Real choices, real process without the drama?

Tuesday the City Council will hold a special meeting and one of the items will be to determine where the Municipal Garage should go.  No this is not a drill.  This is not a rumor, this is really, really the actual process for where a temporary municipal garage should go.

This could change of course too.  If the developer fails to come up with the payment for the garage on August 13th, the city will have the option to keep the Municipal Garage where it is and that is going to upset some folks, especially political operatives yelling the Councilman Mike Russo line it shouldn’t go on Jackson St. in the third ward.

The last City Council meetings saw a significant drop off of the third ward residents who are beginning to realize all the hype about the Pino’s site may not have been as claimed.  They were baffled to listen to their councilman, Mike Russo argue against approving a no cost contingency bond to keep the Municipal Garage where it is and some were expecting it to happen at the Sunday special meeting.  Half of the third ward residents still attending were clearly in favor of the Municipal Garage bond ordinance and some made a point to speak out on its behalf.

As it turns out, the owner of Pino’s gave testimony convicting former Mayor Anthony Russo leading to his prison sentence.  The idea the owner would now profit with a lease from the city can’t sit well with the Russo family.  Third ward residents have a chance to voice their preferences as other city residents as part of the true, public process.

Will they show up now in the numbers earlier or do they now see how they were used as political tools in a sideshow to this point?  Tuesday night will tell the story.

Here are the potential selections for the temporary Municipal Garage:

  • IANA Company, LLC. 173 16th Street and 619 Luis M. Marin BlvdJersey CityNJ. For 9,000 sq ft for $25,000/month.
  • 1414-1418 Grand St. LLC. 1414 Grand StreetHobokenNJ. 5,000 sq ft interior and 2,500 sq ft exterior for $28,917/month.
  • Trustees of Stevens Institute of Technology. Location not clear. 2,000 sq ft for $3,750/month.
  • Theresa Pino. Location not clear. 5,000 sq ft for $3,000/month.
The following bids were received for an exterior parking lot:
  • Hoboken Excalibur. 720-32 Grand St/727-33 Adams StHobokenNJ. 27,500 sq ft for $20,000/month.
  • S2 Group. 39 New York AveJersey CityNJ. 55,000 sq ft for $7,500/month.
  • Theresa Pino. Location not clear. 25,000/45,000 sq ft for $5,000/$10,000/month.
The city indicates it will review and evaluate the bids based on multiple factors, including location, cost, and impact on the community.  Some of these locations are clearly small, partial solutions and hardly merit the attention and hyper partisan comment they will surely generate.  

The claimed Stevens Institute location Councilwoman Beth Mason charged as being the choice of City Council President Peter Cunningham and an unnamed city spokesman turns out to be a 2,000 square foot location.  That’s clearly a limited choice and would hardly be the destructive neighborhood killer she claimed in an email blast to residents.

Lots of noise, grandstanding and then a sudden collapse against the bond ordinance

After the council of no folded like negotiations with a $20 hooker oppossing the municipal bond ordinance, will they actually contribute to a sensible dialogue on this issue or will it quickly degenerate into grandstanding for its own sake?  

More importantly where do you think the temporary garage should go?


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