Tag Archives: W Hoboken

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.


Ironstate Plans Four Hotels

Ironstate Development, developer of the W Hoboken, plans hotels in New York, New Jersey, and Morocco.

Primarily a developer of multi-family residential projects, Ironstate’s success with the W Hoboken has been the catalyst for the new projects. The firm is pursuing developments in Harrison, NY; at Kennedy International Airport in Queens, NY; Long Branch, NJ; and with a Morocco-based partner, the W Marrakesh.

News of Ironstate’s plans were first reported in The New York Times.

Read the article in Hotel Business.

New York Times 30 Minute Interview with David Barry

David Barry

Check out this New York Times article featuring David Barry, president of the Ironstate Development Company in Hoboken.

David talks about working with his brother, Michael Barry, and the new projects Ironstate is working on in the interview.

The W comes to Hoboken

March 14, 2010

The W comes to Hoboken

By Andrea Sachs

If the W Hotel can make it there (New York), can it make it anywhere (Hoboken)?

“It’s the closest thing you can get to New York atmosphere in Hoboken,” said Aron Grodinsky, a New Jersey local who on a recent weekend was spending cocktail hour in the W Hoboken’s lobby-lounge with his wife, another couple and two babies too young to sip even mixers.

“It’s the only place in town where locals would even contemplate getting dressed up,” added his wife, Lauren, pointing at two women attired in skinny jeans, heels and peacoats, the winter uniform of fashionistas.

The W, the hot, popular sister in the Starwood Hotels and Resorts family, landed on the western shore of the Hudson last April. Its arrival made history on two counts: It’s Hoboken’s first hotel and the only W in all of Jersey. And while the city across the river boasts five W’s (six by summer), the Hoboken property has its own bragging rights: unparalleled and unfettered views of Manhattan.

The hotel “offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city,” said Eva Zeigler, global brand leader for W Hotels, “while providing stunning views of the New York skyline.”

The property milks its panoramic asset: You can soak up the skyline in the Tuscan steakhouse Zylo, whose booth-to-ceiling windows frame Midtown; at the Chandelier Room, the nightclub with an outdoor balcony facing you-know-what; and in all but 28 of the 225 guest rooms. In my Spectacular boudoir (an upgrade from Wonderful), I slumped like an invertebrate into a giant cushion with legs that was tucked inside a glass-enclosed alcove. Holding up one finger, I could turn off the lights of Manhattan one by one.

Of course, the hotel is not a one-perk wonder. Its rates are lower than New York’s, its rooms are larger, and the commute into the city is brainless (one stop on the PATH train or a short ferry ride). It also features such hallmark W amenities as a Bliss spa, a teched-out fitness center, complimentary rides in an Acura SUV (up to three miles, Jersey only), a typewriter by the check-in desk to record musings, and a lobby bar that draws a mixed crowd of in- and out-of-towners.

“This one has more of a W flavor than the ones I have stayed at in New York,” said Debbie Velcofsky, a W loyalist visiting from West Palm Beach, Fla. “Some W’s are really flamboyant and have a party atmosphere. This one is warm and cozy.”

Velcofsky was sitting half-supine in the Living Room, the sunken crash pad sandwiched between check-in and Zylo. Filled with patterned pillows and geometrically challenged furniture, the area resembled a modernist’s take on a communal bedroom. But then everyone woke up.

By 11 p.m., the sprawl space was packed with revelers drinking, flirting and talking in their sports-arena voices. The line for the bar was deep, chaotic and seemingly hopeless. Imagining a calmer scene in the Chandelier Room, I attempted to head upstairs but was turned away. The fire marshals were counting heads inside; they’d found one too many and barred any new entrants.

Thwarted, I returned to my Spectacular room and curled up in my cat seat. Looking at the lights twinkling across the way, I marveled at how quiet New York seemed from here.


W Hoboken

225 River St., Hoboken, N.J., 201-253-2400 (http://whotels.com/hoboken)

Rooms from $189 a night

The lobby in the W Hoboken Hotel, with windows boasting great views of Manhattan.

