(April 3, 2012)
Today, Hoboken’s continuous, public waterfront park, first proposed by FBW in 1990, came an important step closer to being fully realized. This afternoon, Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined by Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise cut the ribbon opening the newly built portion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway linking Hoboken’s north waterfront to the Township of Weehawken at Lincoln Harbor. The $3.2 million price tag for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Hudson County’s Open Space Trust Fund. This portion of the state-mandated walkway qualified for public funding because it was a “gap site” meaning there was no private developer at this parcel obligated to build the walkway.
And plans are now underway to build the park upland, connecting the walkway to the several acres to the west, including the open space between the Park and Willow Avenue bridges. In December 2011, the City of Hoboken commissioned landscape architect John Imbiano of Imbiano Quigley to design this park that will include a soccer field and public boathouse. Imbiano’s design connected the parkland on either side of the Park Avenue and provided a solution for lowering the height of the soccer field. The latter thus avoided an ill-conceived proposal by the engineers to build a 7-foot high retaining wall around the field. The Imbiano design has raised the standard for the development of Hoboken’s waterfront park for the first time since the development of the South Waterfront. The park design has also provided the Zimmer administration with a project that has been enthusiastically received throughout the community.
Once this park is built, the only missing links in Hoboken’s waterfront park would be north of Sinatra Park where Stevens Institute has a derelict surface parking lot and the Union Dry Dock site south of Maxwell Place Park. FBW has been carefully studying both of these sites.
For the past six years, the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, in partnership with the City of Hoboken, has sponsored free kayaking lessons and an opportunity to get into the Hudson River serving over 4,000 paddlers. This nonprofit group has long advocated for a boathouse at the Weehawken Cove due to the fact that it is a protected inlet providing a safe haven for kayakers away from powerful tidal currents of the Hudson River.