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Monday, December 15, 2008

Newport Residents Fight Over Naming Rights

The long standing battle between Sonia Maldonado and Robert Vivien over the use of the name Newport Neighborhood Association continues, reports the Journal. Maldonado, the caustic personality behind, and Vivien, a local eccentric, have been fighting for over a year in what can best be described as a petty argument over the use of name for two irrelevant organizations. If it all wasn't so absurd, it wouldn't worth mentioning.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crystal Point

Crystal Point was topped off last week. The glass exterior continues to spread across the tower.

Facade of crystal point on the waterfront in downtown Jersey City


World Trade Center Ramp to Be Dismantled

The ramp leading from Liberty Street into the giant pit of the World Trade Center will be dismantled starting this weekend to make way for ongoing construction at the site. PATH trains travel beneath the ramp on the inbound tracks.


77 Hudson & 70 Greene

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Grand Street and Marin Blvd Tower

The lot at the corner of Grand Street and Marin Blvd continues to be excavated in preparation for a residential tower. The project reportedly will have three set backs of roughly 12, 8, and 5 stories each and include 347 housing units, 6,740 square feet of retail and 253 parking spaces.

Most of the construction on site so far appears to be simply the removal of debris, foundations and concrete from the previous structure. Large chunks of concrete are being broken into smaller pieces. A few pilings have been put into the ground so far.

The project is within the Liberty Harbor North redevelopment zone, but is being developed by Applied Housing in conjunction with Kushner properties. Applied is also to develop another property further east along Marin Blvd. That property is to have 498 units, 26,500 square feet of retail and 525 parking spaces; the online rendering of Applied's future project in Liberty Harbor is more likely this second, larger building rather than an image of the currently under construction project along Grand and Marin Blvd. The depiction of the light rail in that image suggests it is the second tower, which is not yet under construction.


Liberty Harbor North Tower 3

Slow and steady, Liberty Harbor North chugs along. This final section is likely to be the last for a while, at least until the economy picks up.


Philly Pretzel Factory Opening Soon

Philly Pretzel Factory in downtown Jersey City

Add the Philly Pretzel Factory to the list of chain restaurants coming to downtown Jersey City. The pretzel factory is the second chain opening in the base of the Montgomery-Greene tower; Van Houtte Cafe also opened next door.

Van Houtte Cafe in downtown Jersey City

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Citiroots Home Decor Coming to Paulus Hook

Citiroots in the downtown Jersey City neighborhood of Paulus Hook

Paulus Hook will soon have a new home decor and accessories boutique on Washington Street. The Paulus Hook neighborhood is beginning to develop a critical mass of boutique stores; Citiroots will be next door to Betty's Bassinet, and just a few blocks away from LIFE Men's Store and Giggles N Barks.

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Sweeter Side of Jersey City

Cocoa Bakery and Cafe is coming to Liberty Harbor North, a few doors down from Edible Arrangements. The bakery and cafe is the product of pastry chef Jessica Isaacs of notable Manhattan eatery, Nobu.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, the Made with Love Organic Bakery will soon be replacing Sweet Priscilla. The new bakery is just a few doors away from cookie factory Feed Your Soul.

Cocoa Bakery Cafe
Made With Love

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Monaco Towers Break Ground

Monaco Towers in Jersey City break ground on Washington Blvd

The Monaco Towers, a pair of two residential high rises long since delayed have broken ground on a Washington Blvd site. The project's location is in the former parking lot of the Doubletree Hotel.

The Monaco Towers was first approved as a condominium tower, but later switched to a rental building. Earlier this year the developer went before the city requesting a more lucrative tax abatement program claiming that the credit crisis would hurt the project's bottom line. The city reluctantly agreed but mandated the project start this year to keep the special abatement.

A third tower, the San Remo, was originally proposed for the south side of the Doubletree Hotel. Currently this third tower is likely on hold and not included in the more lucrative abatement program.

Also, the Monaco Towers project broke ground once before.


Long Rumored Atomic Wings Work Continues

For over a year, the Newark Avenue storefront at Bay Street has been more or less partially renovated, but vacant. In the past few weeks though, signs of life have appeared at the seemingly abandoned project with the old building facade ripped down, and the former "Palace Drugs" half removed. New doors have been installed. There is no indication though if Atomic Wings is still the intended tenant.

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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.


Edible Arrangements Opens

Edible Arrangements, the fruit cut like flowers, is the first retail shop to open in Liberty Harbor North. Earlier this summer the banner announcing the arrival of the shop went up. Still, the real question yet to be answered is how many fruit flower bouquets does the world need?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hamilton Square

The main tower of Hamilton Square, a former hospital

Progress continues on the mixed use project on the east side of Hamilton Park. The main tower's exterior is mostly finished with the exception of the ground floor.

Above, the retail spaces along McWilliams Place immediately to the east of Hamilton Park. The project will bring several shops and restaurants to the Hamilton Park neighborhood


Crescent Court

Crescent Court, 54 units of housing under construction in downtown Jersey city

Along Second Street, the first floor wall has been erected. A sign on the sales office proclaims 40% of units have sold.


546 Jersey Avenue

546 Jersey Avenue is new, small scale construction on Jersey Avenue between Newark and First Street

The exterior of the building seems nearly complete; the ground floor is clearly some sort of retail though there are not yet any signs indicating the occupants. Hopefully this retail space will not simply add to the vacant store fronts of Newark Avenue.


Obama - Lincoln

President Elect Obama as President Lincoln, Coles Street, Downtown Jersey City

Obama as Lincoln, Coles Street between Third and Fourth Streets, Jersey City.


Monday, December 01, 2008

215 Newark Avenue

215 Newark Avenue in downtown Jersey City

Half of the eventual six stories have been erected on the Newark Avenue property. For years this empty lot more or less marked the end of the gentrified downtown. When completed, the base of the new building will include retail stores with apartment units above it and serve as a gateway extending gentrification west of Jersey Avenue.


274 Newark Avenue

274 Newark Avenue in downtown Jersey City

274 Newark Avenue spans block to Third Street; above, the construction site as seen from Third Street. The building seems to be providing a tumor addition to the building adjacent to it as well.


274 Newark Avenue


Grove Street Bicycles Construction Watch

Grove Street Bicycles under construction in Jersey City

The store front for the future Grove Street Bicycles is currently under construction, wrapped up in a plywood shell while work crews prepare the site. How soon the new shop will open is ambiguous.

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