A proposed Hilton along the Hoboken waterfront took a step forward last night, although some City Council members voiced a few concerns about the current plan.
The hotel, unveiled last year, would be located behind the city’s historic Post Office on Sinatra Drive between Newark and 1st Streets on a parking lot that the Federal Government owns. Philadelphia-based KMS Development Partners presented plans late last year to build a 20-story, 238 room Hilton against the rear of the existing Post Office building.
The hotel, designed by New York-based Cooper Carry Associates, would feature a restaurant and bar plus a 6,000-square foot rooftop event space that would be utilized for banquets and weddings. The property, which will not feature any condominiums like the W Hotel does, would also have a fitness center and conference rooms.
Per the plan, KMS would also renovate the Post Office and add an underground parking garage for their vehicles. The company says the hotel plan provides the only opportunity for the city to change the Post Office’s parking easements at the property, as the redevelopment contract they signed with the Federal Government will be terminated if the project is voted down.
Last night, the City Council voted 9-0 to adopt their Post Office Redevelopment Plan, which was drawn up by Maser Consulting and released last week. Among the new details in the plan are requiring a slender design to the structure to minimize size of the shadow that it would create on adjacent Pier A Park. It also calls for the hotel to have one or more restaurants or rooftop bars open to the public.
The Council also voted 9-0 to refer the Redevelopment Plan to the Planning Board, who will review and make recommendations for the project. Despite the unanimous approval, some council members voiced concerns about the current plan, with Councilman Ravinder Bhalla calling the proposed height “grossly out of scale” with the surrounding buildings, which are all less than five stories tall.
Bhalla did, however, say that the plan has “a lot of potential” and Councilman Michael DeFusco said he looked forward to seeing the Planning Board’s input and voiced support for the Council Subcommittee later getting down to specifics and “negotiating a plan that makes sense.”
The Council’s resolution now heads to a 2nd reading before the Planning Board weighs in. Officials from KMS said in a community meeting back in February if all goes well, they hope to open the hotel by December 2019.