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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
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This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.


I'm not following why you want to make this out as a Heights problem and go to Yun rather than treat it as the citywide problem that it is. The only reason there's more being built in the Heights is that it's a hotter market, but there's plenty of them in JSQ & Greenville. It only makes sense if Yun is simply the 1st councilperson you want to approach.

Does anyone know what actual influence the council has on the Master Plan process?

Posted on: 2016/11/29 13:32
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.


There is -- an Restaurant Overlay District was recently passed. JC Planning would probably love our recommendations and be all to happy to make them happen. The problem is there is a vocal regiment of senior citizens that will be against any kind of change in the zoning, similar to the opposition to the R5 district downtown.

This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.


Another example of an overlay already put in place in JC can be found right downtown, in the Powerhouse District: WALDO, which stands for Work and Live District Overlay.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 13:30
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.


There is -- an Restaurant Overlay District was recently passed. JC Planning would probably love our recommendations and be all to happy to make them happen. The problem is there is a vocal regiment of senior citizens that will be against any kind of change in the zoning, similar to the opposition to the R5 district downtown.

This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 12:26
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


I recall you saying you're a professional in this field, can you explain exactly what IS a zoning overlay and how does it work? It would sure help to understand the tools at our disposal.

In NYC, the three basic zoning districts are divided into a range of lower-, medium- and higher-density areas, and may be overlaid by one of the City’s 64 special purpose districts. The City Planning Commission has been designating these special purpose districts since 1969 to achieve specific planning and urban design objectives in defined areas with unique characteristics, e.g. scenic and natural area, mixed commercial uses, housing preservation. There are also Limited Height areas, superimposed over residential districts (usually historic districts) which further restrict the height of new construction and additions.

To prevent the Bayonne Box, we would need to quantify those special characteristics of the Heights that could be reflected in an overlay, such as requiring commercial spaces at the ground floor, restrictions on curb cuts, waiving side yard requirements to allow for predictable building envelopes.

This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 11:54
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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BergenWood wrote:
Doesn't seem to be much mention of green space (except as shown in the 3 non-BB examples from the original poster). I'm partial to planting, and am one of only about 3 houses on the block that has a planted rather than paved front yard,


Townhouses can have front gardens like this:

Resized Image


The problem is with a 25 ft wide lot or less, if you put in a garage, you pretty much lose the green space in front.

I am not a big fan of mandating garages (sorry Yvonne) as I think it screws up the streetscape and eliminates street parking. This is an issue for the Heights since public transport is pretty poor in much of it. As covered in previous threads.. buses on non-dedicated lanes suck.

On a positive note: The two biggest multi-family projects by my place have both planted lots of trees in the sidewalks. That is one thing this area has sorely lacked. Trees make a huge difference with esthetics of the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:20
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Resized Image




That is in the Heights correct? If it is the place I am thinking of, I tried to buy it 16 years ago or so. But the price got bid up too high for me. I remember it being a wreck of a house needing serious renovation work

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:12
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Doesn't seem to be much mention of green space (except as shown in the 3 non-BB examples from the original poster). I'm partial to planting, and am one of only about 3 houses on the block that has a planted rather than paved front yard, so imagine that I'm in the minority here, but do think it's important both aesthetically and functionally (e.g., managing run-off).

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:09
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
Using words like aesthetic tells me you're a form over function kinda guy. Me - I'm the opposite. Personally I think you are cock-blocking progress to protect your personal investments. Why not let the free market decide?


What the hell do you think this thread is about if not aesthetics? No gives a crap really about what's inside those things. There's a difference between classic "utilitarian design" and the cheapest possible design. I posted that 4th st pic because it IS an example of utilitarian design, and I wondered what people thought.

It's revealing that even you think the BB bring down property values. Actually they often bring them up from the crap that was there before. But not always. A "developer" wanted to knock down this mansion to put up a couple of boxes like the one next door. Thankfully he was stopped and it was restored.

Resized Image


And you're wrong about my design philosophy. I was kicked out of industrial design school because I insisted on making things that actually worked rather than obsessing about textures, pastels and semiotics. I've spent 35 years making things that work.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 23:40
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

Fact is - the "true" JC brownstones are money pits. And the "true" Bayonne boxes are pretty functional.


Bayonne box is a common term. Newark took steps to reduce the amount of BBs being built.

