Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting Real About Realogy

First Quarter Revenue Rise for Realogy




realogy_logo
Realogy, the company behind real estate brands such as Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and the Corcoran Group, has registered an 18 percent rise in revenue for the first quarter of the year compared to 2009 totals.


Realogy’s net revenue for the quarter was US$819 million, however the company still registered a quarterly loss of $197 million. Yet these are still relatively positive figures for Realogy, which came close to defaulting on its senior debt before striking a deal with billionaire Carl Icahn in 2009.
The company says the number of home sale transactions increased 8 percent year-over-year at the Realogy Franchise Group and 11 percent at NRT, its brokerage unit. But while Realogy says these “core business drivers” showed improvement, it admits this growth is principally attributable to the move-up and higher priced markets, along with a comparatively weak first quarter of 2009.

“We saw gains in the average home sale price across our franchise and company-owned offices, and it is increasingly apparent that prices are stabilizing in many markets,” said Realogy president and CEO Richard A. Smith. “The shift in the mix of business we started to see late last year continued into the first quarter of 2010, signaling a much healthier outlook for housing.”
Realogy registered net revenue of $3.9 billion and a net loss of $262 million at the end of 2009. The company began 2010 by hiring three new employees.

Collectively, Realogy’s franchise systems have approximately 14,500 offices and 268,000 sales associates doing business in 93 countries and territories worldwide.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832

What do Full Service Real Estate Agents Do?

Consumers are always looking for ways to save money, and paying real estate commissions can amount to tens of thousands these days. Not an insignificant sum to most people. Is it worth it to hire a full-service real estate brokerage over a discount service? Reasonable question. It's one I hear often. And the answer is it depends.

Type of Marketplace

* If you're in a seller's market right now, homes are probably selling the minute they hit the multiple listing service. A one-eyed sheep with two paws tied behind her back could plop a home into MLS and get an offer. Will it be the highest price you could get?
* Buyer's markets exist when inventory exceeds the supply of buyers. In these markets, some homes aren't selling at all. This is where expertise and extra work pays off. Listings that sell at top price are typically those exposed to the most buyers, which are priced well, marketed well and show well.

MLS and the Internet

I cringe when I see new listings hit MLS without a photograph because I know that agents and buyers are passing them over without a second thought. Many multiple listing services accept 8 to 12 photographs nowadays. For that reason, many full-service agents hire professional photographers and shoot double the photos required.

* The pros spend considerable time sorting through photos to select those with the most light, the best angles, sharpest contrast & color.
* Photos are cropped and resized to accentuate positive attributes.
* Each photograph is entered into MLS with a full-length enticing description.

When I see a photograph taken by the multiple listing service instead of a pro or the agent, I also see a lazy real estate agent who doesn't care enough or isn't getting paid enough to properly market her client's property.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832



Learn how to best use color in the kitchen.


•Determine which colors fit your personality.

It’s one of the easiest and most economical ways to heighten drama and interest in our homes. So why, then, does color seem to strike fear into the hearts of so many?

“There are a lot of people out there who are color phobic, yet color gives you so much pleasure,” says Janet Davidson, ASID Allied Member and owner of Details in Design, in Wheaton, IL. “And, since you have so much wall space in a room, adding color is one of the most inexpensive ways to create a dramatic change.”


Setting the wheel in motion


When creating a color scheme for a room, the place most designers start is the color wheel. Basically the rainbow wrapped around a circle, a color wheel visually demonstrates how colors interact with each other and offers harmonious options in combining colors in a single space – whether the desired outcome is soft and mellow or full of energy.


   

If you’re feeling bold, for example, you might opt for a complementary scheme – a high-contrast look that features two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. Think of the vibrancy found in a kitchen of yellow and blue. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a sophisticated, elegant feeling in a room, a monochromatic scheme, which uses different values or intensities of a single color, might be the answer. Take the same kitchen and swap out the blue for ochre and cream. Identical space, but a completely different feel.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weekly Numbers from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com



Use the weekly statistics to track the market.  Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms.  What have units sold for?  What are they listed for today?

