Superior Court Judge: Monarch Approved in Hoboken; Planning Board #FAIL

Well, there you have it. Today, NJ Superior Court Judge Nesle Rodriguez gave the green light for the Monarch Project to commence on the uptown Hoboken waterfront. The Judge approved the application from Ironstate Development, citing that the Zimmer-appointed Hoboken Planning board did not hold the meeting they promised prior to a given deadline. In other words, “Hoboken dropped the ball.”

Who knows – maybe there are some Zimmer diary entries for this whole debacle as well. But we’ll probably have to wait eight months for the Mayor to write ‘em up.

Enjoy the development Hoboken!

Monarch Project Approved in Hoboken NJ

Monarch hearing postponed again thanks to Gov’t red tape

6/13/2012 Update:

The Hoboken Planning Board hearing for this fruity Monarch at Shipyard project has once again been postponed to July 10, 2012 at 7pm. The developers forgot to notify the residents within 200 feet exactly which variances they were seeking revisions on. Whoops! The more government rules there are, the more likely you will not be in compliance. Slippery slope indeed.

Monarch project plugs on; Hoboken planning board next week

6/7/2012 Update:

Seems like regardless of what gets denied and where, the developers of the Monarch at Shipyard project forge ahead with their plans.

Next week (6/14/2012), they’re on the Hoboken Planning Board agenda requesting approvals to change their original plan of having “tennis facilities” into just more residential condo units.

Head over to the Wallace School (11th & Willow) at 7pm next Thursday if you have interest in this development.

Hudson County Planning Board “denies” Monarch application

2/23/2012 Update:

Tiffanie Fisher, one of the founding members of the Hoboken Residents for a Better Waterfront coalition sent this exciting update out regarding the Monarch project uptown:

“We are happy to announce that last night (2/22/2012) in a vote of 6-2 the Hudson County Planning Board denied Shipyard Associates’ application for Monarch at the Shipyard. This is a great step forward in our fight to keep the Hoboken waterfront open and free for all residents to enjoy. We will provide more details as they become available.

Thank you again for all your continued support. The fight continues at the Hoboken Planning Board on March 6 at the Wallace School at 11th Street and Willow Avenue.”

Update: Hudson County Planning Board Tables Monarch Application

1/19/2012 Update:

Approximately 60 Hoboken residents attended the Hudson County Planning Board meeting Wednesday evening. 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, officers from the Fund for a Better Waterfront, area residents and an attorney representing the Hudson Tea Buildings Homeowners Association heard testimony from professionals representing the developer, Shipyard Associates.

Another meeting on tap within 30 days

This was the first meeting of the year for the board, and they had a full agenda. After testimony from the developer’s attorney, project engineer, architect and traffic engineer, the hearing was opened to the public. Twelve people signed up to speak, and Chairwoman Renee Bettinger allowed Councilwoman Mason to speak first. Mason asked the board to table the application until the appeals before the NJ Department of Environmental Protection are heard.

Residents questioned the accuracy of traffic studies presented by the developer’s engineer, saying they did not take into account thousands of new units in adjacent blocks that have received approvals but have not yet been built. Ron Hine, Executive Director for the Fund for a Better Waterfront said Shipyard Associates had not fulfilled their 1997 agreement that designates the area for recreation and open space. At 9:55 PM, the chairwoman announced that board by-laws state that meetings shall end at 10:00 PM, so the board voted to table the application and call for a special meeting to hear the rest of the testimony. The date of the new meeting will be announced by the board secretary, but it will be within the next 30 days before the February regular meeting.

The commissioners discussed whether it was appropriate for them to give approvals to a project that has no approvals from the Hoboken Planning Board. County Engineer Demetrio Arencibia suggested that no approvals be given until Shipyard Associates signs an agreement and completes repairs to the Hudson River waterfront walkway, which have been stalled after the county finished roadway repairs to Sinatra Drive North. The road and walkway collapsed into the Hudson River in October 2010. Commissioner Jude Fitzgibbons from Hoboken agreed, and said, “we should hold a gun to their heads.”

Former Hudson Tea resident opposes Monarch on Hoboken waterfront

1/5/2012 Update:

Hoboken411 reader Julia sent this letter in – and expresses disappointment with the potential development of the uptown Hoboken waterfront.

“I used to live in the Hudson Tea Building. I almost bought my unit on the side overlooking the Weehawken Cove. I loved living there. i loved the mix of young professionals, young families with children and a few empty-nesters.

It is a nice waterfront, and was used by apartment residents and city residents on warm spring and summer nights. I could hear the young people, unlikely building residents because few were under 25, sitting on the benches, chatting, below my sixth story window. It was nice to know everyone could benefit from the development of the waterfront.

