Future of North Hoboken?

8/28/2010 Update:

Construction progressing at 1450 Washington Street

Construction has picked up pace at the new Toll Brothers project called “1450 Washington.”

Spotted these Toll Brothers representatives having what appeared to be a very serious conversation last week. They said the site was safe and no problems should be expected.

See previous updates – after the jump!

7/2/2010 Update:

Construction starting at 1450 Washington in Hoboken

Last week, Hoboken411 told you that action was picking up in the area of 15th Street between Bloomfield and Hudson Streets. Well, it’s official: The project known as 1450 Washington Street (no fancy names for this building) – has begun.

Good news: No pile driving!

Since this building is far enough from the waterfront, extensive pile driving is not necessary, as the building is being constructed with a “spread foundation” (or spread footing). Area residents should be thankful for that. The building will be 12 stories high, and have mixed-use retail on the ground floor. There are provisions in the plans for one restaurant (of a high caliber) – but that will depend on market conditions when the project is completed in about two years or so. Most buildings that Toll Brothers construct typically start out with the intention to be sold as condos.

6/26/2010 Update:

The construction noise is about to begin!

A Toll Brothers representative said that the next phase of construction is going to begin “any day now.”

6/3/2010 Update:

What’s up with this parking lot action?

A flurry of activity taking place at one of the parking lots along 15th Street this week. They moved the construction trailers from the lot west of Washington – to the lot to the east.

Does this mean that Toll Brothers is ready to break ground on yet another Hoboken hi-rise?

(click to see super-sized expanded version)
North Hoboken Real Estate future

3/21/2008:

Often times, we just acknowledge what we “see” around us. But how frequently do you wonder what the future may bring, and what effects it might have on you, or the city you live in?

hoboken-echo-alley-apartments.jpg

Hoboken changes fast

A lot has changed in Hoboken in the past 10-15 years. So much new development has crept in, it’s totally shifted the look of entire quadrants of the city. Much of it is good, with safer streets, more places to live, play & hang out. However, the down side is the utter lack of parking, crumbling infrastructure and the economic risks associated with over-development.

This seems to be the “third renaissance,” as in the 1970’s and late 80’s the Barry’s (Applied Development), while much maligned at times, played an essential role in reviving Hoboken to what is is today. More on that another time.

In the mid-90’s the North/Northeast section of Hoboken was crap. Since then, thousands of new units have been created as the mid-rise apartment towers sprouted up. Starting with the Hudson Tea Building, and including Maxwell Place (once finished), over a dozen new towers have been created. This isn’t even considering the western edge of town, either! With Applied, Toll Brothers, Tarragon/URSA and Metro Homes all competing to get a piece of the Hoboken “Pot ‘O Gold,” it makes you wonder “when is it going to stop?”

What’s Next?

While the Real Estate market has been in the news lately, along with the volatile economy in general, doesn’t mean we’re all done with the growth.

In the picture below, I’ve put into perspective as to what the last remaining lots of N. Hoboken may have in store. Most of this property is owned by Toll Brothers. It’s part of the “Planned Urban Development” or PUD that includes all of the open properties around the Tea Building. Most of the property doesn’t have any final plans yet, and any changes or site plan approvals need to go before the planning board.

(click to see super-sized expanded version)
North Hoboken Real Estate future

Toll is probably not in a big hurry to build there in this market. Their priority is to finish Maxwell Place and Harborside Lofts and then move back to the Tea Building complex. They are already at risk of flooding this market, and the last thing they want is Hoboken condo prices to drop further because they are putting to much inventory into the system. Supply and demand, you know?

There is one additional Applied building on the block just west of the Sovereign which is also moving forward through the planning board. On the north is another 12 or 13 story rental building, and possibly another to the south. Toll owns the property west of Hudson Street while the properties east are a combination of Applied-owned and city-owned land.

What will four or five additional towers mean for some small business in that area?

What about the “tiny” buildings like the bank, or City Bistro and Uptown Pizza? Imagine being on that rooftop bar completely surrounding by brick? Or maybe they’ll get a nice payday as the developer may want to buy them out.. who knows.

With tiny two-lane roads in and out of Hoboken, I’m not sure how much more growth we can sustain.

