Thursday, June 30, 2016

MAYOR ZIMMER & HOBOKEN OFFICIALS BREAKS GROUND ON SOUTHWEST PARK - NEW JERSEY’S FIRST RESILIENCY PARK WITH GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

City of Hoboken announces:



Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined other Hoboken officials, dignitaries, and members of the public for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Southwest Park - a one acre park in southwest Hoboken designed to hold 200,000 gallons of stormwater runoff that will also serve as a model for green infrastructure resiliency parks in New Jersey. The property is currently a surface parking lot and is the first phase for a larger Southwest Park.

“The Southwest Park project will transform a parking lot into a green oasis for this thriving neighborhood and will be a model for building resiliency parks that help mitigate flooding,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This park has been a goal of mine since 10 years ago when I was a stay-at-home mom advocating with my neighbors, and it is the reason why I got involved in government. I am thankful to all of the community advocates, the City Council, Hudson County, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for their strong support of this project.”

The park will feature passive recreational space, a dog run, moveable cafe tables, a pop-up market zone, restrooms, multi-level seating for small performances, free public Wi-Fi, and a lawn with child-friendly interactive park features. It will also include green infrastructure (rain gardens, shade tree pits, porous pavers, a cistern for rainwater harvesting and reuse) and an underground detention system to reduce stormwater run-off and localized flooding.

“For over ten years, it's been a labor of love to fight for the breaking ground on this park,” said Councilman At-Large David Mello. “Countless friends and neighbors have worked together to make this cutting edge open space a reality for our growing and ever evolving southwest neighborhood. I'm so happy for the whole community that this project is finally breaking ground, and was honored to have helped bring it to fruition.”

Park renderings, project updates, and additional information is available at www.hobokennj.gov/swpark.

"Hoboken's Southwest Park plan as an outstanding example of an innovative, multi-benefit project," said Jane Kenny, co-chair of Jersey Water Works, a cross-sector collaborative focused on transforming New Jersey's aging and inadequate water infrastructure. "This park will not only help solve the problem of chronic flooding in the area, but will reduce sewage discharge into the Hudson River and transform a paved parking lot into a vital and healthy recreational green space serving one of the most densely populated communities in the country. All of us at Jersey Water Works applaud today's groundbreaking, and are delighted to see this plan become a reality." 

Funding to purchase the property was provided from a $3 million Hudson County Open Space grant. Financing to construct the park is provided through a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.

PARK AVENUE BRIDGE REHABILITATION WILL IMPACT TRAFFIC IN NORTH HOBOKEN DURING SUMMER

City of Hoboken announces:

PARK AVENUE BRIDGE REHABILITATION WILL IMPACT TRAFFIC IN NORTH HOBOKEN DURING SUMMER

Hudson County will begin the rehabilitation of the Park Avenue bridge between Hoboken and Weehawken on July 5th. An announcement from the County regarding the project, including traffic impacts, is included below.   

The County has decided that during construction the Park Avenue bridge will be configured as a one-way southbound road. As a result, the Willow Avenue bridge will be the only northbound route out of Hoboken. Drivers should plan for significant traffic delays, consider alternate routes, adjust work hours or telecommute if possible, use public transportation, and provide extra travel time.

It is likely that this configuration will result in increased congestion when exiting Hoboken towards Weehawken, especially during the morning rush hour. At Mayor Zimmer's request, the County has agreed to evaluate the traffic impact during the first few weeks of construction to determine if changes are needed to the detour plan in order to facilitate the efficient northbound flow of traffic.

Public input will be important to the traffic evaluation conducted by the County so Hoboken residents affected by the detour plan should provide their feedback to County Executive DeGise, Freeholder Romano, Mayor Zimmer, and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

County Executive DeGise & Freeholder Romano: www.hudsoncountynj.org/online-directory/
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s Chief of Staff: vchaudhuri@hobokennj.gov
Hoboken Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher – hoboken2nd@gmail.com




County of Hudson announces:

Park Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation Begins July 5th; Southbound Traffic Only Thru Sept. 13th

The Hudson County Roads Department will begin the rehabilitation of the Park Avenue Bridge connecting Hoboken and Weehawken near the entryway to the Lincoln Tunnel, on Tuesday, July 5th.

The bridge, which spans over Harbor Boulevard from 16th Street to 19th Street to connect Park Avenue in Hoboken to John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Weehawken, will undergo a complete concrete deck rehabilitation, replacement of its plug joints to its armored joints, curb improvements, painting work, and roadway striping.

