Hoboken Rising: Redevelopment Plan Looks for Second Hotel in Town
Hoboken’s been a boomtown for some time now; between the 2000 and 2010 census the city added 12,000 residents, not to mention numerous new businesses, the new office buildings anchored by John Wiley & Sons and Pearson Education, and the W Hotel. Infrastructure has struggled to keep up, of course, but with new water mains and fiber optic cable being laid under Washington Street, that aspect of the town’s ongoing surge is slowly catching up.Mayor Zimmer and the City Council aren't resting on those laurels, though; they’ve just announced a redevelopment plan for downtown Hoboken, centered on the ugly eyesore that is the parking lot behind the Frank Sinatra Post Office at 89 River Street.[caption id="attachment_7320" align="aligncenter" width="770"]
The old post office building.[/caption]
The plan is to construct a new hotel on the L-shaped land surrounding the 86-year old post office, and also include a redesign of Newark Street to improve, well, everything—from signage to waterfront access. The post office would remain open during the whole process, and the parking lot and loading bays would remain operational, just enclosed and hidden from folks enjoying Pier A and the rest of the riverfront. Assuming, of course, that Pier A doesn’t fall into the river between now and then, of course![caption id="attachment_7321" align="aligncenter" width="770"]
Say goodbye to this hot mess.[/caption]The hotel will be designed and developed by KMS Development Partners; they’re already in the process of purchasing roughly half an acre of property necessary for the project. The Mayor stressed the economic benefits of turning what is now an underused patch of land into a second money engine, noting that it would create about 100 new jobs and increase the tax revenue from zero (the site is currently exempt from property taxes) to about $1 million annually (which means maybe our taxes would go down two years in a row?)
The hotel envisioned for the spot wouldn’t be nearly as huge as the nearby W, of course. First and foremost, there would be setback requirements and other design requirements intended to minimize its shadow and impact on the waterfront area. As currently specified, the hotel wouldn’t exceed about 13 stories (The W is 27 stories high). The plan calls for high-quality materials and design, but no other details are available right now about the hotel branding or features.A second hotel is necessary, Mayor Zimmer notes, because the W is currently booked up on a constant basis. This is in large part due to the surge of business in town; between Pearson and Wiley, corporate accounts keep the rooms full. There’s little doubt that a second hotel is a welcome addition. And the landmark post office building itself will remain untouched, and be incorporated into the overall design and land-use plan.It certainly sounds like a win-win for everyone, although getting to and from the PATH might be more challenging during construction. Still, it’s better than settling for a view of postal trucks coming and going.