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HOBOKEN, NJ-The board of directors of NJ Transit has picked LCOR as its redeveloper of choice for the 65-acre Hoboken Terminal and Yard complex here. The selection, after a competitive process begun earlier this year, was based on LCOR’s experience in “public/private development, transit-oriented development and multifamily, commercial and mixed-use development,” according to a prepared statement.

“A master plan for this site that fully integrates the needs of commuters and the community is long overdue,” says Jack Lettiere, chairman of NJ Transit’s board, as well as commissioner of the New Jersey DOT. The initial step for the Berwyn, PA-based LCOR is to develop that “blueprint.” Under the terms of NJ Transit’s designation of LCOR as the developer of the site, the firm will immediately set out, at its own expense, to produce a master plan. To do so, LCOR has hired the architectural firm of Skidmore Owings & Merril, consulting firms Williams Jackson Ewing and DMJM + Harris and Langan Engineering.

“Working with this team will enable us to design a plan for turning this diamond in the rough into a jewel,” says George D. Warrington, NJ Transit’s executive director. “The planning process will evaluate the entire complex and its potential for adaptive reuse, transit-oriented development and related intermodal and pedestrian connectivity.”

While the final plan is expected to encompass mixed uses, intermodal functionality is a key element of the project, according to NJ Transit officials. When Hoboken Terminal was built nearly a century ago, it was designed mainly as a transfer point between trains and ferries plying the Hudson River to Manhattan. Today, besides trains and ferries, the facility is also used by commuters to connect to buses, light rail and other transit modes.

“Over the past century, the terminal has evolved into a patchwork, hosting different transportation modes without a vision that takes advantage of intermodal connections,” Warrington says. “This plan will help us rethink the way the terminal and its yard will function in the future. One of the goals is to create a more customer-friendly layout that better integrates the various travel modes.”

Other stated goals for the site by NJ Transit include taking advantage of the upside value of the site, promoting economic development in the surrounding area and taking advantage of private investment. NJ Transit officials have yet to put a price tag on the project.

“This waterfront site is a keystone to the market,” says Kurt M. Eichler, LCOR executive vice president. “Through the strategy of a public-private partnership, we will tap the site’s transit-oriented development potential to create economic opportunities and benefits for both residents and transit users.”

In a related move, NJ Transit’s board has also approved a $53.9-million contract with Hall Construction Co. of Howell to launch the second phase of a rehab of the terminal building itself. The project includes rebuilding five of the building’s original six ferry slips, exterior restoration work, structural and roof repairs, demolition of finger piers and wooden fenders and construction of a replica of the building’s original clock tower. The rehab is scheduled to start by the end of the year and be completed in 2008.

The project’s initial phase, completed in September, involved repairs to the terminal’s substructure and superstructure. Early design work for a third rehab phase is expected to start by the end of the year as well.

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