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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doggie Daycare Coming to Waldo Lofts

One of the long vacant retail spaces in the base of the Waldo Lofts on Second Street is finally filling up. K9dergarten, a dog day care and boarding facility is setting up shop offering the usual in puppy pampering for absentee moms and dads.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

PJ Ryans Becomes O'Hara's Downtown

O'Hara's Downtown has replaced PJ Ryans

Downtown watering hole PJ Ryan's has changed things up and is now operating as O'Hara's Downtown. Supposedly not much else is changing.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Council Considers Street Names, Fails to Address Street Safety

Having solved all the city's other problems, the city council is diligently considering an important new measure: the renaming of part of Morgan Street to Trump Plaza. The stretch of road runs next to Trump Plaza, the half built two tower residential complex on the edge of the Powerhouse District. Meanwhile, the city council has done nothing to address the spate of traffic accidents on local streets. On Friday, a car on Erie Street skidded out of control slamming into several parked cars. But at least under the new measure, Trump Plaza will have a Trump Plaza address.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

CNN Jumps on Sixth Borough Party

CNNMoney writes about the Jersey City residential construction boom. Having never come across this blog, the author writes "Jersey City sits on the cusp of becoming New York City's sixth borough."

More importantly, the article offers some insight on future plans. The second Trump Tower might "break ground in several months." The Toll Brothers Powerhouse District towers are "at least a year" away, and 77 Hudson will still be ready by spring.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Trump Launches Radio Campaign

Donald Trump is personally urging prospective home buyers to consider Trump Plaza, Jersey City, in a new radio advertising campaign that probably indicates sales are slow, or as rumors put it, non-existent. The first tower opened earlier this year and the word on the street is the place is a ghost town. The second tower is indefinitely delayed.

Trump's Jersey City property has been dealt a double blow in the last year. Not only are buyers more scarce, but development of the neighborhood itself has come to a halt. The tower overlooks 111 First Street, a site that a year ago was scheduled to become the Rem Koolhaas "vertical city." Instead, the lot has become a staging site for construction of another tower, 110 First Street, also delayed due to a financing problem. All in all, that leaves Trump's current residents feeling a little lonely and short on retail options.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Harbor Lights Might Really Be Moving Forward

Harbor lights, a new development in downtown Jersey City supposedly broke ground yesterday. Yes, that's a Ferrari parked in the lot

The long delayed Harbor lights project, a three building complex in the Powerhouse Arts District adjacent to the Waldo Lofts, has broken ground according to the Jersey Journal. The project supposedly conforms to the original PAD ordinances with artists' spaces and flexible loft layouts.

Harbor Lights is, like most projects, long delayed. Ground breaking for the site was first expected to happen more than a year ago. The sales office, pictured above with a Ferrari, has been open for at least a year as well. The original renderings showed a complex of three red brick buildings.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Butler Brother's Warehouse Next on PAD Chopping Block

The 1905 Butler Brother's Warehouse in Jersey City's powerhouse arts district

The 1905 Butler Brother's Warehouse may be the next razed building in the formerly historic Powerhouse Arts District. The owner of the warehouse says the building is ready to collapse, mirroring arguments made by Lloyd Goldman, owner of the former Lorillard warehouse.

The fight over 111 First Street began when the city refused to allow a tower to rise from the center of the structure. That set off a series of lawsuits, including those filed by artist tenants, and counter suits by the developer. Eventually Goldman claimed the warehouse ready to collapse due to structural problems.

The city settled the dispute by allowing the warehouse to come down; starachitect Rem Koolhaus announced a design for the site further appeasing city officials who enjoyed the wave of national attention from the announcement. The ambitious Koolhaus design with multiple cantilevers may not be built for quite sometime, if at all. The developer is currently using the property as a staging area for the under construction 110 First Street. But more importantly, the cantilevers may add high costs the developer is unwilling to bear, particularly in a slowing economy.

