Last night, to a packed room – the Zoning Board denied a local developer the go ahead on what would have been the most exciting “progress” Hoboken has seen in a very long time. A mixed used project, complete with bowling alley, performance venue, various athletics facilities, residential living, some open space – and most importantly: some LIFE injected into the otherwise dreary NW area of the city.
Even better – a group of the smartest business owners were behind it (the chaps who run the wildly successful Pilsener Haus & Biergarten).
Peter Cunningham is mostly responsible for this travesty. They offered ZERO logical reasons why the application (which costs $80,000 to apply for) was denied. I say logical because they did offer bullshit reasons that made no sense – especially when there was no public opposition.
So now – instead of a vibrant project (which was overwhelmingly supported by the entire community, including the Fund for a Better Waterfront AND the Quality of Life Coalition), the developer has no other choice than to proceed with what IS approved: Industrial tenants.
Can’t blame a business owner wanting to make a profit, right? That’s the purpose! But when smart business owners start leaving Hoboken for better cities, and we just end up with chain stores – you can thank our lovely “Mayor.”
The board has the “power” to reverse their decision and approve this project right NOW. But what they’ve done instead is let that area remain without a pulse – a dangerous place at night, with more car burglaries by the week. I wonder how those jerkoff board members will feel when rapes and stabbings start trending higher in that area?
“Moving Hoboken Ahead,” my ass.
After around nine months of construction, top U.S. Realtor Keller Williams finally finished their big Hoboken office at 1st & Washington Streets. And guess what? They’re having a big party tonight. I bet the folks at Liberty Realty are shivering in their pants! Imagine a heavyweight like Keller Williams coming on your turf where you’ve been #1 for a long time? Read their presser below…
Keller Williams to host a launch party for their Hoboken office including delicious local cuisine, jazz band and ribbon cutting ceremony with Hoboken “Mayor” Dawn Zimmer.
HOBOKEN, NJ – June 12, 2014- KW City Life Realty of Hoboken will be hosting their launch party on June 12, 2014 and already have much to be proud. The office was spearheaded by Renée Condon, a well-respected broker with 11 years of experience in Hudson County. Condon was also a resident of Hoboken for 20 years and a 2014 recipient for the NJAR® Distinguished Sales Award ™. Condon’s passion for her community and real estate inspired the inception of this office. She said, “We’re looking to positively change the way real estate is conducted in Hoboken and Jersey City. Keller Williams is the most forward thinking, innovative real estate company. Our focus is to help agents grow to their fullest potential so they may give the highest level of customer service for which Keller Williams is known.”
KW City Life Realty’s CEO and Team Leader Marybeth Tortoriello (a 10-year veteran of KW) has put together a proficient team of over 100 agents in the Hoboken and Jersey City offices. Tortoriello said, “I aspire to create an environment with a level of professionalism where growth is always encouraged. I always make sure that the Keller Williams culture of ethics, sharing, continuing education, and serving the community is at the base of all we do. And to provide the best customer service, we advocate solid relationships with our neighboring brokerages. In addition, Keller Williams provides a network of agents from a local to international level.”
Naturally the team at KW City Life Realty is excited to celebrate and share the success that has come in these past few months and all the potential that lies ahead. The celebration will take place in their chic store front office on 100 Washington Street from 4:00pm-8:00pm. And true to Keller Williams fashion they will be going all out. There will be a variety of cuisine served from well-loved and neighboring restaurants, a jazz band and even a cameo from Hoboken “Mayoral Actress” Dawn Zimmer at the ribbon cutting.
You know how many Realtors are grabbing prominent “retail” spots on Washington Street? You ever wonder if in today’s ubiquitous age of the “interwebs,” that maybe those costly high-rent places are no longer a necessity? Well, Kristin Ehrgott didn’t think so either – and opened up a semi “virtual” Real Estate office AVENUE Residential over in the back corner of town at 50 Harrison Street.
Perhaps this is the start of a new trend that will bring interesting (cultural, unique, diverse) shops back to our “main street?”
Nearly 96% of homebuyers start their search online and home ownership with a sense of community is their primary focus. A local real estate office has recently opened its doors with this trend in mind.
AVENUE Residential provides their representatives with the technology, resources and support necessary to provide a better consumer experience. AVENUE has launched an advanced website with neighborhood centric search capabilities, even luxury building specific pages for those that have identified their community of choice.
Principal Broker, Kristin Ehrgott, explains how AVENUE is different; “We set out to do better, a more refined approach that is usually reserved for the elite, high-net worth client. Our superior personalized service made accessible to all of our valuable clients.” Ehrgott has quickly built a reputation for representing celebrities, professional athletes and corporate executives with listings and sales at the most prestigious luxury waterfront communities.
The firm currently represents exclusive listings at Maxwell Place for $2.28M, Gulls Cove for $1.28M and Portofino for $889,000. Agents currently work out of Mission 50, a co-working space in Hoboken’s downtown. “Mission 50 and AVENUE have shared philosophies,” Ehrgott says, “both companies believe in collaboration and breaking the traditional mold of the way business is done.” Ehrgott plans to open an additional space this summer in the quickly growing North West redevelopment area of town. “I believe in supporting communities and helping them to flourish first hand,” she says, “it’s exciting and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
After years with a national real estate brand Ehrgott grew frustrated with antiquated policies and methods that hinder the consumer experience and discourage agent motivation and profitability. “Fact is, we have access to the same resources offered by the national firms but we’re able to create a superior experience through a more effective and personalized approach,” says Christopher Poreda, Managing Director at AVENUE. Poreda comes from a background in International consulting and efficiency audit for PWC and C-level executive recruitment; naturally his role includes business development and staff management.
Ehrgott’s focus is on growing strategic partnerships with real estate developers, architects, commercial and residential brokers across the country to help support and grow business for her agents. “Our agents are our focus,” she explain, “by providing our representatives with the technology, resources and support they need, ultimately they are able to better serve their clients which results in a reputation that excels above our competition.”
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.
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.
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.