800 Monroe – What’s the deal?

9/12/2007 Update:

Rumors are circulating around in Hoboken that the 800 Monroe project is hurting financially, as well as the Monroe Center for the Arts (for instance, why is Shades of Hoboken now closed?).

Nothing much has been transpiring at this particular project, but Hoboken411 Reader Jason noticed this about the 800 Monroe Project:

“Looks like Environmental Field Services is pulling another soil sample. I wonder what they’re still checking for?”

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3/8/2007 Update #2:

Moved the Metrostop project (800 Jackson) to it’s own entry. Sorry for the mistake and confusion.

3/8/2007 Update:

Maybe it’s just me, but this project seems to be changing. I cannot confirm whether this is still even considered “800 Monroe” anymore, but now there are signs at the 9th St. Light Rail Station that indicate “MetroStop“. Comparing this rendering to the original renderings from the 800 Monroe site, it sure seems different.

I wonder if the the site is still contaminated. Anyone else privy to what’s going on here now?

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY FROM NOVEMBER 2006 BELOW.

11/18/2006:
A reader chimed in recently wondering what’s going on with the 800 Monroe Project. It was supposed to open the Summer of 2007, but no real progress has been made. However, this site has it’s share of controversy as of late. A few things to note.

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Here’s their “mission”:
800monroewriteup.gifFor one, it’s slated to become this 120 luxury apartment tower, with shops, plenty of ameneties and, as the developer Dil Hoda said, 10% set aside as affordable housing with particular interest in artists space. This NY Times article states: “Ten percent of the Monroe Center housing will be set aside for low- and moderate-priced units, which will be offered to artists before the general public.”

Apparently that’s not the case. One reader indicates: “800 Monroe which will be 12 stories high and around 120+ units will have only 2 affordable units. A good case of fuzzy math. Big PR scam. They lied to the planning board, they lied to the tenants at Monroe Center, they lied to the NY Times, they got their plan approved and they continue their lies. Who’s keeping track? Nobody.”

Why does this continually happen in Hoboken?

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Another thing fruity about this project, and why it’s taking so long, is the environmental issues that (from what I can tell) have not made any real headlines (unless someone can find some articles? Am I having a retarded Google search day?)

This site was contaminated with a previously unknown commingled waste oil and solvent source. No specific mention regarding exactly what kind of harmful chemicals they were, but there was also reference to a high lead level concentration which made cleanup difficult and complicated. Hydrotechnology Associates were hired to clean up this site. 90,000 lbs of Sodium Persulfate was used delineate the contamination. However, they were “let go” from this job before it’s completion, and its progress at this time is unknown. Another contractor is supposedly handling it now. You can read a comprehensive and honest 40 page write up and detailed scientific analysis of this situation in THIS PDF FILE from the Hyrdotechnology website (WARNING: Large File!) If the link goes offline for some reason, please let us know, as we have a copy of it local here as well.

This whole project, while very promising, and with great benefits to the City of Hoboken, seems to be riddled with the typical issues that “soil” its integrity (pun intended).

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Click below to see the whole NY Times article from July 2005. Pics added in from 800 Monroe’s website.

Gentrifying Without Evicting the Artists

July 31, 2005
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN

HOBOKEN

IT is a truism of urban redevelopment: whatever shabby spot artists choose to populate, that place will be gentrified next. A related truth goes like this: as the neighborhood turns upscale, the artists are forced out to find new and funkier circumstances.

In the rapidly changing northwest section of this city, however, a developer is trying to break that pattern – and turn it on its head – by enticing artists to remain while a new “culturally anchored” neighborhood is built around them.

“No artists have been evicted,” Dil Hoda, managing principal of Monroe Center Development, proudly proclaimed. His company has begun creating a new “mini-village” development on Monroe Street by rehabbing two old factory buildings where about 70 artists have studios. “In fact,” Mr. Hoda said, “the role of artists will be at the core of the new community.”

