BOOK IT?: Hoboken Unveils Hilton Deal, Including Sizeable ‘Givebacks’ to Community Organizations from Developer
Everything but a fully stocked mini-bar…
After six years of back-and-forth negotiations, the City of Hoboken has announced a deal with KMS Developers to green-light construction on the Hilton Hotel in the space adjacent to the historic downtown post office. Those plans include the renovation and preservation of the Post Office itself—maintaining it as an historic landmark, while modernizing its internal workings—as well as the development of a large-scale hotel on the property, facing the Hudson River Waterfront.
As part of the negotiations, KMS have agreed to donate $2 million to the development of the former YMCA into a full-service community center (which will include an uptown branch of the Hoboken Public Library). The developers have also agreed to donate $1 million to the Hoboken Public Education Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to enhancing our public schools, additional $300,000 to area charter schools, and a $200,000 donation to Hoboken’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
***READ MORE about the history and mission of the Hoboken Community Center***
“My administration also negotiated with the hotel developer to ensure that the hotel’s height will be lower than the original agreement in 2017, and will be built using union labor with a guarantee of living wage jobs allocated for Hoboken residents,” said Mayor Bhalla.
We also secured a $1 million donation to the non-profit @HobokenPEF which does tremendous work for our schools, & $300k for our 3 charter schools. These are major community givebacks that will have a direct benefit for our children and their education pic.twitter.com/9HkhFB3Krk
— Ravinder S. Bhalla (@RaviBhalla) October 9, 2018
Members of the Hoboken City Council tell hMAG that they became involved in the negotiations last week, in an effort to work with the City to maximize the benefit of the ‘givebacks’ for the people of Hoboken.
“We are happy to see that collaboration with the mayor and the developer has resulted in a 50% increase in the community give back to $4.5 million and that the scope has been expanded to include critical infrastructure, affordable housing, and charter schools,” said Councilmembers Peter Cunningham, Mike DeFusco, Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino and Ruben Ramos in a joint statement. “Additionally, KMS also committed today to fund immediately the much needed feasibility study to officially launch the restoration project for the former YMCA so that it can be shovel-ready when the remainder of the give back is paid after the hotel opens. This is what is possible when our city works together.”
Mayor Bhalla says, “I want to thank the many activists, educators and community leaders for making this agreement possible, including KMS Development Partners, the Hoboken Community Center Board members, Hoboken Board of Education, charter school advocates, Hoboken Library Board, the Hoboken Public Education Foundation, Little Hoboken, the Laborers and Hotel Trades Council, and the many resident activists.”
The proposed agreement will go before City Council on October 17.