As I’ve always said, Hoboken is a wonderful and diverse community of people and architecture located on one of the most valuable parcels of real estate in the world. Our community is steeped in history and positioned to have a bright future. We are urban, but we are striving for more parks and spaces to park our cars. If there is one area we are lacking, it is the entrances, or gateways, into our city.
At the last council meeting, our governing body adopted a resolution authorizing the Planning Board to undertake a preliminary investigation of areas in need of redevelopment at our northern gateway bordering Weehawken.
As we all know, this area, as well as the southern gateway bordering Jersey City, is in great need of improvement.
These gateways offer visitors the first impression of our city. We could do much better. That is why I favor the implementation of a redevelopment plan for our gateways. As discussed in our new master plan, the northern and southern borders are underutilized, producing no benefit to our community.
Both house the relics of our industrial past and provide little benefit to our city. The implementation of a redevelopment zone on the northern border would serve to swiftly implement the recommendations of the master plan while providing the spark for economic development, to the benefit of residents and visitors. The northern section of Hoboken is a diamond in the rough. It contains old industrial buildings, parking lots, and vacant land. I envision this area as a retail mecca; a home for national “big box” retailers like Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch and others. It could be a village like the CityPlace complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., which I recently visited: a self-contained community where retail, residential and commercial use cohabit.
As we move forward with this redevelopment plan, we will further our master plan, which is aimed at enhancing citywide economic development without the time constraints that a re-zoning plan would have required. This is a plan specifically targeted for our northern gateway based on its specific needs.
It is a valid option in keeping with our master plan’s recommendations, and it’s beneficial to our community. I congratulate the City Council for its proactive measure.