, being so successful?

Baglivo:         I think again even government doesn't like to give grants to failure, they want to part of the success story, too, so they can brag about it and help cut ribbons.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Which they love to do, you know.

Berkhout:       So who made the case, did you make the case? Did Lynch make the case?

Baglivo:         I think Lynch made the case. We made the case and Johnson & Johnson made the case. But what helped make the case was we now had something to show, you know.

Listokin:         And the something to show was Plaza Two?

Baglivo:         Plaza Two, the State Theatre, the hotel, you know a couple of other little things. And so that not only encouraged private investors, but as I say, government loves to brag about look what we did, you know.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         That's the advantage of incumbency, even though it doesn't seem to be working so well right now. But . . .

Listokin:         Did state government help in securing any of these grants or . . ?

Baglivo:         I think they helped us sometimes on permitting, you know where at first they were a little reluctant. Again, they saw things were happening, positively and they weren't . . . Also we had not had any scandal in this city, which, you know, when you are starting to do all of this stuff, the thing that brought Lynch down had nothing to do with anything that happened in the city, you know.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And it's remarkable because so much money was being invested.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         And spent. You know now we see forty-four guys go away for taking $5,000.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         We're not even big-time corruption.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         So you know I think state government helped, the federal government helped with the UDAG things. Investors started to take a piece of things. Plus, I have to tell you about leadership. Chris Paladino's unbelievable. He can irritate the hell out of you sometimes, but he is a genius and he gets things done and had Zoffinger in there with him who also was a very successful businessman and knew how to turn things around. We had a good board there, we had – and that's another reason for our success. I think we have had good people serving on the boards of NBT, the kind we wanted -- religious, labor, you know, community people, Devco people, business guys and bankers and stuff like that, financiers.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         The cultural center now is a good mix of people.

Berkhout:       So let me just ask about the community opposition, how was that dealt with? You were a PR person, so . . .

Baglivo:         We tried . . .

Berkhout:       So how did you involve people who were objecting to . . ?

Baglivo:         If they were making, as they were, allegations that had no basis in fact, like Johnson & Johnson is making all of this money and stuff like that and this is not really helping create employment as our unemployment rates were – so I responded to that also, we did not only use reaction communications which I don't – you know its okay, but we did aggressive stuff. We started, we did our annual report. I don't know if you have seen it.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And we decided and it lists all of the accomplishments of the past year and we decided we were going to send that to every household in the city, which I think was expensive but . . .

Listokin:         You were sending what now?

Berkhout:       The annual report.

Baglivo: The annual report for NBT.

Listokin: Oh.

Baglivo: And then we decided how do we make that even more effective? Well as the immigration increased, we decided to do the annual report in both Spanish and English. Also we decided it's great so that they know what's going on, but what can we give them that comes in handy for them? So we attached, we put in a detachable page at the end which they could tear off which had all the numbers they needed, emergency numbers, city numbers, you know, all of that kind of stuff. And I think that has had an impact on the public, that's the kind of stuff we've been doing.

And when we had major announcements to make, you know, I did it. In those days, we had a lot more media people around to cover stuff that we do. Now, you've got to arrest forty-four people to get their attention.

Berkhout: Yeah.

Listokin: I know there were some community leaders involved, like Roy Epps. . ?

Baglivo: Yeah.

Listokin: Can you speak about that?

Baglivo: Yeah, Roy Epps was a founding member of the Board of Directors of New Brunswick Tomorrow. So they did not only picked safe things, but they picked a guy who was independent and who would challenge certain things. So he's was there and is still there and still very active. And I think if certain projects or certain services, because he's on the NBT board are being discussed, his input was important because that's what he is, you know service organizations. "Well that's not really the target; these are the kids who have a problem." So we had him on there, we have other community people on there.

Listokin: I know some of the church leaders, were they. . ? Where were they in all of this?

Baglivo: Yes, very active, particularly one, Martinez, Reverend Martinez, whose church does a lot of social service stuff and with whom we helped to fund this.

Listokin: This is not New Brunswick Tomorrow?

Baglivo: Yes, New Brunswick Tomorrow. The separation is there, except when you're overlapping on things like "Who's going to work at the new hotel? Who are the jobs going to go to?"  

Berkhout: Uh hum.

Baglivo: So we worked with NBT, NBT worked on it with the Devco people and in fact, came up with a pretty good record. When they first built the Hyatt, a lot of these activists who were still around then, picketed and said, "We've got to make sure the New Brunswick       people . . ." So we had a training and stuff and we did the second hotel much better because we learned from the first.

