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Hoboken Moves to Acquire 6 Acre Property for City’s Largest Park

BASF-park
‘Resiliency Park’ Would Hold at Least 1 Million Gallons of Stormwater to Alleviate Flooding

The City of Hoboken is moving forward to acquire a 6-acre undeveloped property in northwest Hoboken for use as a large “resiliency park” with at least 1 million gallons of integrated flood mitigation capacity. A portion of the property would also be designed with a municipal parking garage, potentially with rooftop recreation or other public amenities. The property is currently owned by BASF (previously Henkel/Cognis), and the project is one of three “resiliency parks” planned as part of the Rebuild by Design flood resiliency plan.

“This six-acre property is the City’s last remaining option for acquiring such a large amount of contiguous land for open space, and it would provide Hoboken with a unique opportunity to address three of our most pressing challenges – flooding, open space, and parking,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Creating Hoboken’s largest park – the same size as Pier A – would provide much-needed open space in western Hoboken, take pressure off our other overcrowded parks, and complement our flood resiliency strategy by being designed to hold at least 1 million gallons of stormwater runoff. It would also add parking capacity by creating Hoboken’s first municipal garage in northwest Hoboken.”

The Hoboken City Council previously authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire the BASF property for open space and authorized the City’s application for low-interest funding from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) for acquisition of the property. NJEIT loans provide 0% interest on 75% of the loan amount, market rate interest on the remainder, and 19% principal forgiveness.

At the upcoming Council meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, the City Council will be asked to vote on three separate measures to 1) authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire the northern parcel of the property for a parking garage 2) authorize a $1.6 million Hoboken Parking Utility bond for land acquisition and engineering costs for detailed design of a parking structure, and 3) authorize a $16.7 million bond ordinance to acquire the larger portion of the BASF property for open space, park design and engineering costs, and for construction costs of the Southwest Park. NJEIT would purchase the bond to provide the low-interest loan to the City.

Update on Southwest Park
Construction of Hoboken’s Southwest Park, which is also designed to hold over 200,000 gallons of stormwater runoff, is scheduled to begin this fall. An archeological review of the site needed to be completed prior to construction. The City Council previously authorized applying for a low-interest loan from the NJEIT for design and construction of the park. The final conceptual plan is available at www.hobokennj.org/swpark.

Update on 7th Street & Jackson Street Park and Plaza
The Hoboken community is invited to a public meeting hosted by the City Council Community Development Subcomittee to discuss a proposed finalized redevelopment project at 7th Street and Jackson Street adjacent to the Monroe Center as part of the Northwest Redevelopment Area. The project proposes approximately 2 acres of public parks and open space, a municipal gymnasium, advanced stormwater detention to assist in flood mitigation efforts as part of the City’s comprehensive Rebuild by Design plan, and mixed use residential and retail components along the western portion of the site, next to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line. The meeting will take place on Monday, August 31, 2015 at the Jubilee Center, located at 601 Jackson Street and will begin at 7:00pm with a presentation of the project followed by a question and answer period.

Community Meeting for 7th St & Jackson St Project on August 31, 2015

7thJackson
The Hoboken community is invited to a public meeting hosted by the City Council Community Development Subcomittee to discuss a proposed finalized redevelopment project at 7th Street and Jackson Street adjacent to the Monroe Center as part of the Northwest Redevelopment Area. The project proposes approximately 2 acres of public parks and open space, a municipal gymnasium, advanced stormwater detention to assist in flood mitigation efforts as part of the City’s comprehensive Rebuild by Design plan, and mixed use residential and retail components along the western portion of the site, next to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line. The meeting will take place on Monday, August 31, 2015 at the Jubilee Center, located at 601 Jackson Street and will begin at 7:00pm with a presentation of the project followed by a question and answer period.

The Community Development Subcommittee is chaired by Councilman David Mello and includes Councilmembers James Doyle, Tim Occhipinti, and Michael Russo.

Community Invited to Submit Input On Southwest Redevelopment Plan Through Online Survey

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Members of the community are invited to visit www.hobokennj.org/swplan to complete an online survey for the Southwest Redevelopment Plan.

The Southwest Redevelopment Plan Area consists of 17.64 acres in Southwest Hoboken and is bounded, roughly, by Paterson Avenue and Observer Highway on the north and the Jersey City boundary on the west and south. This portion of Hoboken was designated an Area in Need of Rehabilitation in 2012 and the City is in the process of developing a redevelopment plan for the area. The redevelopment plan will address the various land uses, appropriate density and height of buildings and opportunities to encourage neighborhood goods and services. Finally, the plan will also strive to increase public parks and open spaces.

Public Meeting to Be Held for Western Edge Redevelopment Plan

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The general public is invited to a community meeting regarding the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson Street in Hoboken.

Maser, the City’s planner, has prepared the Redevelopment Plan for the Western Edge Redevelopment Area with input from Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council North Subcommittee and is seeking additional input from the community. The Western Edge was designated as an Area in Need of Redevelopment by the City of Hoboken in 2007. The area consists of approximately 11.15 acres on four separate properties located in the western portion of the City of Hoboken at the foot of the Palisades.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan provides a framework for the redevelopment of a number of properties in the northwestern portion of the City in proximity to the Ninth Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station. It sets forth standards and guidelines for land use and design, circulation and parking, and open space and recreation. The Redevelopment Plan incorporates flood management strategies outlined in the Rebuild by Design “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” plan.

