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Hoboken Announces Tenant Advocate Office Hours

The City of Hoboken is announcing office hours for a tenant advocate for any Hoboken resident seeking advice on housing matters. Andrew Sobel, Esq. will be available during office hours, by appointment, between the hours of 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 8th and Thursday, December 22nd, 2016.

Any Hoboken resident wishing to attend the office hours must email (mwright@sobelhan.com) or call (973-874-5545) Mr. Sobel’s office in advance and provide a description of the issue to be discussed in order to schedule an appointment.

The location for the open office hours will be the basement conference room in City Hall at 94 Washington Street.

Hoboken Green Team to Host Reusable Bag Giveaway and Food Drive

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Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the Hoboken Green Team will host two reusable bag giveaway and food drive events:

• Tuesday, November 29, 5-7 pm at ShopRite (900 Madison Street)
• Wednesday, November 30, 5-7 pm at Acme (614 Clinton Street)

Hoboken Girl Scouts and Stevens S.T.E.P. volunteers will assist with a food drive to benefit the Hoboken Shelter. Customers are encouraged to purchase items for donation listed at www.hobokenshelter.org/items-needed.

At each event the Hoboken Green Team will distribute 800 reusable bags, one to each customer, free of charge. The reusable bag giveaway is intended to educate our community on the importance of reducing plastic bag consumption. The Green Team seeks to discourage single use bags and encourage residents to bring reusable bags for all shopping trips, including grocery shopping and daily use. The Green Team will host a movie screening of Plastic Paradise following the reusable bag giveaway and food drive event on Wednesday, November 30 at 7 PM at Willie McBrides (616 Grand Street).

Approximately 4.4 billion single use shopping bags are used annually in New Jersey. Windblown plastic bags degrade our City’s environment and pollute the Hudson River, harming marine life. The manufacturing and distribution of plastic bags use significant non-renewable resources.

To learn more about the Hoboken Green Team, please visit www.hobokennj.gov/greenteam.

Hoboken Police Department Launches Pedestrian Safety Enforcement & Education Campaign

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The Hoboken Police Department is engaged in a comprehensive pedestrian safety education and enforcement initiative throughout November that will include motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

The highlight of the initiative is a series of pedestrian decoy operations which are taking place at multiple locations in Hoboken throughout the month. Decoy operations involve police officers in civilian clothes who pose as pedestrians crossing the street while a team of other officers observe and stop motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians or violate other laws.

During pedestrian decoy operations in the past two weeks, police issued 41 summons for failure to stop for pedestrians, 3 summons for driving while on a mobile phone, 1 summons for disregarding a crossing guard/traffic control officer, and 9 warnings. Additional decoy operations are also scheduled.

Officers will also stop motorists who fail to stop at stop signs and will be on the lookout for other dangerous violations such as distracted driving. Enforcement and education efforts will also focus on pedestrians who fail to use a crosswalk and bicyclists who fail to stop at red lights, ride recklessly on sidewalks, and other violations. Officers will also enforce violations against those who fail to obey crossing guards and traffic control officers.

Sinatra Drive Walkway Temporarily Closed Between 14th & 15th Streets

Based on a recommendation from the City of Hoboken’s engineer, the waterfront walkway along Sinatra Drive North between 14th Street and 15th Street has been temporarily closed to pedestrians.

Settling of an existing pier at Sinatra Drive North between 14th Street and 15th Street is causing minor separation of the existing paver walkway, creating as unsafe walking condition. Signs will be posted to direct pedestrians, who should use 14th Street and Shipyard Lane as a bypass to the waterfront.

The waterfront walkway and pier are the private property of Shipyard Associates/Sovereign Limited. The City has closed the walkway as a precaution due to safety concerns.

General Election to be Held Tuesday, November 8th, 2016


The General Election is on Tuesday, November 8 for the offices of Hoboken Board of Education, U.S. President and Vice President, Member of U.S. House of Representatives, County Sheriff, County Register as well as two ballot questions. Polls will be open from 6:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Early Voting before Election Day

Residents of Hoboken and Hudson County have the opportunity to vote in person before Tuesday at the Hudson County Board of Elections. Voters can visit the Hudson County Board of Elections during extended hours today, Monday (November 7) from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm to simultaneously request and fill out a Vote by Mail (VBM) form, which is the equivalent of voting at the polls. The Hudson County Board of Elections is located at 257 Cornelison Ave (4th Floor), Jersey City, NJ 07302.

Voting on Election Day

Find your polling place: https://voter.njsvrs.com/PublicAccess/jsp/PollPlace/PollPlaceSearch.jsp

View a sample ballot: http://wwww.hudsoncountyclerk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2016SampleGeneralF7.pdf

For inquiries, complaints or problems, call the Board of Elections: 201-369-3435. For voting machine malfunctions or questions, call: 201-369-7794/7797/7799.

