Thursday, May 12 2022

An abandoned building near the Hoboken-Jersey City border can become a condominium with commercial space on the ground floor.

The seven-story building with 40 residential units would replace the old Rey Foods Inc. building that sits at 511-521 Newark St. near Henderson Street and Observer Highway, architect John Nastasi said. It is in front of a fire station.

Hoboken invited Nastasi to present the vision to the community on Monday night ahead of municipal votes to greenlight the project.

“I know it’s surrounded by taller buildings but I think the scale of the building helps to moderate the much taller buildings to the north and south with the fire station being kind of a height mediator and mass,” Nastasi said. “I think it’s a very delicate and sensitively designed shape in the neighborhood.”

The new building is envisioned with approximately 4,400 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, parking on the second floor and residences above. The 40 units would include 10 bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms and five-bedrooms, Nastasi said.

Retail would face Newark Street, and developers would contribute $400,000 to streetscape costs for that street, Hoboken Community Development Manager Chris Brown said.

The project is part of the South West Hoboken redevelopment area, which envisions a rear driveway parallel to Newark Street and behind lots like the Rey Foods property which faces it. The driveway would provide access to those lots as well as a pedestrian and bicycle route, said Hoboken senior planner Casey Wolf.

Nastasi’s plan includes a rear drive-thru in the building’s parking lot that connects to Newark Street, but he and the city hope it can eventually expand to Grove Street, which would complete a section of that alley. back.

If submitted as currently planned, Nastasi’s plan would require the city to modify the area’s redevelopment plan, as it does not meet all existing zoning rules.

For example, the current plan allows for four floors of residential units while this project envisages five. It would also cover 77% of the lot in a section of town where only 60% lot coverage is permitted.

The density is double the existing allocation and the average unit size is 237 square feet less than the plan calls for. It offers seven places less than what the redevelopment plan calls for.

A larger neighboring project is underway for properties on the same block at the corner of Newark and Henderson streets, but is still in negotiation with the city, Nastasi said.

Councilman Ruben Ramos spoke at the end of the meeting and said he hoped the commercial space would not become a daycare center, which has been the fate of several other retail spaces on the ground floor. floor in new buildings.

Brown said the city can look at ways to get other types of businesses to use the space, but it can’t ban child care as a potential use.


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