2009 Nov 9th

Monday Morning Musings on Hoboken Real Estate

More Hoboken Condos

I read on Hoboken411.com (and confirmed from other sources) that a bunch of zoning variances were granted for a lot owned by the former Fire Chief Cassessa.  The plan is for a 12 story condo building with 100% lot coverage at 509 Newark St.  It’s down by the corner of Observer & Newark – the one with the  chaotic traffic every rush hour.  72 units and 77 parking spaces are proposed in yet another Dean Marchetto design.  I wonder, when Toll Brothers is having problems selling 700 Grove and Zepher Lofts right next door, why would a rational business person think more condos in a market with an oversupply of units for sale were an economically good idea?

Environmental Problems in Hoboken?

A quick search on the internet shows that almost all of western Hoboken (and much of the rest) had environmental “issues” at one time.  We even had our own EPA Superfund site right in town at the corner of 8th and Grand – still a vacant, fenced off lot.  My understanding, though, was that if a property was cleaned up, the NJ EPA would issue a “no action” letter essentially stopping the chain of potential liability.  Yet one of my buyers was recently in contract for a property at a popular Fields building near 9th and Jefferson.  The managment company filled out the condo questionnaire indicating that there was an ongoing environmetal issue even though the buildings about 5 years old.  As a result, the buyer’s FHA loan was denied.  Head’s up to current condo owners, condo associations and buyers – this may become a real problem for buyers of recent construction, especially on the west side of Hoboken where there used to be mostly factories.

Do You Find Open House Placards Objectionable?Washington Street

Every Saturday and Sunday, Washington Street becomes an obstacle course.  Agents put these placards out on every corner so we end up with 8 to 10 per corner.  It is unsightly, ineffective, unsafe.  It is out of control.  Unfortuantely, as long as one company can do it, everyone has to or the sellers say “why isn’t my open house out on the street?”.  So here is my suggestion.  Ban them.  No free speech issues here as it is commercial speech which can be regulated for a reasonable purpose – pedestrian safety, for example.  Why doesn’t the city of Hoboken put up a kiosk and sell space to agencies and other commercial establishements to advertise by flyer or, should they be so technologically sophisticated, by digital display.  Hey, the dry cleaners can do it – how hard can it be?  This would serve to clean up our streets, make it easier for pedestrians to walk, save me a ton of effort every weekend, level the playing field for realtors, and RAISE REVENUE for Hoboken.  Anyone else agree?  Is it time to start a letter-writing campaign to our new Mayor & council people?

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 14 Comments »

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