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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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borisp wrote:

If you make life harder for an existing supermarket, how exactly do you plan to lure in a new one?


The next market would be one who understands how to operate in an urban environment. There are plenty of markets that succeed in densely populated areas that don't have football fields of parking.

And how big is this family that an adult can't carry home the food for a day or two? Sure - if you have a family of six and you want to shop a week or two at a time, that would be rough (although you could get one of those carts you see old ladies in Queens pushing home from the grocery.) But how many people with three or four kids are even moving into the newly built high rises?

I'm sure we could spend weeks arguing about the exceptions and trying to make sure we facilitate each and every possible person who could move in, but the reality is that the conveniences of urban living also come at a cost. One of those costs is that owning a car becomes a burden at times, or at least using it does. Since more and more people are moving back to the cities - and breaking free from the dependence on a car is a big reason for many - it seems silly to try to build for the future in a way that caters to the past. Should we put up hitching posts for your horses, too?

Posted on: 2015/2/8 0:49
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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trambone wrote:
Again this comes down to the fact that this city has only one good supermarket and a terrible public transportation system.


Wouldn't it make more sense to create an environment or provide incentives that lures additional quality supermarkets into the area rather than continue down a misguided (for the current times) approach to redevelopment out of fear that we lose a grocery store? And if it did go away, don't you think another would pop up nearby in its place?


If you make life harder for an existing supermarket, how exactly do you plan to lure in a new one?

One more questions. Imagine that supermarkets with a large parking space are no more. I understand that you personally prefer to shop daily. But let's consider a family with kids, who need more than you can just carry on your way home. So, here is the question: how do you think it will affect the attractiveness of this area to the prospective tenants and home buyers?


Maybe they will:

move elsewhere
change their lifestyle to accommodate reality
verify that Fresh Direct delivers to their zip code
empower the nanny or cleaning person to do grocery shopping

I'm sure others can add to the list.


Posted on: 2015/2/8 0:26
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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T-Bird wrote:
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trambone wrote:
Again this comes down to the fact that this city has only one good supermarket and a terrible public transportation system.


Wouldn't it make more sense to create an environment or provide incentives that lures additional quality supermarkets into the area rather than continue down a misguided (for the current times) approach to redevelopment out of fear that we lose a grocery store? And if it did go away, don't you think another would pop up nearby in its place?


If you make life harder for an existing supermarket, how exactly do you plan to lure in a new one?

One more questions. Imagine that supermarkets with a large parking space are no more. I understand that you personally prefer to shop daily. But let's consider a family with kids, who need more than you can just carry on your way home. So, here is the question: how do you think it will affect the attractiveness of this area to the prospective tenants and home buyers?

Posted on: 2015/2/8 0:06
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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trambone wrote:
Again this comes down to the fact that this city has only one good supermarket and a terrible public transportation system.


Wouldn't it make more sense to create an environment or provide incentives that lures additional quality supermarkets into the area rather than continue down a misguided (for the current times) approach to redevelopment out of fear that we lose a grocery store? And if it did go away, don't you think another would pop up nearby in its place?

Posted on: 2015/2/7 17:25
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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The bottom line is that building developments in the center of a very dense urban city WITH loads and loads of parking is the opposite of forward thinking. It's actually holding onto the past.

The mystery to me is who exactly is driving to these supermarkets? People from other neighborhoods? It seems to me that at least in downtown, most people have a market within close distance, probably walking distance. Are people driving just because they are enabled to, because there is a massive parking lot? And so therefore they choose to take a car, and do several weeks worth of shopping in one trip? Because if that's the case, it becomes less of a "need to drive" issue than a "oh well there's a parking lot the size of 10 football fields, so I might as well take the Civic".


I drive to Shoprite and I don't live downtown. Why? It is the best and most affordable option near my home. I have stated it before, but it is arguably the best supermarket in Jersey City. I drive there because in my business I drive everywhere. I teach privately and perform and I am usually food shopping during off hours.

Again this comes down to the fact that this city has only one good supermarket and a terrible public transportation system.

