Garden of Eden issues
Nathan Grant, the General Manager of Garden of Eden has listened to the residents of Hoboken, and issued a letter of apology, and has outlined steps that have been taken to improve the conditions there. Thanks for listening, Nathan!
Read how all this started below.
Many folks in Hoboken are glad the Garden of Eden food market has set up shop here.
One thing that hasn’t been heard until now, is that they’ve apparently become a “bad neighbor” to some residents of Bloomfield Street behind their store. See the pictures below and letter to the City Council which was signed by twenty five neighbors living on Bloomfield Street. The Garden of Eden is allegedly violating city laws everyday and they do not seem to care about the quality of life on that block.
How would you feel about this establishment if these practices continued? Should the area suffer disgusting and unsanitary trash conditions, noise pollution and pedestrian pathway destruction just for a nice cheese selection?
Dear Ms. Castellano,
We are writing to express our concern about several quality-of-life issues that are directly affecting our neighborhood. All these concerns are directly related to the recently-opened “Garden of Eden” market at Washington Street, between 2nd and 3rd Streets.
While the Garden of Eden is a business on Washington Street, the back of their store extends to Bloomfield Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets), which is the reason for our concerns. Since the store opened on December 28, they have caused the following problems on Bloomfield Street:
- Noise pollution: the Garden of Eden uses the back of their store on Bloomfield Street as a commercial loading zone. This means that delivery trucks park on our street, or at the corner of 3rd and Bloomfield, and they offload pallets of supplies (grocery items, fruits/vegetables, meat, etc.). The pallets are then rolled along our sidewalks by motorized forklifts; these pallets are often stacked higher than 6 feet tall. The noise created by the ad-hoc loading zone that Garden of Eden has created is unreasonable, in that the deliveries begin at 4:30am. The noise is so loud and disruptive that it is impossible to sleep once the deliveries begin – and these deliveries occur seven days a week. Aside from the fact that our residents are jarred awake at such an early and unreasonable hour, the method by which these deliveries are offloaded causes our house and sidewalk to shake and vibrate. Further, we view the forklifts and other commercial equipment as a potential safety concern to pedestrians walking down the street. Once the pallets are loaded onto these forklifts it becomes practically impossible to see the operator, and it’s likely the operator of the equipment cannot see what, or who, is in front of him.
- Trash: the Garden of Eden uses the back sidewalk of the store, on Bloomfield Street, to store its full trash dumpsters all day long. To our knowledge, it is illegal to put out trash before 9pm at night. Throughout the day, the store puts out dumpsters filled with food waste and recycled boxes, etc. until there is a progressively larger garbage pile out on the sidewalk by nightfall. Aside from the visual pollution, we are concerned that this practice will lead to pests and rodents, who are naturally attracted to such refuse and its attendant odors. In addition, the garbage has an odor that is well beyond that of a residential trash can. It’s unpleasant and embarrassing to have this on our street – whether you’re walking on Bloomfield or you live there.
- Sidewalks: the store’s daily practice of unloading deliveries and rolling heavy commercial forklifts across our sidewalks is causing dramatic damage that would otherwise never occur as a result of regular foot traffic. The sidewalks on Bloomfield Street behind the store itself are heavily damaged with large cracks and potholes. In addition, there is a steady stream of waste water that emanates from the back door of Garden of Eden. This is likely coming from their food prep are beneath the retail store, or possibly where they hose down the interior space of the store’s lower level. In the wintertime (i.e., now), this large stream of dirty water freezes over and turns to ice. Aside from the obvious sanitary conditions, we view this as a safety hazard to pedestrians, since the patch of ice is much larger than a regular person can practically jump over safely.
We are all Hoboken residents that understand the everyday issues associated with urban living, including sidewalk noise and living in proximity to neighborhood businesses. We feel that Garden of Eden has gone above-and-beyond the limits we can tolerate on such matters.
In short, the above complaints would not be tolerated by the city, were the noise, trash and sidewalk issues being caused by another homeowner. It is frustrating to us that Garden of Eden seems to be able to get away with not “playing by the rules” in Hoboken. Further, they are ruining our quality of life on Bloomfield Street, and we are very concerned that our property values, as homeowners, will be affected in the long term.
We sincerely appreciate your help in resolving these matters, and returning Bloomfield Street to the neighborhood we all love to come home to.