North End redevelopment in Hoboken
Zimmer: Christie starved Hoboken of Sandy relief over Rockefeller development
Take a look at this story at MSNBC – where Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleges she was bullied by the Chris Christie administration into supporting the Rockefeller project uptown. Remember, almost a year ago we said that the “redevelopment study” was fishy – (3 blocks approved for only Rockefeller – everyone else “denied”).
True or not – it just shows you how horrid the state of “politics” is in this state and country.
However, some other questions begging to be answered here:
- Why did Zimmer wait so long to take action on this? Do we want a Mayor that doesn’t move until the timing is “politically strategic?” What else is she not coming forward with?
- Can her “diary” truly be used as legitimate “evidence?” I mean anyone can creatively make one up at any time. No way to prove that it was written when it was. Seems contrived.
Either way – “the cat is out of the bag,” and the political theater continues in New Jersey. Wonder how many heads will roll?
Historic Hoboken dismantled piece by piece
Just to document the last remaining pieces of what is left of the old, industrial parts of Hoboken – today’s Hoboken411 photo of the day is a close-up of some recent demolition that took place at the Rockefeller property uptown.
Precarious demolition of industrial Hoboken buildings
This old building has carefully been demolished over the past couple months, located between Park & Willow and 15th & 16th Streets. In addition, a new traffic light will go into effect soon as well.
As they were smashing the (well made) building, police had to stop southbound traffic on Park, due to falling debris. Was a fun sight to watch.
Below is a video, where you can psychosematically understand what it feels like to just observe life, without staring at a smartphone screen (provided you’re not watching this via a smartphone screen, that is…)
What’s up with the Northwest redevelopment in Hoboken?
Recently, around 20 city blocks were “studied” in Northwest Hoboken – which gave birth to the “North End Area Redevelopment Study” document.
Many residents have questions about this so-called study and the players involved.
As you probably already know – this section of Hoboken is kind of beat. Zoned mostly for industrial use – we have a large section of the city that would flourish if it could be re-zoned for more uses. That would quite possibly lead to real progress and incentive for existing businesses to sell to mixed-use developers. Did you know at one point in time, a proposal was floating around to make 15th Street another “Washington Street” like area? It was rejected by the city.
Anyway, some interesting questions about this whole “study” have crossed my desk here.
Why did only three blocks get “approved” for redevelopment?
The first question is out of ALL the blocks in this study, only three were deemed “in need of redevelopment.” See graphic above.
Now regardless if they met some kind of “legal criteria,” it still seems odd that the only properties that were approved were Rockefeller owned.
Why demolish before building or plan approval?
The next question is – have you ever heard of a developer starting demolition of a property before any plans have been submitted, etc.?
Who would invest the time and money demolishing anything, without a solid guarantee that their new property has the green light?
Some suspect that whatever they plan on building here has been discussed in the “back room,” and possibly promises may have been made (contributions, guaranteed approvals, etc.) which is why this demo is diligently taking place. Who knows, maybe after election time later this year everything will come out in the open? Just seems very strange.
Why are redevelopment studies treated like gospel?
One thing I never understood is that these redevelopment studies are almost like no-bid monopolies.
The city is supposedly “transparent” in many other areas – especially with contracts that receive multiple bids. I’m not saying that even those can be riddled with corruption and under-the-table maneuvers, but why would we rely on only ONE company (Clarke Caton Hintz in this case) to prepare these studies?
Even though this study was funded by the Port Authority – why don’t the same rules for “multiple bids” apply here?
Because in almost any circumstance, you can tailor any of these “studies” to meet your desired outcome. Whether it’s by exclusion, embellishment, or subjective interpretation of the law, etc.
Lastly – these kind of redevelopment studies are very rigid, and like to fall back on all sorts of guidelines. But where is the out-of-the box thinking? It’s very hard to allow for real change and progress if you limit the amount of maneuverability in what property owners can do. We’re not talking allowing 100-story buildings, or fuel storage facilities, but at least let the free market have more room to work instead of local politicians to decide.
Because when that happens, all the “fairness” goes out the window, and the big-money people are usually the only winners.