What’s coming to north Hoboken?
City releases development study for industrial area; Park on Park being demolished
by Amanda Palasciano
Reporter staff writer
Feb 17, 2013 | 5289 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TEAR IT DOWN – A look at the current demolition of the Park on Park garage uptown. A new 12-story, 212 unit building will be built on the site. Photo by Angela de Zeeuw.
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In the northwest section of Hoboken, drills are spinning, the privately owned Park on Park garage is being demolished, and other developments are rising. The city has a vision in mind for this formerly industrial part of town, and some of the individual property owners may have to slow their plans until they find out what the city’s Planning Board will approve. Other owners already have gotten approval and are in the process of building.

Currently, the area is zoned industrial, which only allows new buildings to reach two stories. This means whenever someone hopes to build higher, they must seek a variance from the Zoning Board. One way the city can change this is to determine that an entire area is in need of redevelopment and implement new zoning regulations.

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“We look forward to working collaboratively with the community to ensure that a vision for a revitalized northern end of Hoboken becomes a reality.” – Rockefeller Group

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This month, the city released a study that identified exactly which properties in this grid are in need of redevelopment, the first step in a long process to decide whether the area should be re-zoned. Once the Planning Board approves the study, the city can create a redevelopment plan for what can be built there, and then seek developers to build. They can also take over properties by eminent domain in certain cases.

The area is already changing from industrial to residential.

Drivers entering town from Park Avenue have likely seen the Park on Park garage, which is being demolished between 14th and 15th streets. On the website of Bijou Properties, property owner Larry Bijou has announced plans for 1415 Park Place, a 12-story, 212 unit residential and commercial unit building to be in place for 2014. That development was approved years ago.

George Cahn, a spokesman for Bijou Properties, said Thursday that another Bijou Properties residential project is expected to open in a few weeks at 1405 Clinton St. It is being touted as an environmentally friendly building.

“[Larry Bijou] is really trying to make all of north Hoboken greener,” said Cahn.

North End Redevelopment Study released

The city recently released the North End Redevelopment study after two years of work. The 163-page study looks at a total of 53 properties, which are owned by about 37 property owners. Some of the owners, like NJ Transit and Rockefeller Group, own multiple properties.

The Rockefeller Group owns quite a bit of northern property under the name Park Willow LLC. This includes the former Stahl Soap factory location, a former Enterprise Rental Car location, Burlington Coat Factory, Riverfront Car Wash, and other sections of Willow and Park avenues. In 2010, officials said that Rockefeller Group had plans that included an office tower up to 40 stories tall. That was around the time that the City Council voted to commission the redevelopment study of the area.

Last week, Julie Roginsky, a representative from Rockefeller Group, declined to say exactly what the company hopes to build. However, she said, “We look forward to working collaboratively with the community to ensure that a vision for a revitalized northern end of Hoboken becomes a reality. As the city moves forward with its plans to enhance this gateway to Hoboken, we welcome the opportunity to participate and contribute to the process.”

City spokesman Juan Melli said the next step for the Planning Board is a public hearing process to approve the city’s redevelopment plan. He said the meeting will likely occur in the next several weeks.

“We are scheduling the meetings now,” he said. “It may start as one meeting and then we will add additional meetings, depending on how much input and testimony there is.”

Amanda Palasciano may be reached at amandap@hudsonreporter.com.

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