Category Archives: W Hoboken Hotel & Residences

The New York Times: Architect’s Modernist Legacy Crosses the Hudson


A view from 70 Columbus, an apartment tower in Jersey City by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects. DAMON WINTER / THE NEW YORK TIMES

Today’s issue of The New York Times features Ironstate Development Company, and their Gwathmey, Siegel, Kaufman and Associate Architects (GSKA) designed 70 Columbus project in downtown Jersey City. Also included in the article is Ironstate’s W Hotel.

JERSEY CITY — When Charles Gwathmey died in the summer of 2009, New York City lost one of its most prolific and influential architects. Adherents of the strict rationalism of Modernist design, Mr. Gwathmey and his partner, Robert Siegel, had still managed to infuse their clean lines and grand geometries with warmth and humanity in more than 400 projects spanning four decades, including the expansion of the Guggenheim Museum and a new building for the United States Mission to the United Nations.

For Mr. Siegel, it was almost as if he had lost a part of himself.

“For 42 years, we sat across the desk from each other, we sketched, we drew, we talked, we argued, we worked,” Mr. Siegel said last week inside his Battery Park City apartment. “It became difficult to pretend you’re just going to continue on as it was before.”

Anyone looking at 70 Columbus, a 50-story apartment tower that opened here in November, might think Mr. Gwathmey was still seated across from his old partner, swapping ideas for the building’s unconventional trapezoidal layouts and its 545 apartments, the cascading courtyard, its doorknobs and countertops. It is a continuation of what came before, but also a coda to the Gwathmey-Siegel legacy, one Mr. Siegel has had to maintain alone.



An Ironclad Growth Plan


By Joshua Burd

Ironstate Development principals David, left, and Michael Barry at the site of 18 Park, a 422-unit residential building in Jersey City.




The ability to stick to a plan has always been a key strength of David and Michael Barry. Like their father and grandfather, who founded the development business they now lead, the brothers have stayed atop the industry by staying true to a strategy of building their multifamily and mixed-use projects around the state’s bustling urban centers.

But that hasn’t stopped Ironstate Development from evolving under the brothers’ watch. In recent years, the firm has become a player in the region’s hotel market, and the Barrys are now expanding its reach beyond traditional hubs like Hoboken and Jersey City.

“We’re not single-family homebuilders, we’re not suburban office builders, we’re not strip mall builders or any of those things,” David Barry said from his firm’s Hoboken office. “So when you talk about what we do, which is building multifamily at scale, you need places that are going to accommodate that.”

Multifamily has weathered the storms of the troubled real estate market, helping to expand Ironstate’s pipeline and portfolio in recent years. The development firm of about 50, which descends from the family’s Applied Housing Co., has added more than 1,600 residential units, 55,000 square feet of retail and two hotels since 2007.

The Barrys’ firm now owns and manages more than 6,000 residential units, and has a $1 billion project pipeline that includes another 7,100 units, according to the firm. Its upcoming projects also include 193,500 square feet of retail and some 200 hotel rooms.

Ironstate stuck to its core markets during the recession, completing the signature W Hoboken Hotel and the 93-unit Berkshire, in Hoboken, and large joint venture apartment projects like 225 Grand and 50 Columbus, in Jersey City. The firm also built and opened a luxury rental building in Harrison during the downturn, in what was the first phase of a redevelopment project with the Pegasus Group.

“On the rental side, the economics were still there,” Michael Barry said, noting that the apartment market is “somewhat countercyclical” to condominiums. “So even though the market had fallen apart across the board, there are still opportunities for good, well-placed development, particularly in the rental sector.”

But with space in those areas running low, Ironstate has looked toward new markets to extend its large-scale, transit-centric brand of development. In the past three years, the firm has stepped into the five boroughs of New York, where it now has seven properties or sites under development. That includes a $150 million redevelopment project on Staten Island, where plans call for transforming a former naval base into a waterfront village with 900 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail.

