The Poggi Press building at 1501 Adam St. has been targeted for a proposed municipal complex for some time now, with the city going so far as to file for eminent domain over the property in an attempt to locate a new municipal Department of Public Works garage there.
But after a City Council meeting held on Dec.7, it seems council members have shifted their interest to another property under a newly proposed $84.3 million bond to acquire a new location to develop into a DPW site.
“Now we are looking at it in a very real way, to make sure it happens for the citizens of this city,” said council president Michael Russo.
But the question is still up in the air whether the attempt at eminent domain will be withdrawn by the city or the DPW site will be part of the redevelopment agreement by the city.
“After 11 months we are still debating this, and so far we still find ourselves in the same place with the city,” said Thom Ammirato, a spokesperson for Poggi. “We can’t sell the property, we can’t rent the property, but we still pay taxes on the property.”
According to the ordinance, the bonds would have a life of 40 years for a total of $80 million. The funding will apply towards “rehabilitation, renovation, and reconstruction of the existing buildings and structures thereon as part of the North End Redevelopment Plan for purposes of development and construction of new facilities for the Department of Public Works, together with the acquisition of all materials and equipment and completion of all work necessary therefor or related thereto, all as more fully described in the plans and specifications on file with the Department of Planning and Engineering.”
“After months of negotiations with various property owners in the North End and several discussions with the City Council, the bond ordinance would enable the City to complete ongoing negotiations with Jefferson Street Partners for the purchase of their property for a new public works facility,” said Marilyn Baer Hoboken city spokesperson.
“While the pursuit of alternative property did not have the votes of six members of the City Council, Mayor Bhalla thanks Councilmembers Ramos and DeFusco for their support with this approach. Acquisition of the property would enable the City to expeditiously vacate the current Public Works Garage and enable the City to get at least half a million dollars of seed money from Iron State to create a permanent facility, as set forth by the Monarch Settlement.”
The improvements would be seen in blocks between Madison, Jefferson, 15th, and 16th Streets, a lot which is currently used for parking by Academy Bus. An additional fund of $3.7 million will be used to complete the 5-acre Union Dry Dock project recently acquired by the city.
In 2021, an exchange of property known as the Monarch Settlement agreement between the city and Michael Barry of Ironstate Development was officially signed by both parties as reported by The Hudson Reporter. As part of the settlement, the city would be required to vacate the current DPW site, 256 Observer Highway, by November 2024.
A majority of council members approved the resolution with Sixth Ward Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino opposing the resolution.
The Hudson Reporter has previously reported on the city’s interests in acquiring the Poggi Press building located in northwest Hoboken for the use of a new municipal DPW. Charlie Poggi the owner has previously claimed in an interview with the Hudson Reporter that Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s administration acted in bad faith after having several discussions with the city on potential ways to develop the property.
“I congratulate the administration for negotiating what appears to be a successful purchase of property needed for a new DPW center from a willing seller proving that eminent domain is not necessary for the city to meet its goal,” said Poggi at the Dec. 7 council meeting.
The ordinance is set to be voted on at today’s city council meeting and will also be live streamed.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Jordan Coll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.