The anticipated completion date of the project is September 13th, 2016. Throughout the rehabilitation, one side of the bridge will remain open allowing one lane of traffic to operate in one direction, while the other side of the bridge is under construction. Traffic will only be allowed southbound however on either side of the bridge.

The first stage of construction will close the east side of the bridge from July 5th through August 8th. The second stage will close the west side of the bridge from August 9th through September 13th.

A traffic detour plan will move cars diverted from the Bridge’s under-construction lane through local streets. Traffic control and traffic direction will be provided by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Hoboken and Weehawken Police Departments, following specifications agreed to by County and municipal engineering officials and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).

Street closures will be controlled by order of the municipalities. Hoboken has ordered the following closures to direct traffic to Willow Avenue and away from Park Avenue:

- Park Ave at 13th north bound closed (rush hours only, 6am-10am & 4pm-7pm)
- Park Ave at 14th north bound closed
- Park Ave at 15th north bound closed
- Clinton Street between 15th and 16th street closed (rush hours only 6am-10am & 4pm-7pm)
- 16th Street from Grand Street to Willow Ave closed (only during rush hours 6am-10am & 4pm-7pm)

All construction work will be conducted in daytime, six days per week, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The contractor for the project is Sparwick Contracting, Inc., of Lafayette, NJ. The project cost is $1,062,067.00, funded by NJDOT.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hoboken proposes 30 year PILOT for West Side with 434 residential units plus various amenities

City of Hoboken announces:

Hoboken to consider project to create new 2-acre resiliency park, public gymnasium & affordable housing

Hoboken has an important opportunity to move forward with the 7th and Jackson project which will benefit the neighborhood and City by creating a new 2-acre resiliency park, a public gymnasium, and 42 units of affordable housing. At the July 6th City Council meeting, the Council will consider a series of resolutions, ordinances, and a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement to advance the project within the Northwest Redevelopment Area.

“This project is a tremendous opportunity to add much-needed open space, improve our flood resiliency, create a new indoor recreation facility, and expand affordable housing,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Working with the City Council Development Subcommittee members Chairman Mello, Councilman Doyle, Councilman Russo, and former Councilman Occhipinti, we negotiated an agreement with significant community benefits that we otherwise would not receive.”

Community Benefits
As part of the project, the developer will be required to acquire, remediate and construct two acres of public park space, which will help to alleviate the open space deficit in western Hoboken. It will include a 1 acre public park with an open grass area, public seating, and a children’s play area along with another 1 acre public plaza with step seating, passive lawn area, restrooms, and a large plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets. Improvements to 7th Street utilizing Belgian block-style accents and a tabled roadway will calm traffic and create visual continuity between the park and plaza. There will be more than 250,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention within the park and plaza to help address flooding issues in the area. 

In addition, the developer will construct a 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium that will accommodate the growing demand for recreation programs including basketball, soccer, yoga, and other fitness activities. Nearly 800 children on more than 50 basketball teams must currently share the gymnasium in the Multi-Service Center.

Finally, the project will include 42 on-site affordable housing units to be deed restricted for a minimum of 40 years. For the first time in any redevelopment agreement, the City is making sure that significant community benefits are provided before the development is finished by requiring that the public park and gymnasium be built first.

"Our committee is proud of the many community givebacks that we negotiated into this agreement; including 10% affordable housing, unprecedented water retention infrastructure to combat flooding, a contiguous park and public space that will stretch across two city blocks, and a much needed new gymnasium building capable of hosting many activities for the children of Hoboken,” said City Council Development Subcommittee Chairman David Mello. “Perhaps most importantly, the majority of these benefits will be built before the residential building that facilitated this project is occupied.”

“This project represents a great example of how the redevelopment process can and should work to benefit the community and foster sound development,” said Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle.

“This is a redevelopment project that represents the needs of the City before all others,” said Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo. “With the community amenities that will be provided, the residents of the Third Ward will now have more than quadruple the amount of open space in our neighborhood. We took a hard line in our negotiations to ensure that we have provided one of the largest water detention systems in Hoboken to help to alleviate our city’s flooding. With the addition of this park and public gymnasium, we have ensured a tremendous increase in recreation opportunities for our children, and with the public plaza able to host outdoor movies, small musical concerts and even theater performances, this will become one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Hoboken.”

Choice: Development With or Without Community Benefits
“The choice we have to make is not whether we want development or no development — it is whether we want development with community givebacks or development that covers nearly every last square foot of land,” added Mayor Zimmer. “If the Council rejects this opportunity, the existing redevelopment plan would allow for even more residential units and would not require any community benefits.”

