The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) is hosting a public hearing tonight to discuss the future of the disputed Union Dry Dock property on Hoboken’s Waterfront.
Since 2000, the 3.15-acre parcel of land known as Union Dry Dock & Repair Company—the last functioning maritime business on Hoboken’s once-bustling working waterfront, located on Sinatra Drive, between the Skate Park and Maxwell Park— has been shopped around.
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.
Last June, Fund for a Better Waterfront began an initiative to purchase the property. The City of Hoboken then reached out to discuss a possible purchase of the land for the purpose of completing the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and for public open space and recreation.
However, Union Dry Dock was scooped up last November, and is currently owned by New York Waterway. The ferry company’s plans are to utilize the location as a fueling, storage and maintenance operations.
Many in Hoboken are vocally opposed to that move, given the site’s proximity to Hoboken Cove, Maxwell Park, and other outdoor/recreational venues along the scenic waterfront. A recent rally in April saw residents and activists demanding that NY Waterway find an alternative site for their operations.
NY Waterway contends that using the Union Dry Dock location is essential to their service. Critics claim there are other opportunities for the ferry company. The City of Hoboken suspended its own efforts to obtain the land via Eminent Domain, so that other opportunities can be explored.
Tonight’s USACOE hearing will focus on the potential environmental impact and public perception of the plan. Residents are invited to speak and hear others as they share their thoughts on NY Waterway’s vision for Union Dry Dock.
The hearing will take place at DeBaun Auditorium at Stevens Institute of Technology, running from 6-9 p.m.
All are welcome.
Excerpts from a previous article authored by Jack Silbert were used in this story.