From the ornate architecture of the Hoboken Terminal to the views from Castle Point or Pier A Park, there are cool places all around us. But one thing about working for hMAG is that you actually wind up seeing parts of this city that you might never see otherwise. Each member of the team has their own take on these hidden gems, yet amongst all the opinions on what are the coolest we’ve seen so far, a few stand out. And we know Hoboken has more other unique spaces that we all haven’t seen, at least not yet. So, we invite all of our readers to let us know about what they think are the coolest spaces around by emailing us at email@example.com.
Modern Family Living at the W
So why would a family leave a lovely home in suburban Tenafly to move to a smaller condo in Hoboken? Explains Mario Fini, a captain in the Hoboken Fire Department and owner of a large real estate development company here in town, they only chose to move because of the Residences at the W Hoboken.
In addition to the W’s prime location and the easier commute for himself and his wife, Dian, there are the amenities and services available at this luxury hotel: valet parking, a residents’ manager and concierge, private elevators, amazing views, a lobby bar, the Chandelier Room, and Zylo Steakhouse, as well as room service if you don’t even want to get out of your pajamas! Says Mario, “It almost feels like you’re on a vacation all the time.”
Their customized 2,400 square foot, 3 bedroom / 3 ½ bath condo has high ceilings, an open floor plan, two terraces, a home entertainment system, and stunning vistas of the Hudson River, Midtown and all of lower Manhattan. Initially, though, their daughters, 13-year-old Adriana and 10-year-old Gia, weren’t convinced. Now, Adriana says, “It’s been two years, and now I definitely don’t want to move back. I only wish we’d moved sooner.”
They used Florida-based designer Kathryn Carbone of Interior Design South but allowed the girls to design their own bedroom. Perhaps even more magical is the girl’s all white “iPad Room” where they can sit in their clear acrylic hanging bubble chair, suspended in space above the city and the river.
Both the terraces and the apartment enjoy sunlight all day, thanks to the unit’s southern and eastern exposures, and from within their condo or out on the terraces, the Finis can enjoy the sight of fireworks, cruise ships, and boat races.
The Upgraded Bachelor Pad
The resident is a local developer who prefers not to be mentioned by name so we’ll call him “Joe” because despite it all, he is just a regular guy. This 2,500 square feet, 3 bed/ 3 ½ bath penthouse is the product of a three-year effort, yet it’s still a work in progress.
The building occupies the site of what was once his father’s garment factory, and Joe was the general contractor for the entire project. He emphasizes that no detail was overlooked in the project created by local architect Dean Marchetto. Joe brought that same perfectionism to the creation of the interior of his apartment; he worked with designer Tomas Sheleg and artist Steven Peabody to ensure that each room has a “wow” effect.
They used light, shading and paint to create a feeling of space and height throughout the apartment. And, explains Sheleg, one particular challenge was to make the seating, dining and kitchen spaces feel separate and yet connected, so they created divisions that are visual rather than physical. Porcelain tile, which has the appearance of a carpet-like texture even though it’s smooth, defines the dining area. Wood flooring (integrated with the porcelain tiles) connects thematically throughout the apartment, and the entire flooring design moves you through the space.
The apartment is clean and modern but far from cold and sterile, thanks to the use of texture and color. The paint work by Steven Peabody creates softened lines, as the floors wrap into the walls and the walls into the ceiling. Joe notes, “A painter didn’t paint my apartment, an artist did!”
Another major focal point is the clam-shaped fireplace in the center of the living area, large enough to incorporate a 60” plasma television on one side – although this feature was challenging enough that it took them four attempts to get it right!
Hoboken History at the Elks Lodge
Stylistically the opposite of these very modern residences, the Hoboken Elks Lodge #74 – only the 74th established in this country at that time – was completed in 1906. “Even Elks visiting from other lodges are impressed,” says Rick Gerbehy, secretary of the lodge and a member since 1980.
Most familiar to local residents, the ground floor is home to the Ball Room and its adjacent Bar Room. But a trip on the lodge’s restored elevator, the same design as was on the Titanic, is an experience. The upstairs Meeting Room, which served as the prototype for other Meeting Rooms of that era, is still used for the rituals, memorials and initiations for which it was originally designed.
Right after the building was completed, Gerbehy adds, the organization boomed and expanded but has since seen and survived tough times, from the Great Depression through the urban flight of the mid 1960s and 70s. And Gerbehy notes, “At one time, several civic organizations had facilities here, but we’re the only one left. All the movement now is to restore it as much as possible back to the original design.”
The B.P.O. Elks Hoboken Lodge No. 74 is located at 1005 Washington Street. For more information, call (201) 656-9602.
The View from Our Headquarters
When Tisha Creative, the masterminds behind hMAG, decided to look for space in Hoboken they wanted something that would amaze their clients and also give inspiration to their design team. What better inspiration than a view of the New York City skyline ? CEO Keith Giovanolli worked for close to 2 years to find the perfect space to fulfill these goals, finally settling in at 80 River Street at the Penthouse level. Keith explains that “the open space is key to a creative environment and the deck overlooking Manhattan is just awe-inspiring to everyone that visits the space.”
The design team worked with Taryn Higgins from Maridian Properties to flush out the space to optimize the open area while also providing private sales and conference rooms. This was completed while still giving the views of the city from any desk in the office. Keith also explains that being above Oddfellows isn’t bad either as “the smell of the crawfish in the summer is amazing.”
The TIsha Creative design team could not be happier as it helps to have a great office when trying to be creative for brands such as Pfizer, Bass Shoes, US News and NUK. Art Director Brittney Hanlon adds, “The new kegerator being installed for spring is also going to help as well.” Tisha Creative’s doors are always open so stop up for a view or a brew anytime you’re in the area.