HOBOKEN — In a rare Saturday email alert to residents about development, the city of Hoboken said that it had reached a settlement with Shipyard Associates, a major developer in town, to build less on the city’s north waterfront in exchange for being allowed to build more on a block of Monroe Street. The settlement will be up for a vote in just a few days, at a council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and the public can come and speak out.
A month ago, city waterfront activist Ron Hine sent out concerned emails to supporters about the city’s private settlement negotiations, to which he was not privy. He wrote, “First, and foremost, [Fund for a Better Waterfront] 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.”
Here is the full text of the city’s message on its website. For more on the topic, see coverage of the council meeting in next weekend’s newspaper.
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 o n 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 addition al 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 meeti ng 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.