Maxwell Place Archives
Here you will find historical coverage of what has been happening in regards to Maxwell Place in Hoboken. This covers articles published from 2006 through September 4, 2007. It has been re-located from the original thread “Maxwell Place” due to it’s large size. All new coverage plus all previous comments will continue to be posted over there in the original.
Comments have been disabled for this post. Please use for historical reference only.
What is taking so long for this mini waterfront park to open?
I’m not sure I know the “honest” story here. Even before the whiffle ball game, Mayor Roberts told me “any day now”. I assumed they’d want it open by the Labor Day weekend, but nope. I cannot imagine if they need a “C.O.” to get this un-fenced? Are there “safety” issues?
Plus, did anyone see how tiny this “dog run” was? I’d actually rename it to a “dog cell” because it’s a joke. I wonder how many dogs have to break their necks running into the fence for them to realize this? Plus, they have it broken down into “small dogs” and “large dogs”. I think the occupancy limit is 1.7 dogs per “cell”. I bet my friends barely 2 year old kids could toss a tennis ball out of this terrible pen.
Any bets on when it’ll open?
8/29/2007 Video Update:
Despite my initial feelings that this “park” and “fence” has gotten way too much attention, I have to say it was nice to see the community together like this having a good time. Hoboken needs more group events along the same lines, and more often.
Read much more about Maxwell Place below…
8/28/2007 Update 2:
In addition to tonights “gathering”, Councilwoman Beth Mason had this to say today:
“Having expressed my interest in attending the meeting with Department of Community Affairs, Toll Brothers and the Administration, I received a call from Mr. Klienman at 7 last night letting me know that a meeting had been scheduled for 10. I thought it critical for me to be present as the person who has the responsiblity for representing residents who live in the ward, those who own in the Maxwell House development as well as those who live and work around it. Thus I drove 4 hours from ther Albany area to attended the Maxwell DCA meeting in Trenton.
Toll has agreed to provide to DCA and their construction official a solution for Ballards and potentially plantings that will serve as a recognizable entrance and deter cars/rescue vehicles from driving on top of the deck. Also it must restrain balls from entering the street. It seems there were previous plans developed by Toll for different entrances that were apparently unacceptable but are now thought to be acceptable. DCA will provide final approval. There remains to be resolved the condo offering. Both Corporation Council and I requested a copy of the statement which DCA said we can obtain through OPRA. DCA has final review of these issues at this time. Mr Arezzo has been removed from this particular project (but not others). I Will keep you informed as I know more. Thanks.”
Another FYI… The “organized” wiffle ball game will transpire at around 6pm tonight. I’ll be there if you want to meet me. Look for the clumsy tall guy with a messenger bag and “less than thousand dollar” camera. I may wear a fruity shirt for this occasion. I will not, however, participate in the wiffle ball game. My passion is for hard-core baseballs, and I’d likely dislocate both my arms directly into the sludge of the Hudson River. I do everything too hard.
Councilwoman Zimmer is organizing a whiffle ball game/party/celebration over at our “public” park at Maxwell Place next Tuesday!
I wonder if that angry resident will attend?
Too bad we aren’t playing hardball baseball. It’d be much more fun!
Might as well have Homer Simpson try to get this fence project complete!
8/16/2007 Update 3:
The cinder blocks came down as fast as they went up. The park opening is back. DCA making things happen?
I should just stop taking pictures of this fruity fence. I can just keep re-using the pics I already have!
I may rename this thread “Maxwell Place Yo Yo Fence”.
Exclusive first picture:
SEE the rest of today’s updates below:
8/16/2007 Update 2:
Here’s a photo, along with the DCA document.
Before we talk about who’s saying what, I have to say that this “feud” about this 15 foot park opening is practically moot. Remember, THIS ISN’T THE ONLY WAY to access this “lame” public patch of grass! Are people blind? What are they afraid of? Getting “stoned” by angry MP residents? If I want to use this park, I’ll use the western entrance. It’s closer to where I live anyway! Ha!
Ok, the DCA removed Arezzo, and the State has taken over jurisdiction of MP. Mayor Roberts is pleased and hopeful that this will facilitate a result that will allow Hoboken residents “greater access”.
Toll may be sealing up this entrance for the time being, but that may not be the last you hear about this. We all know Toll Bros. can easily keep that wall open.
My opinion is that this is a very SIMPLE issue. Why lawyers, state departments and planners have to waste time figuring this out is beyond me.