I’d hoped to be there long enough to walk the sidewalk by the water from Hoboken over to Weehawken and further, even. I wasn’t there after 2006, but I keep track of the waterfront park building process anyway.

At the time of the units sales, we were all told, at the Chart House and again by individual real estate sales people on site, that the rundown, weed-filled, narrow wharf crumbling into the cove was to be developed into a park as part of the state path.

This week, while in town, learned the wharf area will be developed into 11-story towers by Applied Developers.

How can this happen in Hoboken? What about transparency?

“How could such a small site, provide adequate space for two residential apartment towers? Where is the maneuvering room that would allow for safety of the residents of the towers. The drawings indicate the bases extend beyond the perimeters of the two wharfs. No where is there a drive or road for access, evacuation, waste storage truck. All of those concerns, and more, should be a major concern of safety officials.”

Why were city officials so inadequately informed before the state agency issued the permit? Why can’t officials see the paperwork associated with the application process? That negotiations appear to have been conducted without transparency for Hoboken residents is frightening. I thought the government of New Jersey was becoming more transparent in its dealings with developers, finally.

This is not a case, as some seem to believe, of the rich Hudson Tea and Shipyard types against the poor. This is an increasingly common phenomena, the corporate interests, the stockholders interested against all but the super powerful, connected and, yes, rich.

If this plan’s approval is allowed to stand it will be a blight on New Jersey government.

Shame, shame on the agency who approved the plans. Shame on the mayor for not knowing of this beforehand.

I thought a contract was a contract, too. How could the realtors maps be so wrong? At last I know why my realtor was so obtuse about giving me in writing confirmation the park would be a park, not a blight on the neighborhood.

Former Tea Buildng resident”

NJDEP approves Monarch Development; Ramos expresses disappointment

12/5/2011 Update:

The NJDEP approved various permits, paving the way for potential construction of the Monarch Project uptown. NJ Assemblyman Ruben Ramos issued this press release today.

Today 33rd District Assemblyman Ruben Ramos issued the following statement regarding NJDEP’s decision last week to approve permits for construction of a residential housing unit in the Shipyard development of Hoboken:

“I’m very disappointed the State DEP would approve a project that is inconsistent with local planning, possesses numerous structural concerns, and fails to meet approvals at the County and Local levels.”

“Anyone who looks onto the proposed site of construction can see this plot of land is unfit for development. How are fire trucks, delivery trucks, police cars, ambulances, supposed to fit on this plot of land, plus a luxury high-rise?”

“I have opposed projects like this previously and I will continue to oppose projects that are inconsistent with State environmental regulations and the City’s Master Plan.”

“I am disappointed that the DEP did not review this project more thoroughly after repeated requests from local, county and state officials. More importantly, the DEP failed to take residents concerns into consideration.”

“The DEP is aware of the infrastructure problems our waterfront faces. Knowing this and still approving a construction project of this scale is alarming.”

“The residents of the Shipyard and Tea Building should be livid that NJ DEP failed to review this project with the degree of scrutiny it should have and failed to consider public comments during the review period.”

Hoboken411 gets action on the Monarch at Shipyard

6/8/2011 Update:

Back on May 13, 2011Hoboken411 broke the news that a proposal for two condo towers was in the works near the 15th Street Pier area uptown.

The story obviously disturbed those napping at City Hall, and put the wheels in motion to summon the experts at Boswell Engineering to identify any deficiencies in the permit application from Applied Development.

Boswell submitted a comprehensive analysis to the NJ DEP – which in turn, resulted in the DEP putting the permit application on hold until 15 deficiencies are rectified.

Applied has until the end of July 2011 to re-submit their permit for approval.

This of course, had nothing to do with Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s rambling letter about the Cake Boss where she couldn’t even spell her own Director’s name properly. What does Buddy Valastro have to do with a construction project on the opposite end of town exactly?

We’ll check back in the beginning of August to see how this pier project develops.

15th Street Pier: “Monarch at Shipyard”

May 13, 2011:

The Applied Development Company (owners of The Sovereign, The Vanguard and The Berkshire and many others), have submitted an application to the NJ DEP for a permit to rebuild the pier located directly east of 1500 Hudson St. (Hudson Tea Building C) and then construct two eleven story residential buildings to be called “Monarch at Shipyard.”

Apparently – besides the condo towers, this plan includes a recreation area, tennis courts, parking, and more.

However, the 2004 Hoboken Master Plan (and 2010 reexamination plan) called for this area to become another open-space pier (similar to Pier A Park).

Expect a big battle between area residents and the developers of this proposed real estate project.

What would you rather see? More condos? Or more open space?


(note – this is a “artistic rendering” by Hoboken411 and doesn’t represent the actual project)