Due to the outpouring of concern for their neighborhood and quality of life, residents who live in southwest Hoboken have continued to urge their local council members to push for the Jackson Street lot appraisals after recently being rejected by the city. Our local government’s excuse for not appraising the land or considering it for open space is that it believes it will be too expensive, and they only want to focus on the SW Park, a park that has been promised for over six years and has yet to exist in any tangible way.
The Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition (HSPC) believes that not only should the city fulfill its promise of building the contiguous 6-acre park (SW6) in southwest Hoboken, it should also seek out any additional available land for open space. It is shortsighted for the City of Hoboken to not consider the Jackson Street lots for park space based solely on the unverified speculation of land values. In addition, one of the primary roles of our local government is to seek out ALL funding mechanisms for open space. We are not limited to a single county grant, and for the city to suggest it as the only means available for the SW Park is imprudent and illustrates that open space is a low priority for our elected officials. If our local government is truly doing its job, then it must research and apply for private foundation and state grants, as well as seek out corporate sponsors. There are thousands of funding sources and hundreds of millions of dollars available; the City of Hoboken must explore all avenues of funding.
Pursuing new open space is not wasteful spending, it is a necessary investment. So, to further the process on potentially acquiring the Jackson Street lots, HSPC will pay for the first $3,500 of the land appraisals cost. Any remaining balance, which would be minimal, can be covered by donations from residents.
HSPC’s intention is two-fold:
- We support the acquisition of land that is available and can be used for open space because it improves the quality of life in the neighborhood. In fact, open space is good for all of Hoboken. This does not diminish the need for the 6-acre SW Park. Our city is long overdue on that promise.
- We believe open space initiatives do not take a backseat to infrastructure improvements, they ride alongside one another. Green open space is one of the best ways to help mitigate flooding. Not only does the porous grass surface keep rainwater from flooding streets, flood mitigation material like Invisible Structures-Rainstore 3, a solid product with a 25-year track record, can be installed underneath the park and sidewalks to alleviate flooding. Invisible Structures, along with green open space, are a great way to mitigate the flooding in one of the worst flood-prone areas of Hoboken, the southwest neighborhood where these particular lots sit at the intersection of First and Jackson Streets.
By beginning the appraisal process, our community can move one step closer to attaining additional open space and the benefits it brings:
- Improvement of quality of life by providing green sanctuaries, play spaces, exercise spaces, and clean air
- Increased economic value by beautifying neighborhoods and improving property values
- Flood mitigation