The latest Hoboken municipal complex proposals could have a $192.5 million price tag, with the least expensive concept at $152.5 million, with another survey seeking community feedback released today.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
During a community meeting at the Multi-Service Center on Monday, Director of Environmental Services Jennifer Gonzalez said the first rendering with just a civic center as an amenity would have a $152.5 million budget, while adding a pool would up the price to $162.5 million.
Including a civic center pool, pool, and indoor recreation center would up the spending plan for the project to $182.5 million, while including those amenities with a field house would come to $192.5 million – though the city has plans to offset costs.
“First and foremost, our goal is to minimize, if not eliminate entirely, the cost to the taxpayer. In order to do that, we are looking to developers. The very first source of funding we’re looking for is private funding for this project,” she said.
“Initially, one of those funding sources would be the pilot agreement that has been negotiated for the LCOR project agreement – site 2 – about $21.5 million. The second pilot agreement, also negotiated, $31.7 million, for the Neumann Leathers project.”
She added that these are only two out of many possible options that could be negotiated for the project, later stating that over the course of three decades, the taxpayer would be responsible for around $28.5 to $38.5 million – a figure that is of course subject to change.
In each of the four proposals, the bulk of the costs, $115 million, would be to house the public works, police, and fire, departments, along with office of emergency management, a new library, community center, rooftop park, and parking lot.
In a statement issued today, Mayor Ravi Bhalla called it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“The proposed municipal complex is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our current and future needs, upgrade our aging infrastructure for our first responders and essential workers, and expand our recreation options that are bursting at the seams,” he stated.
“And, based on community feedback and cost estimates, we are incorporating a community pool into our proposals that residents have been seeking for decades. I encourage everyone to provide feedback into the survey as we put forward a final concept that fits the needs of our city.”
The project of course is not possible without a development site, currently pegged for 1501 Adams St., where the Poggi Press building currently sits.
Charles Poggi, the owner of the defunct family business, is a staunch opponent of the project, and while the council approved the ability to use eminent domain by a vote of 5-4 in February, they also need to approve a $44 million bond to move the development forward.
While the first reading also cleared 5-4 in February, the second reading has been carried for the past two council meetings (including the one for this evening). In order for a bond to pass, six affirmative votes are needed.