Behind the scenes, reliable sources say Mayor Ravi Bhalla is less than pleased the City Council improved the proposed Hotel Hilton community givebacks for another $350,000.
While admitting that political reality, the City spokesman tried to put the best face on the additional 350K showing up minutes after word of the deal hit the street.
Clearly, money was left on the table and sources close to the discussion revealed obtaining the initial $300,000 for the three charter schools took mere "minutes."
The City statement from the mayor's office appeared earlier today on the Hudson County View:
"The Mayor negotiated an agreement that included $4.5 million in community givebacks. We applaud the City Council for securing an additional $350,000. This is an excellent win for the people of Hoboken.
Talking Ed Note: It's a little too early for an Orwellian rewrite of history. The City Council with other members of the public pushed back on limiting funding to only two non-profit groups: two million for the community center replacing the Y and a million for the school district.
If you want to blame or give credit where due, look no farther than Councilwoman Jen Giattino.
More to come.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Council Secures Additional Funding up to $4.85 Million; Urges Mayor Bhalla to Support and Recommends City Council to Vote 9-0 to Approve Amended Plan for Proposed Hilton Hotel
The City Council subcommittee responsible for evaluating the proposed Hilton hotel is announcing that late Wednesday night it received a verbal commitment from KMS, the developer of the hotel, to increase the total community benefits by $350,000 to $4.85 million. This increase will provide further investment in education and infrastructure in surrounding neighborhoods. With this increase, the subcommittee supports the improved plan, trusts that Mayor Bhalla will see these expanded contributions as beneficial to more Hoboken residents, and recommends that the City Council vote 9-0 on Wednesday, October 17th in support of this revised plan.
In aggregate, the revised proposal will now be:
- $2 million to help establish the Hoboken Community Center, with $75,000 to be immediately available to fund their feasibility study and launch the project
- $1.165 million for infrastructure, with $165,000 to be dedicated to the needs of the adjacent neighborhoods
- $1 million to fund the endowment for Hoboken Public Education Foundation which provides private investment into the Hoboken Public District Schools
- $485,000 to the three Hoboken Public Charter Schools
- $200,000 into our Affordable Housing Trust fund to help seed future investment in affordable housing
“The City Council Subcommittee wants to thank KMS Development for their incredible commitment to supporting the broad needs within our community and for bringing a world class hotel to Hoboken that will redefine our southern waterfront. We appreciated working collaboratively with all stakeholders in making community benefits in this redevelopment a priority and trust that Mayor Bhalla finds these additional concessions from the developer a benefit as well. We encourage our neighbors to reach out to the Mayor and the rest of City Council to ask for their support of this improved plan that reaches even more of us.”