But that's what the Urban Land Institute's New Jersey District Council thinks.
Last week, the Urban Land Institute honored the NY Waterway ferry terminal as "an innovative example of smart growth in infrastructure."
Imperatore received the award at a presentation in New Brunswick last Tuesday.
NY Waterway's ferry terminal was one of seven award winners at the ULI-NJ's Leadership in Land Use awards dinner.
Several leaders in New Jersey's field of development and industry were on hand for the awards presentation, along with educators and government officials.
The dinner was just part of the ULI's mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and helping New Jersey's urban communities reach new heights.
"This awards program celebrates leaders in both the public and private sectors who possess creativity, drive and best practices in land use," said Lawrence Jacobs, the chairman of the Urban Land Institute of New Jersey. "These winners represent New Jersey's best of the best in furthering the state's commitment to productive and innovative development."
A model of success
The terminal is a 32,000-square foot facility that services almost 40,000 riders a day commuting to and from New York. They head from Weehawken to midtown Manhattan, the World Financial Center, and Wall Street's Pier 11.
One of the voting members praised the ferry terminal as a model of success.
"The NY Waterway ferry terminal is the epitome of smart growth, good urban design, and intelligent mass transit planning," said Liz McLoughlin, a member of ULI's executive committee.
They also noted that the terminal represents a unique public/private partnership between NY Waterway and NJ Transit.
The terminal provides easy access to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail at the Port Imperial station, which is one of the reasons NJ Transit became a partner in its development.
The terminal has four ferry slips, a luxurious waiting room, new retail stores, and a Fuddrucker's restaurant. Imperatore has promised that a new parking garage, under construction, will eventually hold more than 1,500 vehicles on a daily basis.
"This project fulfills the long-term waterfront redevelopment goals of the town of Weehawken, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the state of New Jersey, which have sought reuse of the Hudson River as a transportation resource for over 20 years," said Steve Jurow, a project manager for NJ Transit.
The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute that is supported and directed by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.
Established in 1936, the Institute today has over 34,000 members and associates representing the entire spectrum of the land use and development disciplines. It is comprised of developers, builders, property owners, investors, architects, public officials, planners, real estate brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, financiers, academics, students and librarians.
Imperatore was gracious in receiving the award. It was his vision to see the Weehawken waterfront blossom into the burgeoning area that it is today.
"The linkage to the light rail and the location amid a mixed-use waterfront redevelopment project in the heart of Hudson County, directly across from midtown Manhattan, exemplifies the type of smart growth project our organization is targeting," Imperatore said.
The project includes a segment of the New Jersey Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, a public walkway stretching from Liberty State Park to the George Washington Bridge.
The ferry terminal is fully utilized by area locals including Weehawken residents and neighboring West New York who live within walking distance of the terminal. Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org