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Hoboken council to vote on redevelopment deal with nearly $5 million in givebacks

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Mayor Ravi Bhalla and other city officials announced a proposed redevelopment deal this week that will allow construction of a 20-story Hilton Hotel along the city’s southern waterfront as long as the city gets  $4.85 million in community givebacks. The deal is up for a vote at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

According to a press release from the Hoboken City Council subcommittee in charge of reviewing the redevelopment agreement, that deal increased from $4.5 million to $4.85 million on Wednesday evening after further negotiations and receiving a verbal commitment from the developer.

The hotel will be built on the parking lot of the Frank Sinatra Post Office at 89 River St.

The $4.85 million in community givebacks from the developer will include $1.165 million for infrastructure upgrades, $1 million to fund the endowment for Hoboken Public Education Foundation to support the public school system, $485,000 to the three charter schools in Hoboken, $200,000 into the Affordable Housing Trust fund, and $2 million to help revitalize the Hoboken Community Center (the former YMCA building.) The vision for the center includes re-opening the public pool and providing space to expand the district’s pre-K program, which currently has a waitlist, and open the uptown branch of the Hoboken Public Library.

The allocation came after various council members spoke with the mayor about adjustments they wanted to his initial proposal. Now, the council is likely to approve the plan.

“It is my intention that this agreement shall serve as a model for all future deals,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said. “I am putting developers on notice: if you want the opportunity to do business in our city, we expect union labor and we expect generous community givebacks.”

At a press conference Tuesday, the mayor also announced that all the jobs for constructing and operating the hotel will be union jobs, and Hoboken residents will receive hiring preference. The hotel is projected to employ about 170 people once operational, create an additional 280 jobs in the community, and add $5 million to the local economy per year.

The Hoboken City Council will vote on the agreement on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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