HOBOKEN YARDS REDEVELOPMENT PLAN & WASHINGTON STREET REDESIGN PRESENTED AT SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The Hoboken City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 7:30pm for the presentation of the Hoboken Yards Redevelopment Plan and the Washington Street redesign conceptual plan. No action will be taken by the Council at the meeting.
Following an extensive community-driven design process that included multiple public meetings and stakeholder groups, the City conducted an updated economic analysis and incorporated post-Sandy flood mitigation measures as well as feedback from the community and the City Council in creating the revisions to the City of Hoboken’s proposed Redevelopment Plan.
In 2012, the City of Hoboken created a draft plan with 2 million square feet of development. The plan being introduced is a revision to that plan and calls for up to 2.3 million square feet of development with LEED Gold incentives.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about this plan over the years,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “In 2008, a prior Administration and NJ Transit proposed a 9 million square foot project featuring a 70-story tower. I strongly opposed that project because it was wrong for Hoboken. Our current proposal is an example of the kind of balanced, smart development that the people of Hoboken both want and deserve.”
The City’s revised plan calls for a baseline 2.176 million square foot mixed-use project (125,000 additional square feet of commercial space permitted if the commercial space is designed to LEED Gold standard), two-thirds of it for office space and one-quarter for residential space, with the remainder for retail space. Following Superstorm Sandy and after receiving NJ Transit’s confidential pro forma, the City determined there would be a need for some additional costs for flood damage prevention measures, among other issues. For this to be economically viable, additional office/commercial density was provided, however the residential square footage remains the same as in the draft 2012 plan.
The plan would create a true mixed-use project that will significantly diversify the local economy, support local businesses, and revitalize the Hoboken Terminal area and Observer Highway area – an essential gateway to Hoboken. It includes indoor public space, minimum requirements for 3-bedroom, family-oriented housing units, a variety of public spaces, including a pedestrian plaza at Hudson Place and Warrington Plaza and bicycle paths connecting a redesigned Observer Boulevard to the waterfront.
Since the prior draft of the plan was developed before Superstorm Sandy, the revised plan includes various flood mitigation measures including requiring the separation of the sanitary sewer and storm sewer, sewer pumps to serve the property, compliance with the City’s Flood Damage Prevention ordinance, and encouraging the construction of storm surge protection at Warrington Plaza.