City Still in Process of Acquiring Land in Southwest

The city is still looking to buy parkland in the southwestern part of town.

The city is still in litigation to buy a piece of parkland in the southwestern part of town.

The city has offered $2.3 million to buy the property, following its latest appraisal.

The piece of land in question — Lot 12 — is across the street from the former Downtown Pub and serves as a surface parking lot. Under the city's master plan, surface parking lots aren't allowed in the city of Hoboken.

If negotiations with the property owner aren't successful, the city can use eminent domain as a tool to acuire the land.

The city has been trying to buy the lot — which is about an acre — since early 2012. In June of last year, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the park was "within reach."

In June, 2012, the city council approved the use of eminent domain in a contentious vote.

City Spokesman Juan Melli confirmed that the lawsuit is ongoing, but wouldn't comment further.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer also didn't provide any details.

"This could be the anchor for a larger park in the southwest," Zimmer said in a recent phone conversation. "We’re going through a legal process, a legal acquisition process."

The park is supposed to be purchased with a $3 million grant from the county. That funding expires in August.

When asked if the acquisition is expected to be finalized by then, Zimmer answered, "yes, that’s what we’re trying to do."

"We’re working through the legal process," Zimmer said.

Most recently, real estate appraiser appeared in court to explain the value of the land.

The city also has a $20 million bond from which it can spend money on the acquisition of park land.

If the $3 million from the county isn't spend by August, the board of freeholders could decide to grant another extention.

"But," said Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, "they're going to have to explain why."

PeoplePlease February 15, 2013 at 03:14 PM
This park better hand out free ice cream and gold bars upon entrance. $3.2MM plus 2+ years of legal action....just to acquire the land. I feel like this grant money could have been spent in a better way. BTW, is the lot behind Office Depot considered a surface lot?


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