Jefferson Trust – 1st and Clinton
Ongoing angst at Jefferson Trust
This construction project continues to be a thorn across the board. Residents still miffed their neighborhood is changing – are calling Hoboken Police on a regular basis with issue after issue. This morning HPD once again responded to calls – but said all permits were on par, and were advised not to respond to future calls for this site. Residents with problems should call Al Arezzo during the week, since this is a civil matter.
ALLPREVIOUS UPDATES (BACK TO 2007) AFTER THE JUMP…
Seems like the Jefferson Trust project is still annoying the living daylights out of nearby residents!
The OSHA violation of the day
Anthony, who is one of those residing in the vicinity, has sent a myriad of communiqués to city officials for countless violations and other inconsiderate acts, with very little action or response. Although this project was shut down temporarily by Construction Code Official Al Arezzo in the last week or two for various other code violations.
But the violations continue – and on top of copying the Mayor and council members, Anthony is now including both the Federal and State Departments of Labor as well – for blatant OSHA violations, including this:
“Please note the following opening on the floor with a 20′ drop among other OSHA infractions that should be addressed. Please make a site visit and have this addressed. Thank you for your help.”
Making Hoboken denser – one building at a time
The Jefferson Trust building (and controversy surrounding it) has been going on for nearly two and a half years. But with the debates behind us – the gutting of the building is complete, and construction is about to begin.
If you don’t get downtown (or out of your car) often – here’s what has to happen to “preserve history” in Hoboken:
“Like a (not so) good neighbor…”
Construction and development in a packed, densely populated city is no easy task. Permits from the city, approvals from planning and zoning boards, community acceptance and safety are all factors. Consideration for your neighbors should be paramount for any new project – and it seems like the Jefferson Trust Bank site is a source of controversy this week.
Anthony L., who is a resident (and board of trustees member) of the Jefferson Trust Condominiums adjacent to this project on First & Clinton is frustrated with the utter lack of regard the developer has for his neighbors. Unable to effectively contact First Ward councilwoman Theresa Castellano, he’s reached out to Mayoral candidates Peter Cammarano and Dawn Zimmer to see if they can help.
Can Mayoral Hopefuls save the day?
“Dawn / Peter,
I appeal to you both since one of you will be our Mayor in a matter of weeks. I live in 300 Newark St (aka Jefferson Trust Condominiums) on the corner of Willow and Newark Street and am on the Association Board of Trustees. We are in the first ward but I have not been able to contact Theresa Castellano; the email I have is not current.
I am writing about my concerns regarding the demolition of the adjacent building – the Jefferson Trust Bank Building. While our building is in favor of having the poorly maintained back buildings razed and a new building in it’s place, we are overwhelmed by the lack of adherence to an established easement agreement as well as any concern or consideration for the safety and welfare of the residents of our building. We have been involved in the evolution of this project for the last four years and have tried to act preemptively to prevent what is presently happening.
The developer is allowing his contractors to use our driveway (which is not permitted based on the easement agreement we entered in 1997) for dumpsters, trucks, bobcat, materials, etc. while we use this for our parents with small children, handicap access and a 15-minute parking space. We have gone out of our way to communicate with the developer (Mr. Seth Martin) but he has done nothing to keep us apprised of his plans. We have written letters and made numerous phone calls to no avail. In addition, we had just paid approximately $87k (a portion of which Mr. Martin still owes us) to repair the driveway and our back entrance, much of which will have to be rebuilt (I’m hoping to our satisfaction by Mr. Martin).
As an example, our lawyers were notified via fax at 2:17pm the day before work commenced in earnest. I have tried to speak to the construction official but he is convinced that the property is the developer’s and told me that he had a copy of the easement. This document clearly states that the property is ours and that there is a certain protocol to be followed. This protocol is being ignored as is our requests for a discourse with this developer. We have reached out to his lawyer and had a meeting scheduled yesterday which they canceled at the last minute. We have discussed our options with our lawyer but do not want to use our replacement reserve to achieve an unsatisfactory result in the courts at a point when most of the work is done. We spent about $120k in ’07/’08 fighting the original application for an 8-story building. As someone who has worked in construction and development in NYC my entire career I am baffled that this is allowed to happen. From looking at the plans, there are many ways this work could be completed with minimal impact to the driveway area but my belief is that Mr. Martin is taking the most cost-effective and expedient route despite the affect on his neighbors or the legal obligations in place.