At the community meeting on May 21st, there will be a presentation and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the City’s professionals regarding the Redevelopment Plan. Click here to view the draft plan (revised to include educational uses).

Public Hearing for CDBG 5 Year Action Plan (Online Survey)


The City of Hoboken Department of Community Development will conduct a public hearing regarding its 5-Year Consolidated Action Plan for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The public comment session will gather public input on the content of the Consolidated Action Plan, which will direct funds for public service activities in-line with HUD CDBG rules and regulations for a five (5) year period.

Members of the community are invited to complete an online survey to provide their feedback. The survey will be available until March 18, 2015.

Public service activities include, but are not limited to:
· Child Care
· Youth Services
· Health Care
· Job Training / Job Creation
· Literacy program
· Recreation programs
· Education Programs
· Public Safety Services (Crime Prevention)
· Services for Senior Citizens
· Services for Homeless Persons
· Drug Abuse Counseling and Treatment
· Qualified Veteran Services
· Welfare (as defined by HUD)
· Code Enforcement Services

The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2015 from 6:30PM-8:30PM at the Hoboken Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Public input will inform the City’s anticipated 5-Year Consolidated Action Plan, which the City intends to submit to HUD for review and acceptance in May of 2015.

Persons requiring special accommodations to participate in the public hearing may call Department of Community Development Principal Planner Christopher Brown at 201-239-6642 or email at cbrown@hobokennj.gov.

City of Hoboken Explores Creating Regional Performing Arts Center

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The City of Hoboken will be evaluating the feasibility of creating a large performing arts center near Hoboken Terminal. If the idea has community support and is deemed to be economically feasible, the City will include the construction of the center in the negotiation of the Redevelopment Agreement with the designated redeveloper of the property owned by New Jersey Transit.

“With almost unparalleled access to mass transit, southeast Hoboken could be the ideal place for a regional performing arts center for music, theater, dance, and more,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Along with the resurgence of the Monroe Arts Center, the preservation of Neumann Leathers through a proposed Rehabilitation Plan, and the construction of Mile Square Theatre’s new facility next to the Viaduct, the Hoboken community is demonstrating its commitment to artists and the arts.”

Hudson County Freeholders to Hold Special Meeting in Hoboken Tonight to Consider Appeal of Monarch Project Application Denial


The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a special meeting at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 to vote on whether or not to uphold the Hudson County Planning Board’s denial of Shipyard’s application for the Monarch project. The Hudson County Planning Board’s denial was based on the effects of the proposed project on traffic and pedestrian safety along an abutting county roadway (Sinatra Drive). The Hearing will be limited to those issues. The meeting will take place in the cafeteria of the Wallace School, located at 1100 Willow Avenue. The meeting is open to the public, and concerned members of the community may attend and voice their opinions.

City of Hoboken Introduces New Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan

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The City of Hoboken is introducing a final draft for the Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan which will be considered on first reading by the City Council at their next meeting on November 5, 2014. If approved by the Council, the plan would then be reviewed by the Planning Board. The Planning Board would provide a recommendation to the City Council, which would then hold a final vote to consider adopting the Plan.

The City’s revised Plan calls for a baseline 2.176 million square foot mixed use project with an additional 125,000 square feet of commercial space permitted if the commercial space is architecturally creative and designed to LEED Gold standard. Two-thirds of the overall plan is for office space and one-quarter for residential space, with the remainder for retail space. The plan would create a true mixed-use project that will significantly diversify the local economy, support local businesses, and revitalize the Hoboken Terminal area and Observer Highway area – an essential gateway to Hoboken.

“This plan represents the results of an extensive City Council and community process to find consensus,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “It is my hope that all of the parties will objectively evaluate this project and move forward in the best interests of our State and our City.”

Hoboken Yards Redevelopment Plan & Washington Street Redesign to be Presented at Special City Council Meeting


The Hoboken City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 7:30pm for the presentation of the Hoboken Yards Redevelopment Plan and the Washington Street redesign conceptual plan. No action will be taken by the Council at the meeting.

Following an extensive community-driven design process that included multiple public meetings and stakeholder groups, the City conducted an updated economic analysis and incorporated post-Sandy flood mitigation measures as well as feedback from the community and the City Council in creating the revisions to the City of Hoboken’s proposed Redevelopment Plan.

In 2012, the City of Hoboken created a draft plan with 2 million square feet of development. The plan being introduced is a revision to that plan and calls for up to 2.3 million square feet of development with LEED Gold incentives.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about this plan over the years,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “In 2008, a prior Administration and NJ Transit proposed a 9 million square foot project featuring a 70-story tower. I strongly opposed that project because it was wrong for Hoboken. Our current proposal is an example of the kind of balanced, smart development that the people of Hoboken both want and deserve.”

Hoboken Takes The People’s Choice Award for a Great Downtown


The New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NJ) has named Hoboken a winner in the 2014 People’s Choice Awards for Great Downtowns in New Jersey. A panel of planning professionals had selected the contestants from nominations submitted by the public in July, and the competition was determined by the 11,421 online ballots cast by the public over the past five weeks. Hoboken competed against Downtown Morristown, Historic Downtown Jersey City and Montclair Center to receive the top honors in Northern New Jersey.

“Hoboken is a great place to live, work, learn, and visit, and we’re honored to be voted the best downtown in Northern New Jersey,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We thank everyone who voted for Hoboken and invite visitors to shop, dine, stroll our parks, explore our preserved historic architecture, and see why our vibrant community is the fastest growing city in the state.”