Change is coming quickly for Newark, New Jersey, where many are pegging the long-troubled city for a renaissance akin to Brooklyn’s. In January, city officials and developers unveiled their plans for Mulberry Commons, a 22-acre development in Newark’s downtown that would not only bring forth new residential, commercial, and office space*, but also a three-acre park and a High Line-style pedestrian bridge that would connect the Ironbound neighborhood to Newark Penn Station and the central business district. According to the Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development, the city is expected to benefit in excess of $500 million from the project.
After stalling repeatedly over design disagreements, budget woes, and funding squabbles, NJ.com reports that The Port Authority said it hopes to have a new midtown Manhattan bus terminal built in New York by 2030, shovels in the ground by 2021 and be “well underway” by 2026. Though some lawmakers expressed doubt about the ambitious schedule, Steven P. Plate, Port Authority chief of major projects, said at a Legislative Oversight Committee joint hearing about the agency’s $32 billion revised capital plan, “We will have full environmental approval, permits in place and construction well underway” according to that timeline.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (aka Snacks) signed a $9.25 million/year contract with the New York Giants in March 2016, and it looks like he’s decided to put some of that cash into the real estate game. The Post reports that the 28-year-old player just dropped $1.55 million on a ritzy, custom-built manor in northern New Jersey. Located in the Washington Township, about 20 miles from MetLife Stadium, the palatial, 7,080-square-foot home was custom built in 2013 and boasts glamorous (though at times a bit gaudy) details like an oversized heated driveway to melt snow, a two-story marble foyer complete with a bridal staircase and gigantic chandelier, and a double-height great room overlooked by three upstairs balconies.
Yesterday, 6sqft revealed Governor Cuomo’s plan to give JFK Airport a long overdue overhaul, an endeavor that would cost nearly $10 billion, funded just over two-thirds in part by the private sector with another $2 billion provided by the government. Given that most of New York and New Jersey’s regional transportation infrastructure (including bridges, tunnels and airports) falls within the joint jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey will as a result receive similar funding for a project of their own—and that’s a problem according to The Record reporter Paul Berger. Yesterday, Berger published a confidential document obtained from the Port Authority that details how $30 billion will be spent on infrastructure over the next 10 years. While the purpose of the Port Authority is to divvy up cash across the region based on need, as Berger writes, the document simply shows how “interstate jealousies over funding” have led to a “quid pro quo capital plan” that completely bucks this objective.
For those who prefer the water to the actual city, here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The MacKenzie-Childs Yankee Ferry is up for sale and could actually be your next home. Built in 1907, the ferry served in World War One before it was acquired in 1921 by U.S. immigration services to serve as the Ellis Island Ferry until 1929–it is now the oldest existing Ellis Island ferry still on the water. It sold again in 1929 for use as a tour boat, served in World War Two, and then finally sold to a private owner in 1990 who began a restoration. In 2003, the ferry ended up with its latest owners, Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs, who founded the design firm MacKenzie-Childs in 1983. The couple moved it to Pier 25 in Hoboken, New Jersey to continue an oddball restoration that’s brimming with personality. It is now outfitted as a bona-fide house boat, and for $1.25 million you could be part of the ferry’s incredible history.
Approval process for new $24 billion Hudson River tunnels fast-tracked; construction could start in 2019, Tue, October 18, 2016
The $24 billion plan to construct two rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River has been designated a priority, which will get it fast-tracked through environmental and permitting stages and trim development time by a year or more, the Wall Street Journal reports; with construction beginning in 2019, the tunnels could be operational as early as 2024, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference at Penn Station on Friday. Both Amtrak and NJ Transit will use the new tunnels, which are among the first steps in a broader plan by Amtrak find ways to handle double the current number of passenger trains running beneath the Hudson River.
This very well might be the most beautiful time of the year. You can enjoy time outside without dripping sweat or shivering to your bones, and the fall foliage is in all its glory. These pretty-much-perfect months are a great time to escape the city, and with so many fun, scenic, and informative offerings nearby, you can go for the day and not have to worry about spending money on lodging. To help plan your autumn itinerary, 6sqft has put together a list of the best day trips outside of New York. From touring the Rockefeller estate in Tarrytown to a lantern-lit cemetery tour in Sleepy Hollow, we’ve got you history buffs covered. And for those looking for some more traditional fall fun, there’s Bear Mountain’s Oktoberfest, apple and pumpkin picking in New Jersey, and artistically carved jack o’ lanterns on Long Island.
