View Full Version : Weehawken

October 30th, 2005, 04:22 PM
I don´t mean to take this thread off topic but: Could someone help me out with the above photo? I´m geographically challenged when it comes to North Jersey. What town is that directly across the Hudson? I see a row of what look like town houses on the water.... what is that? Is it a nice development? That´s an interesting position. To the left... also along the water is a building...probably condos? What is it. Also: the old small houses that you can see at the top of the cliff...I find them fascinating...they must have unbelievable views. Again: a rather exclusive position. No?

October 30th, 2005, 04:55 PM
What is interesting to me is that they look like the same big old rambling, sort of dumpy, houses you see everywhere in NJ... but these are facing Manhattan....with million dollar views. It´s a strange juxtaposition. The top photo shows what looks like a thousand other NJ streetscapes...yet this one just happens to sit next to one of the biggest cities in the world... seemingly unaffected by it´s neighbor. You can also see what looks like stairs (?) leading down? What´s that all about?

October 30th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Click here: http://www.cornershots.com/archives/000626.html

October 31st, 2005, 01:19 PM
What is interesting to me is that they look like the same big old rambling, sort of dumpy, houses you see everywhere in NJ... but these are facing Manhattan....with million dollar views. It´s a strange juxtaposition. The top photo shows what looks like a thousand other NJ streetscapes...yet this one just happens to sit next to one of the biggest cities in the world... seemingly unaffected by it´s neighbor. You can also see what looks like stairs (?) leading down? What´s that all about?
It's Weehawken. Those houses are certainly not dumpy, most are gorgeous, and each one competes for a sliver of the most spectacular city view anywhere - there is also Hamilton Park up there with nice overlooks. The stairs provide access where no streets can be built due to the vertical cliffs. You can take the PATH to Hoboken, then the light rail takes you just a short walk from those stairs. It's a hard walk up, but well worth it for the views.

The condos on the waterfront are new and seem nice enough though nothing spectacular, but much better than the industrial wasteland that used to line the Hudson River.

October 31st, 2005, 02:47 PM
NY...which stop on the light rail is near those steps?

October 31st, 2005, 04:28 PM
^Port Imperial

October 31st, 2005, 04:39 PM
It's Weehawken. Those houses are certainly not dumpy, most are gorgeous

I don't know about gorgeous. They're certainly not as extravagant as one would guess for such an amazing location - at least from across the river.

November 1st, 2005, 10:16 AM
Some are fantastic, but fair enough, you'd think they'd be mansions for the location. It's still Weehawken after all, not Hollywood. The houses change drastically once outside that little neighborhood, and there's a sense of isolation.

This area is one of the few older neighborhoods around the city that took advantage of the waterfront views at all (until relatively recently). Here at least there was an impressive skyline despite the cranes, factories and smokestacks along the heavily industrial waterfront. No one with huge wealth wanted to overlook that, despite the views, so the houses are more modest than the mansions you find further north on the river.

But most are from a good era of home architecture, and last time I was there I took a walk around the neighborhood and saw quite a few houses being repaired and upgraded, some beautifully.

November 1st, 2005, 07:22 PM
Click here: http://www.cornershots.com/archives/000626.html

Great website!

November 2nd, 2005, 09:18 AM
Just look at the one building perched up on the peak right by the LT helix. they have an incredible view of all of the cith and they are literally clinging to the rock face!

As for the other ones in Weehawken and areas further up the pallisades (Edgewater, West NY, etc), there are some good and bad in all of them. Some are tha classic style, porch and all, while others seem to be ones that were built after the area was totally industrialized.

Hoboken used to be a horse run FCS!!!! Then it turned into BarTown, and now it is coming back. There are some nice apartments in JC Heights that overlooked it, but then you get places liek the Yardley warehouse that are nothing but industry.

Anyway, back to topic. The one thing I notice is that a lot of these houses seem to be spaced out a bit from each other. Kind of like the rich folk here built the nice places first, then as they moved out, the space in between was parceled and sold off to lesser constructions. It may be just me though.

As for the condos? they are the most overpriced pieces of pre-fab out there. They are much better than the industrial junkyard taht was once there, but still...

I refer to them as "popcorn condos" given their tendency to pop up all over the place crowding all available space along the riverfront.

Hell Riverside Drive (I think that is the name) is turning into a condo canyon!!!

So... whatever. Some of the places along the riverside are nice, as well as some on the heights. But it all depends on where you are....

November 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM
Here are some photos of the stairs, the park, and some houses from the last time I was there:

November 2nd, 2005, 01:45 PM
Note: this thread was split from the Norwegian Dawn thread.

November 2nd, 2005, 01:48 PM
The view from the top of the cliffs:


November 17th, 2005, 07:10 AM
If the zoning were changed, wouldn't Weehawken fill up with rich folks in high-rise condos?

Surely those views suggest potential tax revenues.

