Signage is Up at Jersey City’s Milk and Cream Bar + More News You Missed

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Hudson County is in the midst of some significant change — from Hoboken replacing 67 water mains throughout town to Jersey City revealing the first image renderings of its upcoming 25-story development, there’s a lot to catch up on. Not to mention, we’ve got an update on the Union Dry Dock battle, an upcoming opening of an ice cream shop + cereal bar in JC, and a $14 million grant that was awarded to Hoboken’s Northwest Resiliency Park. Keep reading for all the local news from this past week.

Hoboken Half-Way Finished Replacing City’s Water Mains

water mains

The City of Hoboken has announced that it is halfway done in Phase 1 of its efforts to replace the city’s water mains. According to News12, the water main project will bring 15 blocks of new water mains throughout Hoboken. Most recently, the project has been focusing on replacing water mains in the areas of Bloomfield and 2nd Streets.

According to Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, the City worked towards identifying Hoboken’s “67 most vulnerable areas,” most vulnerable meaning the areas in town most likely to be affected by frequent water main breaks. Bhalla added that workers would be “targeting those areas first and then going forward from there.”

Commenters on reddit had some opinions to share about the news of the project moving steadily forward.

“Better than being totally ignored as it was for the past few decades,” one user wrote. Another commented, “[First] phase done. 44 more to go!”

Of course, the Mile Square hasn’t been without its share of water main breaks since the start of this replacement project. Just a few weeks ago, a significant water main break on Willow Street caused a flood to accumulate outside the Trader Joe’s in Uptown Hoboken. While Bhalla says the City can’t ensure that a main break will never happen again, he did say he feels confident that replacing the old infrastructure will lend itself to significantly fewer breaks.

Replacing the old infrastructure could also be a big win for the Mile Square’s tap water. While officials have deemed our tap water legally safe to drink {citing that SUEZ is doing everything on its end to supply clean, safe water}, old pipes with lead fixtures could significantly endanger the integrity of the water as it travels from SUEZ’s aqueducts and into Hoboken.

Additionally, the City now has a new contract with SUEZ, which is responsible for the  water main replacement project. So far, 67 vulnerable water mains have been replaced, the second phase of the project is for SUEZ to pave all the roads compromised by the replacements. As of right now, the repaving part of the project could either start in late 2020 or early 2021.

Here’s What the Journal Square Urby Will Look Like

journal square urby renderings

{Image rendering courtesy of Ironstate Development via Jersey Digs}

Big news, Jersey City! We finally have the first image renderings of what the new Journal Square Urby will look like. The Journal Square Urby is described by Ironstate Development as a “modern urban living concept” modeled after similar buildings in Manhattan. The Urby will convert a 19,000 square foot parking lot at 571-577 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City into a 25-story development.

“With a focus on experience and community, Journal Square Urby will offer smartly-designed residences — which include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments — and shared communal spaces that encourage natural opportunities for neighbors to meet and interact,” Ironstate said in an official statement.

Jersey Digs reports the tower will feature 120 one-bedroom apartments, 159 studio apartments, 16 two-bedroom apartments, 45 three-bedroom apartments, making for 340 market-rate units total. Current designs of the Urby also plan for a second-floor gym with a yoga studio, a rooftop deck with a pool, dog run, and indoor space with a communal kitchen, and a landscaped patio. You’ll find the tower at the corner of Summit and Pavonia Avenues. In fact, it shouldn’t be hard to miss.

One thing the Urby will be missing? On-site parking. Alternatively, the Urby’s ground floor will be home to a cafe space, accessible from Summit Avenue. The building also features 1,349 feet of office space available for lease.

As of right now, Ironstate plans to break ground on Urby in the third quarter of 2020. The building is scheduled to open in 2022.

War for Union Dry Dock in Hoboken May Finally Reach an Agreement

union dry dock stop work

The City of Hoboken’s battle with New York Waterway over the future of the Union Dry Dock may finally see an end. Hudson County View reports that negotiations are headed toward a settlement, one that doesn’t involve Hoboken utilizing eminent domain.

