Hoboken's Municipal Garage deal worth $34 million

Hoboken's Municipal Garage deal worth $34 million
12/23/2007  Hoboken Reporter

Dear Editor:

I'm pleased to say the protracted effort to sell the Hoboken Municipal Garage is finally moving forward, with many benefits ahead for the city and its residents.

As the second ward representative on the council you have entrusted me with your hard earned tax dollars. I take this responsibility very seriously and say clearly that the offer accepted by the council last week is by all measure the best deal for the City of Hoboken. My council colleagues and I accepted a bid that balanced the wants of the neighborhood with the needs of the city.

Under the terms of the bid, the city will receive $25.5 million dollars cash for the garage property and an additional $8.4 million dollars worth of new affordable housing units. These affordable units will be built onsite, the first time in decades the city has included the state standard of one affordable unit for every eight market rate within a building. The council estimates the value of an affordable unit to the city to be $290,000, and 29 of 240 units on the Municipal Garage site will qualify as affordable. When you add the public art studio also to be provided by the developer, the actual value of this bid to the people of Hoboken easily exceeds $34 million dollars.

No money was left on the table, and unlike other bidders, the developer chosen followed an open and fair bidding process to the letter. This included the posting of a $2.5 million dollar bid bond to protect the city in the event the developer does not live up to its pledge. Other bidders did not offer this mandatory protection to you the Hoboken taxpayer.

Unfortunately, it's not unusual for Hoboken to receive few bidders for projects but we look for that to change as we continue to send the message that Hoboken is becoming a level playing field led by the City Council. The Garage RFP was a first step toward that goal, and I am proud to have cast my vote in favor of that progress and for the balanced project we will undertake to construct.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday.

Beth Mason
Councilwoman, Second Ward 

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