The commercial heart of Hoboken is getting some new life pumped into it, as three different Washington Street projects, all featuring retail, are looking to inject a spark into one of the city’s oldest corridors.
The three developments, all of which are located downtown, fall under the Central Business & Washington Street Historical District, which runs from Observer Highway all the way up to 14th Street. Many of the structures along Washington Street in the zone date back over a century, with brick, brownstone and low-rise buildings dominating the landscape.
The first project, at 501 Washington Street, will expand a historic brick building and bring back its original look. New Century Realty has broken ground on a development that will add an additional floor to the three-story building, which will also have a four-story addition that goes all the way back to Court Street, a cobblestone alley in the back of the block.
The revamp, designed by Antonio Aiello of Urban Design Workshop Architecture, will expand an existing ground floor commercial unit to 1,250 square feet and sport five total residential apartments. The entire structure will be reconstructed piece by piece while maintaining the existing walls and new stucco will be placed over the masonry. Large millwork will be added around the windows and the storefront will be re-clad with finished plywood, recommendations that were made by Hoboken’s Historic Preservation Commission.
The project will also see the construction of a garage in the back of the property, which will feature carriage-like doors designed to blend in with the historic structures of Court Street. Four new trees will be planted on 5th Street as part of the plan.
Just south, the former Five Guys outpost has been partially razed at 319 Washington Street. Approved back in June, local group Nastasi Architects designed the renovation that will see a two-story building transformed into a four-story one. The first two floors of the new building will be set aside for a larger, multi-level retail space that will total 3,860 square feet.
319 Washington will retain the ground floor brick masonry of the original building and feature two residential units on the top floors. The property will feature a limestone frame and “traditional red Hoboken façade brick” that’s designed to blend in with the other buildings on the block.
Just a stone’s throw away at 300 Washington Street, there is something rare going on; new construction in a historic district. Sabia Construction is hard at work constructing the replacement for a building that was demolished following a fire back in 2012. The new version, designed by Minervini Vandermark, is a five-story, eight-unit building that will feature an elevator, also unique for Washington Street.
While 300 Washington will obviously be new construction, the building will draw from elements the original structure had, like bay windows. The first four floors of the property will be brick and 75% of the building will be masonry. The plan will also replicate the ground floor retail that was part of the original building.
These three projects will help create some additional housing inventory in a city where apartment hunting can be a pain. And while Washington Street has no shortage of retail, more medium-sized storefronts along Hoboken’s main street should add some vibrancy to the area.