Hoboken’s Union Dry Dock lease with NY Waterway would allow 3 years of ferry maintenance


Hoboken’s Union Dry Dock lease with New York Waterway would allow three years of ferry maintenance, with an option to extend it by two years, Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a lengthy Nixle alert this morning.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We are fully committed to the next step in the process of building out Maritime Park at the formerly known Union Dry Dock site, while also ensuring that we are supporting New York Waterway’s mass transit infrastructure as they undergo a transition,” he wrote about a contiguous waterfront park.

“To that end, my office requested proposals from professional firms to help guide the public process to design a waterfront park that is reflective of the needs of our community.”

He continued that 17 proposals have been submitted and will be evaluated in the coming days, with the expectation that the city council to vote on a contract at their February 15th meeting.

“On a parallel track, we have worked diligently with New York Waterway to provide the parameters of a lease for their interim use of the former Union Dry Dock site, so they can conduct temporary ferry operations while the process of building out an alternative permanent site, outside of Hoboken, continues,” the mayor also said.

He then outlined the parameters of the lease, which also include getting building and zoning permits from the City of Hoboken, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and state Department of Environmental Protection.

Furthermore, about 20 ferries will be stored at the site overnight, with the site being primarily utilized for maintenance and repairs. Hours of operations will be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., with NYWW employees having on-site parking available.

Additionally, utility upgrades such as temporary improvements to the bulkhead and piers are agreed upon, as well as refueling being limited to emergencies, with operations limited to the southern end of the Union Dry Dock land.

“While I know that NYWW temporarily utilizing Union Dry Dock for various operations is not what everyone wants to see at the site, and it may have some inconveniences in the near future, I truly believe this compromise is in the best interests of both Hoboken residents who want to see a permanent park at this site, and ensuring NYWW’s ferry operations are able to continue functioning at a high level, and at the very least, functioning at all,” Bhalla explained.

“At the end of the day, this compromise and lease is the fastest, most convenient, and cooperative way to build out a park without additional delays and minimizing risks of further litigation.”

At a press conference in November 2018, Bhalla insisted that NYWW would only be allowed to build maintenance, operations, and refueling facilities “over my dead body” and it appears they are going to build out an alternative permanent site elsewhere.

This scenario hopes to avoid a legal battle with Weehawken, since officials said last month that they were ready to file a motion to request the courts to intervene so that both municipalities would share the responsibility of ferry maintenance.

The Hoboken council approved the first reading of the lease at last night’s meeting by a vote of 7-1(1), with 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino voting no and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher abstaining.

The Union Dry Dock measure was largely overshadowed by a controversial rent control ordinance getting approved at the nearly five-and-a-half hour meeting.

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  1. This is FALSE no matter what our corrupt mayor tries to spin, the ordinance agreed on Wednesday will allow NY Waterways to conduct maintenance and diesel refueling operations at Union Dry Dock until July, 2027 – which nearly 4.5 years or 50% longer than the mayor is spinning.

    He lied to the voters in my Ward (Ward 6) and any parent like myself who lives along the waterfront should know that Union Dry Dock may be used as a ferry maintenance and diesel refueling station for the next 4.5. Given that any park construction wouldn’t likely start until after NY Waterway lease ends, that mean we are likely not seeing any park or completion of the connected waterfront until 2030, earliest.

    “WHEREAS, the Council desires to authorize the leasing of a portion of the Property to Port Imperial Marine Facilities, LLC (“Tenant”) for use as a ferry maintenance, docking base, and, as necessary, secondary refueling location for a fleet of ferries used in cross-Hudson transportation for a period not to exceed June 30, 2027.”

    Please share this with your neighbors.


  2. Well that happened. Councilman Phil Cohen’s lawyer speak spin trying put a happy face on what is and always was a lie at the last City Council meeting for his boss Ravi Bhalla was painful. Money bags Bhalla is expected to pay big bucks Ward campaigns for Cohen and the rest of his team so spinning for him is partial payment

    A lie is as good as the truth if you can get someone to believe it ?