After years of debate over design, the western edge redevelopment plan was approved by the Hoboken City Council on August 5. The “western edge” is defined as an area stretching from 9th to 14th street in northwest Hoboken. The city identified this area as one in need of redevelopment in 2005, and now real change may be happening.
As detailed in the plan (which can be viewed here), the problem with this area of Hoboken lies with its historic and outmoded zoning status. The area is zoned industrial, which created bus depots and blighted factories near residential development. Instead of being able to create businesses desired by the local community like restaurants or shops, this area only allowed industrial applications. The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan thankfully changes all of this.
The redevelopment plan calls for a neighborhood much more in line of the Hoboken of 2015, and not of 1955. And the area will see a mix of residential, commercial and recreation facilities.
We are excited about the plan, and have the following observations:
- The plan advocates a mixed use neighborhood, however, it should be heavily weighted towards residential. The best areas of Hoboken pay only nominal or symbolic homage to their past history. For example, at the Shipyard, the residential buildings are named after the ships that docked there (the Sovereign, the Constitution and the Independence). The western edge can honor the history of its past through similar symbolic means while still bringing it in line with the rest of Hoboken’s stature. With only a square mile to work with, Hoboken neither needs, nor can afford, space set aside for manufacturing or industrial application.
- A new light real station will be critical for the progress of this area, and we agree with the Plan’s goal to place the light rail station at 14 or 15th street. Any further north would be a disservice to the already budding community that’s been living on the western edge for years.
- Hoboken should encourage business applications that will serve the growing residential community. At the moment, the western edge has only a few restaurants like Carpe Diem and the Biergarden. This area needs more commercial establishments to effect the goal of a local community
- Most importantly, the Plan is a step in the right direction. A thank you to our Mayor, City Council, and all those involved who are progressing Hoboken with new places to live, new parks for recreation and new places of business that will bring jobs and character to our community.
For those inclined, below is a video of an engineer discussing the Plan: