SW Park Shenanigans

SW Park Shenanigans {BS you’ve been sold}

Below is yet another PR statement in an eight year long BS-slinging festival of lies from city hall. (At least she met quota – in that the over-used word vibrant is used at least three times.)

It sounds like “mayor” don Zimmer is getting reading to use eminent domain against Academy.

There is a “special” city council meeting about this tonight so you can see the BS fly first hand.

It’s also the same dog and pony show she trots out every election cycle, talking about a SW Redevelopment plan and how she’s going to make the neighborhood FANTASTIC! She has been talking about a SW Redevelopment plan since day one and has yet to formalize anything. After eight years of expenditures on planners and attorneys and relentless PR from her office with the “This is the year of Parks!” slogan rammed down our throats every other week, only to find that we still don’t have a plan or a park — it’s hard to get excited about this.

And that thing she’s building in the SW neighborhood? It’s a big slab of concrete. Nothing says beautiful open space like concrete. It’s not a contiguous park as drawn in the Master Plan and as promised and promoted by “mayor” Zimmer every time she runs for office.

Hoboken SW park cars dangerous eight years later - SW Park Shenanigans

A park complete with… uh… vehicular traffic!

A street goes through the two blocks which make the crossing from one park to another dangerous and pathetic. It prohibits the initial intent of the park which was to be able to include large amenities, a large open multi-purpose field and other first-class amenities you’d see in the NYC parks. Church Square Park is not intersected by a busy street so you cannot compare them. And Church Square park does not have private homes sitting directly on the park, which is exactly what is happening with Block 12. They are building around the homes that are there.

It’s a stupid plan and obliterates the original plan and purpose of building a large destination park that would entice people from other parts of Hoboken to the SW for personal recreation. If given a choice, a mother pushing a stroller and handling toddlers will still prefer to walk to Church Square park because it’s an actual park with greenery and a large collection of parents and kids who hang out at the park daily. It does not have a dangerous street intersecting it and it’s within a one-minute walk to many kid-friendly restaurants and the Hoboken public library.

Parents in the SW neighborhood will “try” the park out when it first opens (so they can stuff gratuitous photos into their social cesspool timelines), but its appeal will wane as people discover the tiny concrete park (less than an acre) has so little to offer. Having “Bingo the Clown” juggle fire-bombs for the kiddies will only work the first few times. And does the mayor really think they will be excited to wait around another 5-10 years to expand the park? Litigation will ensue, it always does, years will pass, families with young children move out of town or across town to have more amenities that the Mayor is not providing.

It has taken her EIGHT years to acquire this postage stamp-sized park and it is still not done. Families aren’t going to stick around the SW waiting another eight years for a meager addition to the park that offers just as little as the first phase. Eight years and this is it? If that doesn’t spell “mayoral incompetence,” then I don’t know what to tell you.

All of this is PR and spin for the election, otherwise, it would have been completed in her first term. Hell, she hasn’t even completed it in her second term. Too little too late. Or in “mayor” don Zimmer’s case, so far it’s ZERO. A vibrant zero.

Community: Hoboken Introduces Southwest Redevelopment Plan & Seeks to Acquire Land to Expand Southwest Park

The City of Hoboken is introducing the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan which envisions a vibrant mixed use urban neighborhood to live, work, and play centered around an expanded Southwest Park. The plan builds on existing uses such as industrial arts, art galleries, and co-working space, creates an environment with more open space and retail amenities, establishes a walkable neighborhood that is safer for all modes of transportation, and preserves and creates jobs. On a parallel track, the City will continue its efforts to acquire through direct purchase nearly an additional acre of property to expand the Southwest Park that is currently under construction.

Hoboken SW park threats - SW Park ShenanigansAt a special City Council meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30pm following the Memorial Day parade, the Council will vote on introducing the Southwest Redevelopment Plan and on authorizing an offer to be made for acquisition of Block 10, Lots 1-7, 30-36 based on an appraisal of the property.

“Like every other neighborhood, the residents of Southwest Hoboken deserve a decent-sized park as soon as possible, which is why we are trying to directly purchase a second parcel of land that is not connected to or dependent on redevelopment,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “After the direct acquisition of the southern portion of Block 10 takes place and the voluntary implementation of the redevelopment plan is completed, Southwest Hoboken will have a 3.5-acre park similar in size to Church Square Park with retail and other amenities, creating a vibrant neighborhood. The residential density in the plan is no greater than a typical Hoboken neighborhood, especially given the concerns about traffic circulation in the southwest. I thank the Council Community Development Sub-committee Chair David Mello and all of the members of the committee for their hard work creating this plan.”

Permitted uses in the redevelopment plan include low-density mixed-use (4 stories residential over ground floor retail), specialized hotel and co-working office space, urban manufacturing/industrial, indoor recreation, microbreweries, neighborhood commercial/retail, and artist studios and galleries. The plan requires that 10% of the total residential units be affordable housing units. The redevelopment plan provides for overlay zoning and is a voluntary plan for all property owners.

“This is a plan that will enable this vital Hoboken and regional neighborhood to move forward in its evolution; encouraging appropriate land uses for the area while simultaneously allowing for much-needed open space expansions, road improvements, and other infrastructure enhancements,” said Councilman David Mello, Chair of the City Council Community Development Sub-committee.

The City is seeking to directly acquire the southern portion of Block 10 (0.8 acres) to expand the Southwest Park. The redevelopment plan would also allow for the further expansion of the Southwest Park to include the northern portion of Block 10 and the former Marshall Street right of way. This park expansion would be required if residential development were proposed by the property owner of the planned park expansion area.

“I welcome this development in the southwest part of Hoboken,” said 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos. “In order for our city to continue be the vibrant city that we are, we need to create dynamic neighborhoods for residents that are walkable, have open space and retail/commercial components that can turn the Southwest portion of Hoboken into a destination for everyone to enjoy. When you bring all stakeholders together and truly make the community a part of the process, the end result is a plan for a vibrant and sustainable development of the area.”

On May 24th, the City Council will consider an ordinance on first reading to introduce the Redevelopment Plan along with a resolution to send the plan to the Planning Board for review. If the plan is introduced, the Planning Board would then review the plan for consistency with the Master Plan and at the May 31st meeting may adopt a Resolution stating the Board’s determination. The City Council could then hold a public hearing and second reading at the June 7th Council meeting for final adoption of the plan.

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