Next up was the Manishevitz factory bought by the Toll Brothers for three high rise towers. The city capitulated to their request to rezone the property, setting off fears in the preservationist community that they were opening the flood gates to high rise development in the former warehouse district. Apparently, they were right.

The Butler Warehouse is one proposed location for the Port Authority's substation that is currently adjacent to the Powerhouse. Work cannot commence on renovating the Powerhouse until the substation is moved. Another possible location is a parcel of land next to the Powerhouse that originally was planned as a park.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Powerhouse District Festival

Powerhouse Arts District festival and fair, Saturday June 28th

The Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association held their third annual neighborhood BBQ and street fair on Saturday. The event included live music and arts and crafts vendors as well as local shops like d.e.e.n selling their wares.

The old loading bay served as a perfect live act stage for a mostly on pitch performance.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Epitaph for the Powerhouse Arts District

The folks over at compiled video footage relating to the rise and fall of the Powerhouse Arts District, including clips from the council meeting creating the district and the meeting that effectively eliminated it.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Powerhouses Are Awesome Says NYTimes

Jersey Cityzens may like to think of the powerhouse as the powerhouse, but as the NY Times reports, other nearby powerhouses can be just as cool. Most importantly though, Jersey City's powerhouse, long awaiting a debut into polite society is finally starting to move forward with renovations. The four year process relocating the PATH substation should begin in April.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

110 First Street Renderings Surface

110 First Street made a sudden appearance last month with pre-construction and a rushed approval from the planning board. The Jersey City reporter has a rendering online of the proposed tower. The building includes a tall "L" shaped tower to the west of the lot along Warren Street and a midrise portion along the park and light rail line east of the building. Presumably, the midrise section is a parking deck extending out from the tower, design similar to other downtown towers, or similar to a cancerous tumor. Buyers in the adjacent Athena "A" Tower will likely have their western views eclipsed by the tower shortly.

Via Wired JC


Monday, February 11, 2008

Bits & Briefs

Winds Rip Roof
Hudson Now reports high winds blew off the roof of a warehouse in the powerhouse district.

Art Developers, Now Hear This
The Times cries about how much it sucks to be a unsuccessful hip artist priced out of a neighborhood that was gentrified by artists.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Athena Tower Officially Opens

Multi-Housing News reports that the Athena Groups condominium tower, A, has officially opened. The 250 unit, 33 story tower on Washington Boulevard sits on the edge of the Powerhouse Arts District. The 10,500 square feet of retail space is not yet occupied, and the public park, west of the tower and mandated by the city, is not yet completed.

Residents of the Athena tower will be overlooking three construction sites. The Trump Tower sits to the south east. To the south is the site of the planned Rem Koolhaus Tower, 111 First Street, and immediately west of the tower a new 35 story building at 110 First Street. In addition, Athena overlooks the old powerhouse, not yet under construction, but eventually that building will be rehabilitated and converted into an amusement of sorts.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

35 Story Rental Tower Approved for 110 First

Wired Forum member KLJC has an excellent write up concerning the approved 110 First Street. The site of a former warehouse was restricted in total height, units, and floor area in a settlement agreement between the city and New Gold Equities, the developer responsible for demolishing buildings at 110 and 111 First Street.

The development is the first to go before the board seeking amendments in the Powerhouse District since the city approved the Toll Brother's towers for the area. Though the city approved the project, there were limits. The height and floor areas are to remain, though the total number of units has been increased, meaning many smaller units. The total height of the building will be 35 stories, two higher than the neighboring Athena tower.

The tower will contain a restaurant and gallery spaces, but will also have an unfortunate 9 story parking deck.

Earlier reports of preparation work on the site were actually test pilings. However, the eagerness displayed at the planning board meeting would seem to indicate the developer is looking to move full steam ahead on the project.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

110 First Street Seeking Approvals

Rumors have been circulating on the internet that the vacant lot at 110 First Street, just west of the recently completed Athena 'A' Tower, was being prepped for construction. It seems the development is going before the planning board (PDF) seeking 452 units, 343 parkings spaces, and nearly 14,000 square feet of retail.

