City: Mayor Bhalla Announces $4.5 Million in Community Givebacks From Hotel Developer
Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla announced on Tuesday an agreement with the City of Hoboken and KMS Development Partners regarding plans to develop a hotel in Hoboken.
As part of the agreement, KMS Development Partners will make $4.5 million investments into the Hoboken community and have committed to various pro-Hoboken staffing and operational priorities.
“These community give-backs are real progress for our City,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “It is my intention that this agreement shall serve as a model for all future deals. I am putting developers on notice: if you want the opportunity to do business in our City, we expect union labor and we expect generous community give-backs.”
Community givebacks include $1 million in road and infrastructure upgrades, a $1 million endowment for the Hoboken Public Education Foundation to support the public school system, $100,000 to each of Hoboken’s three charter Schools, $200,000 for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and $2 million to go towards revitalizing the Hoboken Community Center. The vision for the Center includes re-opening the public pool and providing space to expand the district’s pre-K program, which currently has a wait list, and open the uptown branch of the Hoboken Public Library.
“The Hoboken Board of Education expresses appreciation to the City of Hoboken for keeping our students in mind during the negotiations that resulted in this agreement,” said Board of Education Vice President Sharyn Angley. “We are grateful that the steering committee of the Hoboken Community Center recognizes the long-term significance of early childhood education in our community and we look forward to working together. Lastly, we applaud and thank KMS Development Partners for their generosity towards the Hoboken Public Education Foundation and its long-term commitment to the vitality of our Hoboken Community.”
Furthermore, all hotel jobs, from construction to operation, will be union jobs with Hoboken residents receiving hiring preference. The hotel is projected to employ about 170 people, once operational, create an additional 280 jobs in the community, and add $5 million to the local economy per year.
“As the union for hotel workers, the Hotel Trades Council is extremely proud to support this hotel and this redevelopment plan,” said Rich Maroko, Vice President of the Hotel Trades Union. “This hotel, in addition to being a fantastic new amenity for Hoboken residents and visitors, will be a source of many high quality, permanent jobs in this community.”
“As Mayor, I am committed to economic development that benefits not only the business owners but also provides good, living-wage jobs for all workers,” said Bhalla. “Union labor is the backbone of the nation’s economy, Hoboken’s success was built by union workers, and we will not forget where we come from. As a part of this redevelopment agreement, I have made sure that a portion of future hotel, unionized jobs, be set aside for Hoboken residents because our residents deserve the opportunity to work for wages that can support themselves and their families.”
Additionally, the rooftop bar, with views of the Manhattan skyline, will be open to the public no less than 300 days per year.
The agreement will now go before the Hoboken City Council for approval on October 17.
|BoE President Tom Kleupfel and BoE trustee Sharyn Angley (l) attended the announcement for the revised Hilton Hotel development for downtown in Hoboken outside the former Y on Washington Street.|
Talking Ed Note: There are additional details in the earlier revised Hilton Hotel project announcement regarding how monies are directed for education and a community center. In a release today, City Council members of the subcommittee issued the following statement:
“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. 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.”