HOBOKEN -- In a 5-4 vote, the Hoboken City Council adopted an ordinance Wednesday night that authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire a roughly one-acre stretch of land in the 4th ward intended for park land.
Although city officials have said negotiations will continue, the city stands to lose a $3 million county open space grant given last year if the parcel of land is not secured in a timely fashion. The $3 million is part of a total $23 million grant that can be used to acquire open space.
Earlier in the meeting, Robert Lipschitz, an attorney for Ponte Equites, Inc. -- the owner of the property -- warned the council of what he feels are the implications are of the use of eminent domain.
"The reality is, the city's own appraiser valued this land at over $10 million dollars in 2009," said Lipschitz, "and really not much has changed since 2009."
Lipschitz warned the council of his belief that a jury will decide that the city is on the hook for the full $10 million. --Stephen LaMarca