Posted on: 2015/2/7 16:42
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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Sommerman wrote:
Is it the intention that the ground floors of all the new buildings be used as retail and professional space? Isn't that a lot? Will there be any schools on the site?

My understanding is that Shoprite will be offered first dibs on the supermarket space. Have they actually signed on?


They're supposed to consider a school as a possibility.

BJs has a twenty-year lease - until it's done, they won't be moving unless somebody buys them out or finds them another place to rebuild.

ShopRite probably has a longterm lease as well - so it seems Metro Plaza is obligated to keep these stores here and rebuild them.




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the Newport Mall could have been positioned so as to not cut Hamilton and Harsimus off from Newport.


It was quite deliberate, the old timers say they had to fight to get the doors on Marin! HP was NOT a good neighborhood in the early 80's when this was planned, and they were building a barrier to keep out the "undesirables".


Plus much of the area to the East and South of the mall looked like something out of a post apocalyptic movie.

Posted on: 2015/2/7 1:56
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Is it the intention that the ground floors of all the new buildings be used as retail and professional space? Isn't that a lot? Will there be any schools on the site?

My understanding is that Shoprite will be offered first dibs on the supermarket space. Have they actually signed on?




Posted on: 2015/2/7 0:30
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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Voyeur wrote:
the Newport Mall could have been positioned so as to not cut Hamilton and Harsimus off from Newport.


It was quite deliberate, the old timers say they had to fight to get the doors on Marin! HP was NOT a good neighborhood in the early 80's when this was planned, and they were building a barrier to keep out the "undesirables".

Posted on: 2015/2/6 23:26
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jcguy05 wrote:
not too clear looking the map, does this development include the giant dirt mountain area directly west of the power house? It's been a dirt mountain for years, surprised noone is putting another glass building on there considering the prime location.

I think the address is 111 first street per google map.


Nope - 111 First is a separate lot, with the old warehouse on the site demolished pre-crisis in 2007 in order to put up this behemoth.

But as you rightly point out, one great recession and eight years later, all that the developers have to show for their investment is a dirt mound.


As you say 111 First Street is not part of the plan.

Not meaning to be picky, but I actually think that the behemoth in the link is on 110 First St (which was also the site of a historic warehouse).

I believe 111 First St. is the site of the Lorillard Tobacco Warehouse that was knocked down 8 or so years ago, to make place for - drum roll - the dirt mound.

http://www.njcu.edu/programs/jchistor ... ges/Lorillard_Tobacco.htm


You're right - I attached the wrong link - here is the correct one: http://newyorkyimby.com/2012/08/rem-k ... tys-111-first-street.html

Also, I agree with Tommy's point about much of this retail just feeling "wrong". The Holland Tunnel presents a natural demarcation downtown where the Newport Mall could have been positioned so as to not cut Hamilton and Harsimus off from Newport.

It could have been constructed on an east-west axis between Washington and Marin backing onto the tunnel, allowing Seventh and Eight Sts to run as far a Washington St allowing pedestrian flow between the waterfront and the rest of downtown. Instead, there is a ten block wall of "wrong" running down Marin - although I too like ShopRite.

The reintegration of Third and Fourth Streets will do a little to remedy this, but from a purely selfish point of view, anyone going home to Hamilton Park from Newport PATH late at night will still have to schlep south all the way down to Sixth St and then turn north on the other side of mall to get home, so it doesn't do much for us. These are the problems I have in life...

Posted on: 2015/2/6 22:25
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tommyc_37 wrote:
Are people driving just because they are enabled to, because there is a massive parking lot? And so therefore they choose to take a car, and do several weeks worth of shopping in one trip? Because if that's the case, it becomes less of a "need to drive" issue than a "oh well there's a parking lot the size of 10 football fields, so I might as well take the Civic".


