Latest Hoboken municipal complex proposals could have $192.5M price tag, new survey released


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.

Renderings courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

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.

This was the second community meeting on the subject, with the first one being held virtually on March 16th. The new survey is open until April 19th at 8 p.m. and could be found here.

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.

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  1. After Mayor Bhalla awhile touted all the million dollar givebacks from the long delayed Post Office-Hilton Hotel deal on the river front, didn’t the courts rule that those givebacks had to be on or near the construction site?

    LOCOR and Newman Leather developments are clear across the other side of Hoboken from this site. That would be a very expensive mistake.

    It is one cost to build these “once in a lifetime” projects but will the ongoing costs to maintain the pool, library, park, community center, etc… that no one ever wants to bring up when pitching these things.

  2. Does anyone think the once in a lifetime $300,000,000.00 boondoggle high school plan has gone away ? Taxpayers will be on the hook for that huge increase too on top of whatever tax increase once in a life time project.

  3. Two members of the City Council said at tonight’s meeting that the Bhalla Administration was offering them large and expensive taxpayer funded projects in their Wards in exchange for supporting the new municipal complex plan.

  4. The high school was also billed as a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s their go to marketing strategy for massive wasteful boondoggles that screw the taxpayers. Using PILOTs from other projects is no different than using taxes – payments in lieu of taxes are just a substitute for taxes. Taxes by another name. This whole thing reeks of desperation. The question I have is why is the mayor so desperate to do this when by all accounts no one even thought of it until a couple of months ago. Please Councilwoman Fisher and the other Independent Council members. Just say no.

  5. Once again the administration and his council members are trying to sneak this past the people of Hoboken. It is presented as if it is a foregone conclusion that this large and wasteful project is happening…to save money and provide the city with a pool (and rooftop playground!). Save money lol… that has always been the last thing on this administration’s mind. If saving money was important, the city would renovate and utilize all of the properties it already owns (YMCA, Community Center and current Police HQ and parking lot beside it). No need to imminent domain (steal) land so that more developers can get their payback for supporting Ravi. It is imperative that voters learn the truth about this project.