The Fund for a Better Waterfront says Prime Cycle’s new location at Pier A Park violates state guidelines for the Hoboken waterfront since it impedes the walkway.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We understand the city’s commitment to assist local businesses that have been negatively impacted by the current pandemic. This location, however, is unacceptable and disregards state regulations,” FBW Executive Director Ron Hine told HCV.
On April 13th, the City of Hoboken permitted Prime Cycle to close off the pavilion for its outdoor classes after trying to have them share space with the Hoboken Little League at the Maria Pepe Batting Cages was negatively received by players, coaches, and parents alike.
“Prime Cycle has installed a privacy fence around the gazebo, which protects our equipment, ensures the privacy of our riders, enables us to ride rain or shine, and still allows you to see the gorgeous NYC views!,” their website says.
Hine also stated that the NJ DEP waterfront permit obtained by Hoboken back in 1996 says that the city has to provide easement to the state for the walkway. An OPRA request from FBW did not produce a waterfront permit or easement agreement, Hine said.
Furthermore, he said he has filed a formal complaint with the NJ DEP and they are looking into the situation.
According to city spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri, said that this arrangement was possible due to an executive order signed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla last year that allows fitness clubs to apply for permits to host outdoor workouts.
He also indicated that the situation is temporary until indoor capacity limits are lifted by the state.
” … Thanks to the Executive Order signed by Mayor Bhalla last year, over 30 fitness clubs and studios, including Prime Cycle have utilized city parks and fields, to lend a helping hand to business owners due to continued capacity limits indoors. Many of these gym owners have credited this option for saving their business from bankruptcy, including Prime Cycle.”
“Prime Cycle’s use of the gazebo at Pier A is temporary until capacity limits are lifted, and Mayor Bhalla and the city are glad to provide this outdoor space to a business that has faced substantial hardships due to the pandemic.”
He did not comment on why an OPRA request seeking permits, agreements, and communications between the city and Prime Cycle would not yield any results.
Prime Cycle Co-Owner Julie Insogna-Jarrett said in an email that she is thankful that Bhalla and other city officials helped them find an outdoor space that can house their bikes, noting that the move likely kept them from going out of business.
“As you can imagine, finding a place that can house our bikes is not easy. The move to the gazebo was definitely challenging and costly (fully paid by Prime) but I’m grateful we have the opportunity to keep our small business going. Without these outdoors classes we would likely need to close out business permanently.”
NJ DEP did not return an email seeking comment on Friday.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Prime Cycle Co-Owner Julie Insogna-Jarrett.