Yeah, that's pretty much the case. If we didn't have a car we'd shop way more at Key Food, and make occasional further trips to ShopRite. But its great we do have a choices. I do frequently shop by bike, and my wife walks to work in Hoboken. With our current carpool situation and if I'm not working on a Heights apt I can go 6 days of the week without getting in the car. That's urban living by my definition.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 21:39
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jcguy05 wrote:
not too clear looking the map, does this development include the giant dirt mountain area directly west of the power house? It's been a dirt mountain for years, surprised noone is putting another glass building on there considering the prime location.

I think the address is 111 first street per google map.


Nope - 111 First is a separate lot, with the old warehouse on the site demolished pre-crisis in 2007 in order to put up this behemoth.

But as you rightly point out, one great recession and eight years later, all that the developers have to show for their investment is a dirt mound.


As you say 111 First Street is not part of the plan.

Not meaning to be picky, but I actually think that the behemoth in the link is on 110 First St (which was also the site of a historic warehouse).

I believe 111 First St. is the site of the Lorillard Tobacco Warehouse that was knocked down 8 or so years ago, to make place for - drum roll - the dirt mound.

http://www.njcu.edu/programs/jchistor ... ges/Lorillard_Tobacco.htm

Posted on: 2015/2/6 21:34
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brewster wrote:

Apparently you don't know what a "poor public transportation system" is. There are major cities in this country where you simply can't get anywhere without a car, Atlanta is the poster child. We have pretty good transit by national standards. Sure, the best parts of Brooklyn are better, but vast parts suck. Even red hot Red Hook has shitty transit, it'll take you 1/2 hr to walk to the train.


Strange. I wonder if it was simply for the Olympics that they had good public transport (mostly the train), because I had zero problems getting around there for the week I went. There was a good sized supermarket not too far from the hostel, a park nearby and said hostel was a few short blocks from a MARTA station. Granted, I spent most of my time in the areas surrounding the subway stops, but if I could do that as a 17-year old kid on my own - shopping, going to wildly different events, eating out - I'm pretty sure that shouldn't count as "the poster child" for poor mass transit.

I'd imagine LA should hold that crown, but I don't have any first hand experience to say one way or the other.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 21:33
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tommyc_37 wrote:

Point being, I prefer for Jersey City to be the organic, urban fabric type of city that it is, instead of masquerading as a quasi-suburb, which is what Columbus is (have to drive everywhere, no walkability, not many people live in the urban core).


You miss the point. As I said - there are certainly aspects of Jersey City I prefer, but a fair bit of the "organic, urban fabric" of Jersey City sucks ass. I don't think that's a controversial statement. And you are definitely cherry-picking when you tout the walkable urban paradise that is Jersey City. If you live in Port Liberte, big chunks of Greenville or the non-up-and-coming areas of the Heights (which is the majority of it), you aren't walking to much. Because there isn't much that would meet your standards for the goods and services you gladly walk to downtown.

Point being - yes, I live here. Obviously there are things I enjoy and benefit from living here. But there is a loooooooong way to go before this place has the consistent desirability of - Seattle. Austin. Portland. The Twin Cities. Boulder. Big chunks of Brooklyn that are of themselves equal in size to Jersey City. Places with an interesting organic urban fabric that isn't concentrated into one small corner of the city.


I think the point is, does JC become more desirable by mimicking suburban development or my embracing density and walk-ability at the expense of easy parking and driving?

For some portions of the city I think the answer is obviously by embracing density. For other portions that is less feasible. JC is a big enough place that there can be more than one type of of development, but you can't mix them in the same location because that doesn't work.





Except that isn't the point. The point is that as long as people NEED cars due to a poor public transportation system, JC will continue to be a driving city. And for most who don't work near a PATH or subway line, they need a car.

The answer is certainly not "embrace density." By that nebulous statement I take it you simply mean eliminating parking. That's an absolutely horrible idea as long as many people continue to need cars.

Taking away parking spaces doesn't magically eliminate the need for a car. But a great public transport system very well may.


Just because you might want to use a car doesn't mean you need to park it. You can use Uber instead of having your own car that you need to park everywhere you go.

