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Groundbreaking held for Hoboken's long-awaited Connect Project

Hoboken development project now underway after being stalled for years
Hoboken development project now underway after being stalled for years 02:18

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- A groundbreaking was held Wednesday for a development project in Hoboken that had been stalled for nearly 15 years. It's now getting new life from Gov. Phil Murphy's administration.

Dubbed "Hoboken Connect," the new project promises to transform the area near the city's historic train station, CBS2's Christine Sloan reported.

Some of the highlights are new office and retail space, including a European market and a rooftop terrace, plus infrastructure upgrades to increase bicycle and pedestrian access, as well as affordable housing in a city that has become too expensive to live in.

"This project is going to bring 20 percent affordable housing, which is a new benchmark here in Hoboken," Mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

"How is the traffic flow going to be? I think that would be the main concern in the area, how the traffic flow would be, but I think there could definitely be some more affordable housing around here," resident Rachel Hyams said.

Funding for the project will come from the private sector, as well as the state. Murphy's administration is greenlighting $176 million.

"A lot of what you heard today is, by the way, is cash. We're not bonding for any of what you heard today, either this project or the $800-something-million that it is a part of," Murphy said.

Sloan asked the governor if NJ Transit commuters could be paying for this project in the long run.

"Is there a promise to New Jersey commuters that there won't be a fare hike in 2023?" Sloan asked.

"We make that decision year to year and we've been able to do it five times in a row without raising fares. My preference overwhelmingly is to continue in that mode, but I want to do that responsibly," Murphy said.

The governor said the project will support more than 15,000 jobs over the next decade. NJ Transit officials say public money will be used to revitalize the train and ferry terminals, the entire building an architectural landmark.

"Dramatic renovations to the historic station building. The construction of a new bus terminal. Significant rehabilitation of the first and second floors of the ferry terminal for publicly accessible commercial and exhibition space," NJ Transit President and CEP Kevin Corbett said.

Officials also say money will be used to make the area flood resilient. The project is expected to be completed within the next five years.

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