Mason Community Meeting
Meeting a success
“On Thursday June 18th,, Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason held a public meeting at Café Ganache in the Hudson Tea Building to seek community input and feedback about how Hoboken’s North End should be developed.
The North End is currently underutilized and contains industrial sites, parking lots, bus sheds, and service utilities. In addition the public streets are in desperate need of repair and the open space is undeveloped.
“In 2002, the master plan called for an economic development zone which would contain business, retail, light industry, an uptown light rail station, community facilities, a pedestrian boulevard, and buildings would be between a 2 story minimum and a 5 story maximum,” Mason said, “However, there is now talk of the current Rockefeller Group project containing 40 story towers, 1,800,000 square feet of office space, 84,000 square feet of retail, and 300 residential condominium units.”
Instead Mason is proposing an alternative concept that includes expanded open and recreation space, a traffic improvement plan, a transportation hub with light rail station, bus stop, inter-city jitney and perimeter parking, an office and convention center, a pedestrian boulevard with retail, art and theater venues, a museum, and boutique hotels.
In addition, the plan proposes a sports and activities venue which will include 2 hockey and skating rinks, an athletic facility, indoor courts, and a fitness center.
“This component would provide activities for 15 to 25 year olds, something we Hoboken really needs,” Mason said.
Finally Mason proposed the possibility of a Minor League AA baseball stadium as the foundation of the district.
“Hoboken is the original home of baseball, Mason added, “why not make it that way once again?”
As an added benefit the concept also calls for a new municipal garage site that would be shared with Weehawken, Hoboken’s neighbor to the north.
“For far too long Hoboken has suffered under development that does not include public input,” Mason said, “It is time to change that and make sure that future development works for the community.”
Based on the positive responses Mason said she plans to hold several more public meetings.
“The response tonight was just incredible,” Mason concluded, “I absolutely can’t wait to have future meetings, so we can help make this concept a reality.”
Staying in touch with constituents
On the agenda will be:
- 1600 Park
- The “North End” of town
- Open & Active recreation space
- Job creation & economic development
- Public Safety & access
- Other community development
This may be the first of many other similar community meetings Mason will organize in the future. Residents seem very concerned with what will take place regarding the development of the NW part of town. The main purpose of the meeting will focus on the concerns of the community and compile feedback. Some light snacks and beverages will be served. If it turns out that attendance is more than Ganache can handle, it will be re-located outdoors.
If you’re not into these political community gatherings – stop by Ganache anyway and try their French Roast coffee! Yumm!