While most people use the Hoboken Terminal as a pass-through space to get to one of several transit options, leaders of a new project to revitalize the area hope the improvements will encourage people to stay a while. The project, called Hoboken Connect, will preserve the historically significant architectural elements of the station while upgrading the space to have more resources for the community, like performing arts, shops, and restaurants. The Terminal’s multimodal transit options will be enhanced, and several buildings around the Terminal will undergo renovation as well. Earlier this week, local and state officials kicked off the beginning of the Hoboken Connect project. Read on for what we know about Hoboken Terminal’s new look.
The copper-patinated Hoboken Terminal has been a part of the Hoboken skyline since 1907, when the 230’ clock tower was built as part of the Beaux Arts style building. The Terminal was originally built by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad. The station has been in nearly continuous use since its opening and is now a multi-modal transit hub including NJ Transit trains and light rail, buses, Citibikes, scooters, rideshare services, taxis, and ferries.
While many see the Lackawanna tower as a symbol of home, the building has seen its fair share of renovations over the years. The most recent spate of renovations and repairs took place after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. At peak times, over 50,000 passengers make their way through the station daily.
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The hope is that the new amenities and refreshed atmosphere of the station will make passengers want to linger longer in the station. Other stations that have undergone similar renovations include Union Station in Denver, which has become a destination in its own right while still being a transit hub; and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, which has a food hall featuring local retailers and an outdoor plaza for performing arts. Project leaders have pledged to preserve the architectural elements that make the Hoboken Terminal so special, while adding in modern design elements to make it more structurally sound and environmentally efficient.
What’s to Come
Leaders of the Hoboken Connect plan to break ground in 2023, but the project has been in the works for 16 years. Between budget approvals, community meetings, and partnership agreements, the final push to complete the agreement was a FY2023 budget earmark from the state of New Jersey. This project, which will take place in stages over several years, is a public-private partnership between NJ TRANSIT, LCOR, and the City of Hoboken.
(Photo credit: LCOR)
The project is made up of several elements, only some of which are contained within the terminal. The entire parcel involved in the project is 65 acres. The Hoboken Terminal will receive both aesthetic and structural upgrades, particularly in light of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. Many unused spaces will be cleaned up and opened to the public, including several original architectural elements such as stained glass windows. The second floor of the terminal will be refurbished and available to use for NJ Transit purposes or cultural spaces like a museum or performance space.
An unused building that formerly housed a ferry terminal is 16,000 square feet, and developers envision using glass walls to bring natural light into the space. It could be used for a large European-style market or food hall.
“This project has been 15 years in the making and I could not be more thrilled for it to come to fruition,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “The City will reap the benefits of not only a rehabilitated transit hub, but much-needed infrastructure upgrades, affordable housing, and retail space that will bring thousands of permanent jobs to the area. Thank you to Governor Phil Murphy and Senator Brian Stack, as well as Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji for their commitment to this project and dedicating over $170 million of public investments to ensure its success.”
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There will be changes in the skyline outside the terminal as well. The plan includes a 20-story, 635,000-square-foot office tower at the corner of Hudson Street and Hudson Place, with ground-floor retail. The plan also includes a 389-unit residential building on Observer Highway, across from the Bloomfield Street and Washington Street intersections. Twenty percent of the apartment homes will be reserved for low-income residents.
According to a press release from NJ Transit, “the project will directly and indirectly support 15,290 permanent jobs and $234 million in tax revenue annually. The City of Hoboken will see 4,433 jobs on site with $9.6 million in annual retail spending and $4.5 million in annual revenue, while NJ TRANSIT will benefit from ground lease payments, increased ridership, and customer experience improvements. More than 9,800 construction jobs will be created.”