NW Hoboken – What could have been
Visionary ideas for NW Hoboken, but nothing ever done
Hoboken has long had various “working” documents regarding the “future” of a particular area or neighborhood. Whether it’s a “Master Plan” for the entire city, or localized initiatives like the SW6 “Vision,” the Western Edge, and even the NJ Transit redevelopment plan.
I think what most of these plans have in common with each other is A) they’re used as political footballs, B) they get adopted slowly or not at all C) changing administrations can cause unraveling. It seems that the regardless of the plan, when you have government as the principle driver or player, that you can bet the process will be long, painful and inefficient. Even if government is minimally involved, they throw a stick in the spokes of progress when they do meddle (like the Monarch project uptown).
Sort of the same thing is happening with the NW area of Hoboken.
While some buildings move forward in or on the fringe of the NW (Edge Lofts, 1415 Park, etc.), the entire area for the most part remains dilapidated. And there are no future plans to do anything with the exception of the three Rockefeller blocks. So it’s kind of a uncoordinated mess.
Years ago, the Dean Marchetto architectural group was commissioned to show what was possible in the northwest section of Hoboken. They visually demonstrated three concepts of how the NW area could be developed / re-purposed. With proposed parks in each concept ranging from four, 10 and upwards of 52 acres of new open space.
The video is about 15 minutes long, and is fun to watch, even if just for giggles. The first half talks about the history and challenges – the second half discusses the goals and reviews the three concepts.