New York Waterway has filed a request to the Hudson County Superior Court to order the City of Hoboken not to block operations at the Union Dry Dock site on Frank Sinatra Drive. The complaint filed June 7 specifically requests that the Hudson County court rules NY Waterway is allowed to replace 102 fender piles, dock two barges at the site and use the land for maritime industrial purposes.
“NY Waterway must be allowed to repair and maintain our ferries at Union Dry Dock so that we can continue to provide safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly service to more than 30,000 New Jersey commuters each day, and be ready to respond quickly in an emergency,” NY Waterway President Arthur Imperatore said in a prepared statement. “We own this property and have been paying taxes on it for 18 months. We have the necessary state and federal permits and the site has the proper zoning. Yet Hoboken politicians are preventing us from doing our job.”
The suit follows a February 13 stop work order at the site from the City of Hoboken after NY Waterway secured a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to operate at the Union Dry Dock site, located at 901 Sinatra Drive.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has supported keeping the site as a public space as the site would create a contiguous public waterfront for the City of Hoboken.
“A heavy refueling station run by New York Waterway would wreak havoc on our local environment, jeopardize the safety and well-being of our residents, and destroy Hoboken’s decades-long goal of a contiguous public waterfront,” Bhalla said in a prepared statement. “The City’s 2018 Master Plan identifies [the] Union Dry Dock as an open space opportunity and states that the City remains committed to acquiring the site for a park and the walkway.”
According to property records, the Union Dry Dock site was traded to NY Waterway in November 2017.
As previously reported by Jersey Digs, the Hoboken City Council voted to move on the acquisition of the property in early October 2017. And after attorneys representing the Union Drydock & Repair Co. said the owners of the 3-acre site would not be entering a sales agreement with the city, the then outgoing Mayor Dawn Zimmer asked City Council to seize the property via eminent domain.
In a letter sent to Governor Phil Murphy in December, Bhalla said the City of Hoboken and the state had both identified the Lackawanna Train Terminal is a more appropriate site for the NY Waterway maintenance and repair facility than the Union Dry Dock site.