HOBOKEN –The City of Hoboken announced Thursday that they are considering a proposal from Larry Bijou and Bijou Properties that would donate a one acre property at Seventh and Jackson Streets to the City, known as the “Pino site,” to become a park in Western Hoboken. According to a press release from city Spokesman Juan Melli, the donation of the old towing site for the 1-acre park is part of an agreement to continue the redevelopment of the Monroe Center site.
The press release said that the City Council will be asked to approve an interim cost agreement at their next meeting. The City Council will also be fully briefed on the status of all land acquisition negotiations during closed session on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-7:30 p.m. The regular Council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We have a historic opportunity to preserve one of the last undeveloped parts of Hoboken as open space,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the release. “This new park near the Jubilee Center, Monroe Center for the Arts, and a growing residential neighborhood, would bring much-needed open space to Western Hoboken. I thank Larry Bijou for making this proposal that would transform unused land into a community open space that will benefit the neighborhood and Hoboken for years to come.”
According to the media release, Larry Bijou is under contract to purchase property at 700 Monroe Street, which is in a Redevelopment Area, as well as the Pino property, located at Seventh and Jackson Street. He has proposed donating the Pino site to the city for a park in exchange for an effective transfer of development rights from the Pino site to the adjacent property at 700 Monroe St., with an additional 14 dwelling units, and 90 automated parking spaces. The result would be the creation of a new 1-acre park and a LEED-Gold Certified building at 700 Monroe Street that would incorporate a green roof, grey-water system, and cogeneration.
According to the press release, Zimmer also discussed the proposal with 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo and appreciates that he expressed his support for moving forward.
If approved, Mr. Bijou would pay for the costs for the City to vet the feasibility of his proposal for a new park and transfer of development rights, including a financial, environmental, and planning analysis. All aspects of the proposal would be subject to negotiation for inclusion in the Redevelopment Agreement, which would require City Council approval. Finally, any necessary environmental cleanup would take place and a community process would begin to design the new park.