In July 2004, a historically designated warehouse was demolished under the auspices of safety, foretelling the fate of its somewhat more famous neighbor, 111 First Street. Both buildings were owned by Lloyd Goldman, a real estate developer.

Below, the site of 110 First street is in the background; the foreground, a park is under construction.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Waldo Lofts Nearly Sold Out... Just In Time

Field's Development has sent out a press release claiming their Waldo Lofts condominium project is 90% sold out. Good news for the developer, considering the city just approved multiple high rises one block from the twelve story tower. The Waldo Lofts sought architectural inspiration from the nearby Powerhouse and conformed to the previous arts district zoning, but the city's recent decision to allow Toll Brothers to build 3 high rise towers -- one as high as 40 stories -- will likely mean that the shorter Waldo Lofts will soon be surrounded by very tall neighbors. The Harbor Lights project surrounds Waldo on three sides, and many speculate that project, yet to break ground, will seek to go higher following the Toll Brother's ruling.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Planning Board Eviscerates Arts District

The long fight over the Toll Brother's planned towers for the former Powerhouse Arts District essentially came to an end at last night's planning board meeting with the board voting 8 to 0 in favor of approving Toll Brothers new vision reports the Jersey Journal. The plan includes building towers of 40, 35 and 30 stories in the former warehouse district and dwarfing several projects that conformed to the original Powerhouse Arts District Plan including the recently completed Waldo Lofts and Morgan Lighthouse.

In addition to opposing high rise towers in the neighborhood, preservationists wanted to preserve several historic warehouses in the district and an original cobblestone street. Toll will only preserve one facade of the old Manischewitz factory. The cobblestones will be removed for construction, and then returned to a new plaza. The new plaza, along with a 500 seat theater is a concession Toll Brothers made in an attempt to appease the city and local residents.

Provost Square will be a 25,000 square foot plaza bound by Morgan, Provost, and Bay streets. The Hudson, residential project that conformed to the original PAD plan broke ground on the site in December of 2006. Workers drove pilings for the small building before the Toll Brother's involvement.

Harbor Lights, another PAD project, was supposed to have broken ground in early 2007. However, when the Toll Brothers began fighting to amend the neighborhood zoning, the Harbor Lights ground breaking never happened, fueling speculation the developer was waiting to follow in Toll's footsteps. Now, Harbor Lights may seek height extensions as a result of the city ruling in favor of Toll. In addition, Morgan Pointe, a planned project for the corner of Steuben, Marin, and Morgan Streets might also have been waiting for the Toll Brothers ruling.

Many preservationists point to the controversy with 111 First Street as the turning point for the Powerhouse District. 111 First Street, 19th century warehouse was involved with a multi-year battle between a developer looking to build a tower on top of the site, and historians looking to preserve the warehouse. 111 First Street was demolished last year to make way for a 52 story tower designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaus. The announcement that Koolhaus was designing a tower in Jersey City made headlines literally around the globe, but also paved the way for Toll to seek zoning changes.

Last night's ruling will likely lead directly to another fight, this time over the Butler Brothers Warehouse, a 9 story building on the eastern end of the district. Once the tallest building in the PAD, the owner planned on building out penthouse units on the top floors. However, with the new ruling, Butler Brothers will likely be the valley surrounded by high rise towers. The city has indicated the Butler Brothers building, below, is one building they might be interested in preserving. However, considering the city's record with preservation efforts, it may not be long before this behemoth is also replaced with new towers.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Toll Brothers Powerhouse Arts District Plan Approved

Hudson Now is reporting that the Toll Brothers three tower plan was approved at this evenings meeting, recasting the Powerhouse Arts District as a high rise luxury community and allowing redevelopment to finally move forward. The tallest building will stand 40 stories. As a concession, Toll Brothers will build a 500 seat theater.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Powerhouse Dirt Pile Removed

