Friday, June 8, 2018

HDC and the Kaz Redevelopment Project

I've been agonizing about how best to report on yesterday's special Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the Kaz site--how to summarize the board's account of their due diligence, the public's misgivings, expressions of suspicion and mistrust, and claims they knew nothing about what was being contemplated until Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone raised the alarm in late April (Gossips has been following the story since the first RFP was issued in the fall of 2016, publishing fourteen posts on the subject in 2018 alone), and what the path forward may be--but now I don't have to. Dan Udell's video is available on YouTube. Click here to watch.



  1. A reader submitted this comment:

    Having watched the video, the HDC did not acquit itself well. It seems to me, however, the problem of Kaz is more fundamental than this one property.

    The board insisted during the meeting that discussion be limited to Kaz. This is logical, from its point of view as a development corporation, which has a mandate to develop.

    The audience -- aka community members -- however, said over and over in various ways: we support development but we do not support hiring a developer first and hoping a thoughtful, successful project emerges from that.

    The audience is right. It won't work.

    Think, discuss, plan, then hire a developer. That means think, discuss, plan with the community about the whole waterfront before any developer is irrevocably involved in one large piece of it. No developer will have Hudson's interests at heart the way the community does. No development corporation will approach this kind of project with the same gradations of perspective as the community at large.

    This is not to impugn the motives or the hard work of those on the HDC board. It is simply that the HDC has a more limited perspective than the holistic one that is so clearly needed.

    Until the stakeholders (all of us), come to a consensus on what the waterfront district should be, we should be holding charrettes until we do, not the rushed, high-handed, bogus DRI process. It won't be pretty, but it's the best hope for a good outcome in an undertaking that has a thousand ways to get f*ed up.

    In spite of the lure of anticipated revenues, impatience is our enemy. And if ever an experienced urban planner were needed, Hudson needs one now.

    -- Charlie Suisman

  2. The development shell game destroys communities. What's hidden under the shell is degredation, congestion and pollution. "Development" is not neccessarily progress. There is no mandate to "develop". Think instead of preservation and restoration. Preserve and restore what is of value, remove and restore what has been degraded. Open space is not wasted space.