The Hoboken City Council adopted the amended North End Redevelopment Plan at last night’s four-and-a-half hour meeting by a tally of 8-0(1), with 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco abstaining.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The North End Redevelopment Plan was originally introduced to the Hoboken council for consideration on January 27th.
After input from residents, the plan was amended to include a protected bike lane on 15th Street, a requirement for the linear park in the plan to be open 24 hours a day without barriers to access, incorporation of Vision Zero improvements on Park Avenue and Willow Avenues within the North End, greater pedestrian connectivity between Hoboken and Weehawken, a requirement that utilities be built underground, and more.
“I’m pleased that the revitalization of Hoboken’s industrial North End took a major step forward thanks to the adoption of the redevelopment plan last night,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“My administration is committed to preserving the right balance of residential and commercial development that maintains the charm and character of our City, while also prioritizing critical community benefits such as a new light rail station at 15th Street, public open space, building on our city-wide green circuit, greater affordable housing options, and more.”
He also thanked the council for moving the project forward.
The plan certainly still had it’s critics though, including members of the Fund for a Better Waterfront, who reiterated what was said in an editorial published on Saturday: that the plan’s “massive building footprints” would likely prevent the linear park from being built.
“For four months, we lived at 1414 Grand St., inside the area considered for redevelopment. So I’m familiar with the linear park space being proposed in this plan … it’s as if the consultant decided the plan should focus on the dense high-rise residential buildings and commercial space,” explained Richard Weinstein.
” … it seems that they thought ‘how can we insert a part that meets minimal requirements of the development and master plan’s, while ensuring that we can maximize the number of buildings on which we can make a profit.”
The plan, which impacts 30 acres of land in the 5th Ward and has about 3.5 acres designated for the park, received high marks from Councilman Phil Cohen.
“The North End Redevelopment Plan represents an important step forward in the transformation of Hoboken’s industrial northwest into a holistic part of our present-day community,” he said this morning.
“This well-conceived plan for a resilient neighborhood will integrate 30 acres of our City into the 5th Ward in a way that reflects and serves our special, vibrant community – a place for families, commerce, the arts, and parks. I look forward to moving forward on this Plan with the continued guidance of my neighbors and constituents in Northwest Hoboken.”