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Update on Budget, Newark St Plan, Southwest Traffic Plan & Farmers Market

Municipal Budget Includes 1.25% Tax Cut
On Wednesday, May 17, the Hoboken City Council unanimously adopted the 2017 municipal budget which includes a 1.25% reduction in the municipal tax rate.

“I am proud that for the 7th year in a row, we have held the line on our municipal taxes while dramatically improving our credit rating and making investments in our infrastructure including open space, water mains, flood resiliency, energy, and roads,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Thank you to Business Administrator Stephen Marks, Finance Director Linda Landolfi and the entire finance team, and the City Council for working together on this budget.”

Newark Street Safety Improvement Project
The City Council also adopted the Newark Street safety improvement plan (View the plan: www.hobokennj.gov/newarkstreet/). In addition to the adopted plan, the City will be incorporating an All-Way Stop Sign at the corner of Newark Street and Grand Street, following a determination by Hudson County that a stop sign is warranted at the intersection.

Construction to Begin for New Signal for Southwest Traffic Plan
Starting on Monday, May 22nd, construction is expected to begin on the new traffic signal at Jackson Street and Observer Highway, one of the elements of the Southwest Traffic Improvement Plan (View the plan: www.hobokennj.gov/swcirculationplan/). Construction will take place Monday through Friday from approximately 9am to 3:30pm. Traffic will be maintained the majority of the time with the exception of lane closures necessary during 1 to 2 hour periods during approximately 3 days. Police will be on hand to direct traffic during closures and pedestrian detours will be provided.

New Farmers Market Location
This year the “Uptown” Thursday market and “Downtown” Tuesday market will join forces for the weekly Tuesday Hoboken Farmers Market located centrally at Church Square Park on Garden Street between 4th Street and 5th Street. The market will be open on Tuesdays from 2pm to 8pm from June 6th to November 21st. This year’s vendor will include Union Hill Farms, Melick’s Town Farm, Circle Brook Organic Farms, Pickle-icious, Dr. Pickle, Gina’s Bakery, JC Fish Stand, Naturalvert, Gourmet Fruits and Nuts, and Hoboken Farms.

The City has also been in discussions with NJ Transit and LCOR to activate Warrington Plaza with a temporary market. The City has provided LCOR with an agreement to activate the plaza, however LCOR has not yet been able to secure the necessary approvals from NJ Transit. LCOR is pursuing open the market in the summer of 2018 (View the letter from LCOR: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Letter-LCOR-Warrington-Plaza.pdf).

Hoboken Introduces Southwest Redevelopment Plan & Seeks to Acquire Land to Expand Southwest Park


The City of Hoboken is introducing the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan which envisions a vibrant mixed use urban neighborhood to live, work, and play centered around an expanded Southwest Park. The plan builds on existing uses such as industrial arts, art galleries, and co-working space, creates an environment with more open space and retail amenities, establishes a walkable neighborhood that is safer for all modes of transportation, and preserves and creates jobs. On a parallel track, the City will continue its efforts to acquire through direct purchase nearly an additional acre of property to expand the Southwest Park that is currently under construction.

At a special City Council meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30pm following the Memorial Day parade, the Council will vote on introducing the Southwest Redevelopment Plan and on authorizing an offer to be made for acquisition of Block 10, Lots 1-7, 30-36 based on an appraisal of the property.

“Like every other neighborhood, the residents of Southwest Hoboken deserve a decent-sized park as soon as possible, which is why we are trying to directly purchase a second parcel of land that is not connected to or dependent on redevelopment,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “After the direct acquisition of the southern portion of Block 10 takes place and the voluntary implementation of the redevelopment plan is completed, Southwest Hoboken will have a 3.5-acre park similar in size to Church Square Park with retail and other amenities, creating a vibrant neighborhood. The residential density in the plan is no greater than a typical Hoboken neighborhood, especially given the concerns about traffic circulation in the southwest. I thank the Council Community Development Sub-committee Chair David Mello and all of the members of the committee for their hard work creating this plan.”

