NJ Transit pulls vote on Hoboken land acquisition

first_imgHOBOKEN– After two rescheduled meetings, the NJ Transit board of directors met on Monday, Jan. 15 and deferred a vote on the agency’s possible acquisition and subsequent lease of the former Union Dry Dock site on Hoboken’s uptown waterfront.The land is currently owned by NY Waterway, which purchased the property in November for $11.5 million for a ferry maintenance and repair facility. NJ Transit plans to purchase the land from NY Waterway and lease it back to them, as the company plays an integral part in transporting people between New Jersey and Manhattan.If New Jersey Transit purchases the property, the city will not be able to use its power of eminent domain to obtain the site, because the state agency’s power of eminent domain supersedes it.Roughly 100 residents and officials in Hoboken attended the meeting, including members of the City Council and Mayor Ravi Bhalla.“I do want to say that we have for the record over 100 residents from Hoboken that are packed in this room to attend this meeting,” said Bhalla as he addressed the board. “Although I do thank the board for removing the item of relevance to Hoboken, the Union Dry Dock, from the agenda, I am very well aware that you do not have sufficient support for adoption of that measure. Once more it is a slap in the face to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that this matter be adopted on a federal holiday.”Bhalla said the holiday is a call to service, and the residents in attendance were answering that call “but it’s not a call to service for New Jersey Transit, that is not why you brought us here today. This was a real estate transaction that was trying to be rushed through in the end days of an outgoing administration. That’s not a call to service; that’s a disgrace and that’s what I think needs to be said and made clear to the board members.”“I think that this is a good moment for New Jersey, a good moment for the region,” added Bhalla. “We look to work with NY waterway for a mutual solution that meets the interests of NJ transit, that meets the interests of NY Waterway. That meets the interests of the residents. As Dr. MartinLuther King Jr said that the ‘ moral arch of the universe is long but in this case, it bends towards justice.’”last_img


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