Jack Mello first came to Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey, in the early 1980s to see a then-little-known band called R.E.M. He since has attended hundreds of shows at the club, most recently to watch the Feelies perform their July 4th farewell concerts before the venue closes next week.
“This is the sort of place where bands play that are up and coming as well as those that are well-known,” Mello, 53, said as he stopped for a drink at the club, located across the street from the fifth-floor walk-up apartment where he has lived since 1987. “I’m just glad it’s lasted this long.”
The demise of Maxwell’s, a 35-year-old rock institution where Kurt Cobain once performed and Bruce Springsteen filmed his “Glory Days” music video, highlights demographic and cultural shifts in Hoboken as young families and wealthy couples increasingly join the artists, post-college singles and Wall Street commuters that have transformed the mile-square city from its industrial roots. Home prices are surging as buyers seek a more affordable option than New York City, just across the Hudson River, while independent businesses are giving way to chain stores.
“Driving down the streets in Hoboken five or 10 years ago, what you saw was young singles and couples, now you see mothers and fathers pushing strollers,” Otteau said. “Households with children are now opting to stay in places like Hoboken which, in turn, is putting pressure on demand for larger-sized apartments.”
Demand for three-bedroom units is especially high, with frequent bidding wars, according to Lori Turoff, a Realtor in Hoboken since 2004. Home purchases rose to 140 in the first quarter from 137 the prior year as the number of active listings fell 45 percent.
Units were on the market for an average of 50 days in the first three months of the year, compared with 77 days at the same time in 2012, according to data compiled by Turoff earlier this month. That was the fewest for a first quarter in data going back to 2000. The average listing discount, or the difference between the asking and final sale price, fell to 1.12 percent, the lowest for the period since 2004, she said.