Trader Joe’s is almost ready to debut in Hoboken at Willow14, the new mixed-use development on the corner of Willow and 14th Street. We’ve previously written about Trader Joe’s coming to Hoboken and couldn’t be happier it’s closer to reality.
Not only is Trader Joe’s seemingly beloved by all, but it will bring jobs and affordable quality food options to our city. And not just any jobs, Trader Joe’s gives all employees health care and a multitude of benefits – the type of good jobs communities fight over.
So what could hold up this no-brainer benefit to Hoboken’s residents? Well, traffic studies were done and it turns out for the loading trucks to properly service Trader Joe’s, 24 street parking spots will be lost.
That’s right: street parking spots. The thing that may prevent or hinder Trader Joe’s, along with its good jobs, affordable food options + the enormous positive effect it has on property values? The loss of some street parking.
Every benefit has a cost. Some things have far bigger benefits than the costs associated with them. Trader Joe’s isn’t just one of those things, it’s a situation where the benefit (affordable quality grocery options, increased property values, good jobs, etc.) so far exceeds the potential costs (24 street parking spots) we wonder if it’s insulting to have to point this out. The city even included a clause in the Developer’s Agreement that would add back the parking if Trader Joe’s ever left.
As we noted in our last article, street parking spots are some of the worst allocations of city resources. If residents or the city really wanted more parking, we should increase the price of a Hoboken resident parking permit, which currently stands at an insanely undervalued $15 a year. Such a low price encourages everyone to have a car parked on the city streets – which we all subsidize. Call us crazy, but we would rather have a Trader Joe’s that will benefit the entire community than 24 people having the opportunity to store their vehicles which aren’t in use 95% of the time.
If you want to make sure this doesn’t get screwed up, we encourage you to attend the special City Hall meeting tonight and make your voices heard. Tell them you want Trader Joe’s, and that its benefit far exceeds the cost.
Trader Joe’s Meeting: Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm
Location: Hoboken City Hall (94 Washington Street)