Permitted uses in the redevelopment plan include low-density mixed-use (4 stories residential over ground floor retail), specialized hotel and co-working office space, urban manufacturing/industrial, indoor recreation, microbreweries, neighborhood commercial/retail, and artist studios and galleries. The plan requires that 10% of the total residential units be affordable housing units. The redevelopment plan provides for overlay zoning and is a voluntary plan for all property owners.

“This is a plan that will enable this vital Hoboken and regional neighborhood to move forward in its evolution; encouraging appropriate land uses for the area while simultaneously allowing for much-needed open space expansions, road improvements, and other infrastructure enhancements,” said Councilman David Mello, Chair of the City Council Community Development Sub-committee.

The City is seeking to directly acquire the southern portion of Block 10 (0.8 acres) to expand the Southwest Park. The redevelopment plan would also allow for the further expansion of the Southwest Park to include the northern portion of Block 10 and the former Marshall Street right of way. This park expansion would be required if residential development were proposed by the property owner of the planned park expansion area.

“I welcome this development in the southwest part of Hoboken,” said 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos. “In order for our city to continue be the vibrant city that we are, we need to create dynamic neighborhoods for residents that are walkable, have open space and retail/commercial components that can turn the Southwest portion of Hoboken into a destination for everyone to enjoy. When you bring all stakeholders together and truly make the community a part of the process, the end result is a plan for a vibrant and sustainable development of the area.”

On May 24th, the City Council will consider an ordinance on first reading to introduce the Redevelopment Plan along with a resolution to send the plan to the Planning Board for review. If the plan is introduced, the Planning Board would then review the plan for consistency with the Master Plan and at the May 31st meeting may adopt a Resolution stating the Board’s determination. The City Council could then hold a public hearing and second reading at the June 7th Council meeting for final adoption of the plan.

View the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Draft-Southwest-Hoboken-Redevelopment-Plan-5-16-17.pdf

View the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan Presentation (5/24/17)

Links to Other Related Documents
Southwest Traffic Improvement Plan: www.hobokennj.gov/swcirculationplan
Southwest Park plan: www.hobokennj.gov/swpark
Plan to expand the Southwest Park through direct acquisition: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/parks/SW-Park-Expansion.pdf

Mayor Zimmer Cuts Ribbon On New Elevators For Senior Building


Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko and other dignitaries to cut the ribbon on the new elevators at the Fox Hill Gardens, a building for seniors and disabled residents. The City of Hoboken allocated $386,250 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds towards modernizing the two elevators in the building.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Hovie Forman, City of Hoboken Principal Planner Chris Brown, and residents of Fox Hill.

“I thank our Planner Chris Brown who managed this project and Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko for working with us to help ensure that our seniors have a safe and reliable way to get to their apartments,” said Mayor Zimmer. “We worked hard to more than double the CDBG funds we receive to support our low and moderate income population, and I am thankful that Congress has rejected plans to slash this much-needed program.”

Previously, the original 1950’s-era elevators in Fox Hill were regularly out of order and required expensive repairs. Cuts in federal funding made it difficult for the Hoboken Housing Authority to perform the necessary maintenance.

The CDBG funds are allocated to community groups and organizations benefiting low to moderate income populations. Hoboken’s CDBG funding more than doubled in recent years to over $1 million (an increase of more than $500,000) as a result of the City’s population exceeding 50,000 in the latest census and the City choosing to self-administer CDBG funds, which were previously administered by Hudson County. As a result of the increase in funding, the City has been able to fund significant capital projects including the elevators at Fox Hill. Previously, the City allocated $330,000 in CDBG funds for improvements to the Hoboken Shelter.

Hoboken Opens Waiting List For New Affordable Housing Units

The City of Hoboken is creating a housing waiting list for all future affordable rental units regulated by the City. Members of the public are invited to submit a preliminary application by visiting www.AffordableHomesNewJersey.com/Hoboken (Applicants without internet access may call 609-664-2769 X5). The deadline to submit applications for the random drawing to generate the affordable housing waiting list is May 8, 2017. Anyone who may be interested in current or future affordable housing units in Hoboken should apply by May 8th.

