Hoboken Bowling Alley & More {update}

Hoboken Bowling Alley project trods along {why stall a good thing?}

Over two years ago, the Zimmer-appointed zoning board gleefully rejected a great plan to bring a bowling alley and more life to the NW section of Hoboken. For no logical reason (the only one I can come up with was that they were bullied by others in kindergarten – or abusive parents.)

Hoboken bowling alley new 2016 plan

Those city board members pretty much have no qualifications (other than being loyal to the “mayor” and his “wife.”)(If you don’t get that… sorry)

If the city had approved this back then – this project probably would have been long done – and the residents would have had a great new recreational space to utilize. Today.

Hoboken bowling alley stuck in the mud

Instead, more money being sucked out of developers Hany Ahmed and Mark Villamar’s pockets. What are they accomplishing exactly? The joy of power and control over others?

Back in 2014, the city – instead of easily granting a variance to (then current) zoning laws – developed a new set of zoning laws for this area. Now it appears that the revised project has more density than the previous one. How’d that work out?

Hoboken Bowling Alley original plan

One of the original plans for the Hoboken Bowling Alley

The new plans no longer have the rock-climbing facility, as they moved on to another location. But in addition to the bowling alley – a 14-story hotel, two 11-story residential towers, 25,000 sq. ft. of retail and close to 400 parking spots.

How long will the city psychopathically delay this version of what is promised to be a nice addition to the northwestern part of Hoboken?

Over-under on ground-breaking is 2020.

Hoboken Bowling Alley side view

No bowling alley for Hoboken; NW area will remain a shit hole

6.18.2014 Update:

Hoboken denies bowling alleyLast 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.

Zimmer and Cunningham prevent bowling alley in Hoboken NJ

How cool would a Hoboken Bowling alley be?


A Hoboken Bowling Alley has been on the list of “Hoboken Wants” forever. (That, along with others like a Taco Bell, Strip Club, Trader Jo’s, Whole Foods, etc.)

Well one Hoboken developer (Hany Ahmed), along with the proprietors of the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten have a plan to make that 10-pin dream a reality.

Hoboken Bowling coming soon

(You might say this scene above probably won’t pan out exactly like that…)

Breathing life into NW Hoboken: Bowling Alley, Rock-climbing gym

Up for a zoning “variance” next week, this parcel of land on Jefferson Street between 13th & 14th currently houses a mostly vacant industrial set of buildings. There is no residential property anywhere on the blocks immediately surrounding it.

Also presently under “remediation” is the 14th Street Viaduct, which once complete, a dog run and some basketball courts will abut the property to the north.

Hoboken Bowling Alley Rock Climbing Gym

Industrial warehouse + no columns = perfect match for bowling

Upon trying to figure out what could be done with this building, Ahmed noticed the unique construction of this “warehouse,” which was once used to for some kind of manufacturing (and still has inside a large crane apparatus in the rafters). The northern building, with it’s 200′ x 75′ footprint has no center columns, but instead is wide open inside, nearly four-stories in height, “first thing you want to do is play a game of stickball,” Ahmed said.

Besides stickball, what kind of business would benefit from an expansive, open layout? A bowling alley.

Initial concepts have up to 18 lanes, with room for a bar, restaurant as well as a live-performance venue – which Hoboken is severely lacking in – especially since Maxwell’s abandoned the Mile Square.

On the south end of this lot – the developer is courting The Gravity Vault, a rock-climbing “fitness” outfit who has three locations in New Jersey already. The building would be retro-fitted with a 40-foot wall that changes weekly to “challenge” climbers, as well as smaller walls for the kiddies.

And to round out the plan would be a 12 story residential structure (with parking) in the middle.

There will be a public meeting TONIGHT at 7pm over at the Kolo Klub uptown. Beer, soda and pretzels will be provided for those who attend. Should be around one hour long.

This project is going in front of the Hoboken Zoning Board next week. As you may know, things like “Master Plans” and “expediency” do not rhyme well in Hoboken – which is why you need to leave “vision and progress” to intelligent business owners instead.

Would you support a novel and interesting proposal like this in Hoboken?

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016 12:21 pm

They are taking away an 80,000 square foot parking garage that holds somewhere north of 400 cars. Then trying to add hundreds of apartments and hotel rooms. Hoboken has enough traffic and parking issues without this. The density is already out of control it’s time we stopped the madness of adding hundreds of luxury apartments (with no traffic or infrastructure planning) a year to an already too crowded city.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:34 pm

The real story here may very well be not the denial of the bowling alley but rather the seemingly routine approval of projects being built by the “favored developers” in town. Take a look around. The same developers seem to get height variances whenever requested. If you want to build 10 stories above the permitted limit, put a green roof on it and make sure you support the Mayor’s bid for re-election. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the reason for killing the Rockefeller projects was simply to get them out of the way so that the “favored developer” could pick up the property at a huge discount. Perhaps someone didn’t want the bowling alley built in the hopes of getting their greedy little hands on the property. This kind of thing isn’t new. It’s been the trademark of questionable political decisions for ages. It usually ends with a perp walk around the federal building. Let’s see if anyone is paying attention to the development trends in town.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9:04 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but at a minimum at least the city could clean up the roads in this area – 15th street is a general disaster all the way from Willow to Madison and am constantly seeing cars broken down with flat tires.

Anyone ever taking a left from 15th south onto Madison must know what I’m referring to.

The mind boggling thing is that NYC seems to have paved many of their north/south avenues so far this year, yet Hoboken’s inept government can’t even manage to figure out how to pave Washington St. in the decrepit state it’s in…let alone any other streets. I’d venture a guess to say Washington hasn’t been paved in 20 years.

Really makes me wonder where the millions in property taxes are going – very disturbing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 3:43 pm

This is what happens when people picked last for kickball as kids have decision making capabilities in city government.

Reply to  john14
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 12:51 am

Yep, a flunky non-practicing lawyer, a finance person with multiple judgements against her, a sports marketer that misrepresents himself, pay-to-play Bhalla and a supposed ballerina who can’t name the company she danced for.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:13 pm

Why would anyone hate a live music space or recreational sport like bowling? Because it brings undesirables to town? Bet you don’t have a solid bone in your spine because you have no issue with homeless shelters or low income housing. What a pack of pathetic pussies this town has become. 👿

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