For years a massive pile of dirt sat on city land at the corner of Washington and Second Streets, adjacent to the historic powerhouse building. The city had been hoping construction in the powerhouse district might need the dirt-- and remove the dirt for free. Instead, the Athena Tower sales office needed the open land, and agreed to move the soil to another city location in exchange for using the land for a temporary sales office. The removal would have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars. Finally, the dirt has been removed:


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dirt Pile To be Cleared

According to a Journal article, which has since disappeared and now only appears on the Wired New York forums, the large pile of dirt adjacent to the Powerhouse that has sat on Washington Blvd for a number of years is finally to be removed. The Athena developers are to remove the soil from the city own land, and temporarily install a sales office for the A Condominiums currently being erected across the street.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood
The Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association has launched a website. Name calling, petty bickering, stalking charges to follow. Oh, wait, that's Newport.

Hoboken Hero
A new blog from the northwest corner of Hoboken was launched with all sorts of construction-porn goodness including the new Metro-stop building

Safest Drivers In N.Y.C., Jersey City, Yonkers
Don't expect an auto insurance discount anytime soon, but apparently we rank among the safest drivers in the nation.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Hoboken park funded
The Journal reports that Hoboken received the last $200,000 of the needed $7.1 Million to build a park at 1600 Park Avenue

Panty Bandits Raid Jersey City Mall
Sorority houses across the state are on the lookout after a Panty Raid at the Newport Mall.

Lorillard-- Not Quite History - But Going!
Blogger Uncle Tonoose has a few photos of 111 First Coming Down.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is This the Last 'Last Matzo' Story?

Ever since Manischewitz folks announced they were planning on closing up shop, the local papers have been all aflutter with "last Matzo" stories including today's in the Star Ledger. Is it really the last story about the last Matzo?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Jersey Avenue (extended version)
Tris McCall tackles the Jersey Avenue Connector issue.

The Hudson School art exhibit
Judy Marciano points us to The Hudson School of Hoboken presentation of student art.

No Flash of Badge
Hoboken Councilman Chris Campos laments that the city failed to ratify a police contract in two years.

Coming to Jersey City: '600-foot-tall piece of art'
Just in case you hadn't had enough Koolhaas, another photo of the model.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

New York Times On Koolhaas Tower

As the demolition of 111 First Street continues, the Rem Koolhaas proposal continues to make waves. The most recent main stream media coverage of the tower is the New York Times, giving Koolhaas a reach around.

And of course the various message forums serving Jersey City have been lit up lately with talk of the tower. Many critiques have declared the structure to be an impossibility. The New York Times explains this:

"A reinforced concrete tube running through its core will anchor the building. Cantilevered concrete beams will support the two upper blocks, whose end sections splay out over the street."

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

111 First St. Tower Announced, Architect Denounced

If you haven't yet seen the renderings of the Koolhaas vision of Jersey City, the Wired Forums have them posted. A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when those pictures depict three rectangles stacked precariously into a 52 story tower.

While 52 stories isn't particularly tall compared to world standards, or even when compared to other towers across Jersey City's skyline, the story was big enough for Curbed to mention it and even for Hoboken411 to look across their southern border. That makes sense after all, since its the folks in Manhattan and Hoboken who will have to look at this building in profile.

Now whether you love it or hate it, there is of course something to be said about having a world famous architect building structures in your backyard. On one hand, its easy to see how this tower is Jersey City's Guggenheim Museum, yet on the other side of things, it could clearly be another Miss Brooklyn.

But enough about the tower. After all, when it comes to development in Jersey City, its always personal. Which is why we were intrigued when Tris McCall posed the question, Is Rem Koolhaas an asshole?. Yes, apparently he is, least of all because he's proposed stacking three soviet style block houses on top of each other, and mostly because he has the audacity to call it art.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Kvetching about condos
As Toll Brothers push forward with plans to build towers on the Manischevitz factory site, activists want to be part of the dialogue. Half the Manischevitz property is outside the PAD, and recent variances for 111 First Street might set a precedent that allows Toll to go higher.

Housing Market Heats Up
Apparently the housing crash is over, at least in the metro region. Bidding wars are back just in time for the spring collections.

