A preliminary settlement deal is in place for Hoboken’s Monarch project, an agreement that would transfer the development area to the city and the pave way for the redevelopment of the Department of Public Works garage site.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The settlement, negotiated by Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s administration, would temporarily prevent the Applied Development Company from building two 11-story high rise residential buildings along Hoboken’s uptown waterfront.
Furthermore, the scenario presents the opportunity for the city and Applied to negotiate a Redevelopment Agreement to officially transfer the Monarch site to the City and set the terms to build a new DPW facility.
The settlement will be presented to the city council for approval at a meeting in August, though the transfer of the Monarch site is contingent on the council approving a redevelopment agreement at a later date to be determined.
“This settlement is a win for the City of Hoboken. Not only does it protect our precious waterfront from development and preserve the site for open space, but it also presents an opportunity to revitalize an area in downtown Hoboken,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“And, a new, state-of-the-art municipal garage will facilitate improved public works services. While we have work to do over the next several months to finalize this proposed deal with a Redevelopment Agreement, this settlement is a critical step forward.”
The DPW garage is located at 256 Observer Highway, and along with providing a full renovation of the facility, Applied would also agree to building 4,000 square feet of retail along the thoroughfare, as well as 264,000-square-foot transit-oriented rental building – which would dedicate at least 11 percent of their units to affordable housing.
Again, this whole development would only be made possible once the terms of a redevelopment agreement is approved by the council.
Meanwhile, the Monarch site, located on the waterfront in the 2nd Ward, would be part of an open space project where Applied would pay the city up to $1 million to remove debris and other cleanup efforts.
The latest wrinkle in the ongoing Monarch saga, which has been tied up in litigation for years, is another bit of a surprise after the New Jersey Supreme Court granted the City of Hoboken’s request to review their appeal of the project.
City spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri said that the case is still scheduled to “be heard simultaneously on a parallel track,” though said it would be premature to speculate on what would happen pending potential outcomes of the court hearing.
“There are a number of unknown factors that could influence the final outcome of the Monarch site,” he added.
“While the City continues to defend its position in the Supreme Court, the settlement reflects a desire for both parties to protect Hoboken’s waterfront while revitalizing downtown Hoboken with additional retail and a new municipal garage at no cost to taxpayers.”
A spokesman for the project did not immediately return an email seeking comment.