Berkhout: What about the house. . ?

Listokin: The second hotel . . ?

Berkhout: Heldrich.

Baglivo: Heldrich.

Berkhout: What about the housing, I mean I remember the moving of people out of . . .

Baglivo: Well, one of the things I had to try to do which wasn't easy was the press focuses on the most pitiful situations, but they don't follow-up. We had a pair of brothers who lived down in Hiram market and they didn't have running water, they had no heat, but they didn't want to move and the press loved them, you know. We finally got them out of there and gave better housing than they'd ever seen in their lives. [ . . .] I'm still basically a journalist and they know me. I said, "You know, one of your faults is you highlight the hardship part of it when they get thrown out, but did you ever follow-up to see where they wound up?" Our relocation has been excellent and of course we had Section VIII's to use, too. So that's. . .

Listokin: Well you could talk about . . .

Baglivo: And incidentally there weren't a lot of residents in the Hiram area. There weren't a lot of residents where J&J built its complex, very few.

Berkhout: Uh hum.

Baglivo: And we already discussed, there were almost no residents where we built the Hyatt. It was a parking lot and stuff like that. So either by luck or stuff like that . . .

Berkhout: But the more recent ones like the Highlands area and over here behind, closer to us, there were projects and other houses like that to relocate.

Listokin: Well I guess there is like almost three parts of housing.

Berkhout: Yeah.

Listokin: The initial thing was by Hiram Market.

Baglivo: The townhouses.

Listokin: The townhouses.

Berkhout: Right.

Baglivo: Yeah.

Listokin: Which then was followed by some rental.

Baglivo: Yeah, pretty substantial rental.

Listokin: The Hope Six was the subsidized, which was part of a . . .

Baglivo:   Yes.

Listokin: National effort of . . .

Baglivo: That's exactly right.

Listokin: Of saying high-rise public housing has failed and we're going to replace it with more lower . . .

Berkhout: Okay.

Listokin: The most recent thing done by Matrix and Roseland, you know, which is almost like market, totally market-driven, I think in part was, would you agree, was in part developers came in because they saw there was a market.

Baglivo: To make a buck here.

Listokin: And they could get approval faster rather than slower.

Baglivo: Right.

Listokin: Where they couldn't elsewhere. Do you think that was a factor?

Baglivo: I think that was a factor. I think we had a track record, let me put it that way. Whereas in a lot of places where they were going for development, they were really among the earliest people who wanted to make these major developments. Well we had done it already; we had done it without them at first, unfortunately. We would have loved to have had them, but we had done it. And then they saw other developers coming in and building buildings and doing well. The UMDNJ building, that was another one. And you know, so again it sounds trite, success breads success. Success attracts people who want to invest and make money.

Berkhout: Uh hum.

Baglivo: So and that has been a major selling point. You know Chris Paladino is a great friend of mine and we talk about, you know a lot of these buildings that came recently. And when we started, we had very little. He said, "Yeah, we set the foundation for this. You guys shed the blood. Well you left us with a city that was on its way and not as hard. You guys were getting . . . Whatever you wanted to do, somebody was out there protesting against it or a Rutgers professor was writing a report saying it was no good." (Laughter)

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         I was looking for Briavel Holcomb's – I can't find it anymore.

Berkhout:       I think we might have it.

Listokin:         We do.

Baglivo:         That's alright, it's not important.

Listokin:         You have spoken about some of the outcomes, I just – with hindsight, you know things you are most proud of, things you may have perhaps . . .

Baglivo:         Why don't you put it another way.

Listokin:         With the benefit of hindsight, you would have done differently?

Baglivo:         One of the questions I would have hoped – and this is not that I, it's not something that we did wrong, I would have hoped that we would have been in a position to do things that we weren't and maybe still aren't completely, the neighborhoods. We knew that before we even addressed the neighborhoods, we had to rebuild the economic heart of the city, because that's where the money comes from, you know.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And it was not as fast as – we were a little unrealistic, too. You know we were all eager to go in. And I would have hoped that we would have been in an economic position to do more in the neighborhoods.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Listokin:         And things, I can imagine but things like what?

Baglivo:         Help them fix it up, help fix their buildings you know. Do some green spaces for play. You know the city has done things like that with the stadium.

Listokin:         Do you see Devco, New Brunswick Tomorrow; you know moving to that neighborhood level down the road?

