Property owners’ group challenges results of Nov. rent control referendum; court date set for January
A group of Hoboken landlords and developers who lost a bid last month to alter Hoboken’s rent control laws announced that it has filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the November referendum. The case will be heard on Jan. 21 in Jersey City Superior Court.
In November’s vote, the residents of Hoboken narrowly defeated the changes to the rent control laws, keeping rent control as it is.
In a statement released Thursday morning, the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA) claimed that 280 vote-by-mail ballots were unfairly excluded from the election by the Hudson County Board of Election. The election was only decided by 122 votes, which means that if MSTA succeeds, the results of the election could be overturned.
“The purpose of the petition is to have all legitimate votes counted,” said Charles Gormally, MSTA’s attorney. “We are going to get to the bottom of why registered voters, some of whom delivered their own ballot to the county board of elections, were denied the opportunity to vote.”
The referendum, authored by MSTA, asked voters whether they wanted to change the city’s codes to allow landlords to decontrol rents permanently in apartment buildings with four units or less and just once in buildings with five or more units.
A group of tenant advocates called the Hoboken Fair Housing Association fought against the referendum on the grounds that it would make tenants vulnerable to harassment and harm the city’s socioeconomic diversity.
The circumstances of Thursday’s announcement by the MSTA will seem like a case of déjà vu for many Hoboken voters. The results of an identical referendum on the 2012 ballot were challenged by MSTA in court throughout much of this year, on the grounds that voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy were barred from weighing in on the question because it did not appear on statewide ballots. A panel of judges agreed and ordered the question to appear on last month’s ballot.
Viaduct between Hoboken and Jersey City Heights/Union City to be closed Monday for 22 hours
The 14th Street Viaduct that runs from upper Hoboken to Union City and Jersey City Heights will be closed on Monday, Dec. 16, starting at 9 a.m., and reopening the next morning at 7 a.m. An electronic sign was placed at 14th and Willow in Hoboken this week to warn motorists.
The county of Hudson explains in a press release: “The closures will allow for proper placement and curing of concrete for the Stage 2 (north side) deck with the Stage 1 (south side) deck. The full closure is necessary to minimize vibration due to vehicles traveling on the existing bridge thus reducing the potential for cracking. The sidewalk will remain open to pedestrians. A detour will be posted. Hudson County Sheriffs will be present at the project site.
“Additional closures are anticipated intermittently over the next couple of months. Because concrete work of this kind is weather sensitive, future dates for this work and the needed complete closures of the roadway cannot yet be provided as dates certain. As soon as each new anticipated closure has a safe weather window, it will be announced to the media and the public.”
City of Hoboken announces ‘Hoboken Huddle’ to celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII
Several local towns are hosting major events around the Super Bowl next year, scheduled for the Meadowlands on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.
Wednesday morning, the city of Hoboken announced that it will host the Hoboken Huddle at Pier A Park on the Hoboken waterfront the week of Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
The centerpiece of the Hoboken Huddle, which will include activities, food, and entertainment, will be a 16 foot tall illuminated sculpture of the Roman numerals “XLVIII” overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
“We invite visitors to Hoboken to complete their Super Bowl experience with an iconic photo only available on the New Jersey side of the river,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “With Hoboken’s restaurants, nightlife, easy access to Manhattan, and train access to the stadium, there is no better place to celebrate the big game.”
The Roman numerals will be visible from both sides, and up to 12 individuals or local businesses can own a piece of history for $5,000 or $7,500, respectively, and have their names engraved on a Roman numeral. Those wishing to “adopt” a letter can contact Scott Katz at email@example.com. A “thank you” drawing among the twelve individuals and businesses will be held for a pair of Super Bowl tickets with prime location.
In partnership with the US Curling Association, the Hoboken Huddle will feature three lanes of curling which will be free and open to the public. Early in the week, an instructor from the US Curling Association will be on hand to provide tips to participants. The curling lanes will remain at Pier A the entire month of February to coincide with the Winter Olympics.
WestwoodOne Sports, the official national radio partner of the NFL, and NBC Sports Radio will have a broadcast presence within the Hoboken Huddle.
The city is seeking sponsorships for additional activities for the Hoboken Huddle, including an outdoor ice skating rink.
The Roman numeral concept is a vision born from the Hoboken Events Committee, led by Chairman Scott Katz. Local architect John Nastasi has volunteered to spearhead the design. Through the cooperation of Freeholder Anthony Romano and President of the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council Patrick Kelleher, Hudson County labor unions will be volunteering their time to build the sculpture.
The city’s release notes, “Hoboken is a vibrant city and residential, cultural, commercial, educational and tourist destination. Ranked the country’s most walkable city, Hoboken’s charming, nationally-recognized main street features eclectic restaurants, night clubs, and diverse retail shopping. The award-winning waterfront offers uncompromising views of Manhattan and New York Harbor. Hoboken is home of the Redwings, the back-to-back state high school football champions.”
