Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Municipal Garage Monarch

Horse Sense Editorial:

Deal or steal?

Hoboken's replacement to the Municipal Garage? Part of what you see is what's on tap. Maybe.
It's what you don't see that counts?

The devil is in the details but the required topline strokes are missing in the "settlement" that isn't a settlement at all as announced by Mayor Ravi Bhalla with the Barry Bros. of Ironstate Development, re: Applied/the Shipyard.

From a basic vanilla standpoint, an exchange developing at the site of the Municipal Garage downtown is preferable to the waterfront in the northeast corner of town.

That isn't saying much.

Even missing topline numbers on the real estate valuations of both the pier uptown and the municipal garage land downtown leaves many to wonder when the basic facts of the working proposal (not a settlement) will be provided and relevant answers fleshed out.

The answer? Don't hold your breath as a quick look at the first three words out of the mayor's office makes abundantly clear the intent to deceive the public:
The Hoboken public has reason to be skeptical about the deal being touted by Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Barry Brothers flipping the Monarch Towers for the highly desireable land at the City of Hoboken Municipal Garage. 

The City Council is most definitely going to be handed a limited declaration of some kind between Ravi Bhalla and the Barry Bros. to vote on in its August meeting.

The public, however, will likely be as in the dark on the devilish details as the City Council.

A Hail Mary pass received by the New Jersey Supreme Court means there's a better option possible for Hoboken. No deal should be made before their hearing and decision but politically it's far more beneficial to Ravi Bhalla and the Barry Brothers to pull off their deal sooner.

There's no need to rush anything. Hoboken has been conned and ripped off with developer scams long enough.

For an idea what the Barrys have in mind, just take a look across the way in downtown Jersey City. Thousands and thousands of units in high rise buildings with Jersey City jacked to the point its education system was left operating with a $100 million deficit.

The Hoboken public and the City Council need to cast a wary eye on the political ambitions married between Ravi Bhalla and the Barrys. For Hoboken, this could be a match made in hell.

Be vigilant. Oh and, raise hell.



Councilman DeFusco Will Advocate for Public Arts Space as Part of Monarch Development Agreement

Official release:

Councilman Mike DeFusco is working to bring a live music and performing arts center to Hoboken as part of the city’s tentative agreement to relocate the waterfront Monarch project to the First Ward. A strong advocate for responsible and innovative development, Councilman DeFusco believes the pending deal will bring much-needed quality of life improvements to a portion of Downtown Hoboken that has been neglected for far too long. The agreement includes the construction of a new enclosed DPW garage to reduce noise in the neighborhood, investments in downtown infrastructure and bringing new retail space to Observer Highway, allowing small businesses to continue investing in Hoboken.
Councilman DeFusco is committed to working collaboratively with the administration to finalize a development agreement that will benefit his district while protecting the integrity of Hoboken’s waterfront. A similar project is already being constructed in Montclair by the same developer, Ironstate Development Company, proving these innovative mixed-use building can successfully re-identify a community as a cultural hub for arts and dining. 
“Preserving our waterfront as open public space and reinvesting in the arts have always been and still remain top priorities for me,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “The city’s new tentative agreement with the Monarch developer is an opportunity to activate a grossly neglected neighborhood in the First Ward, make critical infrastructure investments without any cost to taxpayers and bring new public arts programs to our city. Hoboken has already spent years entrenched in legal battles with the Monarch developer, accomplishing little more than accumulating costly legal bills, and I believe relocating this project can put an end to an issue that has plagued our city for nearly a decade. We achieve the best possible outcome when the ward council member and administration work collaboratively to identify the best possible solutions and I’m proud that is exactly what we plan to accomplish.”