Baglivo:         I think Devco is beginning to, that's not New Brunswick Tomorrow's ballgame.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         New Brunswick Tomorrow, most of it is social services or exactly in the neighborhood, so the dichotomy is different, you know. New Brunswick Tomorrow is not building social centers down here.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You know they are doing it up there. But it's – it's a dynamic process that's going on around here. There is no end in sight, and particularly with new immigration status now, I think we're half – the census is going to be very interesting; I think we're almost half Hispanic now.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo: I think so, you know. And that opens up another area that we've got to consider is to help – and most of them are working, they are entrepreneurial and we've got to help them.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And I don't know if we have things like that. I also think they established, this is thirty years ago. You know on our thirtieth anniversary, the Heldrich Institute for Urban Fellow or Leadership. One of the things that bothers me is, I don't see – we started to do this too late -- enough young blood.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Getting as involved. I don't – and they have had some graduating classes and the people have, you know, gotten involved in some community things, but – and then just forgetting the numbers, we have lost too many real leaders, you know. What happens when something happens to John Heldrich? You know, I mean he is irreplaceable as far as I'm concerned.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         He is the – but whenever there is a problem in the city, who [ . . .] does everybody go to? Heldrich, because everybody trusts him, the politicians trust him, the veterans trust him, the community trusts him, and that's irreplaceable. And that's where I was hoping some leaders would emerge, but it's a different ballgame now.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         Young guys are too busy raising families and trying to support themselves, so that bothers me a little bit. Because I am convinced as is John, he and I work very close together, that we worry about what he calls the "next generation of revitalists."

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         And I don't know. You know, that institute is addressing the problem.

Berkhout:       And where is that, is that out of NBT?

Baglivo:         No, well NBT started it but it's out of Rutgers. It's out here somewhere.

Berkhout:       Oh, you're talking about our Center on Workforce Development?

Baglivo:         No, no I'm not because I . . .

Listokin:         I think there are fellows . . .

Berkhout:       Fellows?

Listokin:         There is like a fellows program. . ?

Baglivo:         There is an institute – I don't know if it's in here.

Berkhout:       Institute . . ?

Listokin:         We'll find that one.

Berkhout:       And it's a Heldrich Institute?

Baglivo:         It's called the John J. Heldrich Institute for Leadership.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         And they have like two categories, leadership today and leadership tomorrow.

Berkhout:        Okay.

Baglivo:         When they graduate from leadership today, they go to leadership tomorrow. But I don't – and it's not necessarily the fault of the process; we don't have guys like that around anymore.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Really anywhere, in any walk of life. You know, those people are very rare. What you try to do is make up, I think in numbers, what you can't make up in individual quality.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And that's what this institute is designed to do. And we're seeing some young people come forward.

Listokin:         Do you think with the benefit of hindsight that more of the existing buildings could have been saved or what's your take on that?

Baglivo:          I'm not in a position to make that evaluation. I don't see – where has the major demolition taken place in the city? Hyiram Market. We addressed that as well as we could. I'm sure some people disagreed with us. But this firm came in and said, "Look, this building is historic but it's falling down. You can't preserve it."

Berkhout:        Uh hum.

Baglivo:         "The one next to it is okay and then two doors away there is another one." They said, "What are you going to build here? You know if you want to really address and come up with a – you know it's not going to be a historical, traditional thing that you had here at one time, but it ain't here anymore anyhow." And that was it. So that thing was a planned demolition.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Which they didn't go into haphazardly and quickly. The Hyatt . . .

Berkhout:       Was a Texaco station.

Baglivo:         Yeah. Where J&J built, and incidentally, one of the interesting things about the J&J thing is they made a decision when they started to buy that they would never go into – what do you call it when you can't agree and you go into this arbitration . . ?

Berkhout:       Arbitration?

Listokin:         Eminent domain.

Baglivo:         Yes. J&J said we are not going to do that. As a result, they got held up. But it was a – and of course another issue that seems to be surfacing now . . .

Listokin:         And they didn't want to. . ?

Baglivo:         Am I going too long here?

Berkhout:       No.

Listokin:         They didn't want to go. . ?

Berkhout:       No, I have another meeting I have to go to at 11:30, but you . . .

Listokin:         They didn't want to go into eminent domain because of the controversy involved?

Baglivo:         And making it look like big guys were eating little guys, you know.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         And it was, if you can afford it, it's a smart PR thing.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         But most people can't afford it.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         For example, Tumulty's, that guy he had a little, he had a place over there on that site and they bought that place, his old place for $2 million

Berkhout:        Wow.

Listokin:         How transferable do you think what happened in New Brunswick is to other places?

