UPDATE: Meeting scheduled for April 5 now, according to NJ Transit.
Mayor asserts that the Thursday meeting will also be cancelled, pending City Council approval of move to suspend Eminent Domain.
The foot has been taken off the gas pedal, as NJ Transit has yet again cancelled its meeting to vote on acquiring Union Dry Dock. The move comes following Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla‘s decision to temporarily suspend Eminent Domain proceedings, so that alternative plans can be properly entertained without the added pressure of looming action.
“I am glad the meeting is being canceled and we now have an opportunity to find a use for the land through an open and public process,” said Mayor Bhalla. “It is still my goal to provide a contiguous waterfront in Hoboken, and I look forward to working with the Governor’s office, New Jersey Transit, and New York Waterway to make this a reality and find a reasonable alternative location for the fueling and maintenance site.”
— City of Hoboken (@CityofHoboken) April 3, 2018
Back in January, NJ Transit cancelled a meeting that was supposed to move ahead with the purchase of the land to lease it back to NY Waterway. Hoboken strenuously objects to the use of the Waterfront property as a ferry maintenance site, suggesting NY Waterway utilize space in Bayonne instead.
In a piece published yesterday, Hoboken resident Carter Craft, an urban planner with close to twenty years of experience specializing in waterfront and transportation issues, detailed a list of possible compromises centering around utilization of space and facilities at the Hoboken Terminal—where NY Waterway currently conducts operations.
The move to cancel the meeting will allow parties to consider these and other alternatives, working toward a compromise.
Union Dry Dock property in Hoboken is currently owned by New York Waterway.
Hoboken wants Union Dry Dock for the purpose of completing the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and for public open space and recreation. Union Dry Dock bought the Hoboken property in 1976, and have been running their operations there since the 1980s. Previous efforts to sell the land have fallen through. In 2001, the Stevens Institute of Technology planned to construct a soccer field on the site. In 2005, there was a $15 million contract for the property, but the buyer backed out. In 2009, a developer hoped to build residential towers on the land, but local zoning didn’t permit it. And in 2012, New Jersey Transit considered obtaining the land for NY Waterway’s ferry maintenance and refueling.
This past June, Fund for a Better Waterfront began an initiative to purchase the property, sensing the urgency of securing the land for public use.
Excerpts from a previous article authored by Jack Silbert were used in this story.