DeFusco, Falco, say latest version of Hoboken rail yard plan will have 20% affordable housing


Hoboken Council members Mike DeFusco and Vanessa Falco are indicating that the latest version of the rail yard redevelopment plan will include 20 percent affordable housing, along with a European-style market.

Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Over the past four years, I have brought all stakeholders together to actualize a plan that will bring a world class market to Hoboken Terminal,” DeFusco said in a statement.

“Transforming underutilized space at Warrington Plaza will bring innovative new businesses into Hoboken and improve the overall commuting experience for tens of thousands of people everyday. I’m proud that we have made concrete progress to advance this plan to create new jobs, tax revenues and opportunities to push our city forward.”

The city council approved the first reading of yet another amended rail yards plan following a community meeting last month where residents expressed concerns about parking, traffic, and the environmental impact of the project.

The vote was a bit unexpected as Council President Jen Giattino had removed the agenda item, but 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo made a motion to override the chair (which was seconded by DeFusco).

The measure then passed by a vote of 6-3, with Giattino, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, and 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham voting no.

“As a proud, lifelong resident of Hoboken, I’ve seen the cost of living skyrocket in our city over the past few years and watched as neighbors have been forced to relocate their families,” added Falco.

“This is the largest redevelopment plan in our city’s history and it is critical new projects like this bring their fair share of affordable housing units to Hoboken. My priority as a Council representative has always been to address the affordability crisis we are facing and a commitment like this sets the tone for all future development agreements. I’m confident after transparent community conversations, we as a local government will soon adopt a plan that properly rehabilitates and invests in the neighborhood surrounding our terminal.”

A community meeting regarding the project will be held on November 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the waiting room of Hoboken Terminal.

“Mayor Bhalla is hopeful that any final plan reflects continued community engagement and encourages all members of the public to attend the meeting on the 25th,” said city spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri.

The amendments will be introduced during the December 4 city council meeting, with a final vote tentatively scheduled for December 18.

The most recently approved amendments designated a 944,000 square-foot area previously noted as “future potential development” as a “no build zone” for NJ Transit – who owns the 80 acres of land – due to the $230 million Rebuild by Design flood prevention project.

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  1. It’s interesting that Councilman DeFusco claims to have “negotiated” with the developer LCOR an “agreement” as to what the City would include in the redevelopment plan.

    As Councilman DeFusco well knows, a Redevelopment Plan is not an agreement between the City and the developer, the City doesn’t need LCOR’s permission to make changes, and nothing that’s included binds or commits the developer to do anything.

    In essence, the Plan is the City’s “ask” with the negotiation with the developer coming later, ultimately resulting in a negotiated Redeveloper Agreement outlining the actual project and containing binding commitments by both the City and the developer.

    The only parties who need to agree in order to make these changes to the Redevelopment Plan are DeFusco, Falco and at least 3 of their council colleagues.

    By “negotiating” with the developer on the City’s own plan, DeFusco makes clear that he thinks LCOR is the real decision maker on Redevelopment planning decisions our elected officials are supposed to making not LCOR.

    That is both revealing and disconcerting. This is the stage when the City is supposed to be telling LCOR what we want (as long as it’s financially feasible) not the stage where we give them whatever they want and “negotiate” in exchange for their “consent” to changes in the City’s own Redevelopment Plan.

  2. Will any of those affordable housing unit actually go to Hoboken residents ?
    What will all of those subsidized apartments end up costing Hoboken residents in either increased taxes or not getting some other benefit instead ?