8/15/2007 Update 2:
City Attorney Steve Kleinman reached out to me to further clarify what has taken place so far. He said that the Planning Board has made a revised recommendation regarding this fence opening. For starters, they believe it is “not of great consequence” (to the property value), but in regards to the “safety” of this park (you know, because it’s likely a 18 wheeler will be driving right through), recommended that two decorative bollards (possibly matching the existing ugly planters) be placed in a set-back manner 5.5 feet apart to prevent an out of control vehicle from entering.
He also said that after a meeting with the Toll Bros. officials, their position hasn’t changed regarding putting the wall up, and they “appreciated their time” to meet with them. A polite way to say “no”, if you ask me.
Even though the Planning Board has completed their revised recommendations, Arezzo is under no obligation to review them and withdraw the stop-work order before the wall is closed back up.
To see the Planning Boards recommendation CLICK HERE.
Regarding the “conflict of interest” investigation into Arezzo’s involvement, Kleinman said it’s “not an easy thing to do, since the Construction Code Office is a hybrid office regulated in part by the State as well.” Any action outside of the conflict of interest (i.e., criminal) would have to be handled by the State Internal Investigation department.
You can also read more about the Construction Code Office investigation in an earlier Hoboken411.com post from back in March and April of this year.
The Maxwell Place/Al Arezzo plot thickens…
Why is Al Arezzo trying so hard to close up the wall that kept the public out of the south lawn at Maxwell place? Well, it’s no secret that people who bought at Maxwell were led to believe that the grassy triangle would be for their private use only. Maxwell Place residents even called the police on people who dared to bring their kids onto the barricaded area. After all, it was supposed to be a public park even if Toll Brothers built it to look like a private fortress.
A private park adds to Maxwell Place property values. The fact that the park is public may not be as attractive to the developer or the owners of the condos. Guess what? Al Arezzo apparently is under contract for ownership of at least one of the Maxwell Place condos!
Journal reporter Jarrett Renshaw has been calling all over town for comment after he apparently got Arezzo to admit it. That’s right. The Construction Code Official who just slapped a Stop Work Order on the entire Maxwell place project if the new opening in the fence to allow the public into the park is not closed may have a conflict of interest here.
Mayor Roberts told me this afternoon that the City Attorney is “actively investigating” this at this very moment, and will advise his findings. The Mayor was also “gravely concerned” about this “potential conflict of interest”.
It’s not the first time Arezzo’s ethics have been called into question. He is still under state investigation for allegedly buying parking spaces at below market rates from developers whose projects he oversees, as well as the ongoing investigation of his contracts to lease land in the Southwest Redevelopment Area to the city for the Police Horse Stables.
See the rest of the Maxwell Place development (politics and all) below.
They’re “working quick” on this job. Already on scene. People, plans, equipment and cinder blocks.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
This story about a tiny fence opening seems to get nuttier by the day.
Mayor Roberts just called me to inform me of a situation brewing with Toll Brothers and the Construction Office.
According to the Mayor, he says that Al Arezzo has issued a pending “stop work” order (this Friday 8/17/2007) for the WHOLE Maxwell Place project if the fence opening that was created just days ago isn’t sealed back up. He indicated that after speaking with officials at Toll they will comply with the stop work order because they “don’t want to get involved with a dispute between the construction office and the Mayor…”, as they feel the project will be “in jeopardy” if they are forced to stop. Roberts also said that City Attorney Kleinman told Toll that they can easily appeal the stop work order.
Mayor Roberts also indicated that he’s summoned the Governor’s Office for help, and hopes that the State is willing to come in and put an end to this nonsense over a little opening in a fence.
Like I’ve said before, “Welcome to Hoboken!”
I still don’t get the cockamamie “reason” for blocking this entrance. One, you have a big yellow painted box. Two, there’s a yellow curb, not a curb-cut. Three, a bright red fire hydrant, and a tree. Four, the entrance is to a plot of grass. What idiot truck driver would ever be confused that it “might” be a driveway? Then again, with all the trucks just hitting parked cars I wouldn’t actually be surprised.
Lastly, the mis-matching “plants”… four different pot sizes, and three different kinds of trees. I could pick better plants if you sent me to the store drunk and blindfolded. I wonder what they’ll put up at the next blocked park entrance: A refrigerator, a fake palm tree, a stop sign and a paper-maché statue of Al Arezzo?
PS, I wonder who moved the pots? The City, or aggravated citizens?
As another reader pointed out this story from the Journal, there seems to be some “in fighting” at City Hall.. I find it funny. Maybe we should block that little entrance too, just in case an out of control motorized wheelchair thinks it’s a driveway as well. You know, because that patch of grass is PACKED with people!
Concrete blocks shut newly opened Hoboken park
A day after Hoboken Mayor David Roberts cleared a portion of a gate blocking access to a park next to Maxwell Place, his construction code official issued a stop work order at the site, prompting the developer to put concrete blocks at the entrance, The Jersey Journal learned this morning.
