Despite rift between mayor and council, Hoboken Hilton Hotel plan passes easily

7

Despite a rift between Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the majority of the city council, the Hilton Hotel Redevelopment plan, which comes with $4.85 million in community givebacks, passed through the governing body with ease after three hours of public comment. 

 By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I am thrilled our agreement with the hotel developer was approved tonight by the Council. This deal is a big win for the City of Hoboken and delivers unprecedented givebacks to Hoboken with investments in a new community center at the former YMCA, all of our public schools, infrastructure and affordable housing, in addition to a world class hotel,” Bhalla said in a statement.

“Thank you to the Council for approving the agreement, and all of the activists and community groups who helped make this agreement a reality, including the Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken Board of Education, Hoboken Community Center, parents advocating for their schools, and Fund for a Better Waterfront.”

As HCV reported yesterday, Bhalla and the five council members on the Hilton Hotel subcommittee got into it, just five days after sending a joint statement showing unity on the project, over language in the resolution related to the YMCA.

The conversation quickly turned ugly after Bhalla sent a mass email indicating that the project may not have the votes to pass, leading to tense public exchanges with 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and, to a lesser extent, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino.

As a result, the meeting was jam packed, with dozens of public speakers from different sectors of the city urging the council to vote yes.

Although the tension caused a public debacle, the project was never actually in jeopardy, as the city council approved it 8-1, with only Councilman-at-Large James Doyle voting no.

The plan includes $4.85 million in “community givebacks,” which include:

• An allocation of $2 million to revitalize the former Hoboken YMCA at 1301 Washington Street that will include a municipal pool, an uptown branch of the Hoboken Public Library, and additional classroom space for the Hoboken Public Schools.

• $1.165 million towards infrastructure upgrades, which includes the area adjacent to the hotel.

• $1 million to the Hoboken Public Education Foundation to establish a permanent endowment.

• $484,000 to the (3) Hoboken Charter Schools divided among the schools.

• $200,000 into Hoboken’s Affordable Housing Trust.

The mayor’s office also stressed that the hotel will be 100 percent constructed and operated with union labor, and Hoboken residents will be prioritized for the 170 well-paying jobs.

The hotel, which includes a waterfront rooftop, is also anticipated to generate $5 million for the city’s local economy and preserve the historic Sinatra Post Office.

7 COMMENTS

  1. An earlier City Hall press release referenced 200 jobs. This one says 170 jobs. The traffic study says 140 jobs. Is anyone fact checking in City Hall?

    And “well-paying jobs”?! Are we talking about the Hilton jobs that, on average, pay about half of what Ravi earns as his BASE SALARY at his politically connected law firm side hustle? Wasn’t this the trivial amount of money that Ravi urged us to ignore. Well, a job is a job. Let’s just see how many Hoboken residents make it through that “priority list” and actually find their way onto the Hilton payroll (I’m sure the administration has worked out all of the details with the HHA Director to get his residents interviewed, prepped, trained, etc., correct? I mean, Hoboken residents in market-rate housing sure aren’t working in most low-paying hotel jobs, are they?).

    Spin, spin, spin.

    • Its a big wide world, all youve got going on is hating on a small city mayor. He’ll be gone in a few years. where will you be? Youre not moving the needle pal. Wasting your life. Sad case.

        • You saw it AND wrote it. That’s because you aren’t lazy and corrupt, unlike incredibly corrupt Chief Ferrante. Once again you have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that you know who was behind the terror flyers! Why won’t lazy Ferrante look at the ample proof My Hero Horse has assembled?? Do you think he would keep repeating it like this in every article and comment if he wasn’t ready to provide an open and shut case and testify in court? But corrupt lazy loser Ferrante refuses to listen to My Hero Horse! Just you wait, future ex-chief Ferrante. My Hero Horse will soon produce evidence of the bribes you are taking to hush up the truth!!!

  2. Stronger Foundations (PAC) seeks to get a large and early return on their campaign investment and interference in Hoboken’s election – and Ravi gladly obliges. Stronger Foundations has brotherly connections to Local 85 Union who seek to build the hotel. Meanwhile and as a tip of the hat to Stronger Foundations, Ravi says, “I am putting developers on notice: if you want the opportunity to do business in our city, we expect union labor and we expect generous community givebacks.”

Comments are closed.