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com



Weekly Stats Public 2009    

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Open House Map from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map   Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Jersey Solar Incentive Programs



The State of New Jersey has one of the most aggressive renewable energy programs in place, encouraging businesses and residents to convert and meet a goal of 2.1% of New Jersey’s energy be produced by solar electricity.  To that end, there are grants and rebates available as among the most cost-efficient means of converting customers to solar power.



Summary of New Jersey Incentive Programs
Federal Tax Credit 30%
State Tax Rebate $1-$1.75W
State Grant Program to 50% of Cost

New Jersey Grant and Rebates
New Jersey offers a grant program of $300,000 for commercial and industrial sectors to install solar power production equipment.
The state also offers a rebate program of $.15-$4W based on capacity and applicant type.

New Jersey Other Incentives
New Jersey offers both sales tax exemption and property tax exemption for installed solar equipment.
New Jersey offers a production credit in the form Solar Renewable Energy Certificates(SREC’s), which can be purchased by residential, commercial, and industrial customers. These certificates provide an incentive of $693 per MWh per year.

Financing Options
The Clean Energy Solutions Capital Investment Loan/Grant Program offers commercial and industrial sectors zero interest loans up to $5 million, of which a portion can be issued as a forgivable loan or grant for qualifying systems and matching investment by the borrower.  Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) of New Jersey offers loan programs which can be repaid in cash or by signing over the SREC’s produced by the equipment installed.

Visit the DSIRE:Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for further details.

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point  Realty
Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Tax support would guarantee jobs and growth, says solar industry


The Solar Energy Industries Association said significant growth in jobs and solar capacity can be secured if the United States will maintain support in the form of tax programs for the clean energy sector.
With Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, the solar industry umbrella group said in a new study that extending critical tax policies would generate as much as 200,000 solar industry jobs and deploy 10 gigawatts of additional solar installations by 2016.

The cash grant program was designed to support renewable energy projects by replacing tax credits that companies received for each installation. Tax credits, designed to encourage investments in the manufacturing aspect of the renewables sector, were rendered useless following the economic recession which resulted in a decline in companies’ taxable income.

The grant program is set to expire by the end of 2010 and the tax credit funding allocation has already been exhausted.

“[Extending] the treasury grant program is essential to continuing our nascent economic recovery and moving to a cleaner, more distributed 21st century energy system,” said Ms. Cantwell.
“Tens of thousands of jobs hinge on continuing this successful program, including thousands of new solar jobs in Washington State in the next two years,” she added.

The association projects that without the grant program and the tax credit, 463,000 jobs will be created by 2016 in the clean energy sector, with 113,000 of this to be found in solar. But the extension of both programs is expected to produce considerably better results – 669,854 new jobs, including 161,000 direct jobs in the solar sector.

“We need to support these workers with stable, common-sense policies,” said Rhone Resch, president and chief executive of the solar association.
In terms of installed capacity, the baseline scenario without tax support would find California dominating the solar energy sector with the highest power peak at 20,000 MW. Arizona’s solar electric power capacity would peak at 3,800 MW due to the state’s widespread support for concentrating solar power.

Colorado, Florida and New Jersey would also experience significant growth in solar deployment with solar electric peaks of 1,980 MW, 2,001 MW and 2,648 MW respectively.
But again, with the extension of both the grant program and the tax credit, solar electric installations would increase dramatically. California would remain to lead all other states by reaching a solar power peak of 24,600 MW – equal to 45 percent of the national solar capacity. Arizona would continue its steady solar growth with a peak of 5,276 MW.

The states of Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Oregon would all breach 1,000 MW by 2016 under favorable tax regimes, the study said.

The Solar Energy Industries Association is a national trade association representing nearly 500 solar energy companies in the United States. 


Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

How to Build and Eco Roof









Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Hoboken Man Caves - Hoboken Fire Department




Check out this video on refurbishing the Hoboken Fire Department 13th St. station rec room. It's nice to see how such a space can be transformed and it's cool to see some of our Firefighters....


Above was the Before and here is the After:



Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Secret Garden Tour to benefit the Hoboken Historical Museum - Sunday June 6th



My garden is on the tour this year!!  Come and say hello. 1025/1027 Washington St.  I will be giving out water bottles for anyone in need.  We also have a bathroom in the basement (the way you go to get to the garden)


Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Monday, May 24, 2010

High Line Park NYC - Will the forthcoming park under the 14th St. Viaduct Be as Nice as This?

(Before)

The High Line started with just a few people in the community and then it grew into a group that raised the money privately. Look how beautiful it is,


The park today

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Part Time Lover - Is The Car Just An Affair?

America's so-called “love affair” with the automobile, although cliché, provides a vivid description of how attached we really are to driving.  Public policy, and the historically overwhelming effect of auto industry lobbying, is only partly to blame for the endemic traffic jams and smog of the twentieth century.  Bruce Schaller, a transportation consultant hired by New York City advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, recently demonstrated that urbanites with multiple transportation options still choose to commute by car for rational reasons of privacy, convenience, and speed.  A chart of his, shown below, demonstrates how perplexing this choice is.  Overcoming these reasons is a serious challenge for any transit authority.  However, the recent trend back towards urban living demonstrates that the suburban life, and its inherent reliance on the automobile was not all forced upon us by lawmakers and marketing strategies.  In fact, the way in which new urbanites have modified their auto-ownership habits provides much insight to how newly urbanized nations can grow.

Why, oh why, do so many people drive <3 miles in their car?
Recent statistics released by New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority are revealing.  “From 1995 to 2005, the authority said, ridership on city buses and subways grew by 36 percent, compared with a population gain in the city of 7 percent.”   The city's Department of Transportation concurs, and adds a critical corollary, “From 2003 to 2007, rising levels of mass transit ridership and bicycling commuting accompanied New York City’s population and employment growth. Vehicle traffic levels, however, were essentially unchanged.”

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Friday, May 21, 2010

New School Performance Link from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com

Click here for NJ's Public Website on School Performance

NJ reports on the performance of every school district in the stat.  You can look them up here.  Remember charter schools are also public schools but they are not unionized.  In general, charter schools have better performance because, parents will not compete to get into a poor charter school and poor performing charters "go out of business".

Hoboken has a number of private schools as well.  Performance data is not readily available and is more word of mouth.  I attend Hoboken's Board of Education meetings and have attended board meetings for some of the charter schools.  See my map link above for a view of Hoboken's schools.  Red icons are for public schools.  Blue is charter and private schools.  There is one purple square on the map where the Elysian Charter school is co-located with Demarest, a public school.

In addition to the school shown on the map, Hoboken is getting a new charter school in September called Hola - a bi-lingual immersion school.  All classes will be taught in Spanish and English.  They are started with Kindergarten and First grade in the Fall and will be adding a grade each year through high school. 

I am very involved so feel free to contact me with any questions about our schools in Hoboken.

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor Introduces - Crime Statistics by County

Check out our new link to NJ.gov's crime statistics.

NJ Crime Statistics Website

You can peruse how crime level changes by area.  From time to time, I will analyze the statistics to help you make sense of it.  This site looks at crime statistics by county.

It can be cross tabulated with OCC census track data that categorizes literally every street in American by socio-economic bands.  The OCC does this so that it can make banks do a certain amount of community lending and provide deposit product access to groups that would otherwise not be able to afford banking products because of the fees or minimums that they would have to meet.  This is all part of the Community Re-investment Act that was passed in the late 70's when we had the last major banking meltdown before this recent mortgage crisis.  In the late 70's, the crisis was with the Savings and Loans institutions.  A savings and loan is a different type of bank charter than a money center bank like Chase or Citigroup so when the OCC allowed money center banks to buy failing Savings and Loans they obligated them to meet their community service via the Community Re-investment Act.