Purple Lab™ and W Hoboken to Host World Record Breaking Speed Dating Event

Tri-state area singles are invited to meet the new love of their lips at the Find Your Luvah™ speed dating event hosted by Master Matchmaker® Steve Ward on January 29, 2010

(New York, New York – January 5, 2010) Double duty beauty brand Purple Lab™ will launch its new beauty product, Luvah™, a double plumping lip color equipped with aphrodisiacs, tagged as the “Ultimate Dating Tool,” on January 29, 2010 at the W Hoboken Hotel and Residences during what could be the largest speed dating event in Guinness World Records® history.

Tri-state area singles are invited to participate in the record-breaking attempt which will be hosted by Master Matchmaker® Steve Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers®, who is currently in his second season of VH1’s “Tough Love,” where he continues to transform the lives of unlucky-in-love women who are willing to do whatever it takes to find Mr. Right. Steve recently announced news of a third season, “Tough Love Couples.” Of the partnership with Purple Lab™, Steve says, “I get excited to do anything that helps people find love or people otherwise in need. At this Purple Lab™ event I get to do both.”

The ultra chic W Hoboken Hotel, located on the Hudson Riverfront facing midtown Manhattan, is gearing up for the event by preparing its Great Room to accommodate hundreds of speed daters looking for love in all the right places. For added convenience to those traveling from New York City and from throughout New Jersey, W Hoboken has commissioned Acura to chauffeur participants back and forth to the Hoboken PATH Station throughout the evening. And, as a congratulatory tribute to any matches made that evening, W Hoboken will invite the lucky-in-love pairs back for a round of complimentary cocktails.

“We’re delighted to join Purple Lab™ in celebrating their new beauty product, Luvah™, and more than excited about being a part of setting the world record in speed dating,” notes Anna MacDiarmid, General Manager of W Hoboken. “I can’t think of better place than W Hoboken to make a love connection in world record fashion.”

Luvah™, available in shades called Rich Jerk and Mama’s Boy, was created by Purple Lab™ Creatrix Karen Robinovitz and will be available beginning February 18, 2009 on HSN, the interactive lifestyle and retail destination. Luvah™ is a nod to Karen’s journey of 150 dates to find her husband. “I created Luvah™ as a chic reminder that all girls deserve the best. The colors are classic, beautiful, and perfect on everyone.
Each shade is named after the type of guy I dated to fine my true love – and I’m sure you’ve known them all, too!”

Each female participant will have the opportunity to put Luvah™ to the test, receiving a complimentary product at entry. Participants over 21 will also enjoy an open bar from X–Rated Fusion Liqueur, personalized underwear from Blume Girl, limited-edition bottles of Dentyne gum designed by Anthony Yankovic – for confident, fresh breath during each “date” and Skinny Water, a zero-calorie, zero-sugar enhanced water to keep the daters refreshed, energized and at their best. Music will be curated by True Sound Music. A $15 entry fee will apply, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Women In Need, a local charity that gives back to homeless women and their families in New York City.

Beginning January 5, participants ages 21-35 are invited to pre-register for the event at purplelabnyc.com/speeddating.
Purple Lab’s™ Find Your Luvah™ speed dating event will occur on January 29 at W Hoboken in Hoboken, New Jersey. Doors will open for registration at 7pm. Pre-registered guests are asked to arrive at 8pm.

For those who may want to make a weekend of it, January 29th also marks the launch of W Hoboken’s Girls Weekend Getaway package, which invites ladies to grab their gal pals and experience a wow worthy weekend including1 wonderful room, 2 intro classes at S Factor Studio, 2 cool cocktails, Purple Lab’s™ Huge Lips Skinny Hips™ lip gloss, a Metro card, and 10% discount off any product at S Factor studio. For information please visit whotels.com/Hoboken

About Purple Lab™
Purple Lab™ is a privately owned beauty and lifestyle brand created by former journalist, Karen Robinovitz. Purple Lab™ continues to introduce innovative double duty beauty products designed to add a daily dose of glam, while providing a service to the body, soul and self confidence. For more information, visit purplelabnyc.com.

About W Hotels Worldwide®
W Hotels is an innovative contemporary lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 35 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of “Wow.” Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to double its footprint by 2011. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for Downtown New York, Hollywood, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Bali, Vieques Island and Verbier, among other international destinations. For more information, visit whotels.com.

