Community: Hoboken in Final Negotiations to Acquire 6-Acre BASF Property
Dear Horsey & MSV readers:
The City of Hoboken is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire the BASF property, a 6-acre property in northwest Hoboken on which the City seeks to create a 5-acre ‘resiliency park’ and a parking garage. The total cost to acquire the property would be $30 million, which the City intends to fund through a low-interest loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Fund Program (NJEIFP) for the park portion and with a bond from the Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU) for the parking garage portion. The debt service will be financed through the Hoboken Open Space Trust Fund for the parkland acquisition and with revenue from the parking facility for the HPU bond.
“After years of work, we are near the finish line on this rare opportunity to acquire a large contiguous property and preserve it for open space,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “In addition to providing the growing northwest neighborhood with much-needed park space, the park’s underground detention system, combined with the separation of the sewer system in the surrounding neighborhood, will play an important role in alleviating flooding in the area.”
If negotiations conclude successfully, the City Council will be asked at the October 5, 2016 meeting to introduce multiple ordinances to authorize the agreement to purchase the property, a bond for the NJEIFP, and an HPU bond.
A design has not yet been determined for the park. A full community-based public planning process will take place to develop plans for the park once the property has been acquired. The intent is to design a park with a mix of active and passive recreational space with green infrastructure and an underground detention system to hold at least 1 million gallons of stormwater to help reduce localized flooding. The City is also partnering with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to separate the sewer system in the area around the park and to channel stormwater runoff to the new underground detention system.
As part of securing a low-interest loan from the State, the City will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Multi Service Center (124 Grand Street), to hear the community’s input on the land acquisition.
The City’s NJEIFP low-interest loan application includes $26,633,416.50 for acquisition of the 5-acre property, $2,530,000 for planning, engineering, and permitting for the park design, and $2,130,673.23 for NJDEP administrative fees and a contingency. The HPU bond will be for $3,366,583.50 for land acquisition and $650,000 for soft costs including planning and design for a parking garage.
The largest portion of the BASF property is Block 107, a 4-acre property bounded by Madison Street, Adams Street, 12th Street, and 13th Street. Additional space for the park is south of 12th Street between Madison Street and Jefferson Street. The parking garage is proposed for the property north of 13th Street between Jefferson Street and Adams Street.