Many of the artists and 130 small businesses operating from the two buildings, part of a former Levelor blinds factory, did have to move to accommodate construction of first-and second-floor retailing space, the developer said. But most were transplanted to new studio spaces created on the three upper floors of the buildings – with no rent increases.

Now, the factory buildings at 720 Monroe have been renamed the Monroe Center for the Arts. And the 72,000 square feet of new retailing space is being marketed as part of a “culturally anchored” project.

The developers propose filling that retailing space with boutiques and restaurants as well as an independent film and performance theater.

Meanwhile, work has also begun on the first of four new residential buildings that will be part of the mini-village. All of them are to have retailing and commercial arts space on the first and second floors, gardens on their rooftops and parking structures built into their cores.

800monroebldg1.jpgThe first structure, to be completed by next fall, will house 123 condominium apartments, 17,000 square feet of retailing and 386 parking spaces. Ground will be broken for two other buildings next summer, Mr. Hoda said.

No date has been set for the final building, but when completed, the entire development will have 435 residential units – ranging from studios to penthouses – 116,950 square feet of studio and office space, 125,000 square feet of retailing space and 1,120 parking spaces.

The outdoor public areas at the mini-village are to include two large plazas featuring fountains, large seating decks and a “hammock park” designed by Victoria Marshall, a landscape architect and urban designer who teaches at Columbia University and has been working with the developers on the concept for four years.

800monroebldg2.jpgThe Monroe Arts Center site is adjacent to the new New Jersey Transit light rail station at Ninth and Congress Streets and is part of a state-designated Transit Village. “We have worked closely and carefully with state planning authorities to make the project commuter-friendly,” Mr. Hoda said.

“We envision this as a place where people might regularly arrive from work, or just stop by, to have dinner, browse the shops and galleries, maybe see a film or hear a presentation on holistic health, or take a dance class before heading home,” said Aida Jones, who is the marketing and artistic director for the project. Ms. Jones has already started setting up a schedule of artist presentations, exhibits, open studio days and performances, and promoting them to the public.

“We have really really interesting tenants,” she said, conducting a walking tour inside the building one recent day and pointing out the studios of a floral artist, a puppet maker, a silk fabric painter, a cake decorator, a dishware designer and several jewelry designers, in addition to music and dance studios. “We think a lot of people will want to live and shop and be entertained here, and be a part of this.”

Ten percent of the Monroe Center housing will be set aside for low- and moderate-priced units, which will be offered to artists before the general public.

In Jersey City, this is also the case at the new Powerhouse Warehouse Arts District live-work lofts. Eight artists meeting requirements set down by a local Artist Certification Board were recently selected to occupy lower-priced units there.

The selection process for subsidized units is still being developed in Hoboken, according to Mr. Hoda.

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39 Comments on "800 Monroe – What’s the deal?"

hobokenguyhere
Member
hobokenguyhere

The way these guys treat their tenants and the people of our community, do we really need to speculate on why they may be having problems with Monroe Center, 800 Monroe and Shades of Hoboken? (aren’t they all owned by the same people?) I hope Skullyx and Jenny04 are right and karma kicks in.

westy
Member

I want to preface this post with the disclaimer, I know this will never happen in this location.

Looking at the pictures I was struck by how nice the buildings look surrounding the empty center block.
Much like the squares you see in Europe.

Let the developers build a little taller on all sides to pay for the land, put in street level retail and you have he makings of a darn nice redevelopment zone.

Seems like a win win for everyone.

Jenny04
Member
Jenny04

Sullyx- Bad Karma I totally agree!! Our car was flooded in an assigned spot at there lot and they take NO RESPOSIBILITY!! What goes around comes around 👿

eam144
Member

they don’t know how to manage the place – look at Shades!

monk
Member
monk

[quote comment=”43216″]Monroe center- I looked into renting some space from them and they wanted some rediculous amount to rent a tiny space.

It’s no wonder if they aren’t doing well.[/quote]

That is a shame. The is tough spot for someone to put a business and there should be incentives. I really wish that the operators of the MC would finish the place up and put some interesting shops and businesses. It has a lot of potential.

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