Home Culture A Proposed Food Hall in Hoboken? What we Know

A Proposed Food Hall in Hoboken? What we Know

by Stephanie Spear
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New plans submitted for the renovation of 710 Clinton Street in Hoboken reveal the developer’s vision for a modern, airy food hall. The building is currently home to a production studio, and the plans contemplate a complete overhaul, adding 11 residences in addition to the first-floor food hall. The Hoboken Girl caught up with the developer to learn more about the plans and what could be in store for Hoboken residents. Read on to learn more.

food hall

What’s Currently There

Currently, 710 Clinton Street is home to Cobalt Stages, a multimedia production facility that offers a 12,000-square-foot production facility featuring a 7,000-square-foot turnkey soundstage, 20 ft. ceilings, and state-of-the-art equipment rentals. Plans were submitted to the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment at its December 20th, 2022 meeting that introduced a wholesale renovation of the building. The plans indicate an expansion of the building to include 11 residences, bicycle parking, a green roof, and a first-floor food hall that would be open to the public.

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Gary Mezzatesta, Managing Partner of the Taurasi Group, said that the earliest the work would be completed would be early 2025. To get the project off the ground, the plans would have to be approved which would include granting the variances requested for the space. Construction of the food hall, the centerpiece of the project, would require a few zoning variances to be permitted to move forward.

food hall hoboken

^ A map of the food hall (Photo credit: City of Hoboken Meeting Agenda + MVMK Architecture)

“We’re really excited about it. We think the community is as well. We’ll have to work with the Zoning Board to get the variances,” Gary said. “But this project will make life in Hoboken more interesting. It’s already interesting but this will add another element to why Hoboken is a great place to live. It will increase pedestrian traffic, and bike traffic. We think that’s a great lifestyle for the average Hoboken resident.”

What is Envisioned

Gary Mezzatesta, Managing Partner of the Taurasi Group, said that the building’s location is what gave the group the idea for a food hall. “Hoboken is a mile square, and this building is more or less at the center,” he said. “It’s a ten-minute walk from the building to basically anywhere in town.” The idea of creating something vibrant that could be a gathering place for residents is what lead the team to explore the concept of a food hall.

food hall hoboken

^ The kiosks (Photo credit: City of Hoboken Meeting Agenda + MVMK Architecture)

“I have visited food halls all across the US,” Gary said. “What the successful ones all have in common is a variety of vendors located in a big, airy space. They have a lived-in feel and are located in neighborhoods where people want to be.” In his view, the building at 710 Clinton Street is exactly that. “The lot is a good size with a really nice old Hoboken structure,” he said. “We don’t want to lose the old brick feel of Hoboken in this location, with the height and airiness.”

According to the plans, there will be 15 retail spaces plus an open space with room for kiosks. The food hall will have a second-floor seating area. Gary said that the size of the kiosks makes for a great venue for a business owner who is just getting started. “It will have an incubator feel, because the start-up costs for a kiosk are much lower than a traditional storefront,” he said. “Everything will be plug and play for the vendor to come in. Between that plus the amazing location and the marketing that will be done on behalf of the food hall, the kiosks will be an exciting place for businesses to grow.”

food hall mezzanine

^ The mezzanine (Photo credit: City of Hoboken Meeting Agenda + MVMK Architecture)

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In terms of selecting vendors for the retail spaces, Gary said that it’s important to choose innovative brands. “All of the national brands are already on Washington Street,” he said. “So we don’t want more of those in the food hall. We want only interesting food purveyors that are more innovative and creative.” The small spaces of the kiosks and the fixed footage of the retail spaces are designed for businesses to outgrow. “We want to have some turnover so that as people are successful, they can grow into other spaces.”

Gary pointed to The Hive as an example of a business that would be a good fit for the vision. “We met the team from the Hive, Kristin and Catherine, when they were getting started,” he said. “We liked their vision and their energy, and they were offering something different. That’s the whole point of the food hall, to offer Hoboken something special.”

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