What are your thoughts?

62 Responses

  1. westy says:

    Sorry notnow I don’t give money over the internet you might want to give Councilman Giacchi a call.

    Mayor Roberts has said he and Fred Bado are already in discussions with the PA over that transit site so we should have nothing to worry about.
    :roll:

    FYI: Councilman Cammarano must abstain as the law firm he works for has the PA as a client.

  2. homeworld says:

    Sure, Transit may humor the city, but in the end, they can do whatever they want with that property.

  3. robo says:

    [quote comment=”74818″]Sure, Transit may humor the city, but in the end, they can do whatever they want with that property.[/quote]

    That’s what the Mayor and his cronies want you to believe, but its not true. NJT can build whatever they want for transit purposes – 70 story condo towers have nothing to do with transit and are subject to local redevelopment zoning (since its a redevelopment zone).

    Notnow- my problem with your analysis is that your starting point seems to be that we will let the developer decide what to build and then negotiate to maximize the “givebacks.” So if they want a 70 story building that’s OK, as long as the city gets enough back.

    The point of zoning isn’t to create a phony baseline so we can extort money from developers who want to build higher. Zoning is a way to decide what we want our city to look like. When we grant variances for tall buildings, we are changing the character of our city in ways that we decided against when we adopted our zoning ordinances and our master plan.

    It’s appropriate to have an open conversation about whether that’s a good idea – we need more open space and to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and the money needs to come from somewhere. You and Westy represent different views that need to be heard. But the decision should ultimately be based on what the people of Hoboken want and need, not on what will best enhance the bottom line of Toll Brothers or NJT.

    If we don’t want 70 story towers in our city, then we shouldn’t prostitute ourselves by deciding that its OK to have them as long as we get our share of the loot.

    We need to negotiate the best deal we can for the projects we want, not just negotiate a price for the projects the developers want to build.

  4. notnow says:

    ROBO,

    My point with NJ Transit was that they already have a green light from Jersey City. Hoboken can’t do anything to regulate Jersey City. If Transit builds these buildings on the exact border of JC, it is going to appear that these buildings are in Hoboken. Many people have actually referred to 700 Grove(sold by TOLL)and Zephra Lofts as a Hoboken project, when they are both legally on Jersey City property.

    If Hoboken will be encroached by 70 story buildings being built on the Jersey City border and deal with all of the negative impacts, should we not at least try and get some of the upside. Or should we watch the 70 story towers go up and demand the adjoining Hoboken one’s be 12 stories, with no givebacks.

    We have not received a single dime or giveback from Zephra Lofts or 700 Grove, but we get the traffic anyway. The same will happen with NJ Transit. Jersey City will receive all of the tax benefits along with givebacks and Hoboken will get the short end of the stick once again.

    I respect and see the need for proper zoning, but I also know how to make the best out of a losing situation. I am not here to represent NJ Transit. I am just making a point that if the inevitable is going to happen, than lets at least use our heads and try to get the best out of it.

    The Jersey City Border splits the existing tracks in half. It is a lot closer than many might believe. These buildings are coming. Hoboken should demand infrastructure upgrades to it’s sewers and roads, along with our share of tax revenues.

  5. robo says:

    Notnow:

    You’re absolutely right about NJT’s Jersey City projects. As it stands now, if those projects go forward as currently envisioned (I don’t believe that they’ve actually been approved yet) Hoboken will get screwed because the people who live there will in effect leech off Hoboken while paying Jersey City taxes (or more likely, PILOTS). Those buildings will also change our skyline whether we like it or not.

    Is the answer to raise the ante by building a 70 story building next door, doubling the increase in density so that we “get our share” of givebacks and PILOTS? Or is the answer to limit things as best as we can, understanding that we can only control part of the puzzle. Or is the answer somewhere in the middle? It’s complicated. I’m not sure of the right answer, but I am sure that we have good reason to question the motives and competence of many of the people currently making the decisions.

    I’m not even sure that you are correct that we have no influence on the Jersey City side. With effective negotiating NJT might see some wisdom in limiting heights on the Jersey City side in exchange for being permitted to build in Hoboken, too. But they’re not going to reach that conclusion on their own, and have no reason to even think about it if we just go along with their plans and claim victory if they throw us a few crumbs.