Construction Code Official Al Arezzo issued the stop work order because he feared truck drivers would confuse the entrance with a road and drive through the park, according to Hoboken Mayor David Roberts, who held a news conference Wednesday to hail the opening after hearing residents complaints.
Roberts told The Jersey Journal today that Arezzo had not contacted him about the stop work order.
While walking my dog, I happened to catch this quiet mini “ribbon cutting / photo op” down near Maxwell Place between 11:30 and 11:45.
Seems as if the Mayor and his crew were down there near the new “prison wall opening”. They apparently invited some Hoboken mothers along with their strollers to (if my lip reading and body language skills are still good) talk about the new Maxwell Place park. My bet it’ll be open in the next couple days, probably by the weekend at the latest.
It seems one member of the press was there (either the Reporter or the JJ) taking “shiny happy photos”.
Now it’s your turn to guess what was said during this PR event.
Mayor: “I’m proud to announce the upcoming opening of the… . . efforts… thank the city… hard work… another accomplishment… blah..”
Yesterday, a couple workers were busting down a portion of the “prison wall” that surrounds Maxwell Place. They indicated it was for a “new entrance way” to the “park”.
Is this in response to the “outrage” here on Hoboken411 to the lack of “accessibility” to this fruity grass area? I also noticed it was right in the vicinity of the fire hydrant as well. This could have something to do with it, in case there is some kind of wacky grass fire over there. It’s not like this concrete building will ever burst into flames.
Either way, my dog Oscar was very disturbed by this massive concrete cutting machine. I think he has kidney stones now from his anxiety. I, on the other hand, thought it was the coolest and most destructive device I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I want one for Christmas this year. Not sure what I’ll cut up with it, but it sure would be awesome to just walk down Washington St. with this thing running.
See the previous updates to this most fabulous and excellent real estate development in the whole world below.
Here’s a video of a construction worker teeing off a golf ball from the roof of 1125 Maxwell lane.
In related news, Toll Brothers has sent owners of 1125 notices indicating that construction may be delayed as long as 11 months from the promised delivery date.
6/27/2007 More Progress:
Here’s a few snapshot of the fabulous park in progress last week. A resident at the last council meeting had mentioned publicly that the park is nothing like the renderings had suggested. Much smaller and practically no useful space except for “milling around” and for “kids”. Not that it’s bad, but just not as promised.
5/18/2007 Progress Update:
Here are some photos of the progress they’re making with the park / pier at Maxwell Place. Amazingly, the jungle gym is already up!
I do somewhat feel like I’m walking around a prison with those mammoth walls. Is this Hoboken’s first “gated community”?
More pictures after the break.
Seems as if Toll Brothers is getting richer. Even though it was agreed that “if” Hoboken couldn’t secure grants for this park, Toll would have to pay, they lucked out. Additionally, despite not doing so well in the housing market overall, they’re “killing ’em in Hoboken” as reported yesterday on Bloomberg.
Helpful $8M Fed grant eases rich developer’s walkway expense
A $8 million federal grant will help pay for a stretch of waterfront walkway in front of the Maxwell Place condo development – funds that were originally to come from the developer’s coffers.
The stretch of walkway, to the east of Frank Sinatra Drive from 12th Street to a few hundred feet south of 11th street, will become part of the Hoboken waterfront esplanade.
The walkway is also incorporated into a 5-to-6-acre park, the centerpiece in the marketing material for the 800-unit luxury condominium complex.
The previous owners transferred title to the city for a public waterfront park in 2001 and agreed to pay for it. The cost of the entire park was estimated at that time to be around $11 million, officials said.
See more of how Maxwell place has progressed below.
Here’s a random drive-by photo shoot of the current state of progress at the Maxwell Place project. They’ve opened up the 11th Street entrance as a reader had previously mentioned.
Some people have noted that the grounds are very cheaply done, with tacky concrete and awful tree planters.
Also, is that a pier that they’re working on out there? I wonder how much useful space there will be on it. A few people have mentioned that it won’t be all that they say it is…
On The Hudson
10/24/2006 Miscellaneous Update:
Here’s a few more vantage points to see how the Maxwell Place project is coming along. Notice how the “Super-Under-Sized” park looks from a higher location.
See previous photos showing the progress as they continue blocking the view that many of us have enjoyed over the past year.
Description – New construction. Luxury Condominiums along the Hudson river. Views of Manhattan and the River. Close to ferry to Manhattan.
Website – maxwellplace.com
Address – 1125 Hudson St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030
Here's their sales office on First Street.