hoboken terminal market
A Vibrant New Shopping Destination, a Small Business Incubator and a Historic Adaptive Reuse Project, All in One
Opening a new small business is challenging anywhere, but in Hoboken the barriers our city places in front of new businesses are particularly daunting. From high rents and limited available commercial spaces, to overly restrictive and outdated zoning laws that take whole swaths of what could be commercial areas off the table, to a general lack of interest from the current administration in assisting entrepreneurs with innovative new programs, it all adds up to a situation where in many cases only chain stores and bars can survive. That’s not the Hoboken we want, and we can change it by bringing new solutions to the table.
How do we solve this problem? It won’t be done with any one proposal, but rather with a top-to-bottom re-imagining of our city’s approach to commercial economic development. But there is one new idea that can jump start the process and immediately move our city in the right direction, and the answer is sitting in a place where thousands of us already are every day -- Hoboken Terminal.
The city’s rail yard redevelopment plan already calls for uses very similar to this marketplace concept, but no movement has ever been made in our city’s history. That will change when I’m elected Mayor.
An Untapped Resource for Our Community
Hoboken Terminal is a historic structure that not only houses one of our state’s busiest transit hubs, but also contains 100,000 square feet of underutilized potential retail space. Sixty thousand commuters travel through the terminal on a daily basis, creating a built-in customer base for what we envision as a diverse array of kiosks and stands ranging from gourmet food and drink concepts to mom and pop retail stores and creative arts sellers. The Hoboken Terminal Market will allow new small businesses to take root by greatly reducing financial and regulatory barriers to entry and creating new jobs and city tax revenue, while also fulfilling our vision of a more vibrant city. If a business succeeds in the market, perhaps they could move to a corner store, and then the end goal should be to get them to Washington Street. The end result is a space for diverse and innovative new businesses to thrive right here in Hoboken.
Beyond the Terminal Market concept, as your Mayor I will work to incentivize zoning that encourages corner stores, tech incubators, co-working spaces and opportunities for businesses of all kinds to thrive in Hoboken.
Proof of Concept -- Warrington Plaza
When I was first elected to the City Council, I immediately recognized the potential of Hoboken Terminal to become a transformative place in our city. But with any project of this magnitude, it helps to start small and prove that your idea can work. That’s why I began by advocating for an outdoor French Market concept at Warrington Plaza, the fenced-in area just north of the Path entrance of the terminal. I was able to bring all parties to the table, including the city and the terminal’s management, to secure an agreement to open the market in 2018.
The excitement generated by our Warrington Market plan and the fact that we were able to get all stakeholders to buy in to the concept shows the value that a new perspective can bring to city government, and will help generate the momentum we need to make the Hoboken Terminal Market a reality.
A Place for Makers, Creators and More
Makers and creators should be welcomed with open arms in Hoboken, not turned away. The Hoboken Terminal Market would create a place where innovative businesses can succeed. What exactly does that look like? We envision three distinct areas, each taking advantage of the train terminal’s historic architecture and giving new life to our city’s most iconic structure.
The “rail-side” shops emulate other successful transit station conversions, like Union Station in Washington D.C. or Windsor Station in the United Kingdom.
The ferry-slip section optimizes the waterfront ferry terminal as adaptive reuse for shops and restaurants, similar to the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
Upstairs, the massive underutilized hall will become the centerpiece market where small retailers can flourish in a community of creation, similar to Chelsea Market in Manhattan, Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and Ponce City Market in Atlanta.
The Hoboken Terminal Market is within our reach. All we need is a City Hall with the vision to imagine the future, the business mindset to get things done and the ability to break the political divide to benefit all Hoboken residents.