Hoboken has extended their request for proposals for the Union Dry Dock redesign despite a possible court battle over the waterfront property with Weehawken looming.
“This property has all the makings of a world-class park that will become the crown jewel of our waterfront,” Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“I encourage any qualified professional design firms to submit proposals for the chance to work with us as we design a landmark park to serve our residents for generations to come. I look forward to working with the community this year as we move forward with connecting this final piece to our publicly accessible waterfront.”
The RFP for qualified design firms was part of last month’s announcement where city officials gushed over finally acquiring the land from New York Waterway for $13.36 million after about five years of fighting that included four eminent domain attempts.
The deadline has been extended one week, from January 12th at 2:30 p.m. until January 19th at 2:30 p.m.
While Bhalla’s office indicated they expected the city council to vote on a firm for the project in February, that may get pushed back if Weehawken, where NY Waterway’s current maintenance facility is located, files a court challenge.
City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer said in an email today that no such challenge had been filed and therefore they would be moving forward “with its plans for a public park through an open public planning process.”
In a statement, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner told HCV that while no challenge had been filed yet, the township had until January 10th to do so and indicated they would do so within that timeframe.
“We understand Hoboken is proceeding with its RFP requests for park design. However, we have until January 10, 2023, to file a motion to request the courts to intervene on behalf of the Township of Weehawken,” he said.
“At this time, our attorneys are gathering all the necessary documents for our filing, and once the filing is done, the city of Hoboken will be officially noticed.”
Furthermore, Weehawken Township Manager Giovanni Ahmad said that they plan on appealing in order to have shared maintenance of the NY Waterway ferries at Union Dry Dock.
“Maintenance is essential to the continued operation of the ferry service. However, the burden of the maintenance facility should not rest on Weehawken alone. The maintenance burden should be a regional effort shared by all the communities whose residents and businesses are beneficiaries of the service,” he stated.
“The ferry service is a vital resource and means of transportation to the region, and it plays a significant role in the economic engine of Hudson County and the region as a whole.”