via City of Hoboken

The City of Hoboken announced today via press release its ambitious plans to acquire a six acre property to build the city’s largest park. The park will be located in the northwest area of Hoboken, covering the area from 12th and Adams to 13th and Madison.

The park’s main aims are to have a flood resiliency capacity of at least 1 million gallons, along with a parking complex with rooftop recreation and other amenities. The city plans to acquire the park through eminent domain. As detailed in the press release below, at the upcoming Council meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, the City Council will be asked to vote on three measures:

  1. authorizing the use of eminent domain to acquire the northern parcel of the property for a parking garage
  2. authorizing a $1.6 million Hoboken Parking Utility bond for land acquisition and engineering costs for detailed design of a parking structure, and
  3. authorizing 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.

The prospect of turning this vacant area into a beautiful and flood preventing park is promising. Hoboken can always use more open space, parking and flood retention. The use of eminent domain is concerning, And needs to be done carefully and rarely as private property rights are paramount in our system of government. At the same time, the city will immensely benefit from what is being used as a mostly vacant and decripid lot (and some could argue the flood prevention aspects are a necessity).  As we’ve noted in past articles, we welcome all efforts to bring the Northwest area of Hoboken out of its outmoded industrial past and in line with the rest of the city.

This park plan is another step in the right direction as Hoboken keeps progressing with new parks, open space and LEED residential buildings. Making it one of the best places to live.

Image and Press Release via Hobokennj.org:

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.