November 17th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Yea but it would ruin the view for everyone at the top of the cliffs who have nice beautiful homes that cant compare to any stupid high-rise and f&(K the rich people. We don't need them there to ruin a perfectly good and beautiful town. They should keep those apts on the waterfront below well below thw cliffs.

November 17th, 2005, 08:47 AM
JC, you are confusing things a bit there, but you are on the mark.

They should build more towers down by the river instead of these 2-4 story things we have been seeing. But they should also stress to the developers some sort of "clear view" provision where they cannot just construct a great wall of condominiums along the riverside like they are doing now.

So long as they do not block the views of the people on the cliffs, do not relegate their rooftops to strict industrial HVAC units, and do not block off any "unpaid" view of the city, I say let them do it!

Also, they need that damn bike/joging/blading path they have been talking about forever now! Enough with the talking, BUILD it already!

November 17th, 2005, 08:54 AM
Sensible answer, ninj. I think our friend JC passed all the way through NIMBYdom into BANANAhood. ;) BANANA = build absolutely nothing anywhere anytime.

November 17th, 2005, 09:12 AM
Wouldn't that be BANAnAnyism?


November 17th, 2005, 12:22 PM
I don't want nothing built but make it sensible. Blend in with surroundings and etc...

TLOZ Link5
November 17th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Sensible answer, ninj. I think our friend JC passed all the way through NIMBYdom into BANANAhood. ;) BANANA = build absolutely nothing anywhere anytime.

You mean Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

There's also the TEDAO: Tear Everything Down At Once.

November 17th, 2005, 03:03 PM
You mean Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.
I stand corrected.

Weehawken webcam
November 21st, 2005, 05:56 PM
They aren't going to build anything too tall down on the waterfront b/c zoning disallows new construction that blocks the views of the people up on the hill. As for that huge house overlooking the "LT helix," (it's the end of Kingwood Ave.), just spend a few minutes overlooking the LT helix. I've never heard the sound of souls crying out in Hell, but it must be not too different from the sound of five dozen NJT buses riding their brakes on the LT helix. must be a bummer to have bought that house and have to listen to that all the time.

October 1st, 2006, 10:25 PM
Waterfront Development Tests New Jersey’s
Handling of Toxic Dumps

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/02/nyregion/02chromium.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin)
October 2, 2006

WEEHAWKEN, N.J., Sept. 26 — Handsome new town houses selling for more than $2 million hug the waterfront here, and more are on the way. On a curve in the river that offers spectacular views of Manhattan and New York Harbor, earthmovers are at work on a public park.

But in the view of some environmentalists, the development on this immensely valuable sliver of shoreline is an experiment of sorts because of what lies underneath it: dirt spotted with hexavalent chromium, a manufacturing component that has been identified as a cause of lung cancer, liver and kidney damage and mutations to human DNA. Hudson County is the nation’s chromium-waste center, with almost 200 sites where it was dumped decades ago.

Of all those sites, this slice of Weehawken is the first to be reclaimed for residential development, and the reborn riverfront here — representing an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars — depends on the remedy that the state has chosen for sites polluted by chromium.

The worst spots of contamination have been removed, and most of the 96-acre property has been covered with synthetic sheeting and at least 18 inches of clean soil, called a cap. The mayor said that in the park, the soil cap would be six to eight feet deep in places. The state and local authorities have approved everything the developer, Roseland Properties, has done, and they say the cleanup has far exceeded their standards.

But the state’s policies are not settled at the moment. Rather, they are caught up in a politically charged discussion about how the state has handled the rush to turn urban wastelands into sought-after real estate.

In 2004, the state Department of Environmental Protection issued a moratorium on final approvals of chromium cleanups, and promised stricter standards and less reliance on capping.

The new rules have not yet been issued. In the meantime, the agency allowed the waterfront project to proceed even though various environmental groups and some scientists in the state agency contend that in residential areas, a cap can never be protective enough.

“We want an outside audit and review of the entire hazardous site remediation program, with this fiasco in Weehawken being Exhibit A,” said Joe Morris, of the Interfaith Community Organization, which won a landmark court decision last year ordering the excavation of waste where a cap failed at a former chromium dump site in Jersey City. A federal appeals court, upholding the order last year, scorched the Department of Environmental Protection, citing “a substantial breakdown in the agency process that has resulted in 20 years of permanent cleanup inaction.”

The state’s environmental commissioner, Lisa P. Jackson, said that Mr. Morris’s “idea that this is Exhibit A is more than puzzling to me.” Ms. Jackson said that the agency would soon revamp its handling of toxic sites, and that the Weehawken development complied with all current regulations.

The disclosure of the Hudson chromium sites in the 1980’s generated national attention, fed by gruesome recollections of workers at processing plants whose skin and nasal septums were eaten away by the poison.

To be sure, Weehawken was hardly the worst of the Hudson sites. Some of the fill used decades ago to build up the riverfront was contaminated, but chromium was never processed there.

Still, Michael S. Friedman, the environmental consultant who manages the project for Roseland, said: “Everything we do is under a microscope. This is a high-powered lens.”

