The High Life

Luxurious river-view urban living in New Jersey? Check out these ultra-stylish homes.

The W, Hoboken

Before the bulldozers even broke ground, lifelong Hoboken resident Kimberly Glatt wrestled her way into a contract at the W Hotel and Residences to be built along the Hudson River waterfront. “I always thought I wanted to live in a hotel,” she says, “so when the building was announced, I pounced.”

Designed by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel Associates, the sleek, 26-story hotel features 225 rooms and 40 loft-like condominiums, all facing Manhattan. Hoboken-based Applied Development Company sold all but a few units—at $925,000 to $2.75 million for one-, two-, or three-bedroom floorplans—before the building was finished.

Glatt, a retired judge in private practice in Hoboken, and her husband, Fort Lee attorney Jay Yacker, with their two teenage children, 18-year-old Evan and 15-year-old Alexa, were among the first to move into the building. In July 2009, the family relocated from a three-story house just a few blocks away to a 21st-floor, three-bedroom apartment. “People may think this is indulgent, but really, hotel living is such a phenomenal concept,” says Glatt. “Living in an urban environment, you get worn down just starting your day. But here, I get on the elevator, it smells good, people say hello…it’s a beautiful thing.” Their biggest splurge? Room service. “We live on it,” says Glatt. “Often we order three meals a day.”

The Beacon, Jersey City

Fate led Aidan McManus and his wife, Gloria Gussie, to buy a residence in the Beacon, the former Jersey City Medical Center undergoing a years-long $350 million restoration project—the largest in the history of the state. Art Deco buffs with no intention of moving from their 4,000-square-foot loft on the Jersey City waterfront, Gussie happened upon the 1930s building on an Art Deco homes tour.

“She called me and said, ‘You have to come see this,’” says McManus. “The rest, as they say, is history.” The couple, both IT executives in Manhattan, moved in December 2008, downsizing significantly to a 1,150-square-foot apartment on the nineteenth floor. Downsizing, though, never felt like a compromise. “We were lucky enough to get 700 square feet of outdoor living space,” says McManus. “That really took any compromise out of the picture.”

Ninety percent of the units have been sold in the first two buildings; developer Metrovest Equities recently commenced sales in the third. Prices start at $235,000 for a studio, $885,000 for a loft, and as high as $2.5 million for a penthouse. When complete, the Beacon will consist of 1,200 residences and 80,000 square feet of retail space.

“Beyond the obvious fact that it’s a beautiful building, it’s the amenities that really got us,” says McManus. Those amenities include a 25,000-square-foot fitness center and spa, public spaces such as a screening room and poker room, an on-site deli, and several outdoor areas. “There’s even a fenced-in dog run,” says McManus, who has three English bulldogs. “You don’t even need to leave the premises to walk the dogs.”

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