NJ Transit Project – Important status update

Office of the Mayor announces:

Includes Extension of RFQ Process & Community Meeting
Two years ago, New Jersey Transit proposed a redevelopment project for the Hoboken Terminal and rail yards which included residential buildings as tall as 45 stories along with a 70-story commercial tower.
“The massive proposed project was completely out of scale and threatened to change the character of Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Last fall, Mayor Zimmer secured an agreement to halt state legislation that would have given NJ Transit nearly unfettered authority to redevelop any property they own throughout New Jersey adjacent to bus stations, rail stations or rail yards in any way they see fit without regard to local zoning requirements or the wishes of host communities.
As a former Councilperson, Mayor Zimmer fully recognizes the community’s frustration with the previous NJ Transit community process, and therefore issued a Request for Qualifications for a planner for the entire 52-acre project.  As Mayor, she has been working to ensure that the City of Hoboken has authority over the planning process. She has discussed the matter with NJ Transit and began a search process to find an independent planner that will work with the Administration and the City Council on this comprehensive project.
“It is important for the City of Hoboken to have authority over the planning process to ensure balanced development for our community,” added Mayor Zimmer.
In order to ensure an independent design process, Mayor Zimmer is recommending that the City of Hoboken pay for the planning process itself so that the planner is clearly dedicated to Hoboken’s best interests.
Today Mayor Zimmer announces that her Administration is extending the deadline for the RFQ for the entire 52-acre project until Monday, September 27th to provide for as broad a response as possible.
Background on Reasons for Community Meeting
After discussions about the planning process had begun, NJ Transit approached Mayor Zimmer about presenting a new preliminary proposal to redevelop a small part of the 52-acre project.  Neither Mayor Zimmer nor anyone within her Administration has seen the proposal, but agreed for the proposal to be presented to the community and to interested City Council members, including Councilman Cunningham, Chair of the Zoning & Economic Development Committee. 
“We must have balanced development that reflects the vision of our community, so my Administration is facilitating a public meeting for NJ Transit to present their plans to Hoboken residents,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I hope the public will join me for this meeting, where I look forward to learning about NJ Transit’s proposal at the same time as everyone else.”
NJ Transit has indicated that they have a prospective tenant that is interested in potential commercial space for their professional offices. The prospective tenant currently leases at another location in the region, is evaluating other sites to relocate to, and is interested in this specific location. According to NJ Transit, if the tenant were to relocate, they would bring 1,500 commercial office workers — commuting chiefly by mass transit – and would bring new job opportunities as well as a result of the relocation. The workers, shopping and dining during the day, would generate economic activity. Depending on Council approval, the development could provide funds to improve the various multi-modal transportation options in the area while providing tax ratables to the City of Hoboken.
The community meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 27th from 7pm to 9pm at the Waiting Room in the Hoboken Terminal.
Mayor Zimmer and members of her Administration will join the community and Council members to listen to NJ Transit’s proposal.  Her main concern is that the City of Hoboken and the Council, as the redevelopment entity, should have authority over the entire 52-acre project. She is working to address this issue through a possible inter-local agreement between the City and NJ Transit that will be presented to the Council for approval if an agreement is reached.

NJ Transit’s original plan: a 70 story building swathed with 45 storied ones
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