MSV analysis on the County Board of Freeholders vote on the Monarch Project tomorrow
There’s no building permits approved, but if you asked Ironstate, re: Michael and David Barry there’s no reason why two towers built over a pier in northwest Hoboken should be problematic. Tennis courts and parking originally designated as part of the approvals for 1,000 units of the Shipyard were part of the agreement with the City but things changed as historically many developer promises. The four digit units of buildings got built, the waterfront views on Hudson blocked.
No tennis courts for Hoboken’s recreation loving residents and now an all out legal war with the Barry family. When it comes to developer political control in Hoboken, the Barry family is the model.
|David Barry, scion of Ironstate development
|Michael Barry, Ironstate and Barry family leader
Father Joe would be so proud. The history is recaptured in a guest piece tied into the last great developer scam on Hoboken: Truckstop Lenders and Waterfront HUD Hauls. Hoboken residents need to know what they are up against and it’s a learned, skillful private developer enterprise with a history of making government work – for the developer. From the original article:
Constructing the Waterfront Walkway and making it accessible to the public were conditions Barry and Applied had to meet in order to build The Shipyard. The Walkway was to be part of a continuous 18 mile path along the Hudson County waterfront, a long time vision of local greenspace activists. Because the Walkway was open to the public, Barry wanted the public to pick up the cost. Despite the fact that as a condition of the New Jersey state waterfront permit, private developers are expected to construct and maintain the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway at their own expense. But thanks to NJDOT and the HCIA, Barry got paid. In 1999, a nonprofit association of private developers including Applied, joined with Robert Janiszewski, the HCIA, the Port Liberte Condominium Association and other interested parties to try and have the entire Walkway declared a Special Improvement District (SID). Which would transfer authority over the Walkway from the state Department of Environmental Protection to either Hudson County or the HCIA.
As an aside, if Barry’s reasoning re public access is correct, one wonders if it cuts both ways. Are taxpayers entitled to space in the Applied projects they help finance or enhance? If so, everybody into Port Li-bur-TAY! Where Robert Janiszewski used to live. And where he kept the hidden cameras rolling.
That was millions of dollars in profits then, this is million of dollars in profits at stake now. The Freeholders are not the working reform council majority sifting and deliberating on what’s best overall for Hoboken. It’s a legislative body taking its cues from the HudCo Machine. For those that know, the name Robert Janiszewski is infamous for wearing a wire snagging HudCo pols not so many years ago. Janisewski did it for the Feds before it became a singular capital interest. Why wear a wire for the Feds when doing it for yourself is so much more daring and novel?
(That novella isn’t over yet either but Da Horsey digresses.)
Tomorrow’s showdown, 6:00 pm at the Wallace School could be the end of the reneged Barry family agreement with the City. The Freeholders merely need to uphold a decision of their own County Planning Board. Don’t count your chickens however. The Barry family wields huge political influence in Hoboken. Applied Housing is its legacy of financial and political empire propping up one desperate councilwoman’s dwindling ambitions, was responsible for the prop yelling, “Viva Applied”
screaming current Assemblyman occupant and historically was not only the developer power in Hoboken but in Hudson County and beyond.
The Barry family under its Ironstone moniker will not go down easily. While the Zimmer Administration is leading a consistent legal battle on multiple fronts and teamed effectively with former Assemblyman Ruben Ramos approving state legislation giving municipalities the ability to block pier construction, the Barry family shows no sign of relenting. With their track record of success and getting what they want from local, county and state government; it’s not likely to occur before all legal remedies are exhausted.
Add their historical powerful political influence, (they also are the founders and power behind the pro Old Guard Hudson Reporter) they’ve demonstrated a can do attitude to make government work for them. Which brings us to the Hudson County Board of
Absolution has been issued to Hoboken Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano who has been busy running around the area making every photo op possible in recent months. Romano sits on the Hudson County Planning Board and is told by the Hudco Freeholder lawyer he can’t vote. No legal opinion has been rendered on the matter and made available to the public. Is Romano legally conflicted by his Planning Board vote? Or is this a political get free out of jail card for when some bad news comes with the Freeholder vote tomorrow night?
The Freeholders agreed to hold their meeting in Hoboken. Is it to show their metal to the Barry family in the face of some organized well to do Hoboken opposition or to make a big show of “standing with the people,” as Councilwoman Beth Mason attempts to reinvent herself with the family checkbook from her current title as the scourge of Hoboken? She was for the Monarch before she was against it; well she was for the Barry family and getting those Applied Housing votes to scratch and climb by any means possible for a better political job than second ward council member.
|Beth Mason stands with her hand out for some chow with her political operative escort Matt Calicchio last week in line with hundreds of others applying to be put on a wait list for Applied Housing in Hoboken and Weehawken. Does Beth Mason need another home? She needs Applied Housing and the Barry’s backing for votes in next year’s 2nd ward election. She is desperate to get a better political job but needs to leverage the lowly second ward seat.
She’s trying with her political operatives to position herself above the job she does badly at BethMasonNJ.com,
As she said to her former campaign manger of the ward seat, what’s the point of that?
Urging Beth Mason to do the right thing is never a successful citizen enterprise but now she’s found religion or the desire to hold the second ward council seat as a tool to trade up for another New Jersey political office. Any, but that’s another story.
The Zimmer Administration is waging a consistent legal fight on all fronts. They have their hands full in Superior and Federal court. That’s nothing new for them or Hoboken. The Mile Square will not see any relenting on that front. Reneging on an agreement with the City is being considered an act of war. Back in the day, it used to be another day to sit down give in to developer demands and grease the pockets of local politicos.
So tomorrow’s vote isn’t the final chapter in the Monarch saga. It’s an important one however in the HudCo history of corruption and developer schemes allying with those holding the seats of power.
Hudson County Board of Freeholders meeting: 6:00 pm @ the Wallace School: 11th and Clinton.