HOBOKEN, NJ - Pegasus Partners, LLC have been working on development along Hoboken's Western Edge since 2012. After a tumultuous few years, they're hopeful that the latest plan can bring innovative new design to the area between the city's forthcoming Northwest Park and the 14th Street Viaduct.
After nearly being tabled during a meeting in April, a resolution to move ahead with the plan passed the Hoboken City Council after an extended back-and-forth. While the inclusion of a long-awaited community pool drew support from Hoboken residents, outcry came from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and others, who had serious concerns about the scale of the 11-acre, 216-foot project.
"We've redesigned the project so that there's less height on the eastern side," said Mark Villamar, of Pegasus Partners. "And we've reconfigured the building to align with the Northwest Park."
In addition to addressing complaints from neighboring mayors, the Fair Share Housing Center sued in early June because the deal would violate the city's own affordable housing ordinance, which requires that new developments include a 10 percent affordable housing allocation.
As a solution, the Hoboken American Legion will now see an additional 15-17 units added to its current facility, which has been designed to assist qualified veterans in need of housing. The added units there will also bring in additional support from the Veterans Administration, who will now reportedly provides social services for those residents.
The Western Edge development project will also incorporate flood water mitigation plans to accommodate 165,000 gallons of rainwater in the event of storms—an ongoing concern in Hoboken.
“I’m pleased that we are putting forward a redevelopment agreement that provides for substantial community givebacks that will increase the quality of life for our residents," said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. "If approved tonight, we will begin the process of creating a new community pool, one of the most requested public amenities in our city, along with housing for homeless veterans, public open space, and more.”
Councilman Ruben Ramos expressed his support for the deal, saying, "I'm excited about the opportunity to add to our affordable housing stock as well as continue to work to add sorely needed community benefits such as a swimming pool and community center." Speaking to more specifics about those benefits, Ramos said, "This will allow us to help rehabilitate existing Multi-Service Center without losing any services. Also allows us to honor the commitment the City Council made in partnership with the American Legion to build more housing for Military Veterans.”
The next Hoboken City Council Meeting is Wednesday, July 29.
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