Waterfront group says: Hoboken is working on settlement with developers of Monarch waterfront project, may involve concession at 800 Monroe

HOBOKEN– Ron Hine, the leader of the longtime Hoboken waterfront activist group Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW), sent out emails on Thursday saying that the city of Hoboken may be in private settlement negotiations with the developers of the Monarch building, a proposed residential development planned on the upper waterfront. The developers want to build two 11-story towers near Sinatra Drive and Shipyard Lane, with 78 residential units. But in court in 2011, the city of Hoboken challenged the project, claiming that Shipyard Associates wrongfully abandoned its 1997 plan that included three tennis courts and a tennis pavilion on the North Pier. Several court hearings and judgments have been made over the last five years, but the project is still in litigation.
The Hudson Tea Building Condominium Association has also gotten involved, challenging the project.
Recently, the Hoboken City Council has had two closed sessions about the development before the last two council meetings. The public, the Hudson Tea Condo Association, and the Fund for a Better Waterfront have not been privy to the closed-door discussions. But the council agenda has referred to “pending litigation between the city of Hoboken, Shipyard Associates LP and Applied Monroe Lender LLC regarding the proposed ‘Monarch at Shipyard’ development and the proposed redevelopment of 800-922 Monroe Street.”
Hine speculated last week that the developers may make concessions on the Monarch buildings in exchange for getting added density for their project at 800-822 Monroe St. on the western edge of town.
Hine says the FBW have sent a letter to the city that states, “First, and foremost, FBW wants to preserve the open space commitment made by the developer at the waterfront. The 1996 agreement and Hoboken Planning Board approvals at that time included the commitment to provide open space on Development Block G, which is approximately 1.5 acres.”
After being contacted by the Reporter on Thursday, city spokesman Juan Melli provided a statement from Mayor Dawn Zimmer stating, “The city has been aggressively litigating the Monarch cases for the past five years to because of its commitment to preserving our waterfront and ensuring public safety for our residents and emergency rescue personnel if a severe storm were to occur and rescue operations on the pier were required.“
Zimmer’s statement adds, “Settlement negotiations are an important part of the litigation process, and maintaining confidentiality is essential to preserving an environment in which negotiations have the best chance to succeed. The intervening parties will have the opportunity to provide their input on any proposed agreement at the appropriate time.”

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