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Hoboken, N.J., to Move Forward on Monroe Street Resiliency Park

Tue December 21, 2021 - Northeast Edition
Jersey Digs

Site of planned resiliency park: 800 Monroe Street in Hoboken. (Google Maps photo)
Site of planned resiliency park: 800 Monroe Street in Hoboken. (Google Maps photo)

A drawn-out battle over a 1.43-acre Hoboken, N.J., lot looks like it will end with more green space for the community, despite some conflicting messages over how the city will pay for the endeavor.

Jersey Digs reported Dec. 20 that city officials are seeking a qualified consultant to engage in the public process of designing what will be another resiliency park at 800 Monroe St. The parcel was acquired in a settlement agreement with Ironstate Development earlier this year, which effectively killed a residential project previously proposed for the site.

"The city has taken an innovative approach to provide our residents with more quality open space that also serves the dual purpose of making our mile-square community more resilient to the effects of climate change," said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. "I look forward to working with the community on creating a multi-faceted park for all residents to enjoy."

A press release obtained by Jersey Digs is ambiguous as to how exactly the park's construction will be financed, the news source noted. Plans that emerged over the summer for a 675-unit project at the Monroe Street site had included a developer-funded buildout of the resiliency park property, but that proposal stalled after it was presented during a community meeting.

When contacted by Jersey Digs regarding the park's financing, a spokesperson of Bhalla's office said the city "is considering all options for funding the park's ultimate construction including developer contributions, the open space trust fund, state and federal grants, and low-interest loans through the I-bank."

The Monroe Street resiliency park would be the city's third if it is completed. The Southwest Park opened in 2017 and is currently being expanded, while the five-acre Northwest Park is under construction ahead of a 2022 opening.

Both of those green spaces include underground water detention systems.

Another park slated to be built for Hoboken's north waterfront as part of the federally funded Rebuild by Design endeavor also will include various green infrastructure.

Ambitious Residential Site First Considered

In January 2020, Jersey Digs broke the news about a proposal for a 4.3-acre property at 930 Monroe St. that was home to an Amazon fulfillment center. Those designs envisioned 393 units in a trio of mixed-use buildings that included retail and plazas near the 9th Street Light Rail station.

Last summer, site owner Madigan Development presented a new supersized plan that proposed 675 residential units spread out between three structures that would top out at 116 ft.

The aesthetic of that proposal was like what initially surfaced almost two years ago. The residential component was to include a 10 percent affordable housing component per Hoboken's regulations and 50,000 sq. ft. of retail space slated for the ground floor of the buildings.

A new component of the plan emerged when Madigan Development agreed to spend $10 million to develop the 1.5-acre park at 800 Monroe St. Amenities shown in the design of the park include a playground, a centrally located fountain and several walking paths.

Hoboken acquired the parcel in a settlement agreement with Ironstate Development earlier in 2021 before earmarking the property for open space.

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