Legal Settlement Could Net Hoboken New Waterfront Pier, DPW Garage

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shipyard settlement hobokenA long battle between the city and Applied Development Company over a dilapidated uptown pier looks like it might come to an end, as both sides have arranged to negotiate an agreement that could create new open space, build a new public works garage, and construct more residential units.

The saga stems from a pier at 15th Street and Sinatra Drive, which spans about 1.4 acres and is one of the last undeveloped parcels along Hoboken’s waterfront. Applied had been seeking to build a 78-unit project called Monarch at Shipyard that would include two 11-story towers at the site but per a 1997 development agreement, the property was supposed to be home to tennis courts and open space.


shipyard project rendering hoboken real estate
The Monarch rendering | via Fund for a Better Waterfront

Applied, now known as Ironstate Development Company, was granted a permit to build the Monarch project by the Department of Environmental Protection back in 2011, but the city sued to enforce the original agreement, both the county and local planning boards rejected the project, and Hoboken passed a 2013 flood prevention ordinance that banned development on piers. The litigation has slogged forward for years and is currently before the state’s Supreme Court.

The lingering issue could soon be history, as Hoboken’s city council voted 7-0 to approve a legal settlement with Applied at their August 7 meeting. Under the deal, the city will get title to the 15th Street pier “as is” plus a $500,000 payment from Applied to go toward improvements at the property. Going forward, Hoboken will be responsible for any additional costs associated with turning the parcel into open space.


“We worked cooperatively with Mayor Bhalla to come up with an agreement that makes sense for all parties involved, and we are optimistic that the settlement the City Council has approved is the win-win scenario we have all been looking for,” said Michael Barry, president and CEO of Ironstate Development Company. “This is a detailed agreement that still requires a lot of work by a number of municipal departments to implement, and we all recognize that the ongoing litigation on this matter will continue during that time period, but we are encouraged that there is now a potential path to a resolution of this issue.”

the monarch development hoboken
15th Street Pier, Hoboken. Image via Google Maps.

In exchange, Applied will get the rights to develop the city’s Department of Public Works facility located at 256 Observer Highway. Under the pact, Applied will be required to construct a new municipal garage and public works site for the city within a mixed-use building they would develop. The garage would be no smaller than 30,000 square feet and the second floor of the property would include 15,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of storage space.

Per the settlement, any development Applied builds would need to include about 4,000 square feet of retail space fronting Observer Highway. The exact height and density allowed at the site isn’t spelled out in the settlement, but the agreement caps the building’s maximum height of 165 feet and requires 0.25 parking spaces be included for every residential unit.

Per the existing Municipal Garage Redevelopment Plan, 11% of the residential units need to be designated as affordable housing. Upon completion of the development, the city would still own the municipal garage portion of the project. The settlement includes a clause about “discussion of a possible PILOT” or tax agreement, but something of that nature would need further city council approvals to be granted.

Shipyard Associates can terminate the settlement if an agreement on the proposed development isn’t approved within 270 days, so the parties have some time to work out a deal. There has been no timeline announced as to when a formal proposal for the public works site might be unveiled.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. More open space and saving million dollar views and increased property values in uptown Hoboken. More density, congestion and loss of views but light and air and diminished property values in downtown Hoboken.

    When Hoboken has most City Council that lives uptown and those downtown have put their own political agenda in front of residents in their Wards, downtown Hoboken becomes the dumping ground for anything and everything that is unwanted uptown.

  2. NO PILOT for Applied because at the end of that PILOT all affordable units become Market rate causing dangerous situations that are going on NOW. Unless they agree to rent control ordinance 115.2 that all affordable PILOTs apartments ending go under Hoboken Rent control rules and not market. Just the affordable apts then give them the PILOT. Otherwise we see what dangers are going on with those tenants now under Applied. They Applied are ruthless .

    • In addition to all the other city services needed it cost taxpayers upwards of $25,000 per student per year for Hoboken schools. PILOT payments go directly to the municipality and not to the Board of Eduction. A residential building of his size with a PILOT or not be a costly added expense to Hoboken’s taxpayers.

      • PILOTs don’t help anyone other than the developer. Look at 235 /205 Hudson st, they went off line in 1987 and went directly market rate leaving those tenant in affordable units in danger…..most are gone now, displaced from their homes and neighborhoods for rich foreign renters that don’t vote, or with two/three or more in a 800 sq ft apt paying 3400 students or young professionals. None of them vote because the car insurance in Hudson is the highest in the state so they vote at their parents home. In 1987 they increase the affordable apts 4% each year till it hits market, they don’t get the nice appliances that market raters get….they just want them out, pass go, directly to market rent. I could be wrong but I believe they still don’t pay normal tax, I could be wrong, they are still paying the 6 % tax rate…could be wrong on this. All I can say is no one other than the developer’s get anything. So NO PILOT till the other stock that went off line goes under Hoboken rent rules under Hobokens rent control ordinance 155.2. Those affordable apartments need to say affordable for LIFE. OH…..and lets not forget……..where the heck are the peoples Tennis courts for getting the peoples ok to build in years back, like I said Applied turned ruthless and greedy……they didn’t start that way but that’s what they are now.

  3. Why is Hoboken City Council approving so many quid pro quo settlements? How much are the politicians really getting in these developments personally?

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