Net, net there is lots of data that can be used to inform you about socio-economic health and crime level of a particular neighborhood.  It can be hard to decipher on your own and from time to time I will synthesize it for you.

If you are considering an area and you have a question, please call me and I will be glad to walk you through it.

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weekly Market Performance from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com



Use the weekly statistics to track the market. Bid on your new home with confidence!

See the price per square foot by neighborhood, by the number of bedrooms. What have units sold for? What are they listed for today?

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com


Weekly Stats Public 2009

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Last Open House Map before Memorial Day!! Get Your Open House On Before Everyone Goes Down the Shore!

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map   Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
201-240-6832
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
www.hobokenrealestatemonitor.com

Mortgage Rates from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor.com

The 30 year fixed is declining in price!  I guess there is a lot of pressure to keep rates low.  How long will they be this low?

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832

Mortgage Delinquencies by Period and by State


The map above shows where delinquencies have steepened since October 2009.  The more red an area is the more severe the change. Green indicates areas where conditions have improved, and the gray shading indicates areas where there has been no change


In almost all parts of California, Washington and Oregon, delinquencies are far worse than they were a year ago.
Disturbingly, there are only a handful of counties across the nation where mortgage delinquencies are actually improving over last year. (Kudos to Beaverhead, Montana and Red River, Texas!)
The New York Fed's website, which also tracks other measures of consumer credit, including auto loans, student loans, and bank loans, is intended to help "government agencies, community groups, commercial institutions and other practitioners better understand, monitor and respond to local conditions associated with foreclosures and credit and mortgage delinquencies."


Much was made last quarter about the decline in the 30 day delinquency "bucket" (percent of loans between 30 and 60 days delinquent). Unfortunately the seasonally adjusted 30 day delinquency rate increased in Q1 2010.

Note: there are some questions about the seasonal adjustment, especially for the 90 day bucket since we've never seen numbers this high before, but the adjustment for the 30 and 60 day periods are probably reasonable.

MBA Delinquency by Period
Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Loans 30 days delinquent increased to 3.45%, about the same level as in Q4 2008.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Light Rail Map


Ever wonder where the Light Rail Goes?  Here is a map.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832

History of the Hoboken Ferry



The story of Hoboken as a modern-day city cannot be told without reference to the Stevens family. Col. John Stevens purchased "Bayard's Farm" in 1784, over 200 years ago. Col. Stevens was a gifted engineer, who was granted patents on many inventions. The inventions of interest here are the ones he came up with to solve the problem of getting people from Manhattan to Hoboken. Like a mighty oak, you must start with a seed, and the seed that grew into our city was, to a large extent, nourished by the ferry.

Many years before Stevens purchased Hoboken, a small ferry ran across the Hudson, run by a Dutchman with a rowboat. His name was William Jansen, and he rowed a boat from the southeast point of his farm to lower Manhattan Island as early as 1616. A century and a half later, the ferry franchise belonged to a man named Bogart.

Col. Stevens lived in lower Manhattan at 7 Broadway, and, some time after buying Bayard's Farm, moved his family to Hoboken. Engineer that he was, it was only a matter of time before he turned his attention to Bogart's primitive and difficult way of crossing. Stevens started by buying out the franchise. It cost him $6,250, but it also came with a nice piece of land that he annexed onto his own estate. At the time, ferries either crossed as sailboats or as rowboats, and both were at the mercy of winds and tides. What Stevens did was to work out how to power a boat using the recently-invented steam engine. Kids in school learn that Robert Fulton invented the steamboat, but the fact is that Stevens did it first. It took him a lot of years of trial-and-error, but he finally launched the Juliana on October 11, 1811, as the first practical steam ferry in the world, taking passengers between Hoboken and Vesey Street in New York City. This was a full three years before Fulton's Clermont tested the waters of the Hudson.

