City ups offer to $5M for bus lot it wants to convert to park

Friday, 10 November 2017, 10:15:06 PM. Hoboken increased its offer to Academy Bus before moving to seize the property using its power of eminent domain
HOBOKEN -- Hoboken elected officials are moving closer to condemning property owned by one of the city's oldest and biggest employers, Academy Bus, to nearly double the size of a one-acre park in a changing neighborhood in the city's southwest corner.  Academy, meanwhile, is asserting that the administration of Mayor Dawn Zimmer is negotiating in bad faith by conducting a second appraisal of the company's .8-acre property before Academy has had a chance to do its own appraisal within a time frame agreed upon by Zimmer. On Wednesday, the City Council voted 8-0 to grant preliminary approval to a second appraisal on the property, at Observer Highway and Harrison Street, this one valuing it at $5.3 million. The same vote authorizes Zimmer to make Academy an offer equal to the newly appraised amount. A final vote is scheduled for a meeting on Monday, Nov. 13. The city had already done an appraisal last Spring and made Academy a $4 million offer based on that. The company rejected the offer, and has asserted the property's value is closer to $13 million. The second appraisal approved Wednesday was done, "as part of the City's due diligence for low interest funding from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust," according to the council's resolution of approval. If Academy rejects the latest offer, officials say Zimmer can invoke the city's power of eminent domain and begin the process of seizing the property against the company's will, a move the council authorized, "if...Read more
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