Veterans Day Ceremony to be Held November 11, 2016

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A Veterans Day ceremony will be held on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 11:00am at the World War I memorial located in Elysian Park. The brief service honors Hoboken’s veterans and those presently serving our nation in the armed forces.

Hoboken Police Department & Hoboken University Medical Center Seek Public’s Assistant to Identify Unknown Woman

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Open Letter from Mayor Zimmer to residents regarding Proposed Monarch Settlement Agreement

Dear Concerned Residents,

Thank you to all residents who have provided feedback on the proposed settlement of litigation relating to Monarch and the Monroe development. I write to try and respond to some of the concerns I have heard and to clear up some misunderstandings.

First, I want to make sure that everyone is aware that there will not be a vote on the settlement agreement at tonight’s Council meeting. It was moved to November 14th to provide more time for community input.

I understand residents’ concerns about density. However, it is important for the community to understand that there is already a preexisting redevelopment plan (the Northwest Redevelopment Plan) for 186 units and up to 14 floors of development at 800 Monroe. This redevelopment plan, which was approved by Mayor Russo in 1998, is the plan under which Metro Stop and several other buildings were constructed, and it is not possible to simply disregard the remaining elements of that plan.

Through the redevelopment process, which would begin if the settlement is approved, it will be possible to work with the community to reduce the impact on the existing neighborhood. (For example, to preserve as much of the rooftop views as possible through a well-designed layout of the buildings on the site).

Unfortunately, however, due to the preexisting redevelopment plan, it is not possible to say that there will be no development at 800 Monroe. Also given the existing redevelopment plan, the acquisition cost to purchase this and build a park would be astronomical. Residents should understand that whether we fight on with this litigation or not, a development on the scale of 186 units will be built at that site based on the existing approved plan.

Investments and 8-acre park expansion in western Hoboken:
I’ve received some feedback stating that I am not prioritizing western Hoboken. As a resident of western Hoboken, I actually have been very committed to expanding park space and making our west side neighborhoods more livable and flood resilient. My Administration is the first to build a flood pump to alleviate flooding in western Hoboken, create three new major parks west of Jefferson Street, and plan our first municipal parking garage in western Hoboken. We have focused tens of millions of dollars in investment and almost all of our major projects towards improving western Hoboken. We have begun construction on a one-acre Southwest Park and we are investing $30 million to buy 6 acres of land so we can build the largest park possible in our City along with western Hoboken’s first municipal parking garage. We also prioritized a new gym and 2-acre park at 7th and Jackson that will soon be under construction which will include 250,000 gallons of storm water storage to help alleviate localized flooding. The new BASF resiliency park is proposed to be built with a 1 million gallon detention system to help reduce the impact of flooding. The $11.2 million H-5 flood pump was just completed that is entirely for alleviating the flooding in western Hoboken when we experience heavy rain.

The Waterfront Belongs to All of Us:
Hoboken has the only nearly completed waterfront in New Jersey that offers the chance to stroll from one end of our City to the other without being cut off by development. Even though I live on the western side of the City, I often walk my dog, run, or bike on our waterfront. I proposed this agreement because I consider our waterfront to be a shared resource for all of us. It is something special that belongs to all of us, and I am trying to preserve it for generations to come.

For me this is not about anyone’s view, but this is about the quality of life for our community and preserving our shared waterfront treasure.

The Risk is Real:
The outcome of this litigation if we continue to pursue it is uncertain. If we lose, we block our community’s waterfront. We still have 186 units and up to 14 floors of development at 800 Monroe, and we will have spent about $2 million in litigation costs with nothing but development to show for it.

Understanding the process:
A litigation settlement negotiation cannot be conducted as a public process. However, because of the importance of this settlement to Hoboken residents, we took the highly unusual step of publicly releasing the proposed agreement so the public will be fully informed and have an opportunity to have your views fully considered as the City Council makes its decision. It is also important for residents to know that the settlement is the first step. If this settlement is approved, a redevelopment agreement with more details about the design and layout of the buildings would have to be introduced to the City Council, reviewed by the Planning Board, and then return to the City Council for a public hearing. The public will have a chance to ask questions and provide input through every step of this process.

If the settlement is not approved, then the City will proceed with the litigation in court in December. However, given the significant risks we face, I believe the agreement is in the best interests of the City and therefore I am asking the City Council and our community to consider it.

Thank you and best regards.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Update: Vote Rescheduled for November 14; Hoboken and Shipyard Reach Proposed Settlement Regarding Monarch Project and 800 Monroe

UPDATE (11/1/16): City Council President has removed the settlement agreement from the Wednesday November 2nd meeting in order to provide the Council and the public with additional time to understand all the facts prior to the Council voting on the matter. The agreement is scheduled to be considered at the November 14th meeting.

