Hoboken has introduced a draft Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan, which seeks to preserve and rehabilitate the existing industrial complex, as well as protect and enhance the existing artist community.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Additionally, the plan would create new retail spaces and affordable housing, add public open spaces, reduce localized flooding and extend the street grid at Grand Street.
“Just a few years ago, this historic property faced the threat of demolition and the artist community within it lived in fear of an uncertain future,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in a statement.
“This plan would restore an important part of our industrial past, protect the artists and industrial uses that enrich our community, and create a vibrant mixed-use block with street level retail and plazas activated by artists and musicians.”
A copy of the plan can be read here and it will be introduced for first reading at the City Council meeting on November 4th.
The plan would require the preservation and adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, using site characteristics such as the smoke stack, cobbled drives, exposed steel, oversized doorways and loading portals as design elements to help integrate the architecture of the past and present.
Furthermore, the industrial arts, fine arts, artisan and industrial uses will be protected and encouraged to thrive and existing industrial rent levels would be maintained to retain the current tenants.
Also worth noting is that the cost for the renovations and maintained rent levels will be offset and balanced by new construction of a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, retail, and parking.
As far as public pathways are concerned, they would be extended through the interior of the block to allow for pedestrian flow, and limited demolition of accessory structures within the interior of the property would be permitted to create interior plazas and/or courtyards to be used for public open space and pedestrian circulation.
Neumann Leathers is a mid-19th Century industrial complex near Hoboken’s southern border. Since the 1980’s, the complex has become a hub for small businesses and artists.
The site represents one of the few remaining intact historic industrial complexes that have effectively fused the City’s industrial past and historic preservation with a viable tenant mix of fine arts, artisans, industrial arts, and new industry.
Back in April, the Neumann Leathers building was the subject of a bomb threat where the caller also threatened to kill police officers and himself.