Baglivo:         Very difficult, for a number of reasons. Size, the lack of a J&J, the lack of a state university, the lack of a natural asset like the river, which I think we were late in getting around to, you know. Those kinds of things, I just don't . . . And maybe the leadership we had here.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Not to say that there aren't other places, but that's . . . And to this day the state of what we would call our most debilitated neighborhoods is nowhere near as bad as like where I grew up, you know. So I think it would be very difficult to duplicate all of those things. It's amazing we were able to do it in a city of this size, you know.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         But I would say – Devco, and we never, it was never even concerned of whether we were going to be a model or not. It was not, never even thought about it. So . . .

Berkhout:       Could I ask you just sort of a . . ?

Baglivo:         Personal question?

Berkhout:       A technical thing, no, no. Well do you have a collection of documents related to this?

Baglivo:         I don't have a lot of documents. I have a lot of things written about us. I brought some of the documents here.

Berkhout:       You mean articles? I guess what I'm wondering, because one of the people on the advisory committee with us is the University Archivist, Tom Frusciano, who already has some documents about New Brunswick and part of also what we were going to do with this project was try to collect and organize the documents . . .

Baglivo:         Well at the right time I've got some of the stuff.

Berkhout:        So you would have some at your office?

Baglivo:         Yes and I brought a few things here that I thought you might be interested in.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Listokin:         Can we make copies of these and get them back to you?

Baglivo:         Yeah, in your own time.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Listokin:         We've mentioned some people that we're seeing and who are also on the list, anyone who just. . ?

Baglivo:         Well, Leo Molinaro . . .

Berkhout:       Yeah, we were set up to meet with him.

Listokin:         Anyone not on our list. . ?

Baglivo:         You don't have anyone that I can see, other than Heldrich, from New Brunswick Tomorrow.

Berkhout:       Well I contacted Jeff Vega, so he and Nancy Winterbauer and . . .

Baglivo:         Did you talk to Roy Epps?

Berkhout:       Roy Epps, we have an interview set up with.

Baglivo:         Good.

Berkhout:       Steve O'Conner, no?

Baglivo:         I don't think so.

Berkhout:       Well he was there for a long time.

Baglivo:         I know about that.

Berkhout:       He was not helpful?

Baglivo:         [ . . .]

Berkhout:       Is Ted Hardgrove still around?

Listokin:         Well he's . . .

Baglivo:         Ted Hardgrove is still around.

Berkhout:       What is he doing?

Baglivo:         He was working for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         He's still around and he – I would go to him well before I went to O'Conner.

Berkhout:       Okay.

Baglivo:         The one thing that Ted could give you is he circulated more into the community. He was, he is a minister.

Berkhout:       Oh, okay.

Baglivo:         Yeah, he came from – and he came from a community organization in Newark called the Vailberg Organization. But Hardgrove, his specialty was going out into the community.

Berkhout:       I see.

Baglivo:         That's what he did as a minister, you know. And also the religious people, he was one of them.

Berkhout:       Did John Cooney, Did John Cooney get involved at all?

Baglivo:         No.

Berkhout:       No, okay. He was a minister. I don't know if you remember him, he's now passed away, I think.

Listokin:         I remember.

Baglivo:         I don't know, but he . . .

Berkhout:       What about Don Edwards?

Baglivo:         A little bit with the cultural center, but not a big deal.

Berkhout:       Okay, so Kenneth Wheeler was probably more active and Nancy Winterbauer?

Baglivo:         Kenneth Wheeler is fine, and Nancy Winterbauer is my favorite, that's personal as well as . . .

Berkhout:       We did interview Eric Krebs.

Baglivo:         Oh good.

Berkhout:       It was interesting because he talked about the original theaters up on Easton Avenue in the 1960's and having interesting beginnings, and then what happened over time.

Baglivo:         Well you know, the whole Crossroads Theatre, we talk about where they were functioning on the borderline of the Hiram Market.

Berkhout:       Yes, right.

Baglivo:         And you walked upstairs and you didn't know if you were going to make it or not.

Berkhout:       Yeah.

Baglivo:         And then George Street Playhouse started in a supermarket over there.

Berkhout:        Right.

Baglivo:         So those are all . . .

Listokin:         Here's some J&J.

Baglivo:         We've done some pretty clever things and I'm sure we made mistakes. But I think by and large, the way we've done thing and to get to where we are today is something we're all pretty much proud of.

Berkhout:       The only thing we didn't really talk about was the involvement of the hospitals.

Baglivo:         Oh yeah.

Berkhout:       Now Bob Campbell is somebody that we're going to talk to. Are there other people, do you know Steve Jones?