I am not sure where you are going with this "money pit" claim. This thread is covering the R-1 zoning that pretty much mandates a Bayonne Box for new construction. Are you saying that if setbacks are reduced and height allowances increased, and someone builds a townhouse, it will be a money pit?


dtjcview is playing the classic JCList game of being critical without being constructive or prescriptive. Neither the neighbors siding nor the maintenance costs of a property have any relevance to their aesthetic contribution to the streetscape.


Using words like aesthetic tells me you're a form over function kinda guy. Me - I'm the opposite. Personally I think you are cock-blocking progress to protect your personal investments. Why not let the free market decide?

Posted on: 2016/11/28 22:53
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


I recall you saying you're a professional in this field, can you explain exactly what IS a zoning overlay and how does it work? It would sure help to understand the tools at our disposal.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 17:59
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
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- built full to side property lines
- no setback from adjacent buildings
- no outdoor parking
- garage is limited to less than 1/2 of footprint

While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


The above is what I am hoping to see happen to the 'R-5' for the Heights. I have one building that shares a common wall with a duplicate. It goes right up to the property line on both sides. That extra 5 feet gives a lot more flexibility with the interior space. You get more 'room' inside.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 15:54
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


This is a the right direction, how to lever people without taking away their rights. If you allow more units if it conforms to some sort of aesthetic review, it's win win. We don't necessarily want to create what the conservators call "fake historic", but to create some guidelines to work within, like conform to the facade setback of the neighbors and have similar roofline. There's plenty of DT & Hoboken infill that has modern elements yet fits in to the streetscape.

Here's a question: Is the 4th st house below better or worse than a brickfaced BB for our streetscape? It wasn't cheap.

Resized Image


That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...


This building has several things going for it - leaving aesthetics and material choices out for the moment - that raise it above the BB, and point towards language/restrictions for zoning that could result in better development:

- built full to side property lines
- no setback from adjacent buildings
- no outdoor parking
- garage is limited to less than 1/2 of footprint

While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 14:27
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
Turns out I still have some draft plans for my long since cancelled project in the Heights (corner lot).

This is the 2 family version. It just didn't work out financially. It would have worked as a three family (one more floor) and even better as a 4 family (2 more floors). There used to be a 6 family on the site, which had burned down.

The framing was going to be steel. The facade' (was going for a stone like surface) wasn't settled on before the project was abandoned.

Resized Image


Resized Image

This works well for a corner site, as you end up with a building that has a primary street facade, and a secondary facade with garages. In the Heights, there are a lot of 1-story garage buildings with 3 to 6 garage bays, so this design could be seen as relating to a typical streetscape, depending on the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 14:21
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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You should take a look at Slack for something like this - more real-time communication and it's an app everybody can download on their phone/desktop and have running in the background. It'd be perfect for organizing something like this. Much lower barrier for entry vs. having to register a yahoo email and there wouldn't be a super slow turnaround between everybody. Plus, their forum software sucks.

https://slack.com/

Posted on: 2016/11/28 10:52
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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How about a Yahoo forum? I can set one up after work today. All you have to do is register a yahoo email address to use the forum.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 8:59
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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And for every one house with vinyl siding done right, there are two dozen that look butt ugly. It's a blight on the Heights. Please tell me I'm not the only one that see's this!!??

(It's not a problem for new construction but on the cheap rehab of existing homes. So outside the scope of what we're trying to accomplish here with the Bayonne Boxes. A topic for another day, perhaps.)

Posted on: 2016/11/28 8:28
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Good points on fb. Is this thread on JCList an appropriate venue then?

Posted on: 2016/11/27 20:16
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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hero69 wrote:
I don't mind good quality vinyl siding, I detest pink brick. Btw, not everyone has facebook


+1 on both. Good siding can look a lot like the original clapboards, which are simply too much maintenance for any but the fanatical to reproduce. I was afraid I was going to look like a dinosaur for being FB decliner if I said so. Thanks for the lead.

Posted on: 2016/11/27 20:03
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
Moving this forward - we can have a facebook page to discuss these loop poolissues in greater detail (we need to be crystal clear on the problem and possible solution), then setup a meeting with Yun's office so that he is aware of our concerns.

Personally, I would like to see the new R5 zoning be tweaked for the Heights.

