Leave Tom Newman where he is!
Feb 23, 2014 | 921 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I recently learned that Tom Newman, a long time Hoboken resident, former city councilman, and leader and spokesman for the tenants at the Neumann Leather Building has been given an eviction notice by the building’s owners. The owners should be ashamed of themselves. What do the owners think they will gain by evicting Tom Newman? Is this retaliation for the tenants’ efforts to save this Hoboken landmark as a home for the many small businesses, artisans, and artists that now occupy it? Or perhaps this is just the first eviction in their march to "deliver vacant" the building to future developers. I remember how glad I felt back in 2008 when the Zoning Board unanimously rejected a plan by a big developer that would have completely demolished the building for yet another condo project. We have enough condos. Our infrastructure can't support the ones we already have. We don’t need to throw out the artists and businesses - not to mention the jobs - we have at Neumann Leathers. There is plenty of room on their large parking lot for them to make money from new construction.

Keeping Neumann Leathers is a very popular idea here in Hoboken. As far as I know it has been supported by everyone, even with a politically divided city council. The city just designated the site as an “Area in Need of Rehabilitation” which will give it the power to preserve this remaining vestige of Hoboken’s past so the owners' efforts are even more senseless. I can understand they want to maximize their profits by demolishing the existing buildings, but they also have to listen to the community. That’s why we have zoning laws and city planning. Throwing out the tenants’ leader is a slap in the face to Hoboken. Do they think they are going scare the city away? They should ask the Rockefeller Brothers about that! The owners should cooperate with the city to make something beautiful which will celebrate Hoboken’s heritage and maintain a measure of economic and artistic diversity. Leave Tom Newman where he is! We need more like him, not less.

Kathy Prussack

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