New Jersey Future, a statewide planning and smart growth advocacy group, has awarded top honors to Hoboken’s 700 Jackson Street development. A collaboration between the developer, Bijou Properties, and Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects working with the City of Hoboken came up with a community-based plan that will galvanize a new neighborhood on Hoboken’s former industrial west side. The plan includes two new parks, a gymnasium, and an underground stormwater management system to reduce flooding in the area.
“We think this will become Hoboken’s hottest new neighborhood because it has a complete mix of uses. Organized around the two new parks and the new gymnasium, together with the Monroe Center for the Arts which houses activities such as dance and music studios, start-up businesses and retail uses, along with the Jubilee Center which hosts after-school programs and a light rail stop directly adjacent to the site sets the scene for a vibrant sustainable neighborhood”, said architect Dean Marchetto, FAIA.
The plan calls for a new 14-story mixed-use residential building with 26,000 SF of retail space on the ground floor. There are 424 residential units of which 10% will be affordable. The building will front onto one of the new parks. 700 Jackson Street will have a 5-story brick clad base making reference to the former industrial brick loft buildings across the park now repurposed as the Monroe Center for the Arts. The upper floors will be enclosed with a mostly glass exterior creating a transparency intended to lighten the overall mass. The building will have a green planted roof to collect and hold water that will minimize flooding during rain events.
The 1-acre park in front of the building includes a large, programmable plaza designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets, tiered seating, and a tilted lawn. Below the park is an underground stormwater detention system which was incorporated to help avoid flash flooding. The entire space is outlined with resiliency features including rain gardens and bioswales. The addition of these features help this area’s need for public parks, and Hoboken’s need for stronger flood proofing measures with a single, efficient development.
Another 1-acre park is a large rectangular green space which is directly adjacent to a new free-standing community gymnasium building. This building has a full basketball court with a multi-purpose floor to accommodate various recreation activities. One of the special features of the gym is a large collapsible glass wall that when opened allows activities on the inside to filter to the outside.
Not only was there collaboration between the architect, developer and the city, but there was also extensive community involvement that influenced the creation of the final plan. MHS worked closely with Bijou Properties and the neighborhood group, having many meetings and design presentations in the Jubilee Center. The community meeting process was managed by Brandy Forbes, Hoboken’s Community Development Director, along with the Redevelopment Sub-committee, and third ward Councilman Michael Russo.
“These awards showcase not just exemplary plans and projects, but the leadership teams that are setting the standard for redevelopment in New Jersey,” said Peter Kasabach, the executive director of New Jersey Future. “We hope and expect that other towns, developers and designers will learn from, and emulate, these examples.”
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