City Council to Vote on Proposed Agreement for Hoboken Waterfront + 800 Monroe Acquisition

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Mayor Bhalla announced via press release on February 2nd that his administration and Ironstate Development have reached an agreement on a recently proposed settlement to prevent two 11 story high-rise buildings on Hoboken’s waterfront. The proposed agreement includes the transfer to the City of 1.4 acres of undeveloped land at 8th Street and Monroe Street for the purposes of public, open space that is currently owned by Ironstate and zoned for a 10-story building. Read on to learn more about the proposed plan for development in Hoboken.

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The press release stated that as a part of the proposed agreement, Ironstate would be permitted to develop a building in the current Observer Highway garage that would include ground-floor retail space.

The proposed agreement will be presented to the City Council for consideration on Wednesday, February 3. Residents who would like to provide feedback about the settlement agreement are invited to speak at the virtual City Council meeting, scheduled to begin at 7PM on Wednesday, February 3rd. For instructions on speaking, please click here.

If the proposed agreement is approved at the City Council meeting, Hoboken and Ironstate would move forward with the negotiation of a Redevelopment Agreement to include all the project details for a mixed-use project with residential and commercial development.

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“Not only will this newly revised settlement preserve and protect our waterfront from development, but it also adds almost 1.5 acres of public, open space in West Hoboken that would have otherwise been developed as a residential building,” said Mayor Bhalla via the press release. “This deal is a win-win-win for Hoboken: preserving our waterfront, adding open space, and adding commercial retail space while revitalizing an area of downtown Hoboken.”

“The Shipyard’s proposal to build the Monarch Towers would have privatized a portion of Hoboken’s waterfront that is otherwise public,” said Ron Hine, Executive Director of Fund for a Better Waterfront. “This settlement brings to an end a contentious, decade-long battle that has pitted a developer against the City, the Fund for a Better Waterfront, and neighborhood residents. Instead of residential towers on a pier jutting into the Weehawken Cove, we now can look forward to a small park but more importantly an opportunity to complete a continuous, public park for the entire length of Hoboken’s riverfront.”

Council Members Weigh In

“This revised deal is one of the biggest wins for the 3rd Ward during my time as on the Council,” said Mike Russo, Third Ward City Councilman. “Instead of a 10-story building blocking views and ruining one of the best remaining pieces of real estate, west Hoboken now has another important piece of planned open space for our residents and families to enjoy. To say I’m overjoyed at this deal is an understatement. I am confident my council colleagues will unanimously adopt this plan.”

“I am thrilled with the outcome of this settlement with Ironstate as it brings more open space to West Hoboken in a heavily residential area,” said Emily Jabbour, At-Large Councilwoman. “This area was transformed by the addition of park spaces at 7th and Jackson – seeing how heavily utilized these spaces have already been, particularly during COVID, demonstrates that residents are seeking more open space. This is a big win for the neighborhood and all of Hoboken.”

See More: Hoboken to Unveil Redevelopment Plan for New Light Rail Stop + Retail Corridor Uptown

“Adding over an acre of public park space at 8th and Monroe in addition to permanently securing the public right of access to our waterfront park on the 15th Street piers — replacing two planned 11-story residential towers on those piers — is great news for the residents of the 5th Ward, who will have easy access to spectacular, new green spaces in our City,” said Phil Cohen, Fifth Ward City Councilman.

“The revised agreement doesn’t change the outcome for the Monarch site – it would still be acquired by the City to connect our waterfront from end to end for public use. However, it just adds a few more steps (and land parcels) to get there and extends the timeframe to completion, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher said. “I was just on a subcommittee call for the North End where I encouraged quickly identifying possible locations further north than the North Lot for both the temporary location and ultimately the permanent one, an area that is not currently residential.”

“I have long believed that the litigation at the privately-owned Monarch site was a drain on city resources and delayed connecting our waterfront, so this settlement is long overdue.  As part of this, I am proud to have successfully advocated moving the DPW garage to a new location out of my neighborhood. This will be a great improvement to the quality of life downtown, reducing noise, pollution, and carbon emissions, and ultimately paving the way for a more positive gateway to our transit hub,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “However, it is not to say this agreement is without flaws. Currently, the garage is planned to be temporarily housed next to the new northwest park with no plans yet in place for a new, permanent garage. Further, the affordable housing component is woefully inadequate at a mere 11% and if the mayor and his allies are serious about affordability, this is our opportunity to make a meaningful difference. This has been a decade-long community conversation and while I support the agreement, I think it is fair to ask for more time to receive community feedback before a vote tomorrow.”

How to Weigh In — City Council Meeting Wednesday, 2/3 at 7:00PM

Residents who would like to provide feedback about the settlement agreement and vote are invited to speak at the virtual City Council meeting, scheduled to begin at 7PM on Wednesday, February 3rd. For instructions on speaking, please click here.

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