Before the Hoboken Reporter enables Ron Hine’s rhetoric to rewrite Hoboken’s waterfront history, I’d like to set the record straight on the actual record of what his group has “done” for the City. On the southern waterfront, the Port Authority executed their plan as designed (with residential “towers”), the only change being that the office space planned for Pier A was moved to River Street. This move was based on the idea born and promoted by a different citizen group and later coopted by Hine. Only the later addition of the W Hotel prevented a total street-wall of buildings along River Street.
Hine later turned his efforts to the northern waterfront at a time when the City was completely underserved by three worn out, undersized grocery stores and a full size supermarket was proposed. Hine’s efforts resulted in a smaller store (Kings) with a set of cookie-cutter.12 story buildings. Later, on the Maxwell House site, Hine threatened lawsuit to the developers who proposed repurposing many of the 1930’s coffee roaster plant into a creative set of building types complete with canals and other architectural features. Instead of preserving an important part of Hoboken’s industrial past, Hine’s efforts resulted in the scrapping of a plan embraced by much of the community, demolition of the entire site and more cookie-cutter.12 story buildings having more to do with Edgewater than Hoboken.
Still later, Stevens proposed an academic Maritime Center for their property on the waterfront which Hine quickly criticized and got squashed under his constant threat of lawsuits and tying the project up in the courts. Now he wants to eliminate Union Dry Dock, the last waterfront business who’s viability will clearly be outweighed by the property’s worth at some point anyway. Hine knows that any redevelopment of this site will have open space and a walkway mandated by the state but this doesn’t stop his obsession with foisting his own vision of urban planning on a City which has endured too many sacrifices for his efforts.