The Hoboken City Council unanimously voted against (8-0) settling six lawsuits with prominent developer Shipyard Associates, which would’ve stopped the Monarch project but also added an extra 79 units to 800 Monroe St.
The settlement would’ve halted the controversial Monarch project on the waterfront and the developer would’ve donated $500,000 to the city to go towards a new waterfront walkway park.
However, it would’ve also caused 79 additional units to be built at 800 Monroe Street.
The vast majority of residents at the meeting expressed their frustration with the situation.
“This is gonna cost [the city] $20 million for Applied [Ironstate] to do what they agreed to do. So they walk away from that, we hand them $20 million,” said Jim Nance of a Fund for a Better Waterfront.
“And then, we’ve done our homework, because we’re going to develop it and force it on people on Monroe and they benefit another $20 million. So basically, if you vote yes on this thing, you’re handing Applied $40 million.”
Prior to the vote, Councilman-at-Large David Mello blasted the fact that this specific redevelopment plan hadn’t been updated since 1998, with Councilmen Ruben Ramos and Michael DeFusco taking shots at Mayor Dawn Zimmer for the manner in which the settlement was completed.
“To my knowledge, no one on the city council negotiated this deal that is before us tonight. Am I wrong on that? So the person that negotiated should be here defending it tonight and that’s the mayor,” Ramos said before voting no.
“But she’s not here defending this because I think she knows it’s a bad deal and wants to put it on our lap. So that’s not gonna happen tonight. We’re gonna put it back on her lap tonight because I’m also voting no.”
In a statement issued after the meeting, Zimmer said she respected the opinions and concerns of both the residents and the council and as a result of the vote, will continue to push forward with litigation involved these projects.
“I thank everyone who provided their feedback on the proposed settlement agreement. There are very legitimate concerns from residents in western Hoboken about burdening one neighborhood with added density, and I fully understand and respect the City Council’s vote.”
As a result, we will be back in court in December to continue to vigorously defend the city’s interests in the Monarch and 800 Monroe cases. On a parallel track, if there is a possibility in the future for a settlement that protects our waterfront without increasing residential density, a new agreement will be proposed for consideration by the City Council and community.”
She declined to address the criticisms made by Ramos and DeFusco regarding the proposed settlement being made public on October 29 and was initially set to be heard at the November 2 council meeting before being postponed.
Hoboken Ward 2 Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who lives in the Hudson Tea building, abstained on the vote.