• News Stories You Missed Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

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    The temperature isn’t just warming up in Hudson County; the headlines are, too. In recent news you may have missed, some Jersey City officials are under federal investigation, a developer is suing Jersey City over its chain store limitations, and a Special Improvement District in Mile Square was introduced to business owners. Read on to find out all the news stories you missed in Hoboken + Jersey City this week:

    Jersey City Officials Under Federal Investigation

    judge hotel givebacks

    Last June, City Council members were briefed about an external federal investigation regarding a leaked voicemail. The voicemail involved a conversation five years ago between then-Chief of Staff Muhammed Akil and city official Shawn Thomas.

    The voicemail apparently captured the tail-end of a conversation between Akil and Thomas when the phone Akil was on did not properly hang up; it runs 13 minutes long. Read more of the story on NJ.com.

    Owner of Erie Street Suing Jersey City Over Chain Store Limitations

    eerie street

    {Photo credit: Google Maps}

    Developer Alfonso Carrino’s 8 Erie Street JC LLC has filed a seven-count lawsuit against Jersey City in federal court as of last week. The developer claims the City’s limitations on chain stores are “a publicity stunt” meant to gain Mayor Fulop votes from New Jersey areas that largely oppose big corporations.

    The restrictions in question were enacted by Fulop in 2015 and redefined chain stores as stores with “multiple locations within the region that exhibit standardized characteristics such as logos, menus, store decor,” etc. These restrictions only allot 30% of ground-floor commercial space downtown {except for Waterfront areas like Newport}. Grocery stores are exempt as well.

    Carrino is calling it a “blatantly illegal scheme” and says it has inhibited their company’s ability to find a major retail tenant.

    Carrino is also pointing out the areas of exemption, places like Newport along the Hudson River waterfront. He suggests those areas were exempt because the City feared major developers like LeFrak and MackCali retaliating with legal action

    “There is no place for officials to use their control over the levers of government to prop up their own personal campaign prospects for higher office, at the expense of those who worked tirelessly to improve economic growth in the city,” the attorney for Carrino, Joseph Fiorenzo, said in a statement. “We are confident that the legal system will reject the egregious, politically motivated actions of the city, taken at the direction of the mayor, as detailed in the complaint, and that the ordinances will be found invalid.”

    Special Improvement District Concept Introduced to Business Owners

    Hoboken City Hall

    The City is entertaining a Special Improvement District, a concept that has proven successful for 90 other cities in New Jersey, according to Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. The proposed SID budget is $1.325 million and focuses on marketing and visual improvements.

    “Our businesses are what make our city special, and I know a Special Improvement District would be a game changer for the continued revitalization of our city,” Bhalla said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to support our business community as they move forward with Hoboken’s Special Improvement District, which has proven successful in over 90 cities across the State. Thank you to all of the members of the SID committee for spearheading this important initiative.”

    Not everyone is thrilled with the proposal, however. Residents reacted to the proposal at a formal meeting about SID at Steven’s Institute.

    Freeholder Anthony Romano {D-5}, who owns the bar Louise and Jerry’s said, “You have First Street less taxed than we are, on Washington Street: well we’re the ones that are really suffering. First Street is actually growing. There’s a problem up here: you’re not gonna get the lights approved because public service denied us.”

    More information on the SID and Central Business District happenings can be found here.

    Hoboken Green Team Launches 2019 Initiatives

    hoboken green team business certified

    The Hoboken Green Team has announced its 2019 initiatives.

    Local Hoboken business owners looking to receive Green Business Recognition, this one is for you. The Hoboken Green Team has put forth an invitation for local businesses to apply. The Hoboken Green Business Recognition Program distinguishes local businesses that advance in sustainability and make environmental responsibility a core focus. If interested, you can find the application here. The application is available annually and requires reapplication each year. It must be completed by April 20th.

    The Green Team will then review all submissions and recommend businesses for the program at the 8th annual Hoboken Green Fair on June 8th. Hoboken Green Businesses receive a Hoboken Green Business sticker to display in their storefront {see logo above}, a digital version to display on their website, recognition at the Hoboken Green Fair and in a press release distributed by City Nixle emails and social media, a space at the Hoboken Green Fair, a “Green Business Spotlight” on the Hoboken Green Team Instagram page, and recognition on the City of Hoboken’s website.

    Again, if interested, you can find the application here.

    Speaking of the Hoboken Green Fair, vendors are wanted and needed. The greenest event of the year will go down on Saturday, June 8th from 11:00AM to 3:00PM at Church Square Park in Hoboken. There will be organic food vendors and live music. The deadline for registration for vendors is Monday, June 3rd. Any local member of the arts community or business that demonstrates environmental responsibility is welcome to participate. Registration is open here.

    The Green Team has also announced its new Hydration Station program, an initiative meant to reduce the amount of single-use plastic water bottles. Participating local businesses {restaurants, cafes, bars, etc.} will allow patrons to refill reusable water bottles for free. Hoboken Hydration Station businesses will be designated with a sticker in the storefront window. A full list of Hydration Stations can be found here.

    Last but not least, the City of Hoboken is partnering with the Community Compost Company {a representative from has been interviewed by Hoboken Girl here} to bring free curbside pickup of food scrap services to local businesses and schools. Learn more here.

