Efforts to replace a surface parking lot with a mixed-use building along Hoboken’s most prominent street took a step forward on Tuesday night, as the city’s Planning Board granted preliminary approval for a new development that initially kicked up a controversy when it was rejected earlier this year.
The property in question is three combined lots at 107-111 Washington Street owned by a four-person investment team. Hoboken-based Nastasi Architects drew up the version of the proposal that was rejected in April, and has significantly redesigned the development to address many of the concerns the Zoning Board had when they shot it down.
The development’s five-story height is the same, but it has been scaled back to include a total of 11 rental units instead of the initial 14, with nine occupying the main building fronting Washington Street and two housed in an accessory structure along Court Street. The biggest changes in the new version revolve around the three-story accessory building, which features two parking spaces in addition to the housing and will be connected in an interesting way to the Washington Street structure.
A glazed-glass enclosed courtyard spanning about 20 feet wide and two stories will connect the buildings, a new feature of the development that will be available for use by the retail tenant as they see fit. The single storefront space itself clocks in at two stories and 6,900-square feet, which will make it one of the biggest standalone retail spots along Washington Street. And speaking of that retail space…
Notable public outrage at the Zoning Board denying 107 Washington was based around burger giant Shake Shack allegedly signing on to take up residence at the development’s retail space. While no official documentation was presented to support the deal in the initial application, testimony was given to the Zoning Board the first time around stating that the developers and Shake Shack had reached an agreement, and the chain’s name was used on the building in initial renderings.
However, the latest renderings for the project notably lack Shake Shack’s signage and at Wednesday’s Planning Board meeting, a representative for the development stated that they have no tenant in place for the property and haven’t started marketing the retail space yet. While burger lovers everywhere might be disappointed in that, the storefront space in the redesigned version of 107 Washington should prompt some interest among quality tenants.
Other features of the 107 Washington Street development include a 1,140-square foot green roof and a basement-level storm water detention system. An exterior stone façade will be used to match the new building to an existing bank property that houses a Walgreen’s next door, who currently use the lot for parking and have signed off on the deal to redevelop the land. Court Street cobblestones behind the property will also be refurbished by the developer.
The latest version of 107 Washington does away with the retail space in the basement the developers had been seeking, and three variances are needed for this version of the plan as opposed to the five the denied proposal wanted. The project still needs to be granted final approvals at a later date, but unanimous Planning Board approval on Tuesday night seems to signal that the second time might be the charm for this project.