by Christopher Halleron
Back in March of 2017, we were happy to report that the City of Hoboken had agreed to move ahead with the proposed redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Post Office Rehabilitation Area. Those plans included the renovation and preservation of the Post Office itself—maintaining it as an historic landmark, while modernizing its internal workings—as well as the development of a large-scale hotel on the adjacent property, facing the Hudson River Waterfront.
“The proposed development will transform an underutilized, tax exempt property into an upscale, modern hotel with distinctive architecture and rooftop event space,” said Patrick Kelleher, President, Hudson County Building & Trades Council. “It will generate an estimated $1.7 million in annual tax revenue without adding any additional schoolchildren or commensurate increase in City services.”
The new Hoboken hotel plan also brought infrastructure upgrades, sidewalks (which currently do not exist), and even increased parking (yes, increased—that’s not a typo) to an area of town that sits right on Hoboken’s front stoop, and is currently in need of some cosmetic attention.
According to KMS Development Partners, the firm behind the redevelopment concept, those plans are still in place—at least in principle.
Concerns have materialized over the impact that such a structure would have on the sunlight feeding Pier A Park. KMS have done their own independent studies of the shadows. In a meeting with hMAG, it was demonstrated that the Wiley Building, which sits adjacent to proposed hotel, already casts significant shadows on the park. The added impact of the hotel appears to be minimal.
“The hotel proposed behind the Post Office, facing the waterfront, will animate and greatly improve what is now a bleak site, with poor pedestrian access to Pier A Park,” said Ron Hine, Executive Director of FBW. “The hotel proposed by KMS will be a great addition to the south waterfront, replacing a bleak view of the rear of the Post Office with a new building and greatly improved streetscape. This is an opportunity the City cannot afford to miss.”
Hoboken City Master Plan put forth in 2004 called for the city to “Encourage hotels in the area near the Terminal.” KMS Development agrees wholeheartedly with that notion.
“We’ve reconfigured the design to accommodate changes, but for a hotel, we need a certain amount of square footage to make this project worth the investment,” says Dennis Martin, Principal at KMS.
“The next step is for the City Council to conditionally appoint KMS as the redeveloper on this project,” says Martin, “so we can work out a plan.”
According to the City of Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla sees the hotel plan as a priority and he looks forward to next steps on the project.