Wednesday, March 7, 2012

City to the Shipyard: You got your buildings now keep your promises

City of Hoboken announces:


CITY OF HOBOKEN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST MONARCH WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
City also appeals Department of Environmental Protection Permit
               
The City of Hoboken today filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey to compel Shipyard Associates to construct three tennis courts, a tennis pavilion, a waterfront walkway and parking on a pier in the Hudson River east of the Hudson Tea Building. Shipyard Associates recently presented a plan for the “Monarch at Shipyard” to build two eleven story buildings on the pier, despite a development agreement which included the tennis courts and other pier amenities.

“In the past, developers have often made promises of givebacks to our City that have not been delivered,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “My Administration is committed to making the necessary investment in legal costs when agreements are reached and to fully enforce the promises made to our City.”

Shipyard Associates entered into a Developers Agreement with the City of Hoboken in 1997 for the construction of 1,160 residential units, commercial and retail use (63,200 square feet), approximately 1,460 parking spaces, open space, recreational use and various streets as part of a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The agreement required that the tennis facilities and walkway be constructed as a key element of the Planning Board approval. Shipyard has not constructed the pier amenities and is seeking to construct two eleven story residential buildings instead of the tennis courts, tennis pavilion, parking, and other amenities.

The lawsuit seeks to compel Shipyard to construct the amenities, an injunction to prevent Shipyard from proceeding with the eleven story buildings on the pier, and damages. The complaint for City of Hoboken v. Shipyard Associates, L.P. can be viewed at:www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/City-of-Hoboken-v-Shipyard-Associates.pdf

In building the multi building residential and commercial complex on the river, Shipyard Associates has only proceeded with the construction of the aspect of the Agreement that is financially beneficial to it, but Shipyard has failed and refused to provide the public amenities that are a financial burden to it.

In addition to filing the lawsuit, the City has filed a Request for a Hearing before the Office of Administrative Law to challenge the Waterfront Development Permit issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which would allow the construction of the eleven story buildings. The City is challenging the DEP approval because it contradicts the original Permit issued by DEP in 1997 for the multi-building residential and commercial project.  The 1997 DEP Permit required that the tennis pier be developed and put into operation within two (2) years after the issuance of the last Certificate of Occupancy for the residential units.  Approximately 1,160 residential units were occupied more than two years ago.

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