NJ Transit meeting regarding the acquisition of Union Dry Dock to be canceled


HOBOKEN – According to an announcement from the city, after days of discussions, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, and New Jersey Transit have reached an agreement concerning the Union Dry Dock property in Uptown Hoboken; the NJ Transit board meeting has been canceled.
The property was purchased by NY Waterway last November for ferry maintenance and repair. City officials have since moved to obtain the property for public open space.
Due to the discussions among the city, governor’s office, and NJ Transit, tomorrow’s special meeting of the NJ Transit Board of Trustees will be cancelled.
The board had planned to vote on whether it would acquire the property from NY Waterway and then lease it back to them for ferry maintenance, refueling, and repair.
If they were to have done so, the city would not have been able to use eminent domain to obtain the property because the state agency’s power of eminent domain supersedes the city’s.
The meeting, which was scheduled shortly before the holiday weekend, would have taken place during a weekday afternoon while many Hoboken residents are away for spring break.
“I am glad the meeting is being canceled and we now have an opportunity to find a use for the land through an open and public process,” said Bhalla in a release from the city. “It is still my goal to provide a contiguous waterfront in Hoboken, and I look forward to working with the Governor’s office, New Jersey Transit, and New York Waterway to make this a reality and find a reasonable alternative location for the fueling and maintenance site.”
Last week, Hoboken announced that it had offered to purchase the land for $11.63 million. In March, the council had also approved that the city could use eminent domain to obtain the property.
As part of the deal to cancel the meeting, Bhalla agreed to formally end eminent domain proceedings and withdraw the offer to buy the land. A resolution and ordinance detailing this action has been added to the Hoboken City Council agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting on April 4 at 7 p.m.
“This resolution is the latest in a series of good-faith efforts on our part to cooperate with all parties,” said Bhalla. “I thank Governor Murphy for working with me to ensure an open and transparent process.”
Officials are considering alternative locations in Bayonne, which has expressed interest in housing the proposed facility, for New York Waterway to use.