This unique listing should definitely get the attention of modern house lovers and math geeks. One of three remaining New Jersey homes (a fourth was moved to Arkansas in 2014) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is up for sale for $995,000. The home was purchased by the current owners in 1996 and restored to “purists’ standards” in 2006. The house follows the architect’s “Usonian” plan which incorporates native materials and strong visual connections between interiors and the exterior landscape.
With subway plans stalling and bus service failing, planners are turning their sites to alternate modes of urban transportation such as ferries and aerial gondolas. The latter has picked up steam over the past year thanks to the East River Skyway, which would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, and it looks like the transit-starved folks over on Staten Island have taken note. Earlier this year, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation launched a conceptual design competition for an aerial tramway that would better connect the borough to surrounding areas. As Untapped tells us, the winning proposal is a line that runs parallel to the Bayonne Bridge from Elm Park to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in Bayonne.
These days, everything seems to get the Brooklyn stamp. The Post even went so far as to declare Pennsylvania’s Amish Country the new incarnation of the borough. But a bit closer to home, Jersey City’s Journal Square is making serious headway in the race to become the next frontier. As CityRealty.com recently explained, the slightly-inland area, easily accessible to Manhattan via the PATH train, is prime for development due to lower land and construction costs than the waterfront. At least 10 major residential projects are planned for Journal Square, and according to Ken Pasternack, chairman of developer KABR Group, “Rents for a new-development high rise will be $40 a square foot here, as opposed to $100 in Manhattan. We’re betting tens of millions of dollars that in the next 10 years, the neighborhood will be a brand on par with Brooklyn.”
A Google Earth rendering of future Journal Square. Created by CityRealty
The migration of the New York development rush over to Jersey City was no surprise. Located along the waterfront, Jersey City boasts impressive views of the skyline and easy access into Manhattan from the PATH train. But as new development arrived at a rapid pace, it has resulted in rising prices and a lack of developable land. That’s caused developers to look inland in search of other Jersey City neighborhoods ripe for new development. Journal Square, the area surrounding the Journal Square PATH station, has clearly emerged as the new frontier. “We’re betting tens of millions of dollars that in the next 10 years, the neighborhood will be a brand on par with Brooklyn,” says Ken Pasternack, chairman of KABR Group, an active Journal Square developer.
Architecture firm So+So Studio has proposed a new vision for New Jersey’s Bergen Arches, an abandoned four-track cut of the Erie Railroad that runs one mile through the Palisides. The site has remained unused, overgrown, and forgotten since the last train ran in 1959. So+So, however, sees a much more lively vision for the tracks, and they’ve teamed up with Green Villain, a Jersey City place-making organization, and local residents to turn the unused space into a locale for artistic and leisure activity.
Dubbed “The Cut,” the project is both architectural and landscape-based, calling for an elevated system of ramps and walkways that will take participants under canopies, through sculpture gardens, and into graffiti-tunnels more than 60 feet below ground. With the public park, So+So hopes to promote contemporary local artists as well as expose decades of preserved graffiti and art that line the forgotten landscape.
Eichler homes are rare on the East Coast, and why be a brand snob? This mid-20th-century gem in West Orange, NJ has plenty of modernist style and views of the NYC skyline. On a private gated road in Essex County, on the southeastern ridge of the Watchung Mountain (known for their many scenic vistas overlooking the New York City and New Jersey skylines and for their rare ecosystems of endangered wildlife, plants and rich minerals) this dramatic crescent-shaped home could be the answer to your modern house dreams. “Restored, not renovated,” the three-bedroom residence has contemporary comforts and mid-century charm, along with a well-engineered floor plan and plenty of outdoor space.
Summer is the perfect time to get out of town and explore what’s beyond the borders of the city. While there is certainly no shortage of nature escapes and historic hideouts nearby, just outside of Manhattan in about every direction are also numerous modernist treasures to admire. Ahead is 6sqft’s round-up of the 10 best destinations for architecture enthusiasts with a penchant for modern design.
