Cheers and Jeers: Hoboken Construction


[Note: This is a Hoboken411 reader contributed article. There will be one or more “reader articles” a day this week.]

Cheers and Jeers:

Midtown Hoboken New Construction and Renovation
by Realty Genie

Waterfront buildings get a lot of attention, but most of Hoboken lives west of Washington Street. For better or worse, we have to live with a lot of our neighbors’ decisions about building frontage. We can’t appeal to any gods of good taste, but we can rave and rant here on Hoboken411. Following are the best and worst of recent building work between 5th and 8th Streets, from Washington Street back to Clinton Street. These are all my personal opinions regarding only aesthetics from the sidewalk. I have not been in any of these buildings and offer no judgment on the quality of the construction. Being only a genie and not a licensed agent, I will not make any money on their sales or rentals. I only care because I want my neighborhood to look its best.


One cheer goes to these two buildings on Willow Avenue. The one on the right is still under construction and has a realtor’s sign saying the units there are for rent. The larger building is a bit hulking and has a boring cornice (the part at the top just under the roof), but they stuck mainly to brick and stone and didn’t try to be too flashy.


See the rest of the Cheers and some Jeers after the jump!

(Cheers & jeers, continued…)

Two cheers go to this condo conversion renovation on Bloomfield Street. The door at the main entrance is the one element of ugliness. Otherwise, it is a gorgeously restored Victorian brick rowhouse, with beautiful cornices and windows. Special recognition goes to the new decks and the really cute garage doors. (picture #2 in the slide show)

Three cheers go to the newer buildings at either end of the north side of Church Square Park. I’m normally not a fan of French balconies, since they don’t actually allow you to be outside, but they look just right by the park. The flower shop looks great here:


The buildings where the ugly bank and empty parking lot used to be are obviously modern, but they manage very nicely to fit in with the older homes along the park’s edge.



And now for the uglifiers, who look like they’re saying to the neighbors “We are bringing you some class!” when all they are bringing is clash.

One jeer goes to this Willow Terrace home. “My salt box is bigger and newer than your salt box!” When the houses are this close together, it is neither gracious nor graceful to be the first on the block with a new style of roof or window. The house can be redeemed if it ends up with a color scheme that blends in.


Two jeers go to this one-family on Garden. Walking by it is one less reason to love going to work in the morning. Its owner apparently has more money than the owner on Willow Terrace, but shares the same stupid idea of having really kewl windows that are, like, so different from all those other boring windows that everyone else has! I normally do not advocate being a nuisance, but if I had a dog, I would be tempted to bring it by every day to pee on the front staircase, because the owner is peeing on the sensibilities of the rest of the people on the block.


The hands-down worst new construction, though, goes to the Nightmare on Seventh Street. Is it a school building? A techie bordello? The brainchild of a vengeful resident who won the lottery and hates the neighbors? No, no, and oddly enough, no. It is a one-family spec house. The owner-investors have told a local resident that they plan to list this monsterpiece and sell it “for a lot of money.” If only the wizards who thought this one up could dig up Dumbledore so he could cast a spell and make it invisible.


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Thanks again for the article, Realty Genie!

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46 Comments on "Cheers and Jeers: Hoboken Construction"

8 years 5 months ago

opinions are like…

Check out this gem.

[quote comment=”80628″]What these buildings illustrate is how weak Hoboken’s zoning code is. If a project simply meets the required ratio of masonry to glass and other standards, the zoning board and citzens cannot stop the project”[/quote]

Looks like Hoboken is still home to the type of nosy biddies from yesteryear that used to hang out the second story window nosing into their neighbors business and complaining to the peanut gallery from the front stoop.

Dunatar seems content to legislate his priggish tastes on everyone in this town to the point where he will tell you if you can build your own house on your own property. That is, assuming you haven’t offended his 19th century sensibilities.

8 years 5 months ago

may have been covered earlier in the thread….
The Nightmare on 7th is listed with Hudson Place now for $1.4M.


8 years 5 months ago

Imagine if Hoboken were like Houston, where there isn’t any zoning?

8 years 5 months ago

What these buildings illustrate is how weak Hoboken’s zoning code is. If a project simply meets the required ratio of masonry to glass and other standards, the zoning board and citzens cannot stop the project — except as they did in the case of 900 Castle Point — a clear case of “spot zoning” — highly illegal.

The ultimate owners of the 7th street house will soon learn that glazed brick does not survive the freeze/thaw cycles of the Northeastern US. That red stuff will be chipping off like a hooker’s bad manicure.

Unfortunately, the egos of most architects (and their type-A “super-gentrifier” clients) will not allow them to construct humble buildings that play nicely with their older neighbors; that would require them to develop some level of taste and appreciation for the fabric of an older streetscape.

Had it been incorporated into our city’s zoning ordinance, our master plan would already be at the stage where the state would want us to revise it. Alas, it’s an expensive, dusty book that we paid for but didn’t use. It’s up to us to put pressure on our dysfunctional city government to make this master plan legal and implement the recommendations within and revise it immediately.

The alternative is to accept much worse than the projects highlighted in this thread.

ron mexico
ron mexico
8 years 5 months ago

[quote comment=”80436″]Look at what Dean builds for himself… I’d like this place as my weekend home.

That is terrible…just terrible.

I wonder if he is as hated in Coxsackie as he is here.