About Master Matchmakers®
Master Matchmakers® has been connecting bright, attractive and successful single men and women for more than 20 years. Founded by JoAnn Ward and based in Philadelphia, Master Matchmakers® provides a sophisticated way for exceptional singles to achieve long-lasting relationships. For more information, visit mastermatchmakers.com

W is for WOW


October 22, 2009


      The W Hoboken sold the last of its 40 residential units in April 2007. By the time the building began closings in April 2009, however, the real estate market was much softer. And, in what’s become a familiar story, some of the original condo buyers were no longer able or willing to go through with their deals.

     Six contracts at the building have fallen through (with 31 units having closed and three more scheduled to close), according to Michael Barry, a principal with the project’s developer, Ironstate Development. And those apartments are up for sale again.

     It’s a much different time than the heady days of 2006 and 2007, when the average sales price in the building was $1,040 per square foot. Even then, the number was eye-catching for a New Jersey development.

     So what kind of money are these re-released units now going for? $900 per square foot? $800? $700? Try $1,000 — and up.

     “We’re not going to alter the sales program too drastically from our original plans,” Barry says. “We think it’s still a good value.”

     Whether buyers will agree remains to be seen. (Barry claims to have “two or three interested parties that are around the dollar figures we’re talking about.”) But there are signs of optimism cropping up across the Hudson.

     According to data from New Jersey appraisal firm Otteau Valuation Group, Hoboken had a 10.9-month supply of inventory on the market at the beginning of this year. By August, that number had fallen to 8.8 months, and sales activity was up 63 percent compared to January and 34 percent compared to April.

     Jersey City saw an even more pronounced warming trend, with a 10.8-month supply of inventory on the market in August compared to a 27.1-month supply at the start of the year, and August sales activity up 126 percent compared to January and 48 percent compared to April.

     These trends are visible when you look at specific buildings, as well. Take Jersey City condo Crystal Point. This spring, business at the 269-unit waterfront high-rise was so slow that the project’s builder, Fisher Development Associates, successfully petitioned the city to extend the project’s tax abatement from 20 to 30 years. The building had been on the market for seven months with only 24 “firm” contracts, James McCann, a lawyer representing Fisher, told the city council at a June 1 meeting. The developer, McCann noted, was selling some units below cost — at under $500 per square foot.

     “This is a question of survival or failure for this project,” McCann said. “The developer is facing the possibility of losing its shirt.”

     Activity at Crystal Point (priced from the low $500,000s) has picked up dramatically since then. By the end of June, the building had sold a quarter of its units. And a recent two-week span saw the sale of 19 more apartments — a rate of better than one a day.

     Sales haven’t been quite so brisk at Metro Homes’ Gulls Cove project in the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City (priced from the low $300,000s), where developer Dean Geibel says over the past three months he’s been averaging about a sale a week.

     That’s a good enough pace, though, that Geibel has decided to kick off the 110-unit second phase of the project sometime in 2010.

     “As we’ve progressed through this year, I’ve gotten more and more positive,” he says. “Each month I’ve felt more comfortable bringing [phase two] online.”

     Although Geibel sold his interest in the 55-story Trump Plaza Jersey City this summer, he maintains he still plans to build that development’s second tower — eventually.

     “It’s shelved,” he says, “but it’s not history.”

     Also looking to the future is Hoboken’s Fields Development Group, which, says principal James Caulfield, plans to start next year on three new projects: a 30-plus-unit building in Hoboken and 130-unit and 22-unit buildings in Jersey City.

     “Interest rates are low and construction costs are stable,” Caulfield says, explaining his plans to build through the downturn. And with fewer developers now active, he expects there to be less inventory to compete with when his projects come to market in two to three years.

     As for selling in the here and now, Caulfield is trying a unique approach with his firm’s new 76-unit Jersey City condo building, the Saffron: He’s taking it straight to auction.

     In August, Fields auctioned off all eight units in its Hoboken development 1300 Park. The event drew several hundred people, and after starting with suggested opening bids of $150,000, the apartments (originally priced from $419,000 to $619,000) sold at prices ranging from $401,000 to $449,000. Impressed by the results, Caulfield decided to apply the approach with the Saffron. Sales there kick off with a Nov. 8 auction at which nine units will be up for grabs, with suggested opening bids starting at $175,000.

