Bijou proposal at 7th & Monroe
Do you want parks or full lot coverage at 630 Monroe?
5/14/2014 10pm Update:
Here’s a quick update to the 630 Monroe / 700 Monroe proposal in Hoboken. An key element to note is – see what the developer has already approved (as of right). They can break ground tomorrow – and start building a 10 story project at 700 Monroe, and build a cookie-cutter 4 story at 630 Monroe. No open space. No free public gymnasium/event space.
That they want to give the community some of what is lacking is quite admirable in fact. Look at many of the 4 – 5 story properties uptown (near and around Shoprite). Those developers gave nothing back.
But in this case – a “trade off” is necessary to reach certain goals.
New development coming near 7th & Monroe in Hoboken
As a right, property owners in Hoboken (like Bijou Properties in this case), can technically build whatever existing zoning rules allow them to. Without public input or feedback. As far as we know, the two properties at 7th street at Monroe street are currently zoned 14 stories on the north side, and 4 stories on the south side (the Pino site).
The developer can build with full lot coverage, no parks, no public space if they so desired. In other words, the same cookie-cutter look that exists elsewhere in the city. Have you seen those “college dorm like” buildings up by Shoprite? With minimal retail life (currently vacant)?
However, in this circumstance, Bijou did a little out of the box thinking. Because there is a “park / pavillion” scheduled to be built in the parking lot behind the Monroe Center, a 14 story building would essentially make that area “semi-private,” and concealed from sun and “openness.” There are also already approvals for up to two more 14 story buildings on the extreme western edge of the Monroe Center.
So what they’re proposing is to DONATE the north side of 7th Street as park space, as well as an acre on the Pino side – along with an indoor public “athletic” facility, that can serve multiple purposes. (meetings, events, kids recreation). This amounts to nearly a $10 million dollar free donation to the city and public.
In exchange – Bijou wants to build a “condensed” 14 story building on the north half of the Pino site instead. The building would also be LEED Gold, which minimizes the impact on crumbling city infrastructure. You can see the latest rendering below.
Two public meetings to discuss Bijou plans at 7th & Monroe
To open the lines of communication with the public, Bijou is holding to public meetings this week at the Jubilee Center at 6th & Jackson Streets. Tomorrow, Thursday, May 15th from 7:30pm to 9:00pm and Saturday, May 17th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
Note that without any public input or further zoning approvals – they could simply just build the layout all the way to the lot line.
I’d suspect that the public would prefer the extra open space and learn to accept the taller building with a smaller (“eco friendly”) footprint.
(Note: below was the original plan – which has since changed due to other developments in the area…)
Developer Bijou proposes more Hoboken parks
When the folks at Hoboken City Hall can’t even screw in a light bulb, let alone make progress with parks in our fair city – you sometimes have to rely on private enterprises to pick up the slack. In this instance it’s top developer Larry Bijou of Bijou Properties.
Bijou owns the parcels of land at 700 Monroe Street, as well as the famed Pino site that the city was originally going to move the messy Municipal Garage to. The story on Hoboken411 put an end to that ridiculous idea that would have ruined that neighborhood.
What Bijou is looking to do is build a modest 14-unit building at 700 Monroe (along with a 90 spot automated garage) – however, he needs to transfer the zoning rights from the Pino site across the street in order for that to happen.
In exchange, he’d donate the Pino property to the city for the sole purpose of building a new park for residents to enjoy. Great out of the box thinking from a smart, savvy businessman with high standards for development – an example the city should learn from, that’s for sure.
Instead we have Dawn Zimmer – who said a SW Park was her first priority. Where are we seven years later? We have a better chance of a developer downtown providing open space before you see a blade of grass from the city. Par for the course these days!
Kudos to the guys at Bijou, who are certainly bettering Hoboken with their sensible developments such as the Garden Street Lofts, Edge Lofts, the upcoming Park and Garden Hoboken and this park in the near future. Way to go!