Hoboken Approves Re-Zoning That Could Create New Performing Arts Center

Hoboken Performing Arts Center Site
Site of the zoning changes. Image courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

A plan that hopes to bring a new theater space to a block of Downtown Hoboken has crossed the finish line as final approval was granted to a rezoning effort that has been in the works for several years.

During their December 20 meeting, Hoboken’s City Council unanimously approved the Fabian Arts District Redevelopment Plan. The move modifies regulations for a large property situated a block away from Hoboken Terminal that is bounded by Washington Street to the west, Observer Highway to the south, Hudson Street to the east, and Newark Street to the north.

Fabian Theatre Hoboken
Fabian Theatre. Image courtesy of Hoboken Historical Museum.

While currently home to a one-story retail property and a surface parking lot, the property once housed the historic Fabian Theatre. That venue, which spanned 3,000 seats, was built circa 1928 and eventually demolished in 1967.

As part of an effort to remedy that crime against urban planning, Hoboken’s new hopes for the property puts a new performing arts venue at the center. While no specific developer has been designated for the potential project, the rezoning allows for theater uses on the ground floor in exchange for greater height allowances.

Hoboken Performing Arts Center Zoning Map
Zoning map. Image courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

Divided into two sections, the approved zoning plan allows a maximum height of 60 feet within Section A and 100 feet in Section B. Incentives within the Fabian Arts District Redevelopment Plan allow those heights to rise to 70 feet and 180 feet respectively, with ten foot step backs required on the fifth floor for both sections.

Baseline development requirements include a minimum of 10% affordable housing for any residential component, and public plaza enhancements. A public, open-air pedestrian connection between Hudson Street and Washington Street is required under the zoning, as would a widening of the Court Street alleyway.

Other incentives for additional height in the plan include givebacks related to 10% workforce housing or a financial contribution towards the maintenance of Rebuild By Design. Another provision could allow for the creation of over 20,000 square feet of office space to be provided to a non-profit dedicated to people experiencing homelessness.

The properties that received the rezoning are currently owned by an LLC registered out of an office building in New City, New York. No formal plans have publicly emerged for the lots just yet.


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