Baglivo:         No, but I met him a couple of times but he would be good to talk to.

Listokin:         And can you just speak briefly about the involvement?

Baglivo:         I think the – now this, this was a redevelopment of areas that needed it that were done on a different basis. This was meeting specific healthcare needs and pretty much were handled by the institutions themselves. But I think that's what helps attract – we were talking about a destination city, we'll talk about a destination. And a lot of people, for them it's one of the early, first experiences with the City of New Brunswick.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         A lot of people who live in this area come to New Brunswick and in fact don't know what's down here.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Well this forced them to come in.

Berkhout:       Right..

Baglivo:          [ . . .].

Berkhout:       So did Devco or New Brunswick Tomorrow. . ?

Baglivo:         Works with them.

Berkhout:       Help to make the hospitals better so that it would be part of the redevelopment?

Baglivo:         Devco works very closely on the development of this thing.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:          In fact in construction management on a lot of these things. No, I think Devco worked very closely with many of the institutions up there because we had to know how.

Berkhout:       And did Molinaro or Pei suggest that the hospitals would be a. . ?

Baglivo:         I don't think he ever got around to that, that area. I can look.

Listokin:         Also it was Middlesex General Hospital.

Berkhout:       Yes, right.

Baglivo:         Yeah it was, that's right. But you know when they call it a healthcare city, you can make a case for that.

Berkhout:       Yeah, right.

Baglivo:         Yes, I'm sorry I didn't mention it. We didn't have that much involvement with actually doing it because they did it on their own. But Devco was deeply involved in it and again with the high school being built out here now, too.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And Devco's doing that.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Devco did the Lord Sterling School, which the legislation passed in Trenton where they say this should be an example of how you can coordinate a school like that with redevelopment. The Rutgers police station is down there, too. French Street was always something that bothered us.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         You walked, you'd get here and you'd walk and – we used to think about the pedestrian traffic back and forth and coeds and stuff like that – It was kind of dangerous at times, but that's working out now, too. There are little steps that we have been taking regularly. There is no idleness going on in this city.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         And I think that's one of the important things I would say. With all of the success that we've had, we don't sit back and say, "Okay, that's it." We're always looking for what still needs to be done and there is a lot that needs to be done. Because it is a c hanging city and will always be that way.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Listokin:         With things going forward are often the most difficult.

Baglivo:         No question about it.

Listokin:         The neighborhoods . . .

Baglivo:         there is no question about it.

Listokin:         Any last thoughts?

Berkhout:       I'm going to have to go. So if you want to shut these things off when you're done, is that alright.

Baglivo:         I hope I have been helpful.

Berkhout:       You have been. I'm actually going to be in Mike's office, so if you need me.

Listokin:         We can, I think – I suppose we could just end it.

Baglivo:         I'm trying to think here. I'm sure there was something . . .

Berkhout:       You can always, I mean we can always talk to you again or you could send us stuff.

Listokin:         Maybe we'll just shut it down.

Baglivo:         Let me just give you some things. This is a speech that I wrote with John. We went out to Ohio, he was called out there. We got national recognition. And this speech was designed to take you from the very beginnings of how it came about to where we were at that point. And I think if somebody wants to take the time to read this thing.

Berkhout:       Sure.

Listokin:         I . . .

Berkhout:       David Listokin is collecting all of them.

Baglivo:         David Listokin, that's it. Don't lose that, that's the only copy.

Listokin:         No, no, no.

Baglivo:         Then we had the last Rutgers Eagleton poll, if you want the figures on that.

Berkhout:       Oh yeah, right.

Baglivo:         And then . . .

Listokin:         We're going to look at all of the results of the polls.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         For the thirtieth anniversary, I went back and did a chronology.

Berkhout:       Right, is that the one that's – on the NBT web site there's a chronology.

Baglivo:         Is there, that's the one I did, it's in here.

Listokin:         And that would be – and actually when the city had it 300th anniversary, they put together a little booklet of the history of New Brunswick.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Yes.

Listokin:         So combined, it gives you a nice . . .  

Baglivo:         I think you are involved in an interesting project. As much as the fact it's ongoing.

Berkhout:       Uh hum.

Baglivo:         Whatever you do now, in a year there is going to be more stuff that has happened.

Berkhout:       Right, but we wanted get back to people who were at the beginning.

Baglivo:         Yeah, because we're not going to last that long, obviously, right.

Berkhout:       And some people are already unable to help us.

Baglivo:         Or gone.

Berkhout:       Right.

Baglivo:         Thank you. See you.

Listokin:         See you. So when . . .

[end of recording]

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