The firm opened a Manhattan office in February, given that the city “fits that mold and (is) an area where we can leverage our expertise in a profitable fashion,” Michael Barry said.

Despite being third-generation developers, David and Michael Barry said the business was never meant to be a dynasty. The South Orange natives became active with what was Applied Development Co. in the early 1990s, with David joining after a stint as a practicing attorney and Michael after finishing graduate school.

They effectively took the reins and formed Ironstate in 2001 after their father, Joseph Barry, retired as head of the company. And while their work often overlaps, each brother as an owner has his own role: as president of Ironstate Development, David spearheads the firm’s pipeline, while Michael oversees construction and management of the firm’s portfolio as president of Ironstate Holdings LLC.

But together, the Barrys have built the firm’s reputation for creativity and a cutting-edge approach, industry colleagues say, and Ironstate has become a sought-after partner for other developers. For instance, by year’s end, Ironstate and Edison-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. will break ground on a three-tower rental project of more than 2,000 units on the Jersey City waterfront.

Mack-Cali CEO Mitchell Hersh, whose firm primarily develops office buildings, said the Barrys “bring a great deal of local market knowledge and experience to the table,” plus the ability to put their own equity capital into the project.

Ironstate also is partnering with Kushner Real Estate Group, in Bridgewater, on three upcoming projects totaling 1,500 apartment units in Jersey City. Jonathan Kushner, the firm’s president, said the relationship goes back about seven years, fueled in part by the Barrys’ “forward-thinking” approach and pulse on the market.

“In terms of apartment design and layouts, unit sizes and curb appeal, amenity spaces, lobby designs — they’re always on top of it, and they’re always ahead of the market,” Kushner said.

The brothers also try to guide their residential projects using their hospitality experience, from revamping management systems to putting art in the lobbies.

They have had plenty of practice in recent years, they said: Aside from the W Hoboken, Ironstate in 2009 opened the Bungalow, a boutique hotel that’s part of the ongoing Pier Village development in Long Branch. The firm also recently acquired the former Cooper Square Hotel, in Manhattan, and is renovating it in partnership with hotelier Andre Balazs. Meanwhile, in Harrison, Ironstate is preparing to break ground on a new 136-room hotel, part of its venture with Pegasus.

The Barrys attribute their success in part to how they manage volume, through a close circle of about 10 key executives, and refusal to stray from their expertise in development. Instead, Ironstate brings in professionals in construction, architecture and marketing to cover those project phases.

Such was the case in the early 2000s, when Ironstate set out to build the W Hoboken, one of its first hotel projects. Robert Siegel, the architect, recalled that the brothers hired a prominent consultant for Starwood’s W brand to complement their own experience in the city. Ironstate also allowed his design firm — Gwathmey, Siegel, Kaufman & Associates — to take the creative lead in the 27-story tower.

That sort of collaboration helps lead to success, Siegel said.

“A lot of it has to do with being intelligent enough to find the good opportunities to pursue, and then having the confidence to work with people to make it happen,” he said. “They’re great at that.”


GSKA revises Costas Kondylis design for two-tower Jersey City development

By Adam Fusfeld

Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates has unveiled a new design for a planned 1.2 million-square-foot development project in downtown Jersey City (see rendering to the right). The firm was recently selected by Ironstate Development and partner Panepinto Properties to replace Costas Kondylis as the architect of two 50-story residential and hotel towers planned for 70 and 90 Columbus Street in Jersey City.

Gene Kaufman and 70-90 Columbus Streets

Ironstate chose GSKA after it successfully designed the firm’s development of a W hotel in Hoboken, according to James Ronga, vice president of development for Ironstate. Gene Kaufman, a principal at GSKA, told The Real Deal in a statement that his firm is working with the same footprint and square footage, but will make “qualitative modifications that result in a project with a distinct geometry and a plan that better integrates the site into the Jersey City community.”

Kondylis did not respond to requests for comment.

The project was first proposed in 2007, but a combination of issues delayed the start of construction, according to Ronga. Now, the first tower of the $350 million project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2013 and is slated for completion two years later. At that point, construction would begin on the second tower.