“Dozens of new affordable housing units under construction throughout our city will help to ensure that Hoboken remains a vibrant mixed income community,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We have created procedures to make sure that these affordable housing units are available to those who need it most through a fair and open process.”

This list will be used to lease units at: 600 Harrison Street (5 units), 1410 Grand Street (4 units), 721 Clinton Street (6 units), 7th Street and Jackson Street (42 units), and other future units. Some units will be available as early as Spring 2017, and others will be available in upcoming years depending on the construction schedule.

The City of Hoboken adopted an affordable housing ordinance that generally requires a 10 percent affordable housing set-aside for residential construction over 10 units when an increase in density is provided. The City also recently adopted the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan and a guidebook entitled “Administration of Affordable Units: Policies & Procedures Manual” to set forth the policies and procedures for placing eligible individuals and families into the City of Hoboken’s affordable units. The Affordable Housing Program will provide opportunities for both affordable units for rent and for sale.

In addition to the units required by the affordable housing ordinance, all redevelopment plans approved during the Zimmer administration, including Hoboken Yards, Neumann Leathers, and Western Edge, require that at least 10 percent of new residential units be affordable.

The first units that will become available are at 600 Harrison Street. Monthly rents for the units, not including utilities, are as follows:

1-Bedroom Low (1 available): $600
2-Bedroom Moderate (3 available): $903
3-Bedroom Moderate (1 available): $1,035

Even those who are not interested in these units should submit the preliminary application by May 8, 2017 to be considered for upcoming and future affordable housing rentals regulated by the City of Hoboken.

Rents for future units may be higher or lower based on income levels and number of bedrooms. The waiting list is only for rental units regulated by the City of Hoboken. There may be other affordable housing opportunities that must be applied for separately.

Additional information including income limits is available on www.AffordableHomesNewJersey.com/Hoboken.

Hoboken Introduces Post Office Redevelopment Plan for New Hotel & Improved Waterfront Connectivity


The City of Hoboken is introducing a redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Post Office Rehabilitation Area that includes a new hotel and improvements to waterfront access and connectivity. The plan, which will be introduced at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, would redevelop the underutilized parking lot behind the Post Office as a hotel with unique architecture while preserving the Hoboken Post Office as an important landmark. It would also require the redesign and reconstruction of Newark Street with wide sidewalks and streetscape features to improve connectivity to the waterfront and would activate the block of Sinatra Drive between Newark Street and First Street.

“I thank Council President Giattino and Redevelopment Committee Chair Councilman Cunningham for advocating for this project and working very hard to address some of my initial concerns,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “With the W Hotel often fully booked, there is a clear need for more hotel space for our families, friends, and everyone who visits Hoboken. This world-class hotel would improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to our waterfront, replace an eyesore with a vibrant, active streetscape with public amenities, and also provide much-needed meeting and event space for our community.”

It is estimated that the plan would create more than 100 permanent jobs and generate over $1 million annually in real estate taxes in addition to hotel taxes on a site that is currently exempt from taxes.

“This project will bring tremendous benefits to the neighborhood, create jobs in Hoboken, and generate significant real estate and hotel taxes that will help to keep our taxes stable,” said Council President Jennifer Giattino. “I want to especially thank City planner Jessica Giorgianni who has done an amazing job on this plan.”

The Hoboken 2004 Master Plan encourages hotels in the area near Hoboken Terminal to “provide a needed service for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

“As Council Subcommittee Chair, my projects have always strongly supported diversifying our tax base from residential towards more commercial, and this project does just that,” said Councilman Peter Cunningham. “I am confident we have met these challenges which will result in a win-win for Hoboken and its local businesses and residents.”

Setback requirements for the hotel, which must use high quality design materials and architecture, are designed to narrow the building to maximize light, air, and open space and minimize shadows on Pier A Park. The implementation of the plan would terminate the existing easement with the Post Office which provides angled parking for Post Office vehicles along Newark Street where there currently is no sidewalk. All Post Office and hotel loading activities would be moved to First Street and take place inside of a building and the hotel would be required to have lease agreements with private parking garages.

