Now that Union Dry Dock waterfront property will no longer be utilized as a boat repair facility, I believe Hoboken has the unique opportunity to complete our waterfront with public open space. As Mayor, I’ll utilize all tools necessary to make this possible. Mayor Dawn Zimmer and I wrote to New Jersey Transit to urge the agency end attempts to acquire this property and to work collaboratively with Hoboken for a solution that works for everyone. The full text of the letter is below.
I also encourage any residents interested in expressing their opinion on this matter to contact New Jersey Transit (contact information for Board of Directors here: http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=BoardTo) and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (contact information located here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/easyaccess/commissoffice.htm), which is considering a permit application from NJ Transit for this property. Residents are also able to speak about Union Dry Dock at the next NJ Transit board meeting at 9:00 am on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in the Board Room at NJ Transit’s Headquarters (One Penn Plaza East, Ninth Floor, Newark, New Jersey).
Letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Ravi Bhalla to NJ Transit:
November 21, 2017
Steven H. Santoro
One Penn Plaza East
Newark, NJ 07105
Dear Executive Director Santoro and NJ TRANSIT Board Members,
We are writing to express our strong opposition and extreme disappointment in NJ TRANSIT’s plans to acquire the former Union Dry Dock property from NY Waterway without any public process or communications with the City of Hoboken and our community.
In October 2012, former NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein wrote to the City of Hoboken and stated publicly “to confirm that New Jersey Transit is no longer exploring the acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property nor does the agency anticipate doing so in the future.” The latest threat to acquire the property in order to maintain its industrial use betrays this commitment.
In addition, NJ TRANSIT has raised fares twice and raided billions of dollars from its capital fund to pay for operations over the last 8 years, so it is outrageous that despite its acute financial challenges, it is considering spending millions of dollars on a plan that would permanently scar our waterfront.
Hoboken recovered from its economic downturn by reimaging our formerly industrial waterfront as public open space. NJ TRANSIT’s intentions to purchase Union Dry Dock and lease it for ferry maintenance are absolutely unacceptable to our community. This use would undermine our community’s nearly unanimous vision for a connected waterfront enjoyed by residents, visitors, and businesses that continue to choose to locate in our City in part because of our beautiful and walkable waterfront.
We understand that Weehawken’s residential redevelopment of its waterfront is displacing NY Waterway’s existing ferry repair facility; however NJ TRANSIT had the authority, yet chose not to exercise its power of eminent domain to keep the repair facility at its current location. Hoboken, on the other hand, decided after Super Storm Sandy to prohibit residential and almost all commercial development in high-risk waterfront areas. We want to ensure that NY Waterway can continue to be a vital part of our regional transportation system, however Hoboken should not be punished for our prudent planning decisions, which happen to make our land less expensive than residentially-zoned properties in neighboring municipalities. We urge NY Waterway and NJ TRANSIT to provide all analysis done for other sites in the region.
We urge you to end all efforts to acquire the former Union Dry Dock property and to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to find a solution that works for the entire region.
Ravinder S. Bhalla
Click here for letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Mayor-Elect Ravi Bhalla to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection