Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the City of Hoboken invite residents to a Neumann Leathers community meeting and a public hearing for the New Jersey Transit Records Building:
Neumann Leathers community meeting
The City of Hoboken’s Department of Community Development will host a community meeting to solicit input for a proposed Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Agreement. The meeting will take place on Monday, March 16 at 6:30 pm at the Multi-Service Center (124 Grand Street).
About Neumann Leathers
The Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan was adopted in 2015, and encompasses the property between Observer Highway and Newark Street from Willow Avenue to Grant Street. Among the goals of the Redevelopment Plan are to preserve the historic Neumann Leather buildings and the artist community within it. To finance the renovation of those historically significant buildings and the continued occupancy for urban manufacturing and industrial arts tenants, the redevelopment plan allows for new residential development on areas of the site not already occupied by existing, historic buildings.
The development proposal being negotiated by the City and the Neumann Leathers development team proposes more than 76,000 square feet of industrial arts space, 114,000 square feet of commercial/office space, nearly 50,000 square feet of new retail space, and 230 dwelling units, including 23 units of affordable housing and 20 units of workforce housing. More than 158,000 square feet of existing Neumann Leathers building area will be rehabilitated, and new infill buildings will be carefully designed to create a stunning complex that blends history with contemporary design. The Redevelopment Agreement will addresses the adaptive reuse of buildings, traffic and transportation options, a new Grand Street extension, the provision of more than 40,000 square feet of outdoor and indoor public plaza space, sustainability objectives, stormwater control, and the retention of industrial arts tenants in order to maintain the jobs and business uses on site.
Public hearing for NJ Transit Records Building
Members of the public are invited to a public hearing regarding the future of New Jersey Transit Records Building, located on the south side of Observer Highway between Hudson and Washington Streets. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30 pm at the Multi-Service Center (124 Grand Street).
The records building, which was constructed in 1904 and owned by NJ Transit, has fallen into a state of disrepair and has been recently deemed an unsafe structure by the NJ Department of Community Affairs. The City was approached in August of 2019 regarding the potential demolition of the building. Mayor Bhalla and the Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission have been working with New Jersey Transit, along with the Federal Transportation Authority and the State Historic Preservation Office (“SHPO”) in an effort to preserve the building, which has been deemed a historic property. As required by SHPO, New Jersey Transit is conducting an analysis of alternatives to demolition of the building. The alternatives to the building’s demolition will be presented at this public meeting, as requested by Mayor Bhalla and the Historic Preservation Commission.
“Hoboken is committed to preserving public buildings with historical significance, and demolishing a building without deference for our city’s history is not a preferred option,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Working together with the Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission, I’m pleased that New Jersey Transit and the Federal Transportation Authority have agreed to alternatives to demolition that would preserve the historical elements of the building. I encourage all residents to attend this meeting and provide input to NJ Transit and the FTA regarding these proposed solutions.”
The upcoming public hearing is a mandatory part of the Section 106 review process. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires projects by federal agencies or federally funded projects to consider the effects on historic properties, to engage with stakeholders, and to gather public comment on potential alternatives.