The negotiated redevelopment agreement consolidates all approved development into one building, allowing for the creation of new open space. The proposed agreement includes 424 residential dwelling units, 42 of which are affordable housing units which are deed restricted for a minimum of 40 years. In contrast, the existing redevelopment plan, which was adopted in 1998, allows for a total of 434 units and does not require any affordable housing. The existing plan also does ­­­­not require community benefits such as open space, flood mitigation, or the creation of a public gymnasium.




Financial Analysis
This project provides $52 million in community benefits, compared to a loss in tax revenue of $30 million for Hoboken taxpayers as a result of the PILOT agreement necessary to make this project possible, providing important benefits at an extremely reasonable cost,” added Mayor Zimmer. “While the County would lose out on an estimated $31.6 million in tax revenue from Hoboken, it is important to recognize that Hoboken taxpayers already pay a disproportionately high amount of taxes to the County. And with the Council’s support, through the annual budget process, we will be working to make sure we support the schools even with this PILOT.”

In order to make the proposed project financially viable, a PILOT is needed. The tax benefit to the developer is approximately $118 million over 30 years, or $61 million in present value. The majority of this cost is attributable to a reduction in taxes paid to Hudson County, while the present value cost to Hoboken taxpayers is approximately $30 million of the $61 million. By comparison, the present value of the community benefits is $52 million (see chart).



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Community Invited to Groundbreaking Ceremony for Southwest Park

City of Hoboken announces:

All members of the Hoboken community are invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Southwest Park – a one acre property designed with integrated flood resiliency features. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 11:00am at the site of the future Southwest Park, located at the corner of Jackson Street and Observer Highway. 

“The creation of the Southwest Park is the reason I first ran for office, so this is an especially meaningful milestone for me, and I invite everyone to join us to celebrate,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This park will not only provide much-needed green space for the southwest neighborhood, but it will also serve as a first-of-its-kind model in the state for integrating green infrastructure into parks to reduce flooding. I want to thank Councilman Mello and all of my Southwest neighbors who played a crucial role since 2006 to bring the first phase of this park to reality.”

The park will feature passive recreational space, green infrastructure (rain gardens, shade tree pits, porous pavers, a cistern for rainwater harvesting and reuse) and an underground detention system to reduce stormwater run-off and localized flooding. It will also include a dog run, moveable cafe tables, a pop-up market zone, restrooms, multi-level seating for small performances, free public Wi-Fi, and a lawn with child-friendly interactive park features.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Sign of the Times: Hoboken hosts continental futbol


Hoboken becomes more the cosmopolitan city with its proximity and transportation access.

Over the weekend, it was the unofficial host to the Argentina National Team appearing in the final of the Copa America, the soccer tournament of the Americas celebrating its 100th year.

There was singing and dancing on lower Hudson Street and downtown in the vicinity of the W Hotel as fans came out to celebrate national pride and some of international soccer's best.

There was even rumor of a famous religious figure.

Holy Father is it him? Apparently an Argentinian facsimile
in Hoboken spotted over the weekend.


The big game in the Meadowlands last night was deadlocked between Argentina and Chile with the always heartbreaking penalty shootout breaking the tie. Chile upset the favorites with a beguiling 4-2 victory.


                 



Photos courtesy of the Zebra

Friday, June 24, 2016

HOBOKEN & NHSA OFFICIALS LOWER THE PUMPS FOR NEW H-5 FLOOD PUMP STATION

City of Hoboken announces:




Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) Executive Director Dr. Richard J. Wolff and other City and NHSA officials for a ceremony to lower and secure the pumps for the H-5 wet weather pump station (WWPS) currently under construction.

The pump station, which is entirely underground and is designed to alleviate chronic flooding in northwest Hoboken between 9th Street and 13th Street, is a joint project between NHSA and the City of Hoboken.

“I am excited that this project is on track to be operational by the end of the summer as part of a comprehensive flood resiliency plan to protect Hoboken from all types of flooding,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I thank North Hudson Sewerage Authority for their partnership on this project and the residents of Maxwell Place for their patience during the construction.”

The station will have two pumps, each with a capacity of 40 million gallons per day, for a total pumping capacity of 80 million gallons per day, if ever necessary. During intense rain events at high tide, the pumps will pump against the tide, preventing sewers from filling to capacity and overflowing onto streets.

The pumps are expected to be operational by August 2016. Final completion of the H-5 WWPS is expected for September or October.

The City of Hoboken is financing the bulk of the project, and NHSA is in charge of design and construction and will operate and maintain the pump station under a 99 year lease with Hoboken.