“We wanted to get a premier architect on board to sort of make a statement,” said James Ronga, vice president of development for Ironstate. “The change was more about aesthetics, making it more efficient, and making sure [the development] was impressive. We wanted an architectural statement.”

The first tower, 70 Columbus Street, will have a 20,000-square-foot retail space, below about 150 hotel rooms and 550 rental apartments. Ronga said Ironstate and Panepinto are hoping to land a high-end grocer for the retail space and are in talks with extended stay hotel brands to operate the 100,000 square feet dedicated for the rooms. They’re interested in the extended stay sector because they believe it is an underserved sector both nationally and in Jersey City.

Once construction finishes at 70, the fully residential 90 Columbus Street will begin to rise. Ironstate and Panepinto also plan to develop a public plaza around the nearby PATH station to serve commuters, hotel guests and tenants.

LMFAO’s Sky Blu headlines star-studded party celebrating W Hoboken’s third anniversary


Sky Blu of LMFAO takes the stage as the night's surprise performer. Tuesday, April 17, 2012. -- Adam Robb/For The Jersey Journal

By Adam Robb/For The Jersey Journal 

Last night, the W Hoboken celebrated its third anniversary at the hotel’s Chandelier Room with a private party that better resembled this year’s Super Bowl, as five New York football Giants celebrated among VIPs like Joe Jonas and Marlon Wayans.

Sky Blu of party rock band LMFAO, best known for their halftime performance alongside Madonna, took the stage.

Giants Travis Beckum, Jake Ballard, Tyler Sash, Spencer Paysinger and Henry Hynoski joined local celebrities like “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and the Manzo, Laurita, Gorga and Walkie families from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” for a four hour-bash in honor of Chandelier Room operators Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum and hotel owners Michael and David Barry.

Last year’s second anniversary party featured Diddy.

This year, in lieu of Diddy, and to satisfy the crowd’s hip-hop craving, Jamal Woodard, the actor who portrayed the late Christopher Wallace in “Notorious,” performed a medley of the Notorious BIG’s hit songs as a lead-up to Sky Blu’s hour-long set.

But the annual party isn’t the Barrys only investment in keeping the Hoboken hotel in the spotlight.

Since its second anniversary, the W Hoboken has renovated its Living Room lobby bar and instituted a midweek DJ series that has imported more popular talent from Manhattan, including Caitlin Moe and Mia Moretti; the Chandelier Room has introduced weekend brunch parties, kicked off by “Real Housewives of New Jersey” scions Chris and Albie Manzo; and Zylo steakhouse has recently turned over the kitchen to Seadon Shouse, formerly of famed Louisville, Ky., restaurant Proof on Main.

Maybe most famously the hotel was placed in the national spotlight last month after Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi acknowledged to US Weekly that her boyfriend, Jionni LaValle, proposed to her on the balcony of one the W Hoboken’s suites, proving it’s not just one night a year that A-list celebrities turn up at the property.

In fact, many of last night’s VIP guests will be returning to the hotel five nights from now for the fourth-season premiere party for the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

New Jersey’s Real Estate ICONS

The Garden States commercial real estate business has a long and vast history and an even brighter future.

Neither, however, would be possible without the efforts of individuals who helped shape—and continue to influence—the market. Here’s a look at some of the people who have become regional household names in the industry.

By Sarah Wolfe/ Real Estate FORUM


It’s said there wouldn’t be a Hoboken without the Barry family. After all, that’s where, in 1970, brothers Joseph and Walter Barry founded Applied Housing Co. and embarked on revitalization projects that cemented the firm’s reputation as an innovative large-scale urban developer.

Some 30 years after Applied’s founding, brothers David and Michael Barry continued that legacy, forming Ironstate Development, which owns and manages more that 6,000 residential units with $1 billion in projects in the pipeline. As co-president (with Michael) of both Applied and Ironstate, its development arm, Barry has spearheaded some of the state’s largest revitalization projects, including the Shipyard and W Hoboken Hotel & Residences in Hoboken; Port Liberte in Jersey City; and Pier Village in Long Branch, now in its third phase. Barry is also a member fo the boards of the New Jersey Apartment Association and Fortress Investment Group LLC, a global investment manager with an estimated $40 billion in assets as of 2010.

