Poggi Hoping City Provides Answers To Residents’ Concerns
About Mayor Bhalla’s Mega Project This Week
Residents’ Concerns About 5th-Ward Municipal Complex
March 23 2022
(Hoboken, NJ) Charles Poggi, whose 1501 Adams Street property faces condemnation by the City, said he hopes this week to get some answers about the City’s mega-municipal complex slated to be built on his land.
Last week, the City held a virtual community meeting to discuss and take public comment about the proposed municipal complex. However, the City provided few answers to the questions posed by the community. Residents are left in the dark about the project’s impact, especially those who live in the 5th Ward and have to live with the aftermath of the City’s decisions, according to Poggi.
“Last week, residents expressed a general feeling of hostility and distrust toward the City’s proposal. They voiced concern about how it would affect their quality of life. Yet, the administration offered no answers to the questions posed and provided no transparency about the project, including how long the plan was in the works and how much it would cost taxpayers,” said Poggi, whose family has been doing business in Hoboken for 100 years.
PROJECT VIOLATES THE NORTH END REDEVELOPMENT PLAN
Poggi and several residents said the City’s mega-complex plan, pushed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s Administration, violates the intent of the North End Redevelopment Plan. The Redevelopment Plan, which was passed in February 2021, was supposed to create a more inviting gateway into the City by allowing a mix of commercial, retail and residential space, along with a linear green space.
“How does having a monstrous government building, with police cars, fire engines and other emergency vehicles dashing through the streets, make for an inviting entrance to the City?” asked Poggi.
The besieged landowner questioned why the City rejected an April 2021 proposal by Bijou Properties for the North End, which would have addressed much of the City’s goals. Under that proposal, Bijou Properties offered to construct a mixed-use project with a City Hall annex and department of public works garage, as well as retail space, outdoor art displays, and residential units on the City block located at the intersection of 15th and Clinton Streets. https://hudsonreporter.com/2021/04/02/new-development-proposed-in-hobokens-north-end/
“The City turned down the Bijou project because it said the plan was too intense for the neighborhood; so instead, they want to erect an even more intense, City-owned building that provides no retail or commercial space, no affordable housing and no open space,” noted Poggi.
Poggi said the City Administration’s plan to turn his property into the home of an intensively used government complex meets virtually none of the goals of the North End Redevelopment Plan, which seeks, among other things to:
- Support the City’s efforts to grow and maintain a diversified tax base;
- Incorporate resiliency infrastructure to protect the City from the devastation of flooding;
- Ensure sufficient open space and recreation; and
- Encourage more affordable housing.
‘WORST URBAN PLANNING’, ACCORDING TO COUNCILMAN RAMOS
Poggi pointed out that 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos highlighted the contradiction in the City’s plan in a published comment stating, “This might be the worst urban planning in the history of urban planning. We spent years creating a plan that would allow for the property owners to help fund municipal needs and public uses and we’ve totally thrown that work out the window without even making an effort to work with the four property owners to create an area that can be vibrant and unique.”
Poggi said his original proposal would have provided the City with a new home for its DPW garage, affordable housing and a linear park. But, the City turned down his proposal last year without giving a reason and is moving forward with condemning his property. Plan available at https://1501adamsstreethobokennj.com/
Poggi pointed out that Mayor Bhalla’s dream complex is being driven by the City’s settlement with Ironstate Development Co. over the Monarch property. According to that settlement agreement, the City must vacate the current DPW garage located on Observer Highway and relinquish the property to Ironstate for development by November 4, 2024.
During the virtual meeting last week, a resident asked what the City would do if the Monarch time line could not be met. Jennifer Gonzalez, director of Environmental Services for the City, said a temporary location for the DPW would be found.
“It seems that the mayor is using the November 24 Monarch deadline as an excuse to push his ambitious project – which goes well beyond the DPW garage – down the throats of the residents and business owners,” said Poggi.