Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fur flies in sudden eminent domain bid announced by Mayor Zimmer on Union Dry Dock

There's been two official releases on Union Dry Dock today. First, Mayor Dawn Zimmer who ends her eight plus years this December and sees her replacement elected in November, announced a stunning effort to eminent domain the uptown waterfront business at next week's City Council meeting.

Councilman Mike DeFusco in response makes an official release as part of his mayoral campaign and is included here as part of MSV's official policy available to all local elected officials.

Talking Ed Note: MSV understands the City Council subcommittee for the North End has attempted to meet and BEGIN discussions on this issue but to no avail. Each meeting set was cancelled by the mayor's office. While MSV has supported most of the mayor's major initiatives, this one is the latest example of the hyper partisan political environment in Hoboken. Most unfortunate.

Official release:


Based on discussions and written communications with Union Dry Dock, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has determined that it is important to expeditiously move ahead with the tools necessary to acquire the Union Dry Dock property for open space. The City was recently able to meet with the property owner of Union Dry Dock. Following the meeting, Union Dry Dock sent a letter advising the City that it is not legally able to even discuss a sale of the property to the City of Hoboken at this time.

As a result, the City Council will be asked to authorize the use of eminent domain for the acquisition of Union Dry Dock at next week's City Council meeting. The authorization simply provides the City with the tools necessary to facilitate negotiations and does not mean that eminent domain will be implemented. However, without this authorization, the City has no ability to even begin negotiations given the position taken by Union Dry Dock.

“In my experience with acquiring Block 12 for the Southwest Park and the 6-acre BASF property in Northwest Hoboken, it is not possible to acquire property without the City Council's authorization for eminent domain,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Given recent new factors that have come to light, it is important to move forward with this process at this time to expand our City's waterfront parks.”

The letter from Union Dry Dock can be viewed at:

Official release:

DeFusco Responds to Mayor Zimmer’s plan to use Eminent Domain to acquire Union Dry Dock property

Hoboken, NJ – Mayoral candidate and Councilman Mike DeFusco is releasing the following statement responding to Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s announcement today that she will seek City Council approval to begin eminent domain proceedings against the owner of the Union Dry Dock property on Sinatra Drive. Earlier this year, DeFusco announced a plan to build an Urban Beach and Floating Pool complex at the site, which would complete the city’s waterfront walkway, prevent residential development of the area and include commercial development to add to the city’s tax base. The outgoing mayor’s announcement comes just weeks before the November 7 mayoral election. 

“After nine years in office, it’s great to see Mayor Zimmer finally come to realize how important it is for the city to acquire the Union Dry Dock site in the last few months of her term. However, her decision to abandon any pretense of a fair negotiation and move immediately to eminent domain proceedings would plunge us into yet another costly litigation with a city property owner. As we’ve seen time and again, this approach doesn't always result in a timely acquisition of property, as evidenced by the decade-long process of acquiring the recently opened Southwest Park, and can lead to outrageous legal fees our taxpayers have been exposed to in ill-fated court battles like the Monarch development. 

My understanding is that the property owner is willing to begin a good faith negotiation, but not with this current administration and not before the upcoming election when our city’s leadership for the next four years will be decided. A negotiation of this magnitude shouldn’t be rushed into by a Mayor who already has one foot out the door. Similarly to the rushed Suez contract negotiation, this looks very much like a political stunt being staged six weeks from a Mayoral election, and is a prime example of why we need new energy and new ideas to solve challenging problems like completing our waterfront. Going with the same old ‘sue first, negotiate later’ approach championed by Mayor Zimmer and Ravi Bhalla will not solve our city’s problems.”

Carmelo Garcia accused of taking bribes in HHA named Deputy Mayor in Newark


The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's an unfortunate truism when it comes to corruption, urban landscapes and the Soprano State.

The city of Newark named a new Director of its Department of Economic and Housing Development (DEHD) who happens to have been its Chief Real Estate Officer and Executive Vice President of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC).

All those acronyms have a less familiar name in Hoboken than another: Carmelo Garcia.

From a report yesterday on Jersey Digs:

Carmelo Garcia seen earlier this year at a downtown Hoboken fundraiser for mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco.

Talking Ed Note: Last July, this exclusive report detailed Carmelo Garcia being shown the door and bounced out of the Irvington Housing Authority.

Councilman Peter Cunningham: Northwest community development meeting tonight

Official release:

Dear neighbors, 

I chair the northern community development subcommittee of the City Council and have been working with the administration to progress a plan for the north west corner of Hoboken. 

Please join me TONIGHT September 28th, for the FIRST PUBLIC MEETING to get your input on what we need for Hoboken's Northern End.  This is the area north of the 14th Street viaduct, west of Park Ave.

What: North End Redevelopment Plan Community Meeting
Where: Wallace School, 11th and Willow
When: Thursday 9/28 from 7:30 – 9:30 

I believe that the focus of the development plan for the area needs to primarily be Commercial - office with ground floor retail and services.  
Commercial development would:
  • Result in less congestion for our already crowded transportation systems
  • Bring a complementary daytime population to support our local businesses - many restaurants are empty during the day
  • Provide more opportunities for people to live and work in Hoboken
  • Be less demanding on our aging infrastructure
  • Allow us more tax revenues with less need for additional municipal services (like schools, police, etc.) 
  • Invite the opportunity to have a new transportation stop in the area such as 15th Street and 16th Street
This meeting will be moderated by a professional planning firm but it is critical we make sure that we are thinking not only about the neighborhood aesthetics but also the macroeconomic factors that work best for Hoboken.

Peter Cunningham