No pitched roofs
Side setbacks for windows (the R5 zoning has this one perfect)
Encouragement of Cornices
Strong encouragement of Bay Windows
Recessed Balconies
Banning of Cheap Vinyl Siding (ok, one of my personal per peeves)

In exchange for the allowability of 3 or 4 family homes. We're not restricting any private property rights. We are proposing another option for development - one that would simply be more economically feasible to build than it would be a Bayonne Box. The market will take care of the rest.

I don't mind good quality vinyl siding, I detest pink brick. Btw, not everyone has facebook

Posted on: 2016/11/27 19:39
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Moving this forward - we can have a facebook page to discuss these issues in greater detail (we need to be crystal clear on the problem and possible solution), then setup a meeting with Yun's office so that he is aware of our concerns.

Personally, I would like to see the new R5 zoning be tweaked for the Heights.

No pitched roofs
Side setbacks for windows (the R5 zoning has this one perfect)
Encouragement of Cornices
Strong encouragement of Bay Windows
Recessed Balconies
Banning of Cheap Vinyl Siding (ok, one of my personal per peeves)

In exchange for the allowability of 3 or 4 family homes. We're not restricting any private property rights. We are proposing another option for development - one that would simply be more economically feasible to build than it would be a Bayonne Box. The market will take care of the rest.


Posted on: 2016/11/27 14:56
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

Fact is - the "true" JC brownstones are money pits. And the "true" Bayonne boxes are pretty functional.


Bayonne box is a common term. Newark took steps to reduce the amount of BBs being built.

I am not sure where you are going with this "money pit" claim. This thread is covering the R-1 zoning that pretty much mandates a Bayonne Box for new construction. Are you saying that if setbacks are reduced and height allowances increased, and someone builds a townhouse, it will be a money pit?


dtjcview is playing the classic JCList game of being critical without being constructive or prescriptive. Neither the neighbors siding nor the maintenance costs of a property have any relevance to their aesthetic contribution to the streetscape.

Posted on: 2016/11/27 11:57
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

Fact is - the "true" JC brownstones are money pits. And the "true" Bayonne boxes are pretty functional.


Bayonne box is a common term. Newark took steps to reduce the amount of BBs being built.

I am not sure where you are going with this "money pit" claim. This thread is covering the R-1 zoning that pretty much mandates a Bayonne Box for new construction. Are you saying that if setbacks are reduced and height allowances increased, and someone builds a townhouse, it will be a money pit?

Posted on: 2016/11/27 10:02
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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iGreg wrote:
Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


This is a the right direction, how to lever people without taking away their rights. If you allow more units if it conforms to some sort of aesthetic review, it's win win. We don't necessarily want to create what the conservators call "fake historic", but to create some guidelines to work within, like conform to the facade setback of the neighbors and have similar roofline. There's plenty of DT & Hoboken infill that has modern elements yet fits in to the streetscape.

Here's a question: Is the 4th st house below better or worse than a brickfaced BB for our streetscape? It wasn't cheap.

Resized Image




Passed this house when being built and it's no way framed out or built on the same template the Bayonne Boxes are.

It is actually very modern looking and interesting. Sure as shit cost hella more than the 250k you can slap a Bayonne Box up for.

#coolstorybro


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

Fact is - the "true" JC brownstones are money pits. And the "true" Bayonne boxes are pretty functional.

Brewster is being an asshole on this imo....

Posted on: 2016/11/27 1:12
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


This is a the right direction, how to lever people without taking away their rights. If you allow more units if it conforms to some sort of aesthetic review, it's win win. We don't necessarily want to create what the conservators call "fake historic", but to create some guidelines to work within, like conform to the facade setback of the neighbors and have similar roofline. There's plenty of DT & Hoboken infill that has modern elements yet fits in to the streetscape.

Here's a question: Is the 4th st house below better or worse than a brickfaced BB for our streetscape? It wasn't cheap.

Resized Image




Passed this house when being built and it's no way framed out or built on the same template the Bayonne Boxes are.

It is actually very modern looking and interesting. Sure as shit cost hella more than the 250k you can slap a Bayonne Box up for.

#coolstorybro

Posted on: 2016/11/27 0:55
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.



Not that I really want to defend it, but no, it has none of typical BB attributes except the garage. And what does the neighbor house have to do with it? Perhaps you should post an example of your ideal multifamily rowhouse since you say very little is up to your standards.


