|SIGN OF THE TIMES: A sign in the window of Frank's Shoe Repair at 179 Main St. in Hackensack could serve as a theme for the city's ambitious downtown redevelopment.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Who doesn't like to eat?
More than a half-dozen new ethnic restaurants opened on or near Main Street this year as work continued to complete nearly a dozen apartment buildings.
Another development in 2019 is that the most ambitious project -- 382 apartments above street-level retail at Main and Mercer streets -- no longer is just a big hole in the ground, where work stopped after damaging an adjacent building in July 2o16.
New parking meters take both coins and credit cards, but to patronize Main Street restaurants and other businesses blocks from free lots on State Street or the municipal garage on Atlantic Street, residents and visitors still have to scramble for parking.
Hackensack may be in the midst of a renaissance, as city officials say, but the long-delayed conversion of Main Street to 2-way traffic is expected to reduce street parking even more.
Other projects include:
- At 150 River St., former headquarters of The Record, the Borgs, who sold the paper to Gannett in July 2016, and their development partners plan to build 654 units in three phases, plus 18,000 square feet of retail.
- On the parking lot near the Midtown Bridge, a building with 374 apartments is planned, and a building with 88 units is going up at 22 Sussex St.
- On the former site of the Oritani Field Club at East Camden and River streets, a developer is finishing a 5-story building with 254 apartments across the street from the Toyota dealer.
- Hackensack, Bergen County and NJ Transit are working on a mixed-use development on the site of the former County Probation Department on River Street. The bus station would be expanded, and the 6-story structure would have 140 apartments and 300 public parking spaces.
- Two more projects are 389 Main St., where 83 apartments are going up where Main Street turns and connects with State Street; and 435 Main St, where 230 apartments and 5 2-bedroom townhouses are planned.
You can find a complete list on the city's website at Hackensack redevelopment, but many of the so-called fact sheets are woefully out of date.
210 MAIN: The former United Jersey Bank building is being converted into luxury apartments, including 3 duplex penthouses.
THE WOOLWORTH: Across the street from 150-170 Main St., The Woolworth will offer 4,000 square foot of retail topped by 4 floors of apartments.
|DON'T LITTER: A colorful reminder not to litter at Main and East Salem streets, above and below.|
|NOT MUCH LITTER: I didn't see much litter on Main Street, but many of the storefronts are run down or empty, and owners seem to be holding onto them, hoping to make a killing by selling out to a developer.|
|TODAY'S SPECIALS: The Ecuadorian specials at Galapagos Restaurant on Thursday included Fish Soup and Cow Feet Soup.|
|MAIN STREET NEWCOMER: Pho Saigon was opened by a young Vietnamese couple who moved to New Jersey from Queens, N.Y., and renovated the space long occupied by Wondee's Fine Thai Food and Noodles.|
|WRAPPING IT UP: An appetizer of Crispy Veggie Spring Rolls ($7.99) at Pho Saigon.|