The more parking you create, the more people will park.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 20:58
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Agree completely - and FWIW, I agree with Tommy in that I want to see increased density and planning that encourages that, with as little compromise as possible. Fewer cars the better, as far as I'm concerned. If Shoprite can't adapt its business model for the new demographics and density it will sit among, should I care if it fails and someone more attuned to that market replaces it? Hell no. And really? Costco vs. BJ's? Just put one (or both) in Secaucus and those who want to shop there (in their cars) will.

Where Tommy and I disagree is he seems to have keen radar for anything with a whiff of suburbia and dismisses it immediately. Yes, Columbus is less dense than Jersey City. But there are things that they do much better and features of that city that are much more desirable than what we have. I say don't dismiss things wholesale just because they come from Columbus. Embrace what works. Take the cream off the top before you toss the rest.


Well, I would say I don't necessarily dismiss things at wholesale, but rather, in this case I feel that forcing a suburban model into a truly urban fabric is just wrong, and therefore feels wrong. It's why a lot of Jersey City feels "wrong". Newport feels wrong. The area around Target feels wrong. Metro Plaza area feels wrong.

I would appreciate and admire certain suburban elements in places where they make sense. All of the awesome things that Columbus does would be a better fit for a place like Secaucus.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 20:47
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The bottom line is that building developments in the center of a very dense urban city WITH loads and loads of parking is the opposite of forward thinking. It's actually holding onto the past.

The mystery to me is who exactly is driving to these supermarkets? People from other neighborhoods? It seems to me that at least in downtown, most people have a market within close distance, probably walking distance. Are people driving just because they are enabled to, because there is a massive parking lot? And so therefore they choose to take a car, and do several weeks worth of shopping in one trip? Because if that's the case, it becomes less of a "need to drive" issue than a "oh well there's a parking lot the size of 10 football fields, so I might as well take the Civic".

Posted on: 2015/2/6 20:39
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The point is that as long as people NEED cars due to a poor public transportation system, JC will continue to be a driving city.


Apparently you don't know what a "poor public transportation system" is. There are major cities in this country where you simply can't get anywhere without a car, Atlanta is the poster child. We have pretty good transit by national standards. Sure, the best parts of Brooklyn are better, but vast parts suck. Even red hot Red Hook has shitty transit, it'll take you 1/2 hr to walk to the train.


And I'm sure many people need cars in those areas too. Nice post.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 20:26
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Whole Foods Union Square has 0 parking spaces.


Posted on: 2015/2/6 20:10
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Except that isn't the point. The point is that as long as people NEED cars due to a poor public transportation system, JC will continue to be a driving city. And for most who don't work near a PATH or subway line, they need a car.

The answer is certainly not "embrace density." By that nebulous statement I take it you simply mean eliminating parking. That's an absolutely horrible idea as long as many people continue to need cars.

Taking away parking spaces doesn't magically eliminate the need for a car. But a great public transport system very well may.


Eliminating one surface lot for a super market doesn't make life much different for anyone with a car, they still have about 8 supermarkets in short driving range.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:50
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The point is that as long as people NEED cars due to a poor public transportation system, JC will continue to be a driving city.


Apparently you don't know what a "poor public transportation system" is. There are major cities in this country where you simply can't get anywhere without a car, Atlanta is the poster child. We have pretty good transit by national standards. Sure, the best parts of Brooklyn are better, but vast parts suck. Even red hot Red Hook has shitty transit, it'll take you 1/2 hr to walk to the train.

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jcguy05 wrote:
not too clear looking the map, does this development include the giant dirt mountain area directly west of the power house? It's been a dirt mountain for years, surprised noone is putting another glass building on there considering the prime location.

I think the address is 111 first street per google map.


Nope - 111 First is a separate lot, with the old warehouse on the site demolished pre-crisis in 2007 in order to put up this behemoth.

But as you rightly point out, one great recession and eight years later, all that the developers have to show for their investment is a dirt mound.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:44
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Agree completely - and FWIW, I agree with Tommy in that I want to see increased density and planning that encourages that, with as little compromise as possible. Fewer cars the better, as far as I'm concerned. If Shoprite can't adapt its business model for the new demographics and density it will sit among, should I care if it fails and someone more attuned to that market replaces it? Hell no. And really? Costco vs. BJ's? Just put one (or both) in Secaucus and those who want to shop there (in their cars) will.