Do I need to explain what "lipstick on a pig means"? The brownstones I've seen downtown are money-pits. My guess is you own a number of these money-pits. Right?

Posted on: 2016/11/26 23:55
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.



Not that I really want to defend it, but no, it has none of typical BB attributes except the garage. And what does the neighbor house have to do with it? Perhaps you should post an example of your ideal multifamily rowhouse since you say very little is up to your standards.

Posted on: 2016/11/26 23:27
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


This is a the right direction, how to lever people without taking away their rights. If you allow more units if it conforms to some sort of aesthetic review, it's win win. We don't necessarily want to create what the conservators call "fake historic", but to create some guidelines to work within, like conform to the facade setback of the neighbors and have similar roofline. There's plenty of DT & Hoboken infill that has modern elements yet fits in to the streetscape.

Here's a question: Is the 4th st house below better or worse than a brickfaced BB for our streetscape? It wasn't cheap.

Resized Image


That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.


Posted on: 2016/11/26 18:01
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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The fire protection codes:

I had to deal with them when I gut renovated my 4 family. I had to bring everything up to code. At the time (around 2002), I didn't need to put in sprinklers because I was "3-1/2 stories". If I was 4, I would have to install them. I think the cost estimate at the time was something like $25k to $35k, but my memory on that cost is a bit fuzzy.

I did however have to install fire rates walls, ceiling, and doors, which wasn't a big deal. I had to use 5/8" Type X drywall and install in multiple layers in places. I also used fire resistant insulation. The costs adders for these were manageable and frankly, made for a better building (i.e. better sound insulation between apartments).

The sprinklers however, would have hurt $$$ wise. They were also something that I would fear a tenant's kid would set off, creating a wave of destruction through the building.

Posted on: 2016/11/24 9:03
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Bamb00zle wrote:
Aside current zoning rules, don't overlook the impact of fire code requirements on new construction design. Installation costs for fire code requirements add up VERY quickly, with on-going expenses as well.

Anything more than 2-family, and even certain 2-family buildings, need sprinkler systems. If mains pressure is insufficient a pump may be required, adding to costs.... The on going costs are for central monitoring, back-flow preventer inspections / certification, maintenance, yearly registration fees to JC Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire Department inspections, and so on.

The impact of these requirements is very substantial in money, time and headaches. For a small building, 3 or 4-family, the economics are marginal – too few apartments to share the additional costs.... So even if zoning rules are changed I can't see 3- or 4-family buildings becoming the design of choice for those lots, replacing 2-family structures, anytime soon.

Fire code requirements need to be simplified for new construction 3 and 4-family buildings to be economically viable. That is done at the State level, beyond direct control of the City. And it's the opposite of what the Fire Prevention industry thinks we need. They want sprinklers mandated for everything, including single family homes. There's a good deal of money at stake so expect a big fight before any changes.


That's a fascinating angle on the issue, but it's not stopping development of these types of properties in DT or Hoboken. Can you put actual numbers to this, as in what would it cost for a typical 4 family on a 25x100 lot?

Posted on: 2016/11/23 20:06
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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2015/4/28 21:47
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MDM wrote:
There is a lot of demand for say a 2 bedroom at $1,200, but it is impossible to offer something in that price range when you can only build 2 units on a 25' x 100' lot.


Aside current zoning rules, don't overlook the impact of fire code requirements on new construction design. Installation costs for fire code requirements add up VERY quickly, with on-going expenses as well.

Anything more than 2-family, and even certain 2-family buildings, need sprinkler systems. If mains pressure is insufficient a pump may be required, adding to costs.... The on going costs are for central monitoring, back-flow preventer inspections / certification, maintenance, yearly registration fees to JC Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire Department inspections, and so on.

The impact of these requirements is very substantial in money, time and headaches. For a small building, 3 or 4-family, the economics are marginal – too few apartments to share the additional costs.... So even if zoning rules are changed I can't see 3- or 4-family buildings becoming the design of choice for those lots, replacing 2-family structures, anytime soon.

Fire code requirements need to be simplified for new construction 3 and 4-family buildings to be economically viable. That is done at the State level, beyond direct control of the City. And it's the opposite of what the Fire Prevention industry thinks we need. They want sprinklers mandated for everything, including single family homes. There's a good deal of money at stake so expect a big fight before any changes.

Posted on: 2016/11/23 19:44
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