Hoboken to acquire Union Dry Dock

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After a years-long battle and lengthy negotiation process, Hoboken will move to acquire Union Dry Dock, currently owned by New York Waterway, for public open space.

According to the city, Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s administration and New York Waterway have agreed on a purchase price of $18.5 million for the waterfront property. New York Waterway will work with the State of New Jersey to explore opportunities to expand its ferry operations at their current location in Weehawken.

The acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property will allow Hoboken to complete the connection of a contiguous, public waterfront with a public park. The property is one of the only portions of Hoboken’s waterfront that is not publicly accessible.  

“New Jersey is committed to protecting and preserving our shorelines and waterfront areas,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This agreement is a major step forward in our collective efforts to connect Hudson County’s waterfront and provide more open, public space for all New Jersey residents to utilize. I applaud Mayor Bhalla and New York Waterway for working together to identify a path forward that will not only improve mass transit infrastructure, but also enhance the quality of life and local environment of our waterfront community.”  

The city and NYWW are preparing a  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the city’s acquisition of the Union Dry Dock property.

A contiguous waterfront

After the adoption of the MOU, the city and NYWW will formalize the terms agreed to by the parties, which will include acquisition costs of approximately $14.5 million from Hoboken’s Open Space Trust Fund, which has no impact on the municipal budget, as well as an additional $4 million, which the city  will bond for.  

As part of the agreement, once the city acquires the property, it would temporarily lease the Union Dry Dock property to New York Waterway “for a designated period of time,” until the permanent ferry station in Weehawken is complete.

During that time, Hoboken will begin a public process to determine the permanent design of the park.   

“The agreement we’ve reached with New York Waterway is one of the most consequential in our City’s history,” said Bhalla. “Hoboken has been fighting for a continuous waterfront for decades, and I’m beyond thrilled this will finally become a reality. Our residents can now look forward to a waterfront that will become fully public, fully accessible, and fully open for all to enjoy. I am beyond grateful to Governor Murphy and his staff, and New York Waterway for working with us to come to this deal that will dramatically improve Hoboken’s waterfront for generations to come. And, I thank the thousands of residents who have voiced support for our efforts, which helped make this day possible.”   

“I thank the Murphy Administration for helping to mediate this long-standing dispute over the Union Dry Dock property,” said Armand Pohan, president and CEO of New York Waterway. “Hoboken and New York Waterway are too important to each other to remain at odds. It is time for all of us to resolve our issues and move forward.”  

Previously, Hoboken appraised the Union Dry Dock property at $13.1 million, while New York Waterway appraised the property at $24 million.

The agreement between the parties will end all eminent domain proceedings and potential litigation.

The Hoboken City Council is scheduled to vote on the MOU at the July 7 council meeting.