Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!
Monroe Center in Hoboken looking better already!
Ever since the Monroe Center (720 Monroe St.) became under new management – things are looking up for the once nearly out-of-commission artists haven.
One such improvement immediately noticeable, is the lobby of the building – which was transformed from a grungy hallways into a bright and fabulous gallery. You can check this out right away, the show is called “Creativity at Work,” and features the photographs of Jason Jaskot, Craig Wallace Dale and Mac Harshorne.
The photos depict various “real life” snapshots of various tenants in the building – and gives you a good perspective of what goes on behind the walls and in many of the studios.
You don’t need an organized show like the Digable Arts Festival to see the wonderful work that takes place weekly inside the Monroe Center!
Monroe Center in Hoboken under new ownership; renovations planned
Monroe Investment Group, led by Hershy Weiss of Basad Realty, has announced that it has acquired Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken with plans to execute a comprehensive renovation program that will bring renewed vision and energy to the center and transform the property into a dynamic mixed-use destination for artists and businesses alike.
The renovation program will include upgrades to the lobbies, elevators, and infrastructure as well as façade improvements. The new ownership plans to create public art exhibition space featuring rotating works of in-house artists and outside talent, as well as common areas for artists to collaborate with one another with the future vision of creating a larger artisan village.
A full service destination for arts & community
The new ownership’s vision for Monroe Center is to develop a state-of-the-art space to grow and foster the local arts community in Hoboken, including working with the current tenants to build upon the strong sense of community that already exists at Monroe Center in order to expand its access to the regional arts community.
“We are adopting a long-term approach to ownership of the Monroe Center in order to realize the original vision for this property as a vibrant location for artists and the creative class to work alongside emerging and established businesses,” said Mr. Weiss. “Monroe Center was created with the mission to provide an arts center that fosters the creativity and diversity that makes Hoboken such a great place, and we look forward to undertaking the improvements needed for this property to play an important role in the local arts scene here in Hudson County as well as the greater New York Metropolitan region.”
The new ownership also plans to complement this blossoming arts community with local, family-oriented retail and restaurant tenants, making the Monroe Center a full-service destination for art enthusiasts and the greater Hoboken community.
Monroe Center Files for Bankruptcy
Here’s some more specifics regarding the Monroe Center bankruptcy filing:
Monroe Chapter 11, seeks to block sale of interests
The owner and developer of the Monroe Center, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development project in Hoboken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is petitioning to block the sale of its membership interests, according to bankruptcy papers filed over the weekend.
Dil Hoda, one of two members of Monroe Center II Urban Renewal Co. LLC, announced yesterday that it plans to apply for an order to impose an automatic stay to stop the sale of the company’s membership interests, which is scheduled for Wednesday. A hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey is expected Tuesday afternoon.
In the filing, Hoda said the sale would doom the entire Monroe Center project, and requested the court to allow the company more time to obtain a No Further Action Letter relating to environmental contamination on the site, and resolve other issues relating to the project, before such a sale would take place.
Monroe Center, a five-phase project situated on a five-acre site, comprises two existing mill buildings, totaling 190,000 square feet, and land approved for 435 residential units, some 53,000 square feet of retail space, 1,120 parking spaces and a 55,000-square-foot public space. Hoda and his partner, Gerard Saddel, began working on the development almost two decades ago, when the pair purchased the former Levelor blinds factory in December 1990 for $3.43 million.
In recent years, environmental issues have plagued the project, as site investigations revealed significant contamination of volatile organic compounds on the property. Remediation efforts did not reduce the contamination, but in fact worsened the problem, according to Hoda, whose firm has spent about $4 million in cleanup costs for the site.
In bankruptcy papers, Hoda blamed the environmental problems, along with the real estate slowdown and credit crunch, for the company’s inability to raise sufficient funds to pay Strategic Performance Fund-II Inc., a mezzanine investor that’s holding Hoda and Saddel’s personal equity in the project as collateral, and is the entity planning to sell the partners’ interest.
Monroe Center II Urban Renewal Co. submitted a new Remediation Action Work plan to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which is expected to be approved within the next 30 days, according to Hoda, who said the approval would put the company in a more favorable position to raise funds to make payments to Strategic Performance.
In its bankruptcy petition, filed Friday, the company listed estimated assets between $0 and $50,000, and estimated liabilities between $10,000,001 and $50 million. The 19 creditors holding the largest unsecured claims include Montroy Anderson, a New York-based architecture firm, which is owed $197,305.54, and Sadat Associates, a Trenton-based environmental consulting company, which is owed $172,468.26.
Christine Gravelle, an attorney with Markowitz Gravelle, which is representing Monroe Center II Urban Renewal Co., declined to comment on the filing until after Tuesday’s hearing. The city of Hoboken said it had no comment on the filing or its impact on the Monroe Center project.
Tern Group Development, of which Hoda is a principal shareholder, said the bankruptcy filing had no impact on its $2 billion Tern Landing project on the Elizabeth waterfront. “The two projects are completely separate,” said Michael Turner, a spokesman for Tern Group Development. The Tern Landing project “is moving ahead.”
Story from NJ Biz.
Here are copies of the letters most tenants received about the recent bankruptcy news…
One is a letter from the Monroe Center indicating that rent checks should still be mailed to them (cha-ching), and another from Principal Global Investors saying NOT to mail it to the Monroe Center.
(Click Each thumbnail to enlarge)
Hoboken411 learned that Monroe Center LLC (“The Monroe Center for the Arts”) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The filing comes after years of failed promises to redevelop the site as a mixed-use destination, and our continued reporting on troubles at the site. The filing by attorney Joseph Markowitz in Newark District Court estimates debts of between $10 million and $50 million with estimated assets listed as “unknown.”
The Hoboken City Council recently gave Monroe Center their “last” extention of a redeveloper’s agreement that allowed them to build high-rise condos on the site despite many years of inaction. It doesn’t seem likely they will be able to perform now. No word yet on what this means for the many tenants at the Monroe Arts Center (many of whom have received letters not to mail rent to Monroe – but to a bank instead).
Here is the list of the 19 largest unsecured creditors on Monroe Center LLC:
Entity: Claim Amount
- Principal Commercial Funding II LLC: $18,762,608
- H & H Green Construction: $1,098,000
- Tern Landing Development: $890,000
- Lasser Hochman: $450,000
- Natural Products: $348,000
- Lake Industrial: $309,806
- Mid-State Construction: $294,514
- Nacirema Insustries Inc.: $272,415
- North Hudson Electrical: $140,734
- Skyview Architecture: $114,104
- Standard Elevator: $102,170
- Mumta AJ Rangrej: $100,000
- MWW: $75,000
- Cananwill: $63,205
- Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor: $34,000
- Liberty Paper & Janitorial Supply: $31,369
- Till Design: $28,350
- North Hudson Sewerage Authority: $25,467
- Barberi Construction: $18,601
411 coverage one year ago: http://hoboken411.com/archives/4766 (lots of visuals of what was supposed to have been built by now!)