Marketing Directors hired to sell East Village condos

The East 13th Street project is New Jersey developer Ironstate’s first in New York City

via The Real Deal 

The group of developers building an 82-unit condominium building at 211 East 13th Street has hired Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors, to promote the property, which is slated for groundbreaking this summer.

The project, which will occupy a vacant site between Second and Third avenues, is being developed by Ironstate Development, Charles Blaichman, and Abram Shnay and his son, Scott Shnay. They are anticipating completing the project by late 2013.

The consortium bought three adjacent lots on the block for $33.2 million in October from Builtgross Associates, a subsidiary of Milstein Properties, and took out a nearly $20.8 million mortgage, according to city property records. Builtgross had owned the sites at 208 East 14th Street, 214 East 14th Street and 216 East 14th Street since 1986.

The project will feature a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, plus 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space on East 14th Street. Amenities include a gym, lounge and roof deck with an outdoor kitchen. Buyers will have a chance to purchase private storage and roof terraces.

Though Blaichman and Abram Shnay are no strangers to the downtown Manhattan development scene, this is the first New York City project for Ironstate, one of New Jersey’s largest developers. The Hoboken, N.J.-based company is also partnering with Andre Balazs to transform the Cooper Square Hotel at 25 Cooper Square into the Standard East Village.

Previously, Ironstate has worked with the Marketing Directors on Garden State properties, among them Jersey City’s 225 Grand and the condos above the W Hoboken hotel.

Blaichman, owner of Chrystie Street-based CM Developers, has frequently collaborated with the Shnays before, including on rapper Jay-Z’s failed bid to develop a Chelsea hotel. Blaichman and the Shnays also jointly built the Urban Glass House, a condo building designed by Philip Johnson at 330 Spring Street, and the Theory Building at 40 Gansevoort Street. — Leigh Kamping-Carder


Naval Home Port in Stapleton being razed

Via Virginia N. Sherry/SI LIVE

Demolition is underway at the Home Port site on Stapleton's waterfront. Ironstate Development Company expects it to be completed by mid-February.

STATEN ISLAND — STAPLETON — The long-awaited transformation of the Stapleton waterfront is under way at the 35-acre Home Port, the decommissioned U.S. Naval base.

Ironstate Development Company, the Hoboken-based private developer, is taking the lead with a $150 million project on seven acres of the site. The first phase will see the construction of about 450 rental apartments and 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

Ironstate expects demolition to be completed, and the site cleared, by mid-February. Construction is planned to start in late summer, and the first housing units ready for leasing and occupancy in Fall 2013.

The second phase of the project calls for another 450 apartments and an additional 5,000 square feet of retail space.

The city will spend $33 million for major road reconstruction and improvements, and the creation of a waterfront esplanade. The open space will include walking paths, lawns and landscaped areas, and a new public launch site for non-motorized boats, plus docking for historic vessels, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.


Ironstate Development Company specializes in the development of residential and commercial real estate, and currently owns and manages over 6,000 housing units. Its projects include:

  • The Shipyard, Hoboken, N.J.: 1,160 residences, 65,000 square feet of retail shops, a one-acre park, ferry stop and marina on the Hudson river-front.
  • Port Liberte, Jersey City, N.J.: A 1,650-unit waterfront condominium facing the Statue of Liberty.
  • Pier Village, Long Branch, N.J.: A “Victorian-inspired village,” with 543 luxury rental units, a boutique hotel, and 100,000-plus square feet of entertainment and retail shops, including a beach club, gourmet restaurants and boutiques on the oceanfront.
  • The W Hoboken Hotel & Residences, Hoboken, N.J.: A 25-story hotel with 225 guest rooms and 40 condominium residences on the waterfront.

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