Zimmer: Part of Hoboken connected with Chris Christie scandal will get a planner
Jul 17, 2014 | 4620 views | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN – The city of Hoboken will take the next step in its plans to redevelop a northern neighborhood where Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Gov. Christopher Christie’s administration pressured her to expedite a development project. On Wednesday, Melli said Hoboken would publish an advertisement requesting bids for planners for the North End Rehabilitation Area, which occupies all of Hoboken north of 14th Street and west of Park Avenue.

Three blocks of the zone are owned by the Rockefeller Group, which has for many years sought to build a high-rise office complex on the land. In early 2013, a study commissioned by the city recommended only the three Rockefeller blocks for redevelopment. Last December, the Planning Board declined to designate any parcels as “in need of redevelopment,” instead labeling the entire area as “in need of rehabilitation.”

After the Planning Board designated the North End only for future “rehabilitation,” Zimmer said Christie officials, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, began to mention moving forward on Rockefeller project in connection with the city getting Hurricane Sandy aid. At the time, the Rockefeller Group was represented by a Christie-linked law firm.

Last week, Zimmer said the professional hired for the North End will work with the community to create a redevelopment plan, which could change the current industrial zoning of the area and allow for new developments to begin.

Zimmer said that the Rockefeller Group will be a part of the redesign process. Though she has not met with them one-on-one recently, Zimmer said she believes Rockefeller Group representatives were present at the event introducing Hoboken’s Rebuild by Design project in March, and at a meeting Zimmer held with the development community.

However, Zimmer gave some hints that the new redevelopment plan will not be dictated by the whims of the Rockefeller Group. She noted that the city’s “Master plan calls for the light rail station to be at 15th Street, as opposed to the secret agreement that was developed for 17th Street.” In 2013, the Rockefeller Group reached a non-binding memorandum of understanding with NJ Transit to build a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stop near its property at 17th Street.

Note: this article has been corrected to more accurately reflect the redevelopment process for the North End.
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July 17, 2014
The Rockefeller Group was represented by David Samson's law firm Wolff & Samson.

Wolff & Samson was fired by the Rockefeller Group shortly after the stuff hit the fan and he resigned from the position as Chairman of the Port Authority that Christy had appointed him and has since invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.

Good to see that the City is moving forward to get a plan for the NW in place. It must first and foremost be beneficial to the people of Hoboken.