You may remember that New York Waterway {NYWW} acquired the Union Dry Dock land in 2017 and had plans to transform the space into a ferry refueling and maintenance station. This was a plan Mayor Bhalla and local residents vehemently fought, arguing it would cause ecological and environmental damage to the area.

“It is adjacent to the only natural and sand beach along the Hudson River south of the George Washington Bridge,” Ron Hine, Executive Director at the Fund for a Better Waterfront told Hoboken Girl in August 2019. “The Hoboken Cove is also an ecologically sensitive, intertidal zone where horseshoe crabs lay their eggs, diamondback terrapins can be found, and scores of migratory fish have been identified. The proposed ferry maintenance facility places both people and wildlife at risk.”

Last week, Jason Freeman, operations manager and acting business administrator for Mayor Bhalla, said the City and the chairman of NYWW were “moving closer to a deal that doesn’t involve eminent domain.”

Previously, Mayor Bhalla had announced he was enacting eminent domain over the property, a last-resort measure that would allow the local government to acquire private property for public use with proper compensation. Bhalla had plans to, instead, transform the Union Dry Dock area into a public park.

Via Transportation Company Launches 14 On-Demand Vans in Jersey City

via on demand vans jersey city

{Photo credit: @ridewithvia}

Via Transportation has launched 14 on-demand vans in Jersey City as of February 25th. The goal of this program is to bring on-demand transportation to underserved areas and the launch will kick off between Greenville and Jersey City Heights. Each van can hold up to six passengers and some of these vehicles will even be electric.

Jersey City Times reports that commuters can order an on-demand van with Via through the company’s app and will be transported to any of the company’s transit hubs in Journal Square and in Downtown JC.

According to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, the Via vans are a positive step forward to mobility and accessibility to all parts of town.

“This innovative tech-based system is going to help create mobility for our residents who live in parts of our city that sometimes lack connectivity,” Mayor Fulop said in an official press release.

Rides can be as cheap as $1 from now until March 21st, as long as you’re staying within the aforementioned zones. Rides outside of the central zone — including from Secaucus Road and Port Jersey Boulevard — will cost a minimum of $2, with additional 50 cent fees for each extra mile.

Both Greenville and JC Heights have limited access to public transportation — both via {get it?!} train and bus services. The hope is that — like the 45 other cities throughout North America which have enabled Via, including NYC and Washington, D.C. — Via will bring affordable mobility and accessibility to Jersey City’s more inaccessible areas.

Jersey City and Hoboken Both Named in State Investigative Commission Report of ‘Waste and Abuse’ in 16 Towns

money budget

A statewide investigative commission has called out 16 towns throughout the state of New Jersey for financial “waste and abuse” in a new report. According to Patch, Hoboken is one of them.

The report, titled “The Beat Goes On and On,” alleges that these 16 cities and towns, including the Mile Square, allowed employees to take their birthdays as “paid days off.” Hoboken is also mentioned in the report as allowing employees a paid day off for blood donations, being in a wedding party or bar mitzvah.

In Jersey City, the report cites the city’s terminal leave, which rewards employees with cash bonuses at the time of their retirement, as a “huge expense” for the city. In fact, the report blames terminal leave for tightening up budgets and funding in other areas, citing the City paid $8.1 million in terminal leave to retiring workers in 2019.

These benefits, the report says, “violate state and local regulations that limit excessive perks and compensation.”

A spokesman for Hoboken Mayor Bhalla, Vijay Chaudhuri, issued a statement, saying, “The provisions cited in the SCI report were removed from union contracts for City Hall employees and no longer applicable. Unfortunately, the report’s utilization of outdated contracts provided inaccurate claims as it pertains to Hoboken.”

Other towns and cities cited in the report include Brick, East Orange, Elizabeth, Englewood Cliffs, Franklin Township, Harrison, Jersey City, Lodi, Long Branch, Maywood, Ocean City, Paterson, Pennsauken, Toms River, and Willingboro.

