For the past 22 years, Aguayo’s company, Multicolor, has been manufacturing pom poms of various colors and sizes from his shop on Liberty Street in Newark…..But Aguayo has become a casualty of eminent domain and development plans surrounding the Prudential Center arena, which is under construction. He is packing up his pom pom operation with plans to leave the state’s largest city for Pennsylvania, where he said it is cheaper to do business, and a lot more welcoming …
Aguayo, who has an engineering and machinist background, said he wanted to stay in Newark, but the eminent domain process hurts hardworking people like himself. “I built my business with my sweat,” he said. “I stayed here when nobody wanted to come here.”
His attorney, William Ward, said the housing authority offered him $1.1 million for his business, then increased the offer to $1.5 when Aguayo’s machinery was included. Ward appealed the offer and a commissioners’ panel recommended he receive $2.1 million. Aguayo said he thinks it’s still too low, but he agreed with the commissioners’ settlement. The housing authority, however, hasn’t said anything to Aguayo or his attorney.
“Who’s making the decisions?” Ward said. “They want him out of the property, but nobody can give us any answers. Jorge is frustrated.” – By Barry Carter, Star-Ledger Staff