After contentious 4-year battle, Union Dry Dock will be a park, not a diesel ferry depot (June 2021)
FBW partnered with Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the City of Hoboken to defeat a proposal to move a ferry refueling/repair operation to one of the final, unfinished portions of Hoboken’s continuous, public waterfront park. NY Waterway’s acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property in November 2017 began a battle royale, pitting an outraged community against the ferry company, Governor Murphy and NJ Transit. In a settlement announced on June 17th, Governor Murphy supported Hoboken’s effort to secure the land for public open space. An agreement for the City to acquire the Union Dry Dock Property from NY Waterway will be finalized in the coming months.
Ownership of Monarch Pier transferred to the City of Hoboken ending a decade-long court battle (November 2021)
On November 4, 2021, the settlement between the City of Hoboken and Shipyard Associates was finalized, transferring ownership of the Monarch Pier to the City. The agreement ensured that this final parcel of the Shipyard development would be preserved in perpetuity as public open space. The development rights for the Monarch Towers were transferred to the Municipal Garage site on Observer Highway. FBW, represented by the New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, spent ten years along with the City and neighborhood residents in this protracted legal battle.
FBW’s most watched video: In Hoboken, a model for a truly public waterfront (June 2021)
This video explains that Hoboken’s waterfront began with a plan — an extended public street grid — that clearly delineated the park along the Hudson River from the upland blocks of private development. Other Hudson River municipalities failed to extend the public right-of-ways — the streets and sidewalks — thus making the state-required 30-foot walkway difficult to access and diminishing the quality of the public space at the water’s edge.
On City of Water Day, FBW shines a spotlight on the unfinished central waterfront (July 2021)
FBW and the Hoboken community celebrated the recent announcement about Union Dry Dock with a march up the waterfront led by the Hungry March Band. In a waterfront tour led earlier in the day, we pointed out the need to extend the exemplary features of the South Waterfront to the north from 4th to 11th Streets: the protected bicycle pathway, the rows of shade trees and a pedestrian-friendly Sinatra Drive. Our march ended at Maxwell Place Park with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and fajitas from East LA.
The November 11 Connect the Waterfront — The Final Stretch annual fundraising gala was a smash hit (November 2021)
FBW’s annual Connect the Waterfront fundraising party was sold out several weeks in advance. Board Chair Kate Valenta presented the Riparian Award to Jim Vance for his two decades of leadership advocating for a public waterfront and sustaining the mission of FBW. Jim was featured in a video where he explained what makes Hoboken’s waterfront great and his friends explain what makes Jim Vance unique. Frank Rosner and the FBW chorus sang a rewritten version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Modern Major General [Vance].
Active streetscapes are the key to successful urban neighborhoods (October 2021)
In her influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities published in 1961, Jane Jacobs relates the important lessons of her Greenwich Village neighborhood. The mix of residential and retail, closely-spaced and hugging the sidewalk and the street, results in a neighborhood full of life and vitality. For Jacobs, buildings oriented to the street are the key to successful, lively communities. She critiqued planning professionals for their failure to understand how urban neighborhoods work. Jacobs points out the mistake planners make in turning buildings inward, away from the street or isolating buildings in the midst of open areas, robbing these neighborhoods of the very things that engender a sense of community.
A model for the North End redevelopment: Hoboken’s own historic urban village (February 2021)
Hoboken developed primarily at the turn of the 20th century thus becoming an historic urban village. The goal of the North End Redevelopment Plan should be to replicate that special Hoboken scale and character, creating a new neighborhood that is lively and varied. Hoboken’s residential districts have successfully maintained much of that ambiance thanks to the zoning codes that limit building height, lot coverage, and rear yard setbacks. Potentially, the 30 acres at the North End could be an exemplary new development reflecting Hoboken’s traditional streetscape and architectural heritage.