Friday, December 12, 2014

NJ Transit - Rail yards impact: past, present and future

Stewart Mader published an in-depth history of rail stations and the corresponding proposals over the years for Hoboken's downtown rail yards district. NJ Transit is looking to develop its property in conjunction with input from Hoboken.

The history alone is interesting in many respects. An excerpt from the wide ranging feature:

In 2008, a draft redevelopment plan was prepared by the city using funds from LCOR and NJ Transit. Designed by FXFOWLE Architecture, it proposed 9.2 million square feet of mixed-use development that included residential buildings as high as 45 stories and a 78-story commercial tower:

NJ Transit's original vision for downtown Hobken featuring a 78 story building centerpiece surrounded by several other towers. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been engaged in a tug of war with the quasi public agency since she became mayor. The City is pushing a compromise with a far smaller "skyprint" and almost a million square feet less in downtown Hoboken.

That proposal was not well-received in Hoboken. It was seen as out of scale with the city’s character, and residents were concerned that the influx of people could overwhelm the southern end of the city. After a series of community meetings to gather input, NJ Transit and LCOR released a revised plan in 2010 that reduced the overall scope of the development to 2.94 million square feet: 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, 1.2 million square feet of residential space, 160,000 square feet of retail, and a 30,000 square foot performing arts space. Slides from a December 2010 public information session focused on the area around Hoboken Terminal, and showed a significantly scaled-down office tower at the corner of Hudson Place and Hudson Street...

Read the entire feature at Mader's website, Gotham and Hudson:

Last call on Southwest Park meetings

City of Hoboken announces:


Members of the public are invited to attend a fourth and final public hearing to discuss the proposed concept plan for the first phase of the Southwest Park. The meeting will take place on Thursday, December 18, 2014 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Multi Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street.

“This park won’t just bring much-needed green space to southwest Hoboken, but it is also an important component of our flood resiliency plan,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We look forward to breaking ground in 2015 and then expanding it into a larger park through the redevelopment process.”

The concept plan for the first phase of a Southwest Park was developed based on community feedback from prior community meetings and an online survey. The plan for the park also includes flood management infrastructure to hold over 200,000 gallons of stormwater. Additional information is available at

In October 2013, the City of Hoboken acquired a one acre property bounded by Jackson Street, Observer Highway, Harrison Street, and Paterson Avenue as the first major installment of a new Southwest Park. Starr Whitehouse, a landscape architecture and planning firm with expertise in parks design and green infrastructure for stormwater management, was hired to lead the planning process for the Southwest Park.

The City intends to expand the Southwest Park through the redevelopment process. A planner has been hired to work with the community to develop a redevelopment plan for the Southwest Area, which has been deemed an Area in Need of Rehabilitation.