• Hoboken’s $90 Million Northwest Resiliency Park: Everything You Need to Know

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    Hoboken is getting its own ‘Central Park’ {we use that term V loosely, btw} — it’s called Northwest Resiliency Park and it’s costing about $90 million, and it’s set to be the largest park in the Mile Square. Northwest Resiliency will span from Madison to Adams Street, 13th Street to the north and 12th Street to the south. All in all, the park is six acres of athletic fields, lowland gardens, open lawn, park pavilion, playground equipment, seasonal ice skating rink, spray water feature, and shade structures. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Hoboken’s new $90 million Northwest Resiliency Park. 

    northwest resiliency park plans

    ^ Plans for the largest park in Hoboken, Northwest Resiliency Park.

    Some Necessary Background Info

    The space was acquired by the City back in 2016 and since 2017, the space has been occupied by the Northwest “Pop-Up Park,” a placeholder space where kids, families, and dogs can roam until the official park opens. But more on that later.

    According to the City of Hoboken’s website, the goal of Northwest Resiliency is to “provide recreation and public space for our community. It will also be a fundamental part of Hoboken’s resiliency strategy by integrating green infrastructure and innovate stormwater management measures to mitigate flooding from rainfall events. The park will foster a healthier environment for all to enjoy.”

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    What to Expect

    Hence the name of the park. The “resiliency” no doubt comes from Hoboken’s latest efforts to become a more resilient city in the face of constant flooding.

    The goal of the park is two-fold: to provide entertaining, outdoor space for Hoboken’s residents and to also bulk up the City’s anti-flooding and green infrastructure. Because of this second goal, the design was crucial.

    northwest resiliency park plans 3

    ^ More plans for the Northwest Resiliency Park.

    According to the City’s website, the final design is being completed, with the team working toward acquiring the proper permits and agency approvals, such as the necessary ones from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and also the North Hudson Sewer Authority {NHSA}. The NHSA is supposed to work with the City to make sure stormwater storage is integrated correctly.

    If the features of this prospective park sound familiar, it may be because you helped build it. Or at least, design it. The park’s design team held public sessions and even conducted an online survey that asked residents’ feedback on what their ideal park would look like. With all that community feedback, Northwest Resiliency was born. Residents identified a “balance of nature, culture, athletics, and play” as their top park priorities.

    northwest resiliency park plans 2

    ^ Even more plans for the Northwest Resiliency Park.

    The park is supposed to be highly vegetated and features above-ground infrastructure and an underground retention system that filters and stores stormwater in order to combat flooding. The underground retention system can hold up to two million gallons of rainwater, which should prove crucial to reducing localized flooding. With flooding being such a crucial issue for Northwest Hoboken, this retention system and infrastructure is thought to alleviate some of the frustration and environmental consequences that come with constant flooding.

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    How Much It Costs

    The City has spent over $90 million in its efforts to bring Hoboken the Northwest Resiliency Park. So, where does this figure come from?

    The City purchased the property back in 2016 from BASF, the largest chemical-making company in North America. The price tag at the time was $36 million and it was paid for by Hoboken’s Open Space Trust Fund — à la resident’s property taxes — and a state low-interest loan.

    northwest pop up park

    ^ A snapshot of the Pop-Up Park as it is currently

    {Photo credit: Google Maps}

    northwest popup tennis

    ^ The current tennis courts at the Pop-Up Park

    Next, the City did not want to waste the space, so it announced the Pop-Up Park. Hoboken put $650,000 into the temporary, five-acre park. That money was taken out of the money from the Open Space Trust Fund.

    In June, the City awarded a $1.6million contract to Engineering & Land Planning Associates Inc., who was tasked with the job of engineering services — such as site visits, reviewing requests for info and updates, contractor submissions, and shop drawings — during construction.

    The City then awarded another contract — this one costing $3.7 million — to Michael Baker International for providing construction administration, observation, and inspection services. Another contract for $1.03 million was given to Excel Environmental Resources, INc. for Licensed Site Remediation Professional Services and Tomco Construction, Inc. was given the largest contract of all on Wednesday, June 19th.

    City council approved a contract with Tomco for $48.6 million. Tomco came in at the lowest bidder for the construction and will be responsible for constructing the park in total.

    The Site’s History

    You just don’t build a park from scratch. So, where did this land come from?

    The space that will soon become the Northwest Resiliency Park was originally marshland before it became a chemical plant from 1922 to 2004. Bringing a park to the space has been in the works since 2004. Plans for the area changed after Hurricane Sandy in 2011 and by the time the 2014 Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan and the 2015 Re.Invest Feasibility Study rolled around, the City was looking at ways to use the park as a tool for flood management.

    northwest resiliency park pop up opening

    ^Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla at the grand opening of the temporary Pop-Up Park with former Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Council President Jen Giattino and Freeholder Anthony Romano.

    If you heard former “chemical plant” and are now worried, BASF completed site-wide soil remediation before the City acquired the future park. The lot was then capped with six inches of asphalt. The remediation and capping are important to ensure that the ground can withstand activities and overall, to keep people safe.

    The City says Northwest Resiliency’s stormwater management will be in full compliance with NJDEP and USEPA requirements and will pose no health risks to all who enjoy the park.

    About That Other Park That Just Opened

    You’re thinking of Resiliency Park, located at 7th and Jackson Streets. This park just opened on June 30th and has a similar goal as Northwest Resiliency. The park on Jackson features playground equipment, a gym, seating areas, and one acre of open lawn space.

    Not to mention, it has the ability to retain 450,000 gallons of stormwater runoff.

    For more on Northwest Resiliency Park and how construction progresses, check out the Construction Cam!

    What are your thoughts on the City’s new resiliency initiatives? Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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