Shaka Bowl Featured on Rachael Ray Show

shaka bowl on rachel ray show

^Brianna Peguero and Rachael Ray appearing on The Rachael Ray Show.

{Photo courtesy of Shaka Bowl}

Kiersten and Krista Gormeley, the owners of Shaka Bowl in Hoboken, were featured on The Rachael Ray Show last week along with their long-time employee and friend, Brianna Peguero, pictured above. After participating in the New York City Wine + Food Festival in Fall 2019, Brianna — a RRS superfan met Rachael, got her cookbook signed, and then was invited onto the show. The episode aired on February 25th at 2:00PM.

Feasibility Study in the Mile Square to Be Conducted by Francis Cauffman Architects

hoboken washington street

Francis Cauffman Architects {FCA}, an architecture and design firm, has been tapped by the City of Hoboken, Hoboken Public Library, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Propelify LLC to run a six-months-long feasibility study.

The goal of the feasibility study is to “understand the physical, programmatic, and policy initiatives necessary to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Hoboken and the Hudson County region,” according to Real Estate Weekly

The study will be funded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and East Egg Project Management will help FCA carry it out.

“We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting study that will help to reshape the City of Hoboken,” Steven Stainbrook, principal at FCA said in a statement. “We look forward to learning more about the community and its needs. Hoboken is a city on the rise, and this project will help transform it into one of the most important cities in New Jersey.”

The study will include interviews with locals so that officials can better understand what the area needs in order to improve economic development in town and throughout the county.

Yonkers Man Arrested After Spraying Fire Extinguisher at McSwiggin’s, Setting Off Fire Alarms, and Evacuating the Pub

hoboken police department

A New York man has been arrested after “unnecessarily” spraying a fire extinguisher in the basement of Hoboken bar, McSwiggin’s Pub. Patrick McGill, 23, of Yonkers was charged with creating false public alarm, Police Det. Lt. Danilo Cabrera confirms.

Officers Matthew Isler and Kyle Seper responded to a call at McSwiggan’s at 1:20AM last Sunday. The call alleged an unknown man had “discharged a fire extinguisher” in the basement of the bar. When officers arrived, fire alarms went off inside the building and the bar was evacuated. The Hoboken Fire Department was dispatched and investigated the source of the alarms, concluding the discharge of the extinguisher caused them to go off.

McGill was placed on a summons and released, authorities say.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza Celebrating Pi Day With Pizza Pie Deals

artichoke pizza artichoke pie

{Photo courtesy of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza}

Pi Day is Saturday, March 14th and Artichoke Basille’s Pizza in Hoboken is celebrating with some special deals. Guests who order pickup from the 96 Washington Street location will receive $5 off any signature pie {order must be purchased online}, which includes the Meatball and Artichoke Pie, and $3 off the classic Basille’s Cheese pie. There’s no better way to celebrate 3.14159…

Signage at Milk and Cream Bar Has Gone Up at Upcoming Jersey City Location

milk and cream cereal bar jersey city

{Photo credit: @hdsid_jc}

Milk and Cream Bar‘s Jersey City location looks closer-than-ever to opening as official signage at 175 Newark Avenue has gone up. Formerly the spot of 24/7 Grocery deli, 175 Newark will soon be home to the ice cream creations that have caused such a stir on Mott Street in New York. According to their online menu, Milk and Cream Bar will offer nearly every kind of cereal imaginable as an ice cream topping, not to mention actual bowls of cereal. While there’s no official word yet of a Milk and Cream Bar grand opening date, we do know that the business plans to be a part of the All About Downtown Fair this upcoming September 21st.

Hoboken Adds Two New Buses to HOP Service Fleet

free hop hoboken bus

A second blue HOP bus will be added to the current HOP schedule between 7:00AM-10:00AM as of March 2nd, 2020. The plan is to also integrate another bus on the Green HOP line in the evenings, from 6:00PM-8:00PM.