Where Tommy and I disagree is he seems to have keen radar for anything with a whiff of suburbia and dismisses it immediately. Yes, Columbus is less dense than Jersey City. But there are things that they do much better and features of that city that are much more desirable than what we have. I say don't dismiss things wholesale just because they come from Columbus. Embrace what works. Take the cream off the top before you toss the rest.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:41
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T-Bird wrote:
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tommyc_37 wrote:

Point being, I prefer for Jersey City to be the organic, urban fabric type of city that it is, instead of masquerading as a quasi-suburb, which is what Columbus is (have to drive everywhere, no walkability, not many people live in the urban core).


You miss the point. As I said - there are certainly aspects of Jersey City I prefer, but a fair bit of the "organic, urban fabric" of Jersey City sucks ass. I don't think that's a controversial statement. And you are definitely cherry-picking when you tout the walkable urban paradise that is Jersey City. If you live in Port Liberte, big chunks of Greenville or the non-up-and-coming areas of the Heights (which is the majority of it), you aren't walking to much. Because there isn't much that would meet your standards for the goods and services you gladly walk to downtown.

Point being - yes, I live here. Obviously there are things I enjoy and benefit from living here. But there is a loooooooong way to go before this place has the consistent desirability of - Seattle. Austin. Portland. The Twin Cities. Boulder. Big chunks of Brooklyn that are of themselves equal in size to Jersey City. Places with an interesting organic urban fabric that isn't concentrated into one small corner of the city.


I think the point is, does JC become more desirable by mimicking suburban development or my embracing density and walk-ability at the expense of easy parking and driving?

For some portions of the city I think the answer is obviously by embracing density. For other portions that is less feasible. JC is a big enough place that there can be more than one type of of development, but you can't mix them in the same location because that doesn't work.





Except that isn't the point. The point is that as long as people NEED cars due to a poor public transportation system, JC will continue to be a driving city. And for most who don't work near a PATH or subway line, they need a car.

The answer is certainly not "embrace density." By that nebulous statement I take it you simply mean eliminating parking. That's an absolutely horrible idea as long as many people continue to need cars.

Taking away parking spaces doesn't magically eliminate the need for a car. But a great public transport system very well may.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:34
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I don't get the grocery store issue. If you have a car there's a Walmart & Stop-n-Shop in Bayonne (oh no 15 min!), Target, an A&P, the Pathmark and numerous smaller places.

It's not like there would be no place to shop if you have a car. If you don't have a car and need the place to be really, really close then the parking lot is kind of irrelevant.

Either way there is going to be a deck so it doesn't matter.

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T-Bird wrote:
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tommyc_37 wrote:

Point being, I prefer for Jersey City to be the organic, urban fabric type of city that it is, instead of masquerading as a quasi-suburb, which is what Columbus is (have to drive everywhere, no walkability, not many people live in the urban core).


You miss the point. As I said - there are certainly aspects of Jersey City I prefer, but a fair bit of the "organic, urban fabric" of Jersey City sucks ass. I don't think that's a controversial statement. And you are definitely cherry-picking when you tout the walkable urban paradise that is Jersey City. If you live in Port Liberte, big chunks of Greenville or the non-up-and-coming areas of the Heights (which is the majority of it), you aren't walking to much. Because there isn't much that would meet your standards for the goods and services you gladly walk to downtown.

Point being - yes, I live here. Obviously there are things I enjoy and benefit from living here. But there is a loooooooong way to go before this place has the consistent desirability of - Seattle. Austin. Portland. The Twin Cities. Boulder. Big chunks of Brooklyn that are of themselves equal in size to Jersey City. Places with an interesting organic urban fabric that isn't concentrated into one small corner of the city.


I think the point is, does JC become more desirable by mimicking suburban development or my embracing density and walk-ability at the expense of easy parking and driving?