But a problem arose. Stevens had a ferry boat, but he wasn't allowed to run it. The State of New York has complete jurisdiction over its own waterways, and, in those days, the Hudson River was considered to be part of New York. When it came time to decide who could run the lucrative ferry route, the award went to Robert Fulton and his partner, Robert Livingston. Fulton and Livingston had complete control over who got to use steam engines on the Hudson, and they shut Stevens out. As an aside, it should be noted that Livingston was Stevens' brother-in-law. The steamboat privilege was granted to the Powles Hook Ferry Company, who were the only ones allowed access to New Jersey ports from Paulus Hook up to Weehawken. Stevens tried leasing his ferry to John, Robert and Samuel Swartwout in 1817 for a period of ten years. But after only four years, the brothers' venture failed, and Stevens took back control of the ferries in 1821.

Finally, in 1822, Col. Stevens organized the "Hoboken Steamboat Ferry Company," thus defying the New York State Legislature. His steam ferry Hoboken began a regular run from Hoboken to Vesey Street in Manhattan. This run would continue for the next 145 years. On the Hoboken side, a wooden "ferry house" and train station was built.

The Stevens family heirs sold the Hoboken Ferry to the Lackawanna Railroad in 1903. The "ferry house" burned down on August 7, 1905, and was replaced by the present terminal building in 1907. This one is actually the fourth terminal on the same site. Its architecture is Beaux-Arts, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The steam ferry service started by Col. Stevens in 1822 ended on Wednesday, November 22, 1967. But this proved to be a temporary stop. In 1989, a company named NY Waterways began the Hoboken ferry anew, and, just like our city, the ferry was reborn.

Your Credit Score Impacts Your Mortgage Rate...Ever Wonder What Goes Into Your Score?

The scoring model that calculates consumer credit scores has recently had some modifications, which may impact both the interest rates and the ability of borrowers to qualify for buying a home, refinancing a mortgage is called your FICO score. The differences include the following issues:

1. Credit Balance to Limit Ratio

The ratio of credit balance in relation to the credit available appears to have more influence on the scoring formula. Having a higher credit limit available and a lower balance could result in a better credit score. This change could especially affect borrowers if credit card issuers reduce the maximum credit limits available to credit card holders. As a general rule of thumb, a ratio of 30% or less may be beneficial to credit scores

2. Number and Type of Accounts

In previous credit formulas, having too many open accounts was viewed as a negative factor. Now, having more open and active accounts could lend a positive effect to credit scores under the new system, as long as the accounts are not new or delinquent. One potential down side of this change is that credit card issuers may close seldom used accounts, which could affect the ratio of open accounts in good standing.

3. Isolated Credit Problems

Apparently, the new credit score model could be more forgiving to borrowers showing just one major negative issue on their credit report. The scoring model calculates the severity and frequency of negative items, and isolated problems can have less impact on credit scores, as opposed to continuous and recurring late payments and delinquencies.

4. Small Collection Accounts

Collection accounts with an original amount of less than $100 should now be disregarded. Another positive benefit for borrowers with minor debts owed from parking tickets, unpaid library fines, small medical bills, or other disagreements. Infractions like these should no longer affect credit scores.

5. Authorized Credit Users

The previous credit scoring model provided that authorized users on credit card accounts could build a positive credit profile without being the primary card holder. While some authorized user data is still allowed, the new formula has reduced the ability to build credit using this method.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832

Saturday, May 15, 2010

History of Land Use In Hoboken....


There were hints of the city's former heyday as a shipbuilding haven and remnants of the city's more interesting past employers, from coffee brewers to cupcakes and Tootsie Roll makers. There were also examples of conversions from factories into housing.

