Former NJ Governors Seek to Safeguard Palisades’ Tree Line — But at What Price?

NJ Spotlight | April 10, 2014 | Energy & Environment
Englewood Cliffs company says new headquarters means thousands of jobs for NJ -- and first building that 'breaches' pristine timberline

At first glance, it’s a win-win situation.

LG Electronics wants to build its new North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs. (The company is already located there.) The undertaking could mean thousands of construction jobs for New Jersey, as well as new opportunities in high tech once the building is finished. The company estimates on its website that the $300 million project “would bring a total of $2.5 million in annual tax revenue to Englewood Cliffs.”

So why do four past New Jersey governors — two Democratic, two Republican — and the mayors of six nearby towns vociferously oppose the LG plan?

As discussed on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, the proposed headquarters would be the first building to “breach” the tree line of the Palisades, making it visible to towns, cities, and people along both sides of the Hudson.

Former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who also served as EPA administrator, explains why she’s against the project, and argues that there are workable alternatives. And John Taylor, vice president of public affairs for LG, defends his company’s plans, commenting, “We love the Palisades and would never do anything to harm them.”

Listen to the complete audio report on WNYC, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.