700 Jackson is a transit-oriented mixed-use multifamily development that encourages public transportation ridership while advancing environmental, social, and economic sustainability goals of Hoboken. 700 Jackson accomplishes this by incorporating stormwater management systems, by creating new public spaces and a pedestrian plaza as social destinations, featuring architectural design elements that maximize air and light, and by creating a safer environment by installing vehicle calming features. A distinct destination has been created while preserving the character and enhancing the quality of life in Hoboken, New Jersey.
700 Jackson features a 16-story multifamily with retail, a separate 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium, two-acre public park and pedestrian plaza situated above a 450,000-gallon stormwater detention system. This impressive sustainable solution helped transform this aging industrial area into a brand new active community neighborhood as well as strengthening Hoboken’s flood proofing resiliency.
Hoboken is only one square mile and this western location has been in desperate need of a public park. 700 Jackson makes a strong impact by providing two public parks totaling two acres of public open space with more than 450,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention and infiltration, as well as a multi-use public gymnasium.
“This project will bring two acres of much-needed open space to western Hoboken while making our city more resilient to flooding,” said [former] Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The outdoor amphitheater and plaza for events and seasonal markets will create a vibrant gathering space that will also support local artists and small businesses in the adjacent Monroe Center.”
The approximately one-acre public park will feature a flat open grass area referred to as ‘The Quad’, which extends the active environment of the gymnasium from inside to outside. Also featured is a children’s play area with age-appropriate play equipment set on a rubberized play surface and the park is outlined with rain gardens, bioswales, seat walls and benches, and modern fencing. The second approximately one-acre public plaza includes tiered seating, a tilted lawn panel for relaxing and passive gatherings, and a vibrant, programmable plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets. Both parks significantly impact western Hoboken with active and engaging environments.
Highly dense urban cities often lack open space and recreational areas. Bijou Properties saw this as an opportunity for our team of planners and architects to design not only a single multifamily structure but rather an entire neighborhood that offered recreational parks and below those parks a stormwater detention system to alleviate the city of its flooding problems. Two problems solved with a single development.
“This park will bring much-needed open space to a growing mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood and builds upon our flood resiliency strategy,” said [former] Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I thank the City Council, Bijou Properties, Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, and members of the community who worked together to make this possible.”
700 Jackson realizes that this redevelopment area provides an opportunity to incorporate durable flood protection and resiliency, traffic calming measures, and improve pedestrian safety into the vision of its development. By incorporating stormwater detention systems underground, a variety of stairs, various seating levels, and rain gardens into the development, flooding levels will significantly and successfully recede, reduce the urban heat island effect, protect residents and businesses from unfair flood insurance, and protect the people and urban character of Hoboken.
The heart and soul of 700 Jackson is its two-acre resiliency park, plaza, and public gym that connects well-appointed residential units and exciting retail with creative commercial spaces within the Monroe Center for the Arts. The residential building will contain ground floor commercial space for retail and restaurants along with its own amenities and 413 parking spaces in an embedded garage. All of this is designed to create a walkable destination and establish a neighborhood center for the west side of Hoboken, a center that is sustainable and themed around the arts, recreation and open space, while at the same time preserving the Monroe Center’s historic commercial loft buildings. The park and gymnasium also join and invigorate the Jubilee Center, a facility that provides after-school programming serving Hoboken’s nearby low income and public housing residents.
The greatest lesson learned is the value of public-private partnerships and that working together accomplishes great things for all stakeholders involved. Redevelopment projects like this can be a tool to shape the way a city can grow and fund infrastructure, recreation, and cultural improvements, provided that the City sees development projects as an opportunity and the developer is willing to be flexible. Ultimately, both partners need to have a vision and a genuine interest in working together toward a common goal of creating exceptional places.