Playing at a Condo Near You

Still shot of protest from a Sky Club window credit: MSV
Bully-politics are nothing new from Hoboken's Dark Side.

And with a strong incumbent Mayor and the demographic shifting in Reform's favor, the options for the Dark Side to 'take back' City Hall are limited.

GA believes the Dark Side's only path to victory is to suppress our voters in combo with a massive VBM harvest in a two-way race.  From the looks of last night's 'protest' they are failing gloriously.

HHA Executive Director Garcia certainly has less to worry about; he'll be elected with Stack.  But Ramos and his At-Large Council need a strategy to win.  So how does Team Ramos ride to victory on divisive protests outside Hoboken condo buildings?

He doesn't.

This kind of protest at private residential buildings does two things:

(1) It raises the public's awareness of the 'controversial' aspects of Vision 20/20: the 25% expansion of public housing, the plan that is being forced through without any community input, and the astronomical developer's fees to be split with the HHA
The developer fee for the first phase alone – just one building – is upwards of $1.5 million.
Why is Garcia's HHA taking half of the developer's fee?  That is federal money that should be used to benefit the quality of Vision 20/20 construction and Vision 20/20 accessory buildings/amenities.   Moreover, WHY is the HHA pushing a Vision 20/20 plan where buildings are surrounded by parking lots, not active open space?  

Vision 20/20 concept plan: buildings are surrounded by parking lots (red).  

Awareness of the 'controversies' surrounding the project will seep into the mainstream  consciousness when people have to run a gauntlet of protesters to go home.

(2) Consequently, awareness of the troubling aspects of the project under it's present management, educates the public on who represents the best interest of Hoboken and HHA residents (not the guys  pushing the parking-lot playgrounds).  This translates to votes (and voter registration).

GA can't believe Ramos is allowing these kind of divisive tactics when he's got an Assembly record to run on. 


  1. What Assembly record? What did HE do? Besides ride along with the efforts of the Democratic leadership and Stack? he was simply a do what you are told kind of guy.

    1. Even so, I know some solid Reformers who liked his Assembly votes particularly his support of public education.

      That's what he should be focusing on-- not sniffing around for dirt in New Hampshire or playing nasty racial politics. Unfortunately, it appears he has surrounded himself with dip-shits and lowlives. His campaign needs more gravitas and less dip-shittery.

  2. Ruben Ramos certainly can't run on his record as a Councilman in the Roberts Administration that lead to the State takeover of Hoboken.

  3. The 'vision' doc confuses the supply of low cost housing with demand: "...depriving the Housing Authority of additional units that could help reduce the need for affordable housing in the City." (p.46) Vision also seems to be missing a current needs analysis and forecast.

    Surface lots are probably the safest way to supply parking to residents within the HHA site, but it might be optimal to exclude residential off-street parking from the site and instead integrate HHA parking with mainstream Hoboken. An external municipal garage solution should be a safer/more efficient parking solution overall, and it would be a significant integrating factor--aside from adding beneficial green space to the plan.

    What do you think of the premise that the cross-shaped tower is an inefficient/defective design? Seems that maximizing daylight/windows is a big plus, and that modern insulation offsets the supposed energy inefficiency.

    From HUD: (

    Developer's Fee is compensation to the developer for the time and risk involved to develop the project. It is typically based on the size of the project, the total development cost and the risk associated with the project. (The $1.5mm is not necessarily a per-building fee; it could also cover other buildings started within ~1+ year of the first phase.)

    Some other housing authorities do a nice job of illustrating dev fee guidelines and examples. The HHA share would likely involve their own construction management oversight and direct costs.

    Developer fee generally covers:
    1. Developer profit;  
    2. Developer overhead, including but not limited to postage,
    copying costs, staff travel to site and meals;
    3. Costs incurred for the submission of applications in years prior 
    to the round in which tax credits or loans were awarded;  
    4. Development consultant and credit consultant fees (not including 
    historic preservation, environmental, green building or syndication consultants);  
    5. Real estate brokerage fees and loan brokerage fees paid to a 
    related party; and  
    6. Compensation for any construction management oversight provided 
    by the developer.  

  4. Does it cover the Carmelo's unlimited "business trips" and his never ending supply of self promoting events, handouts and t-shirts?


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