     Also launching sales this fall is phase two of Jersey City development the Beacon, where 25 full- and half-floor lofts are coming to market at prices starting under $300 a square foot.

     For those looking to buy, it could make sense to take the plunge soon, says Otteau Group president Jeffery Otteau. Inventory levels suggest that prices in Hoboken and Jersey City might still decline somewhat, he notes, but he anticipates the market will strengthen moving into 2010.

     “Our expectation is that new-construction sales in the first half of 2010 will be up 50 percent from this year,” he says. “We’ll be in a much stronger place.”


N.J. development company to invest $150M to build 800 rental units at former Navy base

Staten Island AdvanceSeptember 17, 2009

N.J. development company to invest $150M to build 800 rental units at former Navy base

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — David Barry, president of Ironstate Development Company, first considered building apartments on the Staten Island waterfront when young Islanders started showing up at his brand-new mixed-use development on the waterfront in Long Branch, N.J.

Pier Village includes 550 apartments along with restaurants, stores, a Gold’s Gym and even a specialty olive oil shop. And the developers recently built a boutique hotel there.

“We were attracting a lot of Staten Islanders, and I started thinking about what was happening on the waterfront on Staten Island,” Barry recalled earlier today, shortly after a press conference at the Stapleton home port.

Not a lot was happening until Ironstate expressed interest.

Barry joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the borough president and other local leaders in announcing that the Hoboken-based development company will invest $150 million to build 800 rental units at the former Navy base, along with stores and restaurants on the ground floor of the development. Ironstate is buying seven acres at the home port from the city for $12 million.

In return, the city will invest $33 million to build a waterfront esplanade and improve the streets leading from the home port to Stapleton as part of the long-awaited first step of home port redevelopment. City officials are also counting on the apartments to draw one segment of population the borough is losing: Its young people.

A 2007 study commissioned by the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. and conducted by the Center for an Urban Future found that even as the borough grew faster than any part of the city during the 1990s, it simultaneously lost 5 percent of its younger residents, or people 18 to 34 years old.

“You want to keep your young people, your best and your brightest and those with enthusiasm and those who are going to take older people like me and challenge us. You want to have them stay here,” the mayor said. “Keeping them here will just create jobs one after the other, and that’s a good thing, it builds on itself.”

Rents for the apartments, which should be completed by 2013, are likely to start at around $1,200 for a one-bedroom and $1,500 for a two-bedroom, with prices topping out at about $1,900, Barry said.

“I think this project is going to enhance the reputation and lifestyle of Staten Island,” he added.

He also said he believed the market had reached bottom, making it a good time to develop new projects.

City officials have said they will make improvements in local streets and put up money for long-term maintenance of a waterfront esplanade at the home port.

And Borough President James Molinaro, who earlier this year introduced the developer to the city, said that he had allocated $1 million from his budget to refurbish the nearby Stapleton train station.

Molinaro called it the biggest one-time development in the history of the borough. “Everybody wanted this to happen,” he said of the home port plan.

He was joined at the home port earlier today by state Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn), Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) and Councilman Kenneth Mitchell (D-North Shore).

Realtor John Pitera of Casandra Properties was also on hand for the announcement. Ironstate reached out to Casandra Properties when it first inquired about the Island.

Pitera represented developer Leib Puretz, who was putting up several new buildings on the North Shore waterfront when the market crashed and Puretz was unable to refinance his developments.

Pitera said he expected Puretz to overcome foreclosure and finish those projects, including one at nearby Bay Street Landing, another waterfront community.

“In the not-too-distant future there will be people in those beautiful buildings,” he said.

City officials said home port construction will generate 1,100 temporary jobs and 150 permanent ones, with the entire development expected to generate $90 million in revenue for the city over the next 30 years.

But John Luisi, Molinaro’s Democratic opponent in the race for borough president, said the city has failed to deliver on repeated promises to redevelop home port.

“I would like something to finally happen there, however, when something is announced immediately before an election, I’m very skeptical of their motive and their ability to actually carry it out,” he said.

— Contributed by Karen O’Shea and Peter Spencer


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