Hoboken council designates area in 1st Ward that includes police station a redevelopment zone


The Hoboken City Council voted to designate an area in the 1st Ward that includes the police station as a redevelopment zone at Monday evening’s meeting.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“It seems simple enough, but it’s not: it’s a big step that many of my neighbors in Ward 1 don’t even know about what could happen. The only warning we had about this was Friday when the agenda was released,” said resident Paul Presinzano, who added that even the people who usually attend council meetings were probably not expecting a Monday session.

The council typically meets on Wednesdays, but met on Monday instead due to the League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City that many elected and municipal officials attend.

“This is not even close to being transparent on a potential project of this size. I know you’re saying it’s just gonna be a vote and deem it just for redevelopment, but strips the residents rights of transparency and potentially getting the highest value for the taxpayer if the land is ever sold.”

He also called for the vote to be postponed, as did fellow resident Mary Ondrejka.

“Why does this need to be redeveloped? There is a parking lot right next to the police station. Now, this is also involving the parking garage. I’ve heard through the grapevine they want to tear it down and put up a high rise: you get more money that way, maybe some kickbacks, who knows?”, she said.

She argued that the garage and parking lot are valuable as is, as well as to how this area was deemed to be a redevelopment zone.

While the council voted against having the planning board determine if the zone in question was in need of redevelopment in April, the exact same measure passed in May, as HCV first reported.

According to a copy of the resolution, the planning board deemed that One Police Plaza, along with Garages B, D, and G as part of “a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment.”

1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco said this was a preliminary step looking towards redeveloping this area.

“I think this is a smart vote for the council to take so that we can begin the conversation about what we really want to see here, right? Do we want to see a better, well suited police department? I think so,” he explained.

“Do we want to see garages that are more multi-modal and support all modes of transportation? I think so. Do you want to community aspects like parks and rooftop gardens? I think so. Does that mean there is going to be 100-story buildings? I don’t think so. That’s not what I would support in my neighborhood.”

Conversely, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher said she would not be supporting the measure since the redevelopment would not be going out to bid.

“The challenge of the redevelopment area, to me, is we lose to opportunity to do like a market process – we don’t bid things out, we do negotiated deals with friends. We don’t bid things out to bring in new developers, new ideas, people that may pay the absolutely highest for any of these lots, we don’t have a history of doing that.”

The measure ultimately passed 7-2, with Fisher and 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino voting no.

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  1. A couple of questions…… Does the garage with the recently announced mural get impacted in any way? How will these projects be coordinated with the Hotel in back of the Post Office the and project at the Train Station – will these overlap in any way?