The area surrounding Hoboken Terminal is obviously very prominent for residents and visitors alike. NJ Transit estimates that over 50,000 people use the station daily, and that visibility appears to be the catalyst for a branding campaign that’s underway for the neighborhood.
At last Wednesday’s City Council meeting, an ordinance introducing the labeling of the area as the “Railhead District” was passed by a 7-2 vote. The vote is largely symbolic for now, but nonetheless is an indicator that the city wants to put a formal stamp on the area, and renderings attached to the ordinance give a glimpse into what they have planned.
Per the resolution’s attachments, a vacant property previously occupied by a newsstand several years ago would be transformed into a new visitors’ center right next to the PATH entrance. New signs and banners would be put up on the surrounding blocks with the “Railhead District” name, and painted murals on the sides of buildings appear to be an idea floated for the neighborhood.
The Railhead District would include the entirety of Hudson Place, River Street heading north to 1st Street, and the block of Hudson Street between Observer Highway and Newark Street. Some council members opined during the vote that the area is already referred to as Lackawanna by some in a nod to the Terminal’s clock tower and based on comments made during the vote, the Railhead District name does not yet appear set in stone.
Due to the proximity of mass transit, there are many established businesses in the area and a few of them appear to have already teamed up to dub the area the Railhead District. The proposed district overlaps with several other developments, including the 2.3 million square-foot Hoboken Yards Redevelopment Plan and a European-style marketplace that has been pitched for Lackawanna Terminal.
But officially, the Council’s ordinance will now head over to the city’s Historic Preservation Committee, who will weigh in on the plan before further action is taken.