Free parking in three Hoboken garages for holiday shoppers
The City of Hoboken is offering holiday shoppers four hours of free parking per day in one of three municipal garages around town starting on Dec. 16 and ending Jan.1, the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce announced this week.
The four hours each day must be within a single parking session, and waiving the fee is subject to providing receipts showing at least $20 worth of purchases at Hoboken businesses on that specific day.
The participating garages are Garage B, 28 Second St., Garage D, 215 Hudson St., and Midtown Garage, 371 4th St.
Hartz-led development partnership receives $19.2 million tax credit
PHM II Associates, LLC a partnership of Hartz Mountain Industries, Panepinto Properties, Inc. and Garden State Development, Inc. announced this week that it received a $19.2 million tax credit from the EDA’s Transit Hub Tax Credit Program, clearing the way for the construction of a 13-story, 240-unit residential rental community at 3 Journal Square in Jersey City.
The luxury rental will be built above an already existing foundation and parking deck that was developed in 1984 by the partners and has been operated by Hartz Mountain.
“We are very honored to receive the EDA’s Transit Hub Tax Credit, and thrilled that we can use it to continue our development work in Jersey City,” said Emanuel Stern, COO and President for Hartz Mountain Industries. “This building is a phenomenal location at the nexus of the state’s transportation infrastructure—it will certainly stimulate the economic activity that the program was meant to create.”
The project at 3 Journal Square is expected to create 400 jobs and contribute $100 million in construction work to the local economy. Hartz expects to break ground in spring of 2014 and welcome its first residents in winter 2015.
3 Journal Square is part of Hartz’s luxury residential portfolio which has grown to more than 3,000 units in New Jersey, New York, Chicago and Seattle since its first residential acquisition in 2010.
CarePoint Health makes holiday donations around Hudson County
CarePoint Health – which owns Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center – is giving back to the community this holiday season. On Friday, Nov. 22, CarePoint Health donated $1,000 to The Sharing Place at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jersey City for food distributions on Nov. 23 and Nov. 30.
CarePoint Health will be scheduling upcoming events with The Sharing Place at St. Paul Lutheran Church, so be sure to visit www.carepointhealth.org or call the public relations department at (201) 418-2335.
Saints Peter and Paul Church makes holiday donation to volunteer ambulance corps
The Hoboken Saints Peter and Paul Parish made a $1,000 donation to the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps last week to make sure that the first responders are equipped with the proper tools for the job.
“The parish is concerned for the health and well-being of the entire community. With this gift, we also recognize the outstanding contributions made by the men and women of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps,” said Monsignor Robert S Meyer, Pastor.
Saints Peter and Paul Parish and the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps cooperated in the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy, with the church providing shelter to many overnight guests and the Corps being on hand to treat those in need.
Jersey Cares hosting 18th annual coat drive
From now through Feb. 7, 2014, Jersey Cares plans to collect and distribute more than 60,000 “gently used” winter coats to men, women, and children in need throughout New Jersey.
This year, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive is proud to partner with The 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, Wal-Mart, and New York Cares to create The Super Community Coat Drive, the largest Coat Drive ever held in the tri-state area—and likely the largest coat drive in history.
In Hudson County, there are four places where you are able to donate coats throughout the Jersey Cares Coat Drive:
Elysian Cafe, 1001 Washington St, Hoboken. Coats accepted Mon. through Fri., noon – 10 p.m.; Sat and Sun, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. For more information, call (201) 798-5898.
Storage Post, 203 Broadway, Jersey City. Coats accepted Mon. through Sat., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, call (404) 382-5409.
Union City High School, 2500 Kennedy Boulevard, Union City. Coats accepted Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, call (201) 390-7594.
Lenox Outlet, 60 Enterprise Ave. North, Secaucus. Coats accepted Mon. through Fri., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, call (201) 319-1980. Note that coats will be accepted until Dec. 31 at this location only.
Over the past 17 years, Jersey Cares has collected, sorted, and distributed more than 400,000 coats to New Jersey. If you are a nonprofit agency or school, you can request gently used, warm winter coats for your clientele or students. Please contact the Jersey Cares office at (973) 424-1091 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Local dentist hosting Give Kids a Smile Day
Dr. Robin Lucas and her staff are planning on hosting a day of free dental examinations for low income, uninsured children around Hudson County on Feb. 7 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is by appointment only and is sponsored by the New Jersey Dental Association.
For more information, call (201) 798-8899 or visit www.njda.org/gkas.
Correction to last weekend’s edition
An article entitled “Zoning Board appointments on hold until 2014” that appeared in last weekend’s edition erroneously stated that the Zoning Board of Adjustment consists of nine regular members and two alternative members. The board actually consists of seven regular members and four alternate members.