Our little city council / not-so-open government snafu has made it into the New York Times today!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Before I went to sleep last night I put under my pillow, a brick stolen from 800 Madison - the latest Upper Grand development, some concrete shavings from Metrostop, a dash of rain water from our last flooding debacle (chased with whiskey, of course), lit a yartzeit candle purchased from Shoprite, and prayed hard for a bountiful gift from the ether. When I awoke this morning, alas! my! prayers! were! answered!! The almighty construction fairy came to visit us last night and pounded into the ground a giant 20 foot sign announcing the pending arrival of some brand spanking new luxury residences. Ladies and gentleman, I give to you Upper Grand's latest arrival, coming soon to the corner of 9th and Monroe Streets:
The west facing facade (the rendering on the right) is mostly townhouses with the large 13 story tower on the right. The left hand rendering is of the south facade, which will be a full 13 story tower along the entire block of 9th Street between Jackson and Monroe Streets. The low level townhouses styles portions will run along Monroe Street, just behind Shoprite, and along the back portion next to the light rail tracks, which will become part of the new Western Edge Greenway.
The height of the tower is two floors higher than what currently stands at Metrostop. While some might frown at the height of this new project (especially those above the heights whose views of Manhattan will be blocked), HH welcomes the new development. Yet another project breathing new life into Northwestern Hoboken! And more people means greater chance of meaningful new retail for our neighborhood.
Not sure if this is going to be rental or condo (plans may be up in the air considering the state of the market), but from what I wrote about last April it is all but confirmed there will be nearly 8000 square feet of new retail space, as well as new cafe! BOW TO OUR GLORIOUS HIGH AND MIGHTY DEVELOPER OVERLORDS! They are bestowing upon us a gift from the heavens.
* I guess my original wish for a giant chocolate roller coaster and/or new parkland isn't really coming to fruition, but I'm still not giving up hope...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Once again there's some shady business going on in Hoboken. And when local officials are hesitant in being honest, it usually means they are hiding something.
Click the link below to read an article in today's Star Ledger outlining the current battle between Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason, and our City Counsel, over full access and disclosure of public documentation that our local government is apparently refusing to hand over, even though they are required to do so. These documents have to do with developer agreements, conditions, and promises, tied to tax abatements and other redevelopment activities. Additional paperwork on our police department and other financial documents were requested. These records, and the overall argument at hand, affects every single person living in our neighborhood, and the future of northwestern redevelopment.
Case in point: Tarragon recently disclosing they were never obligated to build a community center and town pool, even though they had a sweetheart construction deal with the city to redevelop large swathes of the northwest portion of our neighborhood, a job that was tied to the center / pool / obligation. These were two items, along with our movie theater, that were highly publicized deals by both the developer, and our photo-op-loving Mayor David Roberts.
The only way to change the sad state of affairs of our local government is for us, the ordinary citizens, to get involved. Talk, email, write, and be vocal with those that make the decisions. This town is full of people who love to share their opinions on just about anything, but unless your words turn into action, nothing gets improved. HH may not agree with everything Beth Mason does, but we sure stand behind her fight for full disclosure, and for making sure our government works FOR US, not behind our back while simultaneously sucking our wallets dry.
The Star Ledger: Jersey court to decide how open public records are
Hoboken Now: Beth Mason's Fight for Transparency at City Hall
Hoboken 411: Mason on Public Records in Hoboken
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I guess my prayers are beginning to be answered? Our little neck of the woods got some much needed attention last week in The New York Daily News. The article pretty much sums up why us pioneers are so lucky to be moving into Northwest Hoboken. The neighborhood offers value, convenience, diversity, space and Chung Park's famous cheese store. Not to mention one of the cities premiere new condo buildings, Metrostop. Enjoy the glow by clicking below:
Hoboken is Under Construction
Monday, February 18, 2008
800 Madison is moving so fast that sometimes I think there might just be thousands of Fraggle Rock doozers working secretly at night to put up this new rental building, and when I wake up each morning to survey the progress, I just can't believe how quickly things are coming together. Believe it or not, the brick work has already begun! Using mid - range shades of light browns, the tones are similar to Metrostop, but with more texture. Images below:
Stacks of concrete litter the adjacent property, which is being used for storage and parking during construction. Eventually, this lot will be built as well, into 900 Monroe, a 13 story mixed used building...
And if that wasn't considered jumping the gun, windows are also being installed at a fast clip. Large window openings will provide plenty of natural light, and the angled bay windows will let you enjoy long distance street views:
Stone and brick work along the garage floor:
800 Madison is so huge, it takes up the entire block. From certain angles it gives off an 'eastern bock' kind of vibe, which is not necessarily a good thing. Hopefully with the added textures of brick, stone, and stucko, it will break up the long lines and soften this beast a little...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
If you live in the 3rd ward like HH - your voting place is inside Columbus Gardens. It's absurdly hard to find - so just in case you need a little help today, I've posted some visual aids. Below, the view of Columbus Gardens from Jefferson Street between 8th and 9th Streets:
Just walk up the path, then hang a left, then it's down through a basement entrance past the American flag, through a corridor and into a little room with tons of water pipes running along the ceiling and bad lighting. There are a bunch of pleasant women helping voters sign in and cast their ballot. My favorite was the one pushing everyones tickets through a pinhead, and onto a piece of string tied to the voting booth. Low tech, of course, but gets the job done when you need a place to keep everyones receipt.
If you still need clarification - the voting location entrance is directly across the street from The Nail Bar Salon:
I'm sure if our voting place offered a 10% discount for mani/pedi's at The Nail Bar, there would be an instant stampede to cast votes this afternoon. Ahhhh the democratic process!