    Union City Couple Gets Married at NJ Wrestlemania

    metlife wedding

    {Photo credit: @mlstadium}

    A New Jersey couple dressed as Ric Flair and Ronda Rousey were married by stand-up comedian Josh Wells in the MetLife Stadium parking lot last weekend at Wrestlemania.

    The couple, who hails from Union City, were the third marriage Wells performed since becoming an ordained minister “as a goof.” Wells was dressed as a wrestling referee as he married Joe Ramos, 34, and Estela De Armas, 36. It as a “completely spontaneous” decision, as the couple originally had plans to wed overseas.

    “{Joe} was like ‘Hey look, they’re marrying people there.’ So I said ‘Let’s do it!'” De Armas said.

    Ani Ramen Presents Soul of Sake VIII

    ani ramen soul sake

    Ani Ramen will launch its latest Soul of Sake VIII tasting and pairing event on Tuesday, April 16th. Miss Sake USA will host the event at Ani Ramen House in Jersey City {218 Newark Ave} from 6:00PM -9:00PM. Tickets {available here for $38; tix at the door are $42, excluding tax and gratuity} include {2} featured sake, {1} featured whiskey tasting, {3} appetizers served family style, and a bowl of ramen of the guest’s choice. Space is limited, so if you’re interested in buying a ticket, you can purchase them by emailing info@aniramen.com.

    NJ Homeowners Casting Call

    nj homeowners casting call

    New Jersey, this might be your chance to get on television. A TV production company is shooting a pilot this spring and summer 2019 and they need New Jersey residents who are planning an upcoming renovation. The series will be for a major cable network and will focus on residents with a “wish list” of reno projects who would like a contractor or designer to help guide them through the renovation process.

    We can’t give away too much but it sounds like the new series will feature a Hoboken-based contractor and will debut on HGTV.

    If this sounds like you and you’re interested in applying, send an email with three to five photos, a little bit about your personal reno story, and your location to the following email address: castingcallinbox@gmail.com.

    NJ March Rent Report Confirms Hoboken Is Still Expensive

    NJ rent report

    And not just expensive, but the most expensive.

    RentCafé’s monthly Rent Report is here and not much has changed in the way of Hoboken residents’ expenses. In fact, rent prices have increased by 3.2% over the year so far, notably the lowest annual growth in more than six months.

    While the March national average for rent is $1,430 per month, the average rent in New Jersey’s largest cities is typically lower than the national average. With the exception, of course, of Hoboken.

    The March national average rent is $1,430/month, $44 more compared to last year. As for the average rent in New Jersey’s largest cities, it is generally lower than the national average rent.

    In the Mile Square City, average rent reached $3,463. Second place in New Jersey is Edgewater with an average monthly rate of $3,160.

    Midtown Charritos Gets a Liquor License — No Longer BYOB

    The midtown Los Charritos location in Hoboken is no longer a BYOB affair as the hot-spot for Mexican cuisine has acquired a liquor license. While we’re pretty sure it’s just the one location as of right now {Charritos has another downtown location at 121 Washington Street and a spot in Weehawken}, no beverage additions have been made to the online menu as of yet. We still love it, just saying.

    Vision Zero Campaign Adding Curb Extensions for Senior Citizens

    vision zero campaign curb extension

    {Photo credit: Twitter}

    The goal of Vision Zero continues: to make city streets safe for pedestrians and to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries by the year 2030. The latest initiative launched by the campaign includes curb extensions. The goal of these extensions is to keep crosswalks clear free of parked vehicles, but also to shorten the distance for senior citizens crossing the street. With the addition of the curb extension, five seconds are shaved off the crossing time.

    The City of Hoboken wrote in a tweet, “Hoboken’s Vision Zero campaign will explore additional pedestrian safety measures across the City, such as curb extensions which keep crosswalks clear from vehicles, increase pedestrian visibility, and shorten the time to cross the street.”

    Hoboken Cracking Down on Dog Owners

    The City of Hoboken has released a statement that the Hoboken police and City Department of Environmental Services are cracking down on dog owners who neglect to pick up after their pups. Going forward, owners who don’t pick up after their pooches {ahem, specifically when they poo} and let them run free without a leash while on city grass will be subject to citations. PSA: pick up after your furry friend.

    Have any news tips? Email hello@hobokengirl.com to let us know — we appreciate it.

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance blogger and brand consultant who specializes in health and wellness content. Her words have appeared on Life & Style, In Touch, Seventeen, Parents, and more. She is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


    2 comments

    • Hoboken may be the Largest SCAM perpetrated on Millenials. Why do you think most bars are CASH ONLY.? Especially Saint Patrick’s day)
      Do you really think Landlords and Small business owners are reporting Sales tax?
      How about the Vehicle Ticket SCAM?
      Where does all that revenue go….To pay for the Firemen and Police SCAM ($100,000 a year Pension!!
      Rent is a Total SCAM. You should buy a home in the Highlands NJ right by the Seastreak Ferry. 1/2 the price of your RIPOFF RENT and your a Homeowner!

      Reply
      • Your drink and/or food order must be entered into the establishments POS system, which ALWAYS lists what was purchased, the price and applicable sales tax. How you pay (cash or credit) makes absolutely no difference, except that credit card companies will charge their establishment for accepting their cards as payment.

        Where are your sources that prove paying cash somehow negates needing to collect sales tax?

        Reply

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