The Hoboken City Council last night adopted a revised Monarch settlement agreement with Ironstate Development which does away with the construction of two, controversial waterfront towers of eleven stories apiece in the city’s northeastern corner.  The vote was 8-0, with Council Vice President Jen Giattino abstaining.  The agreement will bring nearly 1.5 acres of open space to the city’s west side, as well as the relocation of the Municipal Public Works Garage, currently on Observer Highway.

Following the vote, Mayor Ravi Bhalla stated,  “I thank the City Council for adopting the Monarch settlement agreement tonight.  This is a critical step forward that will facilitate continued negotiations with Ironstate to protect our waterfront from large-scale development, add much-needed open space, revitalize downtown Hoboken with 15,000 square feet of commercial space, and make quality of life improvements for our City. While no deal is perfect, we are well on our way to creating a historic agreement that will benefit all of our residents for many years to come. I appreciate everyone making their voices heard in favor of the agreement, and also respect the concerns raised from some residents in Northwest Hoboken. My commitment to Fifth Ward residents, and their Councilman Phil Cohen is to diligently explore a temporary location for our municipal garage in the North End that minimizes impacts to residents.”

The agreement calls for Ironstate to transfer 1.4 acres of land, currently undeveloped at 8th and Monroe Streets, to the City for a park.  In exchange, Ironstate, as Mayor Bhalla stated, is required to provide 15,000 square feet of commercial space downtown.  Under the 2019 agreement, the total was 4,000 square feet.

The current Public Works Garage at 256 Observer Highway will become an apartment building with retail space.  With a temporary DPW Garage slated to be built in Ward 5, funded by Ironstate, the search for a permanent site to house the DPW Garage will commence.

Vice President Giattino stated, “I couldn’t in good conscience vote yes. The agreement is a good outcome providing the City is paying and getting fair value for the properties, I abstained because of the lack of information and transparency with both the Public and City Council.”

Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo hailed the new agreement, calling it one of the biggest victories for his ward since he’s been on the City Council.

This story has been updated with a quote from Council VP Jen Giattino.