Saturday, October 29, 2016

City: Hoboken and Shipyard Reach Proposed Settlement Regarding Monarch Project and 800 Monroe

Saturday October 29, 2016

City of Hoboken

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Community: Hoboken and Shipyard Reach Proposed Settlement Regarding Monarch Project and 800 Monroe

Dear MSV readers,

The City of Hoboken and Shipyard Associates have reached a proposed agreement to settle litigation that began five years ago relating to a planned residential development on a platform pier on Hoboken’s North waterfront. Hoboken opposed the development, which would have resulted in 70 luxury apartments replacing the tennis courts which had once been planned for that location.

The proposed settlement also resolves a dispute over a redevelopment project at 800 Monroe Street in West Hoboken. In total, six legal disputes relating to the two proposed projects would be resolved by the settlement. The City has spent $1 million on litigation costs to date. An estimated $1 million in legal fees would have been required if a settlement had not been reached. In addition, Shipyard has also asserted damage claims against the City, and the outcome of the litigation would have been uncertain. The proposed agreement will be considered by the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday, November 2nd.

“This settlement protects our City's treasured waterfront by ensuring that no residential or commercial development will be built on Hoboken’s waterfront and that the three piers will not be used for any purpose other than public open space,” said Mayor Zimmer. “As part of the agreement, Shipyard Associates would make a $500,000 contribution to the City, which will be used for cleanup of the platform pier debris, an engineering analysis, and to start the work needed to design and eventually construct a new waterfront walkway park.”

The proposed settlement will also settle a multi-year litigation at the 800 Monroe site on the western side of the City. This would represent an increase of 79 units from the existing Redevelopment Plan which was approved in the 1990’s under the Russo Administration that already permits 186 units of development. As a result of the settlement, the 800 Monroe project would have an additional 52 market rate units plus 27 affordable housing units. The maximum allowable number of stories will decrease from 14 to 13, however the maximum building height would be allowed to increase by 10 feet. The existing Redevelopment Plan does not require any affordable housing, whereas the new agreement would increase affordable housing in the City.

Mayor Zimmer invites all concerned residents to voice their views at the Council meeting.

“I understand and agree with the concern many residents have about rising density levels, and I will continue to work to create great neighborhoods in western Hoboken with new parks, restaurants and arts, and retail amenities,” added Mayor Zimmer. “I recognize this is a very important decision for our City Council, the Planning Board, and the community, and therefore we are making the terms of the agreement public in advance so that residents can consider the agreement and voice their views at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.”

On November 2nd, the City Council will also be voting on a contract for the acquisition of the 6-acre BASF site, located in western Hoboken, which will become our City’s largest park. In addition to the planned 5-acre Resiliency Park, one acre will be used for building a new municipal parking garage. A new 2-acre park will also soon be built at 7th Street and Jackson Street.

The settlement agreement can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/corpcounsel/Settlement-Agreement-Hoboken-Shipyard.pdf.

Parents United for Sobolov, Evans, Dallara - 1, 2, 4

The following letter is submitted by the listed Hoboken parents below:


Dear Neighbors:

With Election Day approaching, this is a reminder that there is a great deal at stake in the upcoming Hoboken school board election that affects not only parents of children enrolled in our city’s wonderful public schools, but also the Hoboken community as a whole.

As a varied group of Hoboken public school parents, some of us having never met, we are unified in our support for the Forward Together slate of candidates: Jennifer Evans, Sheillah Dallara, and Irene Sobolov.

It is difficult to capture the gratitude we feel towards these women for their years of dedication and commitment to the students of Hoboken’s public schools. Academically, they have brought improved programming to our district like the new comprehensive afterschool program called Passport to Learning, STEM initiatives like Project Lead the Way, and an expanded Response to Intervention (RTI) program.  And as community leaders, they emcee fundraisers to support our High School track team, cheer for Connors students at their Hispanic Heritage play and serve on councils to improve the educational experiences of our youngest learners at Brandt, St. Francis and Demarest schools.

We have not seen the opposing Parents United candidates have, nor have we seen them indicate having, any history of volunteerism with our schools.  And, they all have said that they have never attended a BOE meeting.   Since many of us attend BOE meetings and are very active within the schools, we are baffled to hear these candidates claim to know what’s best for our schools without participating in any meaningful way.  This apparent lack of involvement has left them woefully uninformed about the district’s budget and the innovative programs currently available to our students, specifically at Hoboken High School. As examples, at the recent candidates’ forum that most of us attended, one of the PU candidates proposed a partnership with Stevens, not knowing we've had a long-standing, historic partnership.   All three PU candidates preached budget cuts, yet the slate is supported by people responsible for previous corruption and overspending at the BOE.  And, when the PU candidates were asked where they would make budget cuts they could not point to anything specific.  Finally, they repeatedly criticized the schools and said the high school is not good enough for their own children.  Can you imagine how awful it must feel to be a hard-working Hoboken High School student or their parents and hear candidates say they would not let their children go to school with you? 

With all this, we are struggling to understand their motives for wanting to be on the BOE.

Students thrive when the community supports them.  As parents we appreciate our district’s wonderful teachers and prefer to work together in partnership with them and our school administrators. The Forward Together team constantly works to improve our public schools and increase opportunities for success for all of our district school students. Help us continue the progress and go forward together! 

Please join us and vote 1-2-4 for FORWARD TOGETHER on November 8th. 

Sincerely,

Gina and Ben Dobson
Dylan and Shirael Pollack
Jennifer Johnson
Kate Deer
Suzanne Schiavelli
Sarah and Chad Raynor
Manasi Khedlekar
Magda Gray
Kristina and Andrew Nash
Melanie Tekirian
Cristina Dulay
Jenny Labendz
Vera and Eric Sirota
Jackie and Jonathan Prince
Bindya Bhalla
Chetali Khanna
Peter and Sung Mee Kim
Alexis and Christopher Kelly
Linda and Arthur Kwok
Sophie Gelin
Emily and Peter Jabbour
Shefali Samrai and Balraj Singh
Amy and David Warshawsky
Diana McDonough
Ruchika Grover
Ed and Michele Daly
Dawn Fitts
Jean Marie Mitchell 
Cristin Cricco-Powell