The Post Office Redevelopment Plan is available online at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Post-Office-Redev-Plan-2017-03-27.pdf

 

Mayor Zimmer & Officials Break Ground on 7th & Jackson Resiliency Park

7thJacksonGroundbreaking

 

Today Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined other elected officials, dignitaries, and members of the community to celebrate the groundbreaking of a 2-acre park and public gymnasium as part of the 700 Jackson Street development project.

“This park will bring much-needed open space to a growing mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood and will build upon our flood resiliency strategy,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I thank the City Council, Bijou Properties, Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, and members of the community who worked together to make this possible.”

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“700 Jackson is reaching for new heights as a transit-oriented, smart growth community,” said Larry Bijou, Managing Partner of Bijou Properties. “Kudos to the City of Hoboken in helping to bring this modern development to fruition.”

“We are fortunate to have partnered with Mayor Zimmer and the City of Hoboken to create new community space, and look forward to more New Jersey development projects on behalf of Intercontinental’s union and public pension investors,” Peter Palandjian, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation.

7thJackson3

By incorporating green infrastructure and underground detention systems to capture more than 450,000 gallons of stormwater runoff, the resiliency park is designed to help address flooding issues. It is the second of three resiliency parks planned for western Hoboken, in addition to the Southwest Park which is under construction and the Northwest Park, which is in the planning stage.

7thJacksongym4

Approximately 1 acre of the park will consist of an open grass area with public seating and a children’s play area. An additional 1 acre public plaza will feature step seating with a tilted lawn panel for relaxing and passive gatherings and a large plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets. Finally, the plan will feature a 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium with a classic field house design.

The project will also include approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, an on-site parking garage, and 424 residential units, including 42 units of affordable housing.

Community Invited to 7th & Jackson Park Groundbreaking Ceremony


All members of the Hoboken community are invited to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new 2-acre park, plaza, and gymnasium as part of the 700 Jackson Street development project. The event will take place on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 11:00am at 700 Jackson Street.

The park will be Hoboken’s second “resiliency park,” designed with green infrastructure and more than 250,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention and infiltration to help address flooding issues.

Approximately 1 acre of the park will consist of an open grass area with public seating and a children’s play area. An additional 1 acre public plaza will feature step seating with a tilted lawn panel for relaxing and passive gatherings and a large plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets. Finally, the plan will feature a 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium with  a classic field house design.

The project will also include approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, an on-site parking garage, and 424 residential units, including 42 units of affordable housing.

Community Invited to Southwest Redevelopment Public Meeting

swredevelopmentarea
The City of Hoboken invites all members of the public to a second community meeting to discuss the Southwest Area Redevelopment Plan on Thursday, October 13th at 7:00pm at the Multi Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street. The meeting will begin with a presentation of several proposed concept plans, which incorporate feedback from an online survey, a prior community meeting, and a workshop with property owners.

The Redevelopment Plan concepts are based on the expansion of the Southwest Park as a centerpiece, preservation of urban manufacturing and commercial uses, creation of new neighborhood retail and a hotel, establishment of mixed use neighborhoods, and construction of a parking garage.

Hoboken in Final Negotiations to Acquire 6-Acre BASF Property

BASF
The City of Hoboken is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire the BASF property, a 6-acre property in northwest Hoboken on which the City seeks to create a 5-acre ‘resiliency park’ and a parking garage. The total cost to acquire the property would be $30 million, which the City intends to fund through a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Fund Program (NJEIFP) for the park portion and with a bond from the Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU) for the parking garage portion. The debt service will be financed through the Hoboken Open Space Trust Fund for the parkland acquisition and with revenue from the parking facility for the HPU bond.

“After years of work, we are near the finish line on this rare opportunity to acquire a large contiguous property and preserve it for open space,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “In addition to providing the growing northwest neighborhood with much-needed park space, the park’s underground detention system, combined with the separation of the sewer system in the surrounding neighborhood, will play an important role in alleviating flooding in the area.”

If negotiations conclude successfully, the City Council will be asked at the October 5, 2016 meeting to introduce multiple ordinances to authorize the agreement to purchase the property, a bond for the NJEIFP, and an HPU bond.

