Hoboken Zoning Board meeting 2/15/2007

Yet another “special meeting” this week. It’s really beginning to exhaust me.

However, there is something special that the residents should know about. It’s the forthcoming project at 1415 Park Avenue in the works uptown. Initially, the plans were for a 14 story tower, however, in this weeks Hoboken Reporter letters to the editor, local resident John Branciforte mentioned “two seven-story towers.” I guess I missed something.

This week, on Thursday February 15, the zoning board will vote on a project at 1415 Park Ave. This project if approved will be comprised of two seven-story towers on a five-foot base.

It was six years this month that uptown residents came together to fight a proposed monster development at 1600 Park Ave. The public rallied to fight the 180-foot tall towers and after much outcry the area is now slated for a new park. It is just as important that the public learn about this new 1415 Park application and come out to fight its approval too.

parkonpark - Hoboken Zoning Board meeting 2/15/2007Unlike the 1600 Park Ave project, the developers at 1415 are working to win over to Hoboken’s parents. The developer has entered into discussions to lease a portion of the building to a Charter School and the zoning board meetings have been well attended by parents with kids in tow. I am not anti children nor anti education. I am, however, for reasonable development and enforcement of the state’s zoning laws.

The state requires that applicants for zoning ordinances provide a positive benefit for the community. The developer may have thought he found the perfect benefit by providing for a charter school- but the board should be careful not to get sucked into an emotional debate. Will the addition of 378 more parking spaces – meaning more cars – and the strain of hundreds more residents on this city’s infrastructure be an equal tradeoff? The new buildings will also push the hundreds of cars parked in the existing parking deck into city streets.

The board should also consider the safety of the surrounding intersections at Garden Street, Park Ave. and 14th Street. Children and adults pedestrians from the new building will have to cross these intersections everyday. It is the board’s responsibility to scrutinize the applicant’s traffic study to see how the level of service will be affected and what safety improvements are planned for the busy intersections.

I hope that the public will come out to ask questions of the applicant and voice its opinion against this project.

Check it out if you want to voice your opinions. In the basement of City Hall.
zoning board 021507 hoboken - Hoboken Zoning Board meeting 2/15/2007

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:12 pm

As far as I’ve heard, Red Haven, there is no contract. They are working on it. I know they are looking to get a lawyer with contracts experience on their board, so if you want to help out Elysian, contact them. You do not have to be a parent to be on the board or to volunteer to help.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 6:31 pm

hmmmmmm…reminds me of the other recent “community” project. The “public” space in the recording studio on Madison. They presented down to the brick color of the extra six residential floors but couldn’t tell how long the lease was for this “open space”.

Red Haven
Red Haven
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:06 pm

I heard the developer said it was a donation of space to the school. Some sort of “Educational Condominium” or something. Nothing is done until there is a signed contract in place between the two parties. If it is a donation of space, that is a pretty big commitment with real value.

Anybody know if this charter school actually has a rock-solid contract, or is this just a gentleman’s agreement before the variances are approved?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 4:22 pm

Is it a donation or a lease? How long is the lease? If the “donation” to the school is worth $10 million, what is the value of the other additonal floors?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 2:11 pm

Thanks much for the info. I won’t get into debate as to how much the inclusion of the school itself is worth, you’ve put a number on it which is fine and seems realistic. As to whether downsizing a building is worth losing a school I don’t have an educated opinion on that yet; although as with most other issues, I don’t see why it would have to be an all-or-nothing scenario.
Parking – you’ve answered my questions; and wasn’t aware that Toll had intended to include short-term parking, at least not once all of their development was complete. However, it still appears that there will be a net loss of parking with this development.
My questions for the other side have become moot as I’ve done a little more digging, such as why there was such outcry over 7-story towers on a 5-foot base as noted above, when it’s actually a 5-STORY base for a total of (2) 12-story towers.
I also would have had some questions regarding their concerns on traffic studies, etc., but it appears those haven’t been seen by them yet.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x