A little background

The beginning of last century saw an industrial renaissance that brought more than 250 companies to Hoboken. Major industrial giants such as Maxwell House, Standard Brands, Lipton Tea, Hostess Cakes, Tootsie Roll, Bethlehem Steel and dozens of smaller specialized companies, including Keuffel & Ester Instrument Co. and Ferguson Propeller, called Hoboken home. In 1889, there were just over 3,000 manufacturing employees in Hoboken; by 1909, that number increased threefold.

As the 19th century became the 20th, Hoboken was a hotbed of industrial activity. This was due in large part to the planning of Hoboken's "founding family," the Stevens family. In the early 19th century, Hoboken was essentially a weekend playground for wealthy New Yorkers to get away from the bustle. But in the second half of the century, the Stevens family, through the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company, began hearty development, building most of the city's characteristic brownstones.

At this time, the family also began selling land to industrialists, forever changing the face of the city.

The primary industry during Hoboken's days as an industrial capital was shipbuilding, but at various times the city was home to industries that created a variety of other products that have since become household names. These included Maxwell House and Lipton Tea, as well as snacks and household products that were invented or first produced here, including the Tootsie Roll, slide ruler, the zipper and the ice cream cone.

Today, Hoboken has evolved into a prominent professional community whose skyrocketing real estate prices and lack of open space for expansion have forced the city's historic industrial employers to disappear one by one. The blighted and unused factories have given way to popular luxury condos with high ceilings, awesome views and urban charm.

Beginning on the waterfront 

 
Starting from the city's east side, since Union Dry Docks, a company that repairs and cleans barges by lifting them completely out of the water, remains on Hoboken's northern waterfront, on Sinatra Drive. It is the last active maritime industry there.

On Tuesday, a few workers were toiling away, repairing a barage that was docked in the dry dock.  Stevens Institute of Technology has expressed its desire to purchase to the property, but as of yet no deal has been struck, and business goes on as usual, as it has for most of the past century.

Why did this once-bustling port city become nearly devoid of industry? There were really two major occurrences that forced waterfront industries to leave town. The first was World War I. Before the war, Hoboken's boat slips were a commercial juggernaut teeming with German luxury liners and other commercial vessels. But then came the war and the government froze Germany's assets on the piers, which devastated the city's economy.

Not only were waterfront industries affected, but also there was a secondary effect on industries in the city's interior, which no longer had convenient means to transport their goods out of the city.

But after the first war and the Great Depression, those industries that remained rebounded and many were successful until the 1960s and the invention of shipping "containers" - those orange and red train car-like structures that pile up near the Elizabeth part of the Turnpike; the intermodal shipping units that caused the piers of certain port cities to fall into ruin, including Hoboken's. Once containers could be taken from trucks to ships without the use of dock workers to move the goods, the industry moved elsewhere. Now only Union Dry Dock remains a reminder of what used to be.

Good to the last drop
 

Up Sinatra Drive, directly abutting Union Dry Docks on the eastern waterfront was the old Maxwell House Coffee Plant. The Bauhaus-style Maxwell House, which opened in 1939, was the largest coffee plant of the world. This oversized symbol of Hoboken closed down in 1992.

The move to Hoboken of General Foods coffee, Maxwell House, prompted the Jersey Observer in 1939 to note that the company's efforts were "The greatest single factor in Hoboken's amazing industrial boom".

The factory, for over 50 years, was the largest supplier of blue-collar jobs in Hoboken. Until its controversial closure in March 1992, the factory scented the city's air with the constant and recognizable smell of roasted beans.

Since its closing, the former industrial building had been home to local artists, a brewery, and even local law firms and other professionals. Local developers  gained approvals to raze the old factory to build the 832  units Maxwell Place Condominiums. 


Luxury condos are already built and filled at the former industrial site directly north on Hudson Street. 




Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty
donnaantonucci@gmail.com
201-240-6832