I want to reiterate that we are most concerned about the safety and welfare of our residents which is being compromised.
Thank you for your consideration,
Read more history about this project below…
5/20/2009 Bump / Update:
Quite a few area residents have been emailing me about the construction/demo that has been taking place at the old Jefferson Trust Bank site at First and Clinton.
Here’s a little background about the project from back in 2007…
Local resident Sean, has an update regarding a compromise that has been reached for this project:
“As a result of the public’s concern, the developer compromised by changing the part of the area of the proposed restaurant into a retail store & area for the condo project. Also, the height of the tower was reduced significantly, keeping in-line with the height of the surrounding neighborhood. Gone was the valet parking, and there is a still a point of contention about the parking which we hope to resolve soon.
The developer also detailed multiple structural enhancements, keeping in line with the historic preservation of the site. The Bank sits in a flood plain, and the developer also plans to increase the height of the entire structure (more details on this to follow, from what I understood it would be raised about 5 feet). The facade, windows, moulding and copper treatments would be restored. The sidewalk, lighting and trees would be enhanced or added.”
Continue reading previous updates below…
The Zoning Board has cancelled the meeting that was supposed to happen Tuesday the 19th, which means the Jefferson Trust Bank Building item will be carried, along with the rest of the agenda, to July 17th at 7pm. There was some question as to whether the ZBA would consider the Jefferson Trust item while it was still pending at the Historic Preservation Board. A developer proposal to build a seven story parking garage across Newark Street from the Jefferson Trust Condos in between Neumann Leather and the Napa Auto Parts was also on Tuesday’s ZBA agenda, and will be carried to July. Updated the Event Calender accordingly.
Hoboken411 reader ‘Furey”, who’s a condo owner in the area had attended the recent meeting regarding this project.
There is simply no support by the public here, and many members of the committee seriously questioned this project. Everyone loves his idea to restore the Bank and how it could be made to look, but mostly everyone agrees that adding residential units on top of the building isn’t in the best interest of the community. The owner is trying to get thirteen – THIRTEEN – variances for this property.
Originally, the next Historical Preservation Committee meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th. However, the city has moved the date up to MONDAY, June 11th at 7pm. The Hoboken Planning Board meeting is still on for Tuesday, June 19th at 7pm.
In case anyone is interested, there will be a low-key review of this proposal in front of the Historic Preservation Committee tonight at 7:00pm (basement of city hall).
There will be an opportunity for the public to comment or “inquire within”. Not many important people will be there it seems, as some have other commitments. However, it has been said that this project/property shouldn’t even be listed by any Realtor since there is no official zoning in place. It may considered unethical, etc..
Over at the forever vacant (and still historically intact) Jefferson Trust building on 1st and Clinton, there finally appears to be some action happening.
Here is the letter that has been posted as of late (thanks 411 reader Furey):
Below is an artist’s rendering of the proposed changed to the Jefferson Trust Bank Building.
The proposed changes are scheduled to be discussed at the Tuesday June 19th meeting of the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment, City Hall, at 7pm.
If you’d like to voice your opinions regarding the proposed changes, I urge you to attend.
If possible, please could you notify any of your neighbors who may also be interested in attending.
Another reader wrote in that they have requested the city for numerous variances to build this eight-story luxury building and an extension of the bank to accommodate retail space and a restaurant.
This is of great concern to the residents in the area, as it may dramatically block the natural light to nearby residences. It is interesting to note that the residents of his building apparently only received one letter addressed to the Condo Board. It’s possible that many other neighbors are completely unaware of this proposal.
There are other concerns regarding the restaurant and possible bar, which may be within 500 feet of existing bars, which is considered a zoning violation.