No matter. I get the picture. There’s a shiny contemporary grill, a square of artificial turf, all-weather TV, a table and plenty of seating for a bunch of friends enjoying a barbecue on a beautiful summer evening. A fire pit is on hand for those chilly spring or fall days. All around you can see the rooftops of Hoboken, and in the distance, but looking really close—the World Trade Center. In fact, this whole unit has unobstructed views of this majestic tower.
“Smart” is the watchword for this contemporary Park Avenue duplex. Stephen Sullivan, his girlfriend, Kate Deer, and her two kids, ages 8 and 9, have lived here for two years.
Stephen came to Hoboken from Central Jersey in 2005. He lived in the Tea Building and another Toll Brothers building before realizing that he and his family needed more space.
Indeed, the Park Avenue digs are 2,400 square feet. “Space is a premium in Hoboken,” Stephen says.
The duplex is a rebuilt brownstone. Another family lives on the first two floors and owns the backyard. Stephen and his family have the third and fourth floors along with the roof deck. An elevator can carry them all the way to the roof. On the third floor are the bedrooms, with the kids at one end, and the master bedroom on the other. Stephen uses an additional bedroom as an office. There are three full baths, and plenty of closet space. The closet that houses the high-tech smart equipment also has a trampoline. Both girls are gymnasts. Their rooms are spanking neat. Just kidding. The rooms are charmingly cluttered, like most girls’ (or boys’) rooms.
Stephen self-identifies as a “serial entrepreneur,” developing properties and consulting in digital marketing. Kate is in the real-estate business in Hoboken.
On the fourth floor are the kitchen, dining room, and living room, with access to the roof deck by elevator and stairs. “The roof deck is really quiet,” Stephen says.
Stephen chose Hoboken for its proximity to New York City. When he goes out in Hoboken, he usually stops by the Madison Bar & Grill.
The main feature of the house is its intelligence. In other words, it’s a smart home. In this case, it’s the ELAN automation system that makes it “smart.” Stephen says, “Everything is controlled through my phone, blinds, air conditioning, lights, music, TVs, by the touch of a button, even if I’m not home.”
There’s also a camera on the roof. “I can see what’s going on and keep tabs on things,” he says. “The way technology is going, it’s a lot easier. It keeps it neat, easy, and efficient versus having a bunch of different TV controllers for different floors and going up and down stairs flipping the lights. It’s definitely convenient.”
Kate was a little overwhelmed by the smartness at first, but now she’s on board, and of course the kids are on board.
On the morning I visit, she’s sitting at a beautiful wood dining table with her laptop. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are open plan. Everything has a sleek, slate-gray look, with stained wood floors. The living area has another large TV.
“We’re developing properties in Hoboken, and every home is