The New Jersey Supreme Court recently denied a petition for certification in Applied Monroe Lender v. City of Hoboken, et al, leaving in place a ruling which favored the City of Hoboken. This important victory extends and clarifies an important aspect of redevelopment law in New Jersey. The question of whether municipalities have the power to limit redevelopment to those who have been designated by the municipality has long been decided. This case confirmed that the exercise of that power need not be by explicit language.
In 2011 the Plaintiff Applied Monroe Lender purchased a parcel of property located in Hoboken from the bankruptcy estate of an entity that had previously executed a redevelopment agreement with the City. The property is located in an area in need of redevelopment and covered by the Northwest Redevelopment Plan. During the bankruptcy proceedings, the City of Hoboken, through the attorneys at Maraziti, Falcon, informed Applied that it would be required to execute a redevelopment agreement prior to proceeding with redevelopment of the property.
Following purchase, Applied submitted an application directly to the Planning Board without first being selected as the designated redeveloper by the City. Upon the advice of the firm, the Planning Board declined to hear the application. Applied filed a Complaint with the Superior Court based on the argument that the Redevelopment Plan did not contain a specific provision requiring designation by the City prior to proceeding to the Planning Board. At the trial level, we successfully argued that the language of the Redevelopment Plan established the clear intent by the City to require redeveloper selection. A unanimous Appellate Division affirmed that ruling, once again citing the various provisions of the Redevelopment Plan as evidence of the City’s intent. On June 27, 2018 the Supreme Court denied Applied’s petition for certification, leaving this favorable ruling in place. A copy of the Appellate Division decision is available at Applied Monroe Lender, LLC v. City of Hoboken Planning Board and City of Hoboken, Dkt. No. A-3038-15T3, 2018 WL 1219453.