For some portions of the city I think the answer is obviously by embracing density. For other portions that is less feasible. JC is a big enough place that there can be more than one type of of development, but you can't mix them in the same location because that doesn't work.




Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:25
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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brewster wrote:
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corybraiterman wrote:
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brewster wrote:
And not just Downtown. Some of the hottest parts of the Heights are close to the Supremo or Hoboken Shoprite where you can pop in on foot to pick up that night's groceries.


Both of which have parking lots. The Hoboken one in particular is incredibly large. And the Hoboken Shoprite is not a quick, close "pop in" to most of the heights.


What part of PARTS did you not understand? If you live in the neighborhood within a few blocks of the elevator, it's a "pop in". It is for my carless tenants who live there. And for my carless tenants who live near Supremo, it's the same. There's no monolithic "Kar Kultur" in JC.


Oh, cool, that one tiny part.

Here's a map for visual reference. Grats to the 1% of JC residents where that's close to!

Resized Image

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:23
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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tommyc_37 wrote:

Point being, I prefer for Jersey City to be the organic, urban fabric type of city that it is, instead of masquerading as a quasi-suburb, which is what Columbus is (have to drive everywhere, no walkability, not many people live in the urban core).


You miss the point. As I said - there are certainly aspects of Jersey City I prefer, but a fair bit of the "organic, urban fabric" of Jersey City sucks ass. I don't think that's a controversial statement. And you are definitely cherry-picking when you tout the walkable urban paradise that is Jersey City. If you live in Port Liberte, big chunks of Greenville or the non-up-and-coming areas of the Heights (which is the majority of it), you aren't walking to much. Because there isn't much that would meet your standards for the goods and services you gladly walk to downtown.

Point being - yes, I live here. Obviously there are things I enjoy and benefit from living here. But there is a loooooooong way to go before this place has the consistent desirability of - Seattle. Austin. Portland. The Twin Cities. Boulder. Big chunks of Brooklyn that are of themselves equal in size to Jersey City. Places with an interesting organic urban fabric that isn't concentrated into one small corner of the city.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 19:06
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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not too clear looking the map, does this development include the giant dirt mountain area directly west of the power house? It's been a dirt mountain for years, surprised noone is putting another glass building on there considering the prime location.

I think the address is 111 first street per google map.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 18:24
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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corybraiterman wrote:
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brewster wrote:
And not just Downtown. Some of the hottest parts of the Heights are close to the Supremo or Hoboken Shoprite where you can pop in on foot to pick up that night's groceries.


Both of which have parking lots. The Hoboken one in particular is incredibly large. And the Hoboken Shoprite is not a quick, close "pop in" to most of the heights.


What part of PARTS did you not understand? If you live in the neighborhood within a few blocks of the elevator, it's a "pop in". It is for my carless tenants who live there. And for my carless tenants who live near Supremo, it's the same. There's no monolithic "Kar Kultur" in JC.

Posted on: 2015/2/6 18:14
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Re: High-rise development at Metro Plaza (Shoprite, BJs, Pepboys)
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T-Bird wrote:
Oh my God. Yes! I wish Jersey City could be a LOT more like Columbus. Huge, highly regarded university and the culture and entertainment that provides. Much lower crime. Much cleaner. Safer pedestrian/biking environment. Higher consistent level of education among the adult population. Much better public schools.

There are elements of Jersey City I prefer, certainly, but (and we always come back to this) just saying "but we are right next to NYC" isn't good enough. I want the amenities of something that begins to resemble "the best mid-sized city in the country" to be actually in my city and not require a half hour trip to get to them. At this point, attaining "Best mediocre city" would be a big improvement.


Point being, I prefer for Jersey City to be the organic, urban fabric type of city that it is, instead of masquerading as a quasi-suburb, which is what Columbus is (have to drive everywhere, no walkability, not many people live in the urban core).

Also, I cannot find any evidence that Columbus is safer than JC:
http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/comp ... 1=OH&c2=jersey+city&s2=NJ


Posted on: 2015/2/6 18:06
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