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Monroe Center: Lookin’ Legit

If you’ve completely forgotten about the Monroe Center and its ambitious redevelopment plan, you can be forgiven. The pace has been absolutely glacial, and for a long time it seemed like the Monroe Center, which offers retail, office, and artistic spaces, was stuck in a sort of half-developed hell, with an unclad connecting bridge and a shabby exterior.

Slowly, though, the place has improved. If you haven’t been back in that are recently, not only are you missing out on some of the best new eateries in Hoboken (Lo-Fatt Chow, Panello, and Shaka Bowl), you’d also be surprised at the fresh, finished look the place is sporting, capped off by the comfy new entry courtyard.

The Six Year Plan

The Monroe Center has been managed by Basad Realty since 2011 and sports 180,000 square feet to offer in two connected buildings, along with a fair amount of precious, precious parking. The Monroe Center sports an incredible array of businesses, artists at work, and other fun stuff—and now it features a great little hang out area.

If you’ve ever eaten at Panello in the past, you know that getting into the restaurant was always kind of an adventure, and there was no place to eat outside—or even wait comfortably if they were crowded. Now, though, there’s a pretty nice spot to sit down, with plenty of seating, water features, and greenery. Of course, at the moment you have a great view of the construction site on the other side of the Monroe Center, but you can’t have everything.

The parking lot on the 7th Street side has also been repaved and spruced up, reclaiming it from the hot mess it was for several years. Hope springs eternal that the restaurant space on that end of the building (where the mysterious Shades of Hoboken once … operated? we assume?) will be populated by a worthy restaurant or, if the gods smile, a bar.

In the mean time, there is more going on any random day at the Monroe Center than you might imagine. Check out their News and Directory to see what might tempt you to venture back to Monroe Avenue.

mm

Jeffrey Somers

Staff Writer • Jeff Somers (jeffreysomers.com) is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People (wearenotgoodpeople.com) and the publisher of The Inner Swine (innerswine.com). Jeff may be reach at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .



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