You can find all of this information in the HOP service’s app Passio Go, which conveniently shows where each of the HOP buses are on a map in real-time.

Adding more buses to the HOP bus service fleet is a part of Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, which seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The more public transportation options there are, the more likely Hoboken is to achieve that goal.

Almost a year ago to the day, the City mandated that the HOP bus service in Hoboken become free of charge. The HOP service was made free in an effort to encourage residents to use public transportation.

Grant for $14 Million Will Go Toward Flood Prevention in Hoboken Parks

northwest resiliency park

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in conjunction with Mayor Bhalla announced a $14 million FEMA flooding grant toward funding the 5-acre resiliency park in Hoboken. The new Northwest Resiliency Park will feature unique underground infrastructure that will allow the park to collect, treat, and discharge up to two million gallons of rainwater.

The City of Hoboken has discussed implementing underground rainwater infrastructure since the Mile Square was devastated by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The FEMA flooding grant, issued federally, will help create Hoboken’s largest park to date and outfit it with the appropriate tools to withstand extreme weather conditions all while preventing flooding.

The Northwest Resiliency Park is estimated to cost $48.5 million in total. The basketball court at the park will have an underground basin that can hold up to 86,000 gallons of water; the athletic field will have a basin that can hold 290,000, and an underground cistern that can hold up to 50,000 gallons of water. There will also be an underwater storage tank that can hold one million gallons of water.

The water will be discharged into the Hudson River after it is appropriately treated.

Hoboken’s Northwest Resiliency Park will join the City’s other resiliency parks, 7th and Jackson Resiliency Park and Southwest Resiliency at Jackson Street near the border of Jersey City upon its completion.

Hoboken broke ground on Northwest Resiliency in October 2019, though no official completion date has been announced yet. However, construction is expected to last at least three years.

We’ve Updated Our Social Media Handles to @thehobokengirl

the hoboken girl blog

Big things are happening here at Hoboken Girl, and one of them is the fact that we’ve recently updated all of our social media handles to be @thehobokengirl —  find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at the new handle {and don’t forget to tag us in all your Hoboken + JC  adventures, too}. We also have a TikTok which has some behind-the-scenes fun @thehobokengirl. And stay tuned for some big announcements on the horizon!

Construction Work Site Accident in

Jersey City Leaves 1 Person Dead

construction jersey city

On Thursday, February 27th, a construction worksite accident in Jersey City has left one person dead, according to News12.com. So far, it is confirmed that it was a 35-year-old-man who was “partially buried in dirt and concrete from a trench collapse while replacing a water line.” The construction company was family-run and it was family members working with the man when the accident occurred, according to News12.com.

Film Honoring Shirael Pollack Screened in Hoboken This Week

shirael pollack tribute

On Thursday, February 27th, a teaser of a film called WOMAN was shown. The film chronicled the life of Shirael Pollack, an advocate in the Hoboken community + co-founder of the Hoboken Public Education Fund. The film was made last year and “chronicles Shirael Pollack, the local entrepreneur, who drove a movement to improve and empower the Hoboken school district, influence politics and raise millions for charity and HobokenPEF before succumbing to her own personal fight with cancer,” producer Rebecca Baker said.

The goal of the film is to create continued support for Pollack’s charity and the Hoboken Community, Baker said.

3 Local Chefs Have Been Nominated for a James Beard Award

razza pizza hoboken

Maricel Presilla {owner and executive chef of Cucharamama}, Dan Richer {owner and executive chef of Razza}, and 15 Fox Place have all been nominated for a James Beard Award.  The James Beard Foundation {JBF} awards and recognizes chefs and restaurants each year in categories such as Outstanding Chef, Best New Restaurant, Best Chef {of each region}, and more. This year, our very own hometown chefs have been nominated. The official winners of the awards will be announced at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 4th in Chicago. Congratulations on your nominations, all!

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.