“This is a great day for so many friends and neighbors, past and present, who have long advocated for a park in our Southwest neighborhood,” Councilman David Mello said in a statement. "The Mayor and I have both worked hard to begin realizing the dream of a Southwest Park, and this open space purchase should serve as the first of many western Hoboken land acquisitions.”
The newly acquired piece of land, known as Block 12, is bounded by Jackson Street to the east, Observer Highway to the south, Harrison Street to the west, and Paterson Avenue to the north.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who eventually plans to expand the park through the acquisition of industrially-zoned properties to the west via the redevelopment planning process, said the city had hired landscape architecture firm Starr Whitehouse to lead the planning and design process for the park's first phase, which will kick off immediately.
New traffic lights, pedestrian signals and crosswalks are expected to be added as part of the plan's first phase, which Zimmer has said she hopes will be completed by next year.
The City has deposited a $2.937 million purchase offer with the court based on the land's appraised value, but the final sale amount will be determined by an independent judge-appointed commission. The land is being paid for by a $3 million Hudson County Open Space grant.
Hoboken has also received a $500,000 grant to implement flood mitigation elements like underground detention systems into a new Southwest Park, Zimmer said.
The city will announce dates for community meetings on the proposed Southwest Park shortly. In the mean time, residents are invited to complete an online survey at www.hobokennj.org/swpark.