Better use for Hoboken viaduct?

Hoboken Viaduct: Concrete Jungle

Instead of just some bland open space – one Hoboken resident has an idea: Temporary business space.

“What if, instead of being useless concrete space – the viaduct area was utilized to generate taxes for Hoboken and revenue for ambitious retailers (or chefs) who can’t afford rents the city is commanding?”

better use for space under 14th st viaduct in Hoboken NJ

“You could fill the space with outfitted shipping containers that are either food or non-food ready. Qualified vendors can then go to a website to select the container and day(s) they want to rent. No commitment beyond that. You can literally try a new business out for a one-day rental fee. If it works – you’ll continue renting.

If this was done right, it becomes a destination to walk, and helps that part of Hoboken develop faster.”

I told Andreas it was an interesting and ambitious idea – but asked what the response would be if people thought that arrangement was “unsightly.”

He responded:

prefab construction“They wouldn’t because you can skin a shipping container to look very attractive and blend in with the surroundings.

This building has been up for a few years now and it’s certainly a marked improvement in Inwood. Admittedly that isn’t saying much but a shipping container can be made to look like anything incredibly easily. It’s the most versatile structure you can get, especially considering they are almost if not entirely free from the port of Newark.

And personally I find the concrete jungle under the viaduct and along the water front in uptown pretty unsightly. If they had planted trees in there and made it sort of an urban forest that would be my first choice but since that didn’t happen modified containers are better than wide open concrete with no utility.

Besides, have you seen some of the new construction around here? It would make Helen Keller throw up.”

We went on to discuss what is currently “happening” in that space (sporadic use for various events, workout classes, etc.)

In conclusion – the idea is interesting, but the odds of the city experimenting with a project like that are minimal. Odds are it would get filled with shady merchants trying to peddle counterfeit handbags like they do in the city. But something to ponder at least!

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I am sure the existing businesses that are barely hanging on would love this idea!!!