New York City is full of incredible properties, but it’s not known for its castles. You have to go to New Jersey for that. Over near Bernardsville Mountain, in northern New Jersey, is the Stronghold Castle—probably one of the most impressive homes in the entire state. It’s the work of the architect George B. Post, who purchased 104 acres around the mountain in 1871. Soon after, in 1886, Post was commissioned to design a house for James Coleman Drayton, a New York banker and the son-in-law of William Backhouse Astor on one of the highest points in the area. The result? A two-story, stone villa with a tower commanding views of the estate’s 128 acres. Over the years, different owners added to the home and it evolved into this modern-day castle. Between 1940 and 1995, it served as a private girl’s school. The latest owner, who bought in 2004, restored the castle in all its grandeur while adding modern additions to make it a cozy home. (Or, as cozy as a castle can be.)
During his prolific career, Frank Lloyd Wright built four houses in the Garden State, the first and largest being the 2,000-square-foot James B. Christie House in Bernardsville, which dates to 1940. At the time, Wright, who coined the term “organic architecture,” told his client to find a site with “as much individuality as to topography and features—stream, trees, etc. and as much freedom from adjacent buildings as is possible.” Christie obliged, and the resulting home sits on seven acres of secluded woodland. For the physical architecture, Wright employed his Usonian principles of simplicity, practicality, and a connection to nature.
As Curbed reports, after selling in 2014 to a private buyer for $1,700,000, the Christie House is now on the market for $2.2 million after receiving a new roof and heating system.
As any good New Jerseyan knows, The Boss loves living low-key at the Shore. From his days rocking the Stone Pony (where he’ll still make the occasional surprise appearance) to his time living in this little beach bungalow, Bruce Springsteen has never been one to adopt a high-profile lifestyle. This is further evidenced by the suburban house in which he lived during the 1970s and ’80s. Yes, it’s a bit of a mansion, but it’s located in the unassuming community of Holmdel, and when he took up residency there in 1976, he was only paying $700 a month. It was here that he wrote and rehearsed with the E Street Band much of the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “The River.” After listing previously as a $5,000/month rental, the farmhouse at 7 The Summit is now asking $3.2 million, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Just two months ago, the state allocated $70 million for early engineering work on a new Hudson River tunnel, part of the larger $20 billion Gateway project to fix the crumbling, century-old tunnels that currently carry New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains under the Hudson River. Despite the move forward, a traffic consultant from Delaware thinks he has a better idea.
NJ.com shared Scott R. Spencer’s proposal for twin suspension bridges that would stretch 3.5 miles from New Jersey, across Manhattan at 38th and 39th Streets, and in to Queens. He believes the plan, aptly titled the Empire State Gateway, would be a much quicker solution to the current transportation woes, with one bridge taking about five years to complete versus 20+ years for the tunnels. Spencer’s idea, however, would also cost $20 billion, and as Untapped points out, would cast quite the shadow over Midtown (not to mention the countless approvals and variances it would require).
New Yorkers might want to stop hating on Jerseyans, because without the bridge and tunnel demographic the city would be a barren wasteland, at least according to this fun map from Very Small Array. First spotted by Brokelyn, the map uses census data to plot the state from which most people come in a given neighborhood (excluding those originally from New York). And as you can see, New Jersey makes up the majority of the city, followed not surprisingly by California. Florida, the third-place state, is a bit more unexpected, as is the fact that Mill Basin/Bergen Beach is full of Alaskans.
Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Here, Carter brings us his seventh installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the new New Jersey skyline.
The hulking, 781-foot-high Goldman Sachs tower at 30 Hudson Street in Jersey City is like the Rock of Gilbraltar to Lower Manhattan’s famed skyline: massive and impressive. To some, perhaps, it conjures a Monty Python catapult or a very steep cliff on which to mount the Guns of Navarone for an assault on Lower Manhattan. It dominates the Jersey City skyline, which is a bit Spartan, especially in comparison with Brooklyn’s. Most of the skyscrapers in Brooklyn, however, are not directly on the waterfront and the Goldman tower is very much “in your face” on the water. Furthermore, all of a relative sudden, Jersey City is about to explode with three taller towers, which I can only describe as delirious, dancing, shimmy-shimmy-shake buildings with drop-dead vistas of Manhattan and the Hudson.