After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted permits to NY Waterway to use the former Union Dry Dock property for ferry maintenance and refueling, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that he will continue to pursue the land as public open space.
“I am incredibly disappointed but for me, this fight is far from over,” said Bhalla in a statement. “I am redoubling my efforts to ensure that this property will be a public park, NOT a ferry maintenance and refueling depot.”
NY Waterway purchased the waterfront property abutting Maxwell Place Park in November of 2017 for $11.5 million.
Since then the city has fought to obtain the land for public open space citing environmental and quality of life concerns and conducted a study of alternative locations for the ferry maintenance facility to relocate from its current space in Weehawken.
Hundreds of residents attended a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hearing on July 18 concerning NY Waterway’s application, the majority of whom were Hoboken residents who spoke against it.
Arthur Imperatore, President of NY Waterway, said relocating to Union Dry Dock “is critical to our ability to provide vital mass transit service on a daily basis, enriching the lives of New Jersey commuters and adding value to waterfront property.”
“Our first project at Union Dry Dock will be to continue at an accelerated pace our ongoing environmental improvement program,” Imperatore said. “We will start by installing in three of our ferries new engines, rated Tier 3 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.” He said they are the cleanest marine diesel engines available.
He said that NY Waterway will continue to be good neighbors, noting the November snowstorm during which they provided emergency transportation to and from Manhattan and “will improve the Union Dry Dock site and work to increase waterfront access.”
Mayor Bhalla invited NJ Transit and Gov. Phil Murphy to visit the site “so they can see firsthand the detrimental impact this will have on the families and children of our community.”