THROUGH THE RE.INVEST INITIATIVE, THE RE:FOCUS TEAM WORKED WITH THE CITY OF HOBOKEN TO REDESIGN A CONTAMINATED 6-ACRE INDUSTRIAL SITE INTO A NEW FLOOD PROTECTION PROJECT.
What makes the project concept unique is how it combines three traditional infrastructure projects in a new layer cake design. The bottom layer is a 10 million gallon “bathtub” for capturing stormwater and sewer overflows (that would otherwise rush straight out to the Hudson River). The next three layers are a typical underground parking garage with twist. The garage is designed with pumps to make sure it deliberately floods from the bottom up in a major storm and can hold up to 30 million extra gallons of water to protect the surrounding neighborhood from disaster. Finally the top layer is a park, designed like a sponge with green infrastructure that can catch water and prevent smaller floods. The major innovation is in combining public goods with a private parking garage that can help finance the whole system.
Based on this design, our team supported Hoboken’s application to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for its first phase of funding. In 2015, the City received ~$12.5 million to acquire the land and move forward with the project. Since this award and the conclusion of the RE.invest Initiative, the design has undergone several revisions and the City in collaboration with the North Hudson Sewer Authority has gone one step beyond the RE.invest team’s original concept to explore full sewer separation for the area.