Eminent Domain: Leave my peaceful and quiet block alone!

Leave my peaceful and quiet block alone!
03/13/2006 Hoboken Reporter

Dear Editor:

I am a resident of 1021 Grand Street for eight years and during that time I have fallen in love not only with its quiet, quaint charm but also the industrial nature of its surroundings.

The serene, cobblestone street is an anomaly in Hoboken where almost every block is overcrowded with double-parked automobiles and luxury condominiums built partially to expand Hoboken's tax base while padding developers' pockets.

On Wednesday, March 15th the Hoboken City Council finds itself debating this increasingly thorny issue. Support continued over-development by seizing two long-standing active businesses, U-Store-It and D. Kwitman and Sons by Eminent Domain and hopefully Hoboken citizens may affect a different result in your future elections. As a Hudson County business owner, I personally deal with the difficult issue of Eminent Domain. In my situation, the opinions of the community and other business owners meant something, and we were able to change the direction of what potentially appeared set in stone.

But in Hoboken, on our peaceful block, residents treat each other well, and the two active businesses are good neighbors and in the case of U Store It, is almost at full occupancy providing a necessary storage service to both town residents and businesses.

Why must this development continue, ask almost all of the only 100+current residents of this block? Because, according to the City Council, a re-development plan was made and there is no way the plan can change. This severely blighted, rat infested area was Hoboken's wasteland a short eight years ago. I'm amazed, at the same time, I was actually able to purchase a beautiful home when there was so much blight around. My real estate agent didn't mention all the rats.

This plan should change. Taxpaying and voting residents of this community should be involved. The condemning of active businesses for more development does not need to happen this way. The developer, URSA Tarragon's use of this property does not benefit 1021 Grand Street and its surrounding community. It is also interesting to note URSA Tarragon was among the largest financial supporters in the last election. Very interesting indeed.

John Campbell III 

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