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

10/11/2011 Update:

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.

Hoboken NJ Monroe Center Renovation October 2011 - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!

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

11/18/2008 Update:

Here’s some more specifics regarding the Monroe Center bankruptcy filing:

hoboken monroe center bankrupt - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!

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.

9/18/2008 Update:

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)

monroe center letter post bankruptcy sm - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!principal global investors sm - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!principal global investors 2 sm - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!


Hoboken411 learned that Monroe Center LLC (“The Monroe Center for the Arts”) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

hoboken monroe center bankrupt - Monroe Center: Renovation Coming!

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: (lots of visuals of what was supposed to have been built by now!)

Back in June:
and again last month:

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Red Haven
Red Haven
Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:10 pm

What I’m hearing is the so-called “environmental issues” at Monroe Center are designed to divert attention from what really went awry here. The developers supposedly leveraged the value of the high-rise approvals in the Northwest Redevelopment Zone plan to launch other development projects elsewhere.

They’re involved in a project on Newark Bay in Elizabeth called “Tern Landing”. They propose putting 14 high-rise condo towers on a former garbage dump by Newark Airport and the container port. It’s supposedly a $2 billion project, but you have to wonder where they will get that money if they can’t even keep the Monroe Arts Center project afloat.

Hoda and Saddell were among the developers who kept Dave Roberts’ campaign kitty full over the years. In return the city did nothing to pressure them to finish the project they started and repeatedly extended deadlines they missed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:50 pm

[quote comment=”117280″]I hope someone gets it and does something good with it, this building had A LOT of potential.

Agreed. I did not know about the environmental issues and was wondering why the units were not being put up for sale after word spread through the local real estate community that a condo conversion was coming. Whether commercial or residential units, we were eager to buy one about 7 years ago when we started hearing of it. Great personal office space and right next to the light rail. Damn shame.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 9:02 am

Monroe Center at 700 Monroe St pays $4362.50 in taxes for .333 acres of land. In FY2004 it payed Hoboken $5.37 million presumably as some sort of agreement. It has not made such payments to Hoboken since then. Prior to Sept 11, 2009 when tenants were notified of the bankruptcy, Hoboken had expected to receive a $500,000 PILOT for FY2009. As this amount does not appear in the FY2009 budget it appears that Hoboken revenues have been impacted for this year and for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 17, 2008 4:38 pm

Is anyone from Hoboken411 going to cover the foreclosure auction on Nov 19th? I would love to see Hoboken411 post photos of Dil Hoda and Jerry Saddel hanging their heads in shame.

Is the auction for all of Monroe Center or just one of the multiple Monroe Center affiliated entities (Hoda mentioned something about multiple entities in the NYTimes recently).

Are any of the Tern Landing & Celadon assets being auctioned?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 5:28 pm

I hope someone gets it and does something good with it, this building had A LOT of potential.

Of course, fatass Roberts went ahead and put meters all around it, depriving residents from parking and making it less competitive.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x