Trump's local apprentice
Architect Dean Geibel is interviewed regarding the Trump Tower. Rumors of the demise of the second tower are greatly exaggerated; Geibel says the abatement payment to the city has been made, and at a cool $1.6 million, you can bet they're going to be building the other tower.

New construction coming to train terminal area
Hoboken's rail yards might not be getting as much attention as those in Brooklyn or the west side of Manhattan, but developers could soon be dreaming just as big. Hoboken's council has approved a planning board study calling for the redevelopment of the yards. Half the yards of course are in Jersey City, north of the Newport redevelopment property.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

111 First Street Demolition

We aren't the only ones taking pictures of the demolition of 111 First Street. One intrepid photographer ventured inside to get some first hand look at the destruction. Whether you're pro-conservation or pro-demolition, these photographs have an artistic aesthetic we don't usually capture and are probably worth taking a look at.

Via JCList


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Steuben Street Getting 18 Units is reporting that 154 Steuben Street will soon see 18 units rise from a parking lot located there. The building is being built by TreeTop of New York, and Fields Development, responsible for Waldo Lofts, among others downtown.

154 Steuben is located just north of Columbus Plaza and Tower with this neighborhood fast becoming the heart of the new downtown. At the end of Steuben Street is the proposed Morgan Point. A block north of there is the Manishevitz property bought recently by Toll Brothers, and speculation has said there could soon be a 40 story tower on that property. Just to south of Columbus Plaza is the Metropolis Towers property where two proposed 25 story towers and several mid-rise buildings could soon be built.

Via Wired Forums

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bits & Briefs

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Room With a View: Not So Much

Blogger Crazy Fingers points out an obvious flaw with New Jersey's soon to be tallest residential towers: there are no views.

Indeed, for one thing, the two tower design of the Jersey City Trump builing means that the western tower units are going to be blocked by the eastern tower. But never mind that since the bigger issue will probably be the empty parking lots across the street from the tower. No doubt these holdovers from a more suburban era in Jersey City will soon be replaced with something taller. Like Harborside Financial Plaza 6 or Harborside 7, both planned for lots between Trump and the river, and neither of which have yet been built.

And of course, check out this week's Trump Tower construction porn.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Regular Programming: Bits & Briefs

A news of the week wrap up that includes a good ol' reach around to just about everyone who writes about the sixth borough.

Time For Developers to Start Playing Ball
Jersey Journal

A Hoboken View
Hudson Current

SW Redevelopment Plan Continues

Plans on Hold for 10th Street Buildings

Jersey City Trump Not a Sex Act

Drawings Out For Pencil Factory

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Monday, September 26, 2005

The Trump Top Ten

Dojo-Mojo has created "The Top 10 Reasons Donald Trump's Coming To Town" in response to his appearence and announcement that the Trump name will soon adorn "the tallest residential tower in New Jersey."


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Artists Finally Face Lottery For Arts District

The first eight rental units offered at a discounted rate for artists will finally find renters through a lottery, nearly a year after the city took the time to designate an artists' district. Confused officials have started calling the area "SoHo West," thinking that there are still artists in the real SoHo. Other areas of the city will soon be designated "Hipster District," "Yuppie District," and "Guys Who Think They're Still Part of A Fraternity District."


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Friday Night To Be Fun, Artists Promise

The Jersey City Arts community seems to be doing well despite the encroachment of yuppy filled condos on the downtown arts district. JCFridays has setup a number of events on Friday, September 9th, featuring exhibitions from a whole range of mediums.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hulking Concrete Slab Has a Name

You may have noticed the giant concrete slab rising behind the Shoprite in Downtown Jersey City. Well, it has a name: Waldo Lofts. Waldo will bring 82 units of housing to the arts district of JC where development has to some degree been delayed by lawsuits and counter lawsuits and city fines.


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New York's Sixth is a blog for the forgotten, de facto borough across the river featuring original content, commentary, and information relevant to living in Downtown Jersey City / Hoboken.


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