    We need to decide what want and use all of our bargaining power to try to get it.

  6. Red Haven says:

    robo makes many excellent points in post 43. May I add that it won’t be NJ Transit proposing to build high-rise condos, but their designated redeveloper LCOR. Why? Because NJ Transit was created to build transportation infrastructure, not for-profit condos and office buildings. Hoboken has jurisdiction over LCOR’s plans in Hoboken.

    Meanwhile, notnow continues to cite the greedy developer playbook in post 44 with a heaping side order of misinformation designed to scare and intimidate:

    [quote comment=”74887″]My point with NJ Transit was that they already have a green light from Jersey City… If Hoboken will be encroached by 70 story buildings being built on the Jersey City border and deal with all of the negative impacts, should we not at least try and get some of the upside. Or should we watch the 70 story towers go up and demand the adjoining Hoboken one’s be 12 stories, with no givebacks.[/quote]

    Where is your proof notnow? Show me a legal document that proves this is true, because the only people I’ve heard saying this are developers who want to build downtown highrise condos. I’ve asked around in Jersey City and they say this rumor is false, so where is your proof?

  7. homeworld says:

    [quote comment=”74847″][quote comment=”74818″]Sure, Transit may humor the city, but in the end, they can do whatever they want with that property.[/quote]

    That’s what the Mayor and his cronies want you to believe, but its not true. NJT can build whatever they want for transit purposes – 70 story condo towers have nothing to do with transit and are subject to local redevelopment zoning (since its a redevelopment zone).
    [/quote]

    That is incorrect. Congress under federal legislation has generally exempted railroads from having to comply with local zoning regulations.

  8. Red Haven says:

    If this were truly the case then we would have a New Jersey Devils skating rink over the Hoboken rail yards today.

    [quote comment=”74918″]Congress under federal legislation has generally exempted railroads from having to comply with local zoning regulations.[/quote]

    This is ONLY in regards to specific transportation activities, such as laying new railroad track through your neighborhood or building a new station.

    If NJ Transit wants to build a new train maintenance structure over the Hoboken rail yards we get no say. If they want to designate a redeveloper to build condos we get a say because it is not transportation related.

  9. homeworld says:

    It’s a gray area that if push came to shove, Hoboken would have to spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars fighting Transit if they wanted to have their way.

    The Federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 prohibits states from regulating railroad property.

  10. Red Haven says:

    Have faith homeworld. Hoboken is home to New Jersey’s Governor and Junior U.S. Senator. I’m sure they would have some influence on the process if the public outcry was loud enough. NJ Transit and LCOR should be on notice by now that people are watching. Let’s see what they do next.

  11. robo says:

    [quote comment=”74954″]It’s a gray area that if push came to shove, Hoboken would have to spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars fighting Transit if they wanted to have their way.

    The Federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 prohibits states from regulating railroad property.[/quote]

    You’ve got to be kidding!! Do you really think that’s a gray area? This isn’t the place to debate legal technicalities, but IMHO if that is where transit is planning to hang its legal hat, even Hoboken’s fabulous legal team won’t be able to mess it up, and the PR for transit would be a nightmare.

  12. homeworld says:

    Look at the World Trade Center site and how NYC was practically powerless to stop the PA from steamrolling an entire neighborhood, Radio Row. The WTC wasn’t even built to the NYC building code standards because they were exempt.

  13. Red Haven says:

    Holy revisionist history Batman! This is just too easy to refute homeworld, because it’s not like nothing has been done lately to revisit and preserve the history of the WTC.

    [quote comment=”75106″]Look at the World Trade Center site and how NYC was practically powerless to stop the PA from steamrolling an entire neighborhood, Radio Row. The WTC wasn’t even built to the NYC building code standards because they were exempt.[/quote]

    First of all, other than the unfortunate transistor and cathode ray tube sellers that were being displaced there was no organized opposition to the Port Authority’s plan. Keep in mind this was all hatched in the early 60’s, the time of Robert Moses, Austin Tobin, Nelson and David Rockefeller, rampant eminent domain and rebuilding of what were considered “outdated” urban cities. “Radio Row” was seen as a quaint, outdated and rundown relic of a bygone era by the Port Authority and New York’s Mayor and Council alike.

