SHAKE SHOCK: Hoboken Zoning Board Grilled for Shooting Down Shake Shack Plan
(ABOVE: image via Facebook.com/ShakeShack)
Last night’s Zoning Board Agenda featured an item on 107-111 Washington Street, which included a mixed use building that would potentially house a Hoboken Shake Shack location. That item was shot down by the board.
While hMAG is currently waiting for the official transcripts of the meeting, it has been reported that one Zoning Board member said, “we don’t need another burger joint on Washington Street.”
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The location, which currently sits as a parking lot serving Walgreens, would have been home to a six-story 14-unit building with retail space on the ground floor.
Shake Shack is NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer’s chain of burger joints with a dedicated cult following. It is unclear at this point just how involved Shake Shack was in the planning of this potential Hoboken location.
Councilman Michael DeFusco, who represents the ward in which the building would be located, had this to say—in a statement released via his facebook page:
Last night Hoboken said ‘NO’ to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street.
Those in our city’s government, elected or appointed, who view community development as a negative need to realize that smart planning makes our city more livable, creates urban vibrancy and expands the tax base. To that end, a commissioner on the zoning board referred to shake shack (ranked recently by Food & Wine as one of the best burgers in the USA) ‘just another burger joint’.
Whereas the central business district could’ve gained a world class restaurant and a building that generates taxes for the entire City, my neighborhood will instead continue to live with an empty lot.
Social media response to the decision has more or less echoed this sentiment, although others expressed concern about losing the parking lot.
Hoboken’s Zoning Board has long been a source of frustration for residents and developers, who cite capricious and irregular rulings that exhibit a lack of consistency.
Zoning Board members are appointed by the Hoboken City Council.
hMAG will update this story with further details, once the transcripts have been released.