Downtown Development Plan to be Introduced to City Council
The NJ Transit
The Zimmer Administration is planning to introduce a new plan for the downtown, 52-acre New Jersey Transit property that involves a mix of residential and commercial buildings, city officials said on Tuesday afternoon during a briefing to local press.
The plan, which is called the Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan, also includes a "revitalized" Hoboken Terminal and a new public market. Community Development Director Brandy Forbes will present the plan to the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday night.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer called the plan "economically feasable." This plan, Zimmer continued, is in accordance with the city's master plan.
This newest plan is a far cry from the first proposal, which stems from 2008. That plan included residential towers up to 50 stories high and commercial towers up to 70 stories high. The Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan limits the height of residential buildings at 12 stories and the height of commercial buildings at 19 stories.
"We need to find that consensus," Zimmer said, "and we need a plan passed to protect us from overdevelopment."
In June of this year, NJ Transit developed its own plan for the site. While the city and NJ Transit are close to an agreement on the amount of commercial space, they differ on how tall the residential buildings should be.
While the city wants to limit residential buildings at 12 stories, NJ Transit has proposed buildings as high as 26 stories.
"That would be the highest residential building (in Hoboken)," said Councilman David Mello, who lives in the Southwestern part of town. "It would really change the character of Hoboken."
Currently, the W Hotel is the tallest building in Hoboken.
By passing the a plan—which will still have to go in front of Hoboken's planning board after a workshop is held next week—the city would establish new zoning regulations for the area.
"We have what could be a win-win for everybody," Zimmer said.
New Jersey Transit, the state organization that owns the property, doesn't fully agree with that. Representatives from NJ Transit were expected to make a presentation at Wednesday night's council meeting as well.
NJ Transit prefers a plan with a higher residential density.
In the city's latest plan—which was completed by firm Wallace, Roberts and Todd—the residential population of the area would be 950, an almost 2 percent increase from the existing population. NJ Transit's June plan, showed a 2,100 person population, a more than 4 percent increase from the existing population. (neither compare to the 2008 plan, which included residential population of 7,300, amounting to a 14 percent increase in population.)
The new plan would also include a performing arts center.
Zimmer said she is looking for a balanced development and hopes that NJ Transit will agree with the city.
"We are not saying 'no, no, no' to development," Zimmer said. But, she added, "we don't want our town to be completely overdeveloped."