Home » Daily poll: Will you visit the Embankment if Jersey City eventually makes it a park?

Daily poll: Will you visit the Embankment if Jersey City eventually makes it a park?

There may soon be a conclusion to the seemingly never-ending saga of Jersey City’s Sixth Street Embankment — a solution that finds the city with a piece of property it has long desired to turn into an elevated park in the spirit of The High Line in New York.
The six-block long stone structure that formerly carried seven rail lines has been at the center of a seven-year legal dispute between the city, which wants to use the 6.5-acre parcel for open space, and developers Steve and Victoria Hyman, who purchased the lot from Conrail in 2003 for $3 million and seek to develop it.
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled yesterday that a suit brought by the city and community groups in an effort to obtain ownership of the property may go forward. The decision reverses a lower-court decision that ruled the city had no standing.
The ruling, by Judge David S. Tatel, calls the property “a quaint memorial to a bygone era, a verdant holdout against modern urban sprawl.”
Meanwhile, there is a possible settlement in the works that calls for the city to pony up $7 million for all but one block of the embankment, according to a resolution set for approval at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
City officials cheered the ruling.
“We are pleased with the decision of the Court of Appeals and remain committed to making the historic Embankment a world-class park, hopefully sooner, rather than later,” said Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis.
Matsikoudis declined to comment on the proposed settlement.
Meanwhile, Stephen Gucciardo, president of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, also expressed delight about yesterday’s ruling.
“We’re just thankful, and congratulate the mayor and the council for enduring this whole, long, difficult process,” Gucciardo said. “It’s taken a long time in the courts, and obviously it’s not over yet.”
Dan Horgan, attorney for the Hymans, said his clients have “always” wanted a settlement that would put an end to the legal battle. The settlement is “not there yet, but we’re getting close,” Horgan said by phone.
“We’re trying to do something that’s in the best interest of the city. The city being the people that pay the taxes,” he said.
Last May, Horgan offered a settlement that would have seen the city pay $10 million for two blocks of the Embankment for use as a public park, while the Hymans kept the rest. The council rejected that offer.
The council meets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 280 Grove St.