Grapevine: There’s something about Mary’s


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Could a new ownership group be on the way for St. Mary’s Hospital, in Passaic? A health care industry expert said St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Hudson Holdco were working together to see if a bid for the safety-net facility could be arranged. St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s were in discussions earlier this year with Ascension Health Care Network, but talks with both parties dissolved when St. Joseph’s board decided not to go forward with the acquisition. St. Mary’s said at the time it would continue to work with the state for new partnership opportunities.

St. Joseph’s declined to comment, and St. Mary’s and Hudson Holdco did not respond to requests for comment

More sugar for Honeywell?

As Honeywell pursues a plan to redevelop its Morris Township headquarters, a source said the technology maker has also been poking around the market for alternatives.

The Fortune 100 company has looked at existing large blocks of vacant office space around the area, the source said. And there’s no shortage of those in New Jersey.

“They’ve been out there kicking some tires,” the source said, though it was not immediately clear which sites Honeywell has considered.

The corporation has proposed redeveloping its 147-acre campus in a project that includes state-of-the-art office space and more than 200 townhomes. The plan has required Morris Township officials to change the municipality’s master plan and zoning ordinances, while meeting resistance from local residents.

In September, Honeywell was awarded a $40 million Grow New Jersey tax credit after saying that it was reconsidering a move out of state. In an application for the tax credit, the company said some 1,000 jobs were at stake, and its options for a new headquarters included a build-to-suit facility in Pennsylvania, a redeveloped corporate campus in Morris Township or buying a nearby facility elsewhere in New Jersey.

At the time, Honeywell also said it was looking for space that is more modern and uses about half the 1.1 million square feet it currently occupies.

Bankers’ Frank response to regs

Community bankers are worried that the cost of complying with Dodd-Frank regulations, and the looming increase in capital requirements proposed by federal regulators, known as Basel III, will force some of them to merge or to cut back on lending and shrink their institutions. Last week was the deadline for comments on Basel III, and bankers are hoping to soften or delay the new rules, set to be phased in through 2019.

“There is no question Basel III will require us to raise more capital, or we may have to restrict lending,” said the chief executive of a small bank.

Merging or shrinking are both bad options, according to one banker, who said the government should want more banks in the marketplace, and encourage them to make loans. One banker with less than 30 employees just hired a compliance officer: “We were able to get along without one until now.” The tougher federal regulations “are a real issue for banks,” he said. “If this country celebrates small business, then we should celebrate community banks.”

Senator Whineberg

When NJBIZ power lists get published, the complaints are usually made privately to the editors via a phone call or e-mail. But it appears Loretta Weinberg went public with her gripes about Politicker NJ’s power list released last week. Weinberg posted several comments complaining about too few women on the list, which ranks the 100 most powerful people in New Jersey politics.

“Women in New Jersey don’t seem to exist too often for your reporters. Maybe you need a few more female writers. You ‘GUYS’ are hopeless!” wrote a poster with the name “Senator Loretta Weinberg.”

It seemed to be the Senate majority leader, because later comments between Weinberg and the website’s editor, Darryl Isherwood, seemed to indicate the two had had a conversation after the first comments were posted.

Weinberg also complained about Mary Pat Christie ranking as the top woman on the list, at No. 6. In a later comment Weinberg called the first lady “an intelligent and articulate spokesperson for our state.”

The whole exchange was punctuated by a comment from Bob19: “Senator Weinberg — are you bored? Don’t you have anything better to do than attacking news sites and attacking the first lady? How’s that majority leader job going?”

Grapevine reports on the behind-the-scenes buzz in the business community. Contact Editor Sharon Waters at

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