A Consent Order for Final Judgment signed by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Jablonski on January 11 has granted to the City of Hoboken clear title of the former Union Dry Dock & Repair Co. property at 901 Sinatra Drive for the purpose of creating a public park and completing one of the final gaps in Hoboken’s continuous public park along the Hudson River coastline.
In November 2022, the City and NY Waterway finalized a settlement, brokered in part by Governor Murphy’s office, that allowed the City to acquire the disputed 8.36 acre site via eminent domain. In this case, City of Hoboken vs. Port Imperial Marine Services (NY Waterway), the Consent Order spelled out the terms of the settlement agreement. These terms will now be fulfilled, including the following:
- The City of Hoboken’s $13.36 million from its Open Space Trust Fund (OSTF) deposited with the court in 2022 will now be released to NY Waterway.
- The City will pay an additional $5.14 million to the ferry company to bring the total amount to $18.5 million, the agreed upon purchase price for the site.
- The lease agreement between the City of Hoboken and NY Waterway went into effect on December 1, 2023. The lease allows for the storage, repair and refueling of the ferry fleet at the former Union Dry Dock property while a new maintenance facility is built in Weehawken.
The term for the lease will run for three years with an option to renew for an additional two years. NY Waterway, however, will be unable to begin operations there before July of this year due to NJDEP regulations that prohibit driving piles from December through June.
This past October, the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) filed a motion to intervene in City of Hoboken vs. Port Imperial Marine Services. The following month FBW withdrew its motion after reaching a settlement with the City. The settlement preserves the public’s right to a referendum on the future sale or lease of properties acquired with the City’s OSTF, which would include any new lease granted at the dry dock site.
The settlement with FBW also requires the City to amend the deed to include language that the Union Dry Dock site was acquired with funding from the City’s OSTF. The OSTF ordinance states that funds for the acquisition of lands are “exclusively for recreation and conservation purposes.”