Acquiring Union Dry Dock
Union Dry Dock, on our city’s northern waterfront, is the last maritime industrial use in Hoboken and long overdue for a waterfront park. In my recent bid for mayor, I campaigned on bringing a public park space to the area. As your councilman, I remain dedicated to seeing the land acquired to complete our public waterfront. It’s been public knowledge for years that Union Dry Dock was looking to sell, yet the past Administration and then-Councilman Bhalla sat idle, waiting in hopes that industrial zoning would reduce the price with the dock’s diminishing use. Unfortunately their gamble backfired, and after the election, it was disclosed that NY Waterway had acquired the land for $11.5 million for a fueling station — a use that is still remarkably permitted under the city’s current zoning code.
Seeing that’s now in the past, how do we move forward?
The City recently conducted a survey in which 91% of residents indicated they want a public park at Union Dry Dock. At this early stage I want to temper expectations because despite tremendous public support, we don’t know if NY Waterway will be willing to sell the property to Hoboken. If they don’t, the City Council has already authorized eminent domain, however if invoked, this direction could result in a years long legal battle with an unknown outcome. At this point one thing is abundantly clear — that our collective will to see that the land used for green space is strong and the City will endeavor to make that a reality.
Rest assured that on the Council, I will continue to work with all of my colleagues as well as the Administration to ensure that above-board land use negotiations are had and that Union Dry Dock becomes the public park that we all know it has the potential to become.