First Look: Ironstate Proposes 360-Unit Urby Project in Hoboken

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Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken 1
The proposed Urby in Hoboken along Observer Highway. Rendering by BKSK Architects.

One of the most prominent developers in the Mile Square City is hoping to bring its urban living concept to a block near Hoboken Terminal.


After years of legal wrangling and false starts, it appears a Department of Public Works garage at 256 Observer Highway will finally be redeveloped. The rights to the property are now held by Ironstate Development Company after a legal settlement was finalized early last year.

Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken Aerial Plan
The plan for Urby Hoboken via BKSK Architects.

Under the deal, Hoboken will be receiving title to a pier on 15th Street and another parcel at 800 Monroe Street. The current Department of Public Works facility, which Ironstate will be responsible for tearing down, is slated to be relocated to the city’s north end.

Ironstate is permitted to develop a new 165-foot-tall building at the Observer Highway parcel and the company will be pitching their latest Urby concept for the lot. Designed by New York-based BKSK Architects, the tallest portion of the development would rise 16 stories, with nine-floor sections constructed along Park and Willow avenues.

Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken Rendering East
Looking east from Urby Hoboken. Rendering by BKSK Architects.

The potential Hoboken Urby complies with the Redevelopment Plan density limits and would include 360 apartments. 40 of those spaces would be set aside as affordable housing units and 151 garage parking spaces are included in the plan.

The development would feature two floors of retail set to front Observer Highway. The ground-floor plan includes a 7,139-square-foot storefront plus a 4,427-square-foot space, while the second story would sport a 7,197-square-foot retail spot and another 3,193-square-foot space accessed by stairs and connected via an outdoor patio area in front of the development’s lobby.

Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken Rendering West
Looking west from Urby Hoboken. Rendering by BKSK Architects.

Urby developments tend to be heavy on amenities for residents and while the full slate of perks has not been detailed, a pet washing station and a 12,618-square-foot fourth-floor outdoor deck is being pitched for the building’s interior. Landscape design plans show several lawns, a dog run, and seating areas in the space.

Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken 2
Urby Hoboken amenities would include retail and outdoor space. Rendering by BKSK Architects.

The development’s exterior looks to sport a mix of materials to provide contrast for the building’s components. The Observer Highway entrance will feature blue glazed bullnose brick with metal trim, while the remaining floors would utilize brick and terra cotta masonry along with stone panels.

Urby 356 Observer Hwy Hoboken Detail
Urby Hoboken façade details. Rendering by BKSK Architects.

Ironstate’s Urby brand has had an interesting few years following the 2016 completion of their 69-story tower on Greene Street in Downtown Jersey City. Two other towers were planned for the adjacent lot but have yet to materialize since the first building’s completion and another fully approved Urby in Journal Square has stalled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A separate Urby planned near Hudson County Community College has officially been cancelled, but construction is well underway at the concept’s first Newark project.

The future for Hoboken’s spin on Urby is likely to be clarified in the coming months. The city’s planning board is scheduled to discuss the application’s completeness during a subdivision and site plan meeting set for July 1.

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