    There was a big push to “modernize” a city on the decline. New York City had no problem with the Port Authority’s World Trade Center plan. On the contrary, the massive investment was embraced because private developers would never embark on such a speculative project.

    It took more than a decade to get the towers anywhere near full occupancy, and even on 9/11 much of the space was occupied by Port Authority and New York State government offices.

    The only question at the time WTC was built was “which side of lower Manhattan do you want to build it on?” The only way to compare the WTC situation with NJ Transit is to reflect on the glaring differences:

    — New York City was on the downslide, while Hoboken is on a sustained upswing

    — New York City was actively seeking “Urban Renewal”, while Hoboken (and most of the urban planning world) sees the folly of such projects and seeks to maintain it’s neighborhood feel

    — The Port Authority of NY and NJ is a bi-state agency that has a very different charter from NJ Transit. NJT people drool in envy at the massive projects the PANYNJ can do, from airports to WTC.

    — NJ Transit is chartered to do commuter rail and bus, with a side order of lame-ass federal government sponsored light rail. That’s it.

    NJ Transit wishes it had half the power and sweeping authority that PANYNJ has. You just can’t compare the WTC in the NYC of the ’60’s to NJT and Hoboken of 2008.

  14. emarche says:

    This is all interesting, but the REAL question is:

    WHAT IS BEING BUILT BETWEEN THE TWO BRIDGES UPTOWN?

    They’re actually doing something there as opposed to simply shuffling around trailers.

    • KenOn10 says:

      My guess – astroturf for a soccer field. another lovely plastic park. [quote comment=”193133″]This is all interesting, but the REAL question is: WHAT IS BEING BUILT BETWEEN THE TWO BRIDGES UPTOWN?They’re actually something there as opposed to simply shuffling around trailers.[/quote]

    • costume says:

      Remediation site.[quote comment=”193133″]This is all interesting, but the REAL question is: WHAT IS BEING BUILT BETWEEN THE TWO BRIDGES UPTOWN?They’re actually something there as opposed to simply shuffling around trailers.[/quote]

  15. la-di-da says:

    Something’s definitely going on over there-now the trailers are gone!

  16. homeworld says:

    “The company that built New York’s famed Rockefeller Center says it is putting the finishing touches on plans to construct a skyline-altering project in Hoboken’s industrial northern end.”

    northjersey.com/realestate/070610_R...uild_Hobokens_tallest_building.html

  17. notnow says:

    This project makes complete sense, that is why it won’t get done. It consists of a World Class Developer that is capable of building in the worst real estate market since the “Great Depression”, with the ability to self finance. Oh yes, and they want to build commercial which will help pay for all the bonding for Parks and other improvements that the City will be doing over the next few years.

    But than again, we have to keep in mind all those that want to live in the past and have no vision for the future. I mean after all, Great Cities just appear right, they are not planned and built???? And don’t forget the argument of how a tall building on the out skirt of town will devastate Hoboken. Before buying that nonsense, go take a look at Paulus Hook and check out the Goldman Sachs Tower a block or two from the Brownstones. There are no traffic issues there or negative impacts that the naysayers predicted. Just a huge $5,000,000.00 check each year that goes to Jersey City directly. How terrible…..lol.

    If this Administration is interested in getting things done, they will have to stand up to the same groups that swore that the W Hotel, The Wiley Building, Maxwell Place, and the Rehab of the Tea Building would destroy Hoboken. Instead, those same buildings have helped elevate Hoboken, and pay for it’s 100 Million dollar budget. Just imagine how high your taxes would have been without these projects…..

    But than again, maybe we would have gotten a State hand out like Camden and Paterson. Ask those Cities how they feel about depending on a State that just told them to take a hike…. Free money does not last forever….

    Ps. Jersey City would be Camden if it were not for their downtown development…. A safer Jersey City is also a good thing for Hoboken…..

  18. Stabone130 says:

    Why would anyone want to live in any of these buildings uptown? You’re living amongst a sea of giant condos, the parks are plastic and there’s very little true living space, the parks are green…..its cold in the shade because of all the towering buildings……..such a waste of $800,000 for 700 sq. ft. —

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