FBW files motion to intervene in City’s lawsuit to enforce Shipyard agreement

(September 14, 2012)
As a condition of the 1997 Hoboken Planning Board approval of the 1160-unit Shipyard project, the developer signed an agreement to build the pier at the north end of the site as open space, including tennis courts, a tennis pavilion and the public walkway. Last year, the developer, Shipyard Associates, ignored the provisions of that contract by submitting an application, dubbed the Monarch Project, to build two high-rise towers at this site.

On March 7, the City of Hoboken filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court seeking to enforce the terms of that agreement. The City, represented by the law firm Maraziti, Falcon & Healey of Short Hills, New Jersey, charges breach of contract and seeks a declaratory judgment upholding the 1997 agreement.

On September 14, 2012, the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) filed a motion to intervene in this case seeking to support the City’s effort. FBW is represented by land-use attorney Michael Garofalo of Laddey Clark & Ryan of Sparta, New Jersey. This motion will be heard by the New Jersey Superior Court Judge on Friday, October 26 in Hudson County.

The Shipyard Project, as approved by the Hoboken Planning Board in 1997, is now fully built. The final phase of the project was to construct the open space on this pier, also referred to as “Development Block G.” But instead of complying with the 1997 developer’s agreement, the Shipyard Associates chose to come back to the the Board with an application for amended site plan approval for the two towers comprised of 78 luxury housing units.

Last year, the Monarch project obtained a waterfront permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to build the towers. But the Shipyard application for this project was denied by both the Hudson County Planning Board in March and the Hoboken Planning Board this past June. The appeals of these decisions are expected to be consolidated before the same Judge hearing the lawsuit to enforce the 1997 developer’s agreement.

monarch rendering

Rendering of Monarch towers at Weehawken Cove.

Earlier this year, FBW, the City of Hoboken, and the Hudson Tea Building all filed an appeal of the waterfront permit granted by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to build the Monarch project. This case will be heard before the state’s Office of Administrative Law. The 1997 DEP Permit required that the pier be developed and open for use within two years after the issuance of the last Certificate of Occupancy for the residential units. FBW and the Hudson Tea Building have also hired a planner who has reviewed the Monarch application before the Hoboken Planning Board finding the need to request variances which the developers have failed to do.

Related links

FBW letter brief 9-14-2012
Two strikes on Monarch towers
Freeholders counsel rejects Monarch appeal
City sues Monarch developers for breach of contract
County Planning Board stuns Monarch developers with “no” vote
Can the waterfront walkway be a “street”?
FBW challenges state approval for towers on Hoboken pier
DEP flouts its permit to restore pier as open space
Shipyard’s plan to privatize pier