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Hoboken's NW Resiliency Park to Solve Community Flooding, Parking and Limited Park Space Challenges

Hoboken, NJ, USA

At a Glance

After Superstorm Sandy flooded Hoboken, the city decided to redevelop a 6.1 acre former industrial site into a dual use parking and storm water retention facility topped with green infrastructure and community park space, delivering multiple physical and social benefits to the dense urban community.

Problem Addressed

As a riverfront community Hoboken faces several interrelated challenges, including local flooding, aging infrastructure, and an overextended combined storm water and sewer system - all of which were exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 which led to over $100 million dollars in damage. Because of dense development, the community had limited

access to open, community green space and parking. Finally, the city's 2004 masterplan called for acquiring a 6.1 acre site in the northwest corner of the city, an area that flooded significantly during the storm, that was owned by BASF that had been sitting vacant since 2004, after having been cleared of contaminated soil and capped with asphalt.

Hoboken used/is using a combination of community park space, sub-surface storage and a parking garage on a single redevelopment plot to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The city’s 2014 Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan and a 2015 RE.Invest Initiative Feasibility Study identified the BASF site’s potential as a green infrastructure and flood management park. Hoboken leveraged support from HUD and philanthropically funded design consultants to envision an integrated design that included an above-ground parking garage and underground water retention beneath green space and other park amenities like urban farming and recreation facilities. Tied to the site, the city also is working with North Hudson Sewer Authority to separate their currently combined sewer system. After lengthy negotiations, Hoboken purchased the BASF site in December 2016 for $30 million with a loan from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and then quick initiated a 2-year design process that includes at least 6 community engagement events and public charettes to inform the park's future design. Prior to construction of the final Northwest Resiliency Park (planned for 2019), Hoboken turned the site into a Pop-Up Park.

Outcomes

  1. As a clean water project funded by NJEIT, three-quarters of the loan is interest-free and the remainder is at market rates. The financing also includes 19% principal forgiveness for green infrastructure.
  2. Parking fees from the parking garage integrated into the design will help pay back bonds for the project.
  3. Green infrastructure and underground detention will be able to absorb a million gallons of water that would otherwise flood the streets and basements of Hoboken's low-lying western region.

Something Unique

Once completed, the Northwest Resiliency Park will be Hoboken's largest park.

Who Should Consider?

Any community, especially one that has a combination of street flooding and limited parking.