By Ron Hine | FBW | updated October 30, 2016
Time is of the essence
Union Dry Dock and Repair Co. has been actively seeking a buyer for this property. Currently, negotiations are moving ahead to sell to a private party. The potential buyer is considering the option of dedicating the land as public open space. Acquiring the land for a park would connect Castle Point Park to Maxwell Place Park and would be the largest parcel of open space added to Hoboken’s waterfront since the Fund for a Better Waterfront, in cooperation with the initial developers of Maxwell Place, established Maxwell Place Park in 2001.
On August 27, 1976, Union Dry Dock purchased the site for $210,000 from the trustees of Penn Central Transportation Company. Current real value assessment: $5,414,397 or $645,000/acre (Bayonne Dry Dock has real value assessment of $12.4 million or $640,000/acre) The property has been on the market for the past 16 years. In 2000, Stevens Institute negotiated to purchase property but could not come to agreement on price. In 2005, 259 Holdings Co. was under contract to purchase the property for $15.25 million. This deal fell through. A proposal in 2009 by developer Lawrence Bijou to build high rise residential towers was quickly withdrawn after opposition from the community. In July of 2012, Union Dry Dock sent out letters soliciting bids to purchase. No sale took place.
Union Dry Dock is in the Waterfront Zoning Subdistrict W(N) (Sec. 196-20) which limits building heights to two stories or 35 feet. Lot coverage is limited to 30% for principal buildings. Residential is not a permitted or conditional use. Permitted uses are limited to educational, public recreational, and marina facilities. Most of the site falls within FEMA’s Coastal High Hazard Zone where the state’s Coastal Zone Management regulations prohibit multi-family residential, motels and hotels. Thus, the development potential for this site is severely limited.