Mayor Richard F. Turner said that Weehawken “has brought in outside experts, outside consultants — we don’t even rely on D.E.P. consultants.”

Michael Campion, the township’s environmental consultant, said, “When I look at the numbers in Weehawken, and it’s been tested like crazy, a cap is a reasonable remedy.” He recommended approving Roseland’s plan, but he acknowledged in his review that nearly all caps eventually suffer erosion.

Caps are often used on closed landfills, but much less frequently, and only recently on sites where people will live and buildings and traffic will bear down on the soil.

The chromium issue caused unusually public recriminations within the environmental agency. After a group convened to reconsider the cleanup standards recommended leaving them unchanged, one member, Zoe Kelman, a chemical engineer, wrote a 50-page dissent. Several other agency scientists, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution, said that the Department of Environmental Protection had bent to political pressure to speed cleanups.

Ms. Kelman accused the agency of disregarding tests at one capped site, in Kearny, that found hexavalent chromium levels thousands of times higher than the agency plan had expected. She also noted that while New Jersey sets the allowable level of hexavalent chromium in soil at 240 parts per million, Maryland’s standard is 30 parts per million, and Oregon’s is 23.

“I always feel the public believes we err on the side of protection, and it’s obvious now that we don’t,” Ms. Kelman said.

The agency’s critics were supported by a soil scientist at Cornell University, Murray McBride, who submitted an opinion in June 2005 that the current reliance on capping “seems to me to be a stopgap, short-term approach” that fails to account for the way chromium moves in the soil and may migrate to basements and other exposed areas.

In Weehawken, questions remain about the last known remaining concentration of chromium waste, a one-acre lot near the town houses where some of the more contaminated dirt was dumped, covered with sheeting and then paved for parking.

Mr. Morris and Jeff Tittel, the director of the state chapter of the Sierra Club, met with Commissioner Jackson this summer to argue that the mound under the parking lot should be classified as a hazardous waste dump and removed or encapsulated. They said the commissioner resisted, although Ms. Jackson said in an interview that she had never ruled out revisiting the site.

Mr. Tittel has a larger quarrel with the state’s redevelopment policies, which were loosened in the 1990’s — and which he said “changed from cleaning up sites to making them land banks for development.”

“We have finally created social equity in New Jersey,” he said, “because we have people in $3 million condos living on top of toxic sites, not just working and poor people.”

Property values have soared since the last of the 42 town houses was built in 2004. A house that sold less than two years ago for $1.5 million was put up for sale in September for $2.7 million, while several others are on the market for $2.4 million to $4 million. Among the residents is a principal of Roseland, Marshall Tycher.

In the old Weehawken, on the cliffs above the waterfront, a vocal minority opposed to the Roseland development is worried about the park.

“I don’t know why people down there aren’t screaming their heads off,” said Mary Ciuffitelli, a 26-year resident of the town. “I grew up in New Jersey, so I want to know what’s under my feet.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

October 2nd, 2006, 01:11 PM
What is interesting to me is that they look like the same big old rambling, sort of dumpy, houses you see everywhere in NJ...

some of the most expensive real estate in the country is in NJ. Using Union City as an example is like saying all of the NY state is like Staten Island.

October 12th, 2006, 08:07 PM
^ He must have meant Union City.

October 17th, 2006, 01:37 PM
I'm confused . . . who meant?

October 17th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Miller, just read back... I think he is agreeing with you.

And all this talk of toxics is a shame. These areas are being controlled by, to put it nicely, private interests who are trying to make a lot of money off of them.

Most of the developments in Hoboken, once an industrial shipping yard/port, are on land that was in excess of chromium, lead, arsenic and cyanide. They said they removed "x" feet of soil, but you never know what they did with it.

Anyway, removing 18" of soil beneath foundation is bupkis. That won't do squat, leeching will re-contaminate that soil in no time and you will be left with a situation similar to just putting down a barrier directly on the contaminated soil.

What they SHOULD do on these thnigs is remove several feet, put down a barrier, lay some soil and some of teh deeper foundation pieces, then cover it back up, put another barrier layer down and build on that/ on the intermediate foundation pieces.

As for taller buildings on the front? they really should build them, but they should still follow the rules. Set up an official "coastline" point and set a setback distance, a max height, and an angle for the envelope.

Say, 25 feet maximum with a 50 foot setback, and a 20 degree angle of inclination from the shoreline. Hell, you can even say that this 20 degree airspace line cannot be used until you are XX feet away (giving a more open shore front).

If these projects are going for $2M for a 1200sf piece (or less), they should be able to get nice riverfront parkland and EP out of it.

We are not building low income houseing here!

October 26th, 2006, 01:10 PM
When they redevelop brownfields they have to do what you are saying, and remediate them. Depending on the degree of contamination, the amount of fill changes. But that new golf course in Liberty State Park, for example, has 30 feet of fill with impermeable barriers to keep the contaminants from leeching into the clean fill.

But I still wouldn't want to live there. Like you said, all it takes is one tear to make all that work for naught.