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The City of Hoboken and Shipyard Associates have reached a proposed agreement to settle litigation that began five years ago relating to a planned residential development on a platform pier on Hoboken’s North waterfront. Hoboken opposed the development, which would have resulted in 70 luxury apartments replacing the tennis courts which had once been planned for that location.

The proposed settlement also resolves a dispute over a redevelopment project at 800 Monroe Street in West Hoboken. In total, six legal disputes relating to the two proposed projects would be resolved by the settlement. The City has spent $1 million on litigation costs to date. An estimated $1 million in legal fees would have been required if a settlement had not been reached. In addition, Shipyard has also asserted damage claims against the City, and the outcome of the litigation would have been uncertain. The proposed agreement will be considered by the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday, November 2nd.

“This settlement protects our City’s treasured waterfront by ensuring that no residential or commercial development will be built on Hoboken’s waterfront and that the three piers will not be used for any purpose other than public open space,” said Mayor Zimmer. “As part of the agreement, Shipyard Associates would make a $500,000 contribution to the City, which will be used for cleanup of the platform pier debris, an engineering analysis, and to start the work needed to design and eventually construct a new waterfront walkway park.”

The proposed settlement will also settle a multi-year litigation at the 800 Monroe site on the western side of the City. This would represent an increase of 79 units from the existing Redevelopment Plan which was approved in the 1990’s under the Russo Administration that already permits 186 units of development. As a result of the settlement, the 800 Monroe project would have an additional 52 market rate units plus 27 affordable housing units. The maximum allowable number of stories will decrease from 14 to 13, however the maximum building height would be allowed to increase by 10 feet. The existing Redevelopment Plan does not require any affordable housing, whereas the new agreement would increase affordable housing in the City.

Mayor Zimmer invites all concerned residents to voice their views at the Council meeting.

“I understand and agree with the concern many residents have about rising density levels, and I will continue to work to create great neighborhoods in western Hoboken with new parks, restaurants and arts, and retail amenities,” added Mayor Zimmer. “I recognize this is a very important decision for our City Council, the Planning Board, and the community, and therefore we are making the terms of the agreement public in advance so that residents can consider the agreement and voice their views at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.”

On November 2nd, the City Council will also be voting on a contract for the acquisition of the 6-acre BASF site, located in western Hoboken, which will become our City’s largest park. In addition to the planned 5-acre Resiliency Park, one acre will be used for building a new municipal parking garage. A new 2-acre park will also soon be built at 7th Street and Jackson Street.

The settlement agreement can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/corpcounsel/Settlement-Agreement-Hoboken-Shipyard.pdf.

Mayor Zimmer, Local Bloggers Recognize Women Business Owners

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Today, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and local bloggers Jennifer Tripucka (Hoboken Girl) and Amanda Morrison (Don’t Sit Home) honored five local business owners in recognition of National Women’s Small Business Month, which takes place in October. Mayor Zimmer, Tripucka and Morrison honored Jen DeMarco, CEO of Local Barre, Meghan Lavelle of Washington General Store, and Arzu, Fusun, and Gonca Esendemir of Flat Bread Grill.

“I’m thrilled to recognize these five outstanding women for their contributions to our City,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Jen DeMarco, Meghan Lavelle, and Arzu, Fusun and Goncha Esendemir are shining examples of women operating successful businesses in Hoboken. The success of businesses like Local Barre, Washington General Store, and Flat Bread Grill is why Hoboken is one of the best places to shop and dine in the entire State of New Jersey.”

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Jen DeMarco, a Hoboken resident and mother of three children, opened Local Barre, a fitness studio that offers a combination of yoga, ballet and pilates classes for women ages 16 and up. She originally opened her fitness studio after moving to Hoboken and searching for barre classes in preparation of her wedding. Local Barre’s fitness classes are offered to both women with and without children. Local Barre opened a third location in Hoboken at the Monroe Center and also has locations in uptown and downtown Hoboken.

Meghan Lavelle is the owner of Washington General, a home and gift store specializing in unique products and home décor. Meghan, a Hoboken resident of four years and a new mother, opened Washington General out of the need for additional luxury gift shops in the City. Washington General often specializes goods based on the time of year or holiday season and includes products such as specialized bags, wine accessories, candles, chandeliers, and more.

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Arzu, Fusun, and Gonca Esendemir are three sisters who grew up in Hoboken and started a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant, Flatbread Grill in 2008. They opened their Hoboken location in 2015 and are currently working on expanding the concept worldwide via franchising and company-owned stores. The sisters created the menu and breads based on their parents’ recipes growing up. Their father owned one of the first Middle Eastern restaurants in Hoboken in the early 1990s. The sisters live together and work together in owning and operating Flatbread Grill.

National Women’s Small Business Month takes place during the month of October and is designed to celebrate women business owners across the United States. Hoboken Girl is run by Jennifer Tripucka, while Don’t Sit Home is run by Amanda Morrison. Both are local blogs and social media accounts that cover various events, businesses, and people in Hoboken and the surrounding community.

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