We first reported the impending arrival of Trader Joe’s in Hoboken last August, citing communiques between the City of Hoboken and Advance Realty, the developer of the property at 14th & Willow.
The idea had been trucking along just fine, with Hobokenites basking in the warming glow of yet-to-be-installed red neon lights. Advance already has the Zoning approvals for the grocery store, however, a few trial runs magnified the realities of life in Metro New Jersey—particularly the omnipresent issues of Hoboken traffic. The plan submitted by the developers immediately revealed some significant shortfalls, with the large delivery trucks unable to safely access the loading docks on Clinton Street between 13th Street and 14th Street.
In a show of flexibility, the City is trying to do what it can to get the deal done—but it’ll cost Hoboken even more of its fleeting parking spaces.
“Trader Joe’s is one of America’s favorite grocery stores, and I look forward to welcoming them to Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “My Administration has worked to ensure that they can open in a way that their truck deliveries are safe for everyone, especially the seniors, families, and all residents who live nearby and walk in the neighborhood.”
According to the City, a proposed agreement, “would remove 24 parking spaces from 13th Street and Clinton Street in order to address pedestrian safety concerns and safely accommodate the turns of delivery trucks for Trader Joe’s, the ground floor tenant of the property. The agreement would only apply for as long as Trader Joe’s occupies the space.”
The Hoboken City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 7:00pm to consider the proposal.”The center of the issue is around parking and delivery truck traffic flow and its impact on pedestrian safety,” says Hoboken City Councilman Peter Cunningham, 5th Ward. “I, too, am excited for Hoboken and Trader Joe’s potentially coming to Hoboken for many reasons. However, we have to get the pedestrian safety measures right.”
Cunningham feels it can be done, “but it will be at the expense of parking and tractor trailer truck traffic in our northeast Hoboken neighborhood.” He adds, “I am less concerned with the loss of parking, but maneuverability getting in and out of 13th and Clinton will be tricky, and need to be executed with precision. Trader Joe’s will be very popular, so in the beginning I foresee this area being very busy (more than it already is) with vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Many of the suggested measures will include, but not limited to, reworking several intersection and their corners and traffic controls for others.”
As parking in Hoboken continues to evaporate, the question comes down to whether or not Trader Joe’s is a solid trade-off.