The City of Hoboken is moving forward on a plan to work with the Hudson County Improvement Authority to build a $192.5 million municipal complex.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A resolution before the city council tomorrow would allow the HCIA “to acquire certain property and interests therein” to relocate their Department of Public Works garage, which must move by November 2024, as part of their Monarch settlement with Ironstate Development.
City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer shed little detail on how the logistics would work.
“The city is exploring any and all options to potentially move forward with the relocation of the DPW garage and is thankful for the county’s consideration,” she said in an email.
Additionally, HCIA spokeswoman Darsen Hover said that the agency had not received a formal request from the city yet.
“The authority regularly gathers information and reviews the availability of assistance at the request of Hudson County municipalities,” she began.
“At this point the authority has not received a formal request for assistance regarding the City of Hoboken’s proposed project. Like with any request from a municipality, we would of course give full consideration to any request from the City of Hoboken and review it upon its receipt.”
The municipal complex would house DPW, along with the police and fire departments, office of emergency management, the volunteer ambulance corps, municipal court, council chambers, and more, but officials recently acknowledged a temporary DPW facility may be necessary.
Adding further complications to the matter is that fact that a related $44 million bond that requires six votes stalled out on the council since they only had five affirmative votes.
Theoretically, the HCIA could acquire the land, which the city says in the resolution is valued at $19,320,000, and then lease it to the city to move forward on the complex.
Despite the delays, Bhalla said at the end of May that “There’s no way it’s not gonna happen” in reference to the municipal complex during an interview.
A spokesman for the HCIA had previously confirmed they had met with Hoboken officials in March to discuss their financing programs, though no specific project was discussed.
The Hoboken City Council convenes at City Hall, 94 Washington St., tomorrow at 7 p.m. and the meeting will also stream live on their Facebook page.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Hudson County Improvement Authority spokeswoman Darsen Hover.
Dear Hoboken City Council Members,
I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend. Like many residents of Hoboken, I am on vacation this week and will be unable to attend tonight’s Council Meeting. I read yesterday’s report in the Hudson County View that the City of Hoboken is moving forward with plans to build the $192.5 municipal complex on the Poggi site and am writing because I have the following questions and concerns about this project:
1.. “City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer shed little detail on how the logistics would work.” Why not? I think the public is entitled to more information before our Council commits to spending $192.5.
2. “The city is exploring any and all options to potentially move forward with the relocation of the DPW garage……” What other options have been explored? Why were they rejected? Why can’t we renovate the current police headquarters (as some have suggested)? Would a temporary relocation of the garage while we look to determine a better permanent option be so terrible? From the beginning, I have objected to the taking of the Poggi site for this purpose and would love to know what other options have been or will be explored. Much like the high school proposal in January, this municipal complex, in my opinion, is overdesigned, overbuilt and its costs will outweigh the benefits.
3. “…the agency (HCIA) has not received a formal request from the city yet.” How can the Council vote on something without having the details that would be part of a formal request?
4. Has the cost of this project been factored into the pending budget and what is the impact? Note – I do not see a final budget on the city’s website.
I’m disappointed that, once again, a major project is on the agenda at a time when it is difficult for the general public to attend the meeting and express concerns. I urge you to carefully consider the merits of this project and cast your vote objectively, not because Mayor Bhalla has said that “There’s no way it’s not gonna happen.”
Thank you for your consideration of these questions while you weigh your position on this project.
5th Ward resident
Well said. This feels like the high school megaplex all over again. Expensive, rushed and with little concern for what the people of this city want, need and are willing to pay for. This administration and its puppets on the council appear to be hell bent on building something extravagant no matter what the cost to the taxpayers. Like Ravi said, it’s going to happen (so steal Poggi site and get it pushed through however possible).
Hoboken should build the high rise sports center High School on top of the DPW, HPD, HFD, City Council, etc, etc mega muni-complex.
That way Hoboken can keep all of Bhalla’s expensive boondoggle construction fantasies in one place.