A design has not yet been determined for the park. A full community-based public planning process will take place to develop plans for the park once the property has been acquired. The intent is to design a park with a mix of active and passive recreational space with green infrastructure and an underground detention system to hold at least 1 million gallons of stormwater to help reduce localized flooding. The City is also partnering with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to separate the sewer system in the area around the park and to channel stormwater runoff to the new underground detention system.

As part of securing a low-interest loan from the State, the City will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Multi Service Center (124 Grand Street), to hear the community’s input on the land acquisition.

The City’s NJEIFP low-interest loan application includes $26,633,416.50 for acquisition of the 5-acre property, $2,530,000 for planning, engineering, and permitting for the park design, and $2,130,673.23 for NJDEP administrative fees and a contingency. The HPU bond will be for $3,366,583.50 for land acquisition and $650,000 for soft costs including planning and design for a parking garage.

The largest portion of the BASF property is Block 107, a 4-acre property bounded by Madison Street, Adams Street, 12th Street, and 13th Street. Additional space for the park is south of 12th Street between Madison Street and Jefferson Street. The parking garage is proposed for the property north of 13th Street between Jefferson Street and Adams Street.

Hoboken to Consider Project to Build 2-Acre Resiliency Park, Public Gymnasium & Affordable Housing

7thJacksonSm

Hoboken has an important opportunity to move forward with the 7th and Jackson project which will benefit the neighborhood and City by creating a new 2-acre resiliency park, a public gymnasium, and 42 units of affordable housing. At the July 6th City Council meeting, the Council will consider a series of resolutions, ordinances, and a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement to advance the project within the Northwest Redevelopment Area.

“This project is a tremendous opportunity to add much-needed open space, improve our flood resiliency, create a new indoor recreation facility, and expand affordable housing,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Working with the City Council Development Subcommittee members Chairman Mello, Councilman Doyle, Councilman Russo, and former Councilman Occhipinti, we negotiated an agreement with significant community benefits that we otherwise would not receive.”

Community Benefits
As part of the project, the developer will be required to acquire, remediate and construct two acres of public park space, which will help to alleviate the open space deficit in western Hoboken. It will include a 1 acre public park with an open grass area, public seating, and a children’s play area along with another 1 acre public plaza with step seating, passive lawn area, restrooms, and a large plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets. Improvements to 7th Street utilizing Belgian block-style accents and a tabled roadway will calm traffic and create visual continuity between the park and plaza. There will be more than 250,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention within the park and plaza to help address flooding issues in the area.

In addition, the developer will construct a 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium that will accommodate the growing demand for recreation programs including basketball, soccer, yoga, and other fitness activities. Nearly 800 children on more than 50 basketball teams must currently share the gymnasium in the Multi-Service Center.

Finally, the project will include 42 on-site affordable housing units to be deed restricted for a minimum of 40 years. For the first time in any redevelopment agreement, the City is making sure that significant community benefits are provided before the development is finished by requiring that the public park and gymnasium be built first.

“Our committee is proud of the many community givebacks that we negotiated into this agreement; including 10% affordable housing, unprecedented water retention infrastructure to combat flooding, a contiguous park and public space that will stretch across two city blocks, and a much needed new gymnasium building capable of hosting many activities for the children of Hoboken,” said City Council Development Subcommittee Chairman David Mello. “Perhaps most importantly, the majority of these benefits will be built before the residential building that facilitated this project is occupied.”

“This project represents a great example of how the redevelopment process can and should work to benefit the community and foster sound development,” said Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle.

“This is a redevelopment project that represents the needs of the City before all others,” said Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo. “With the community amenities that will be provided, the residents of the Third Ward will now have more than quadruple the amount of open space in our neighborhood. We took a hard line in our negotiations to ensure that we have provided one of the largest water detention systems in Hoboken to help to alleviate our city’s flooding. With the addition of this park and public gymnasium, we have ensured a tremendous increase in recreation opportunities for our children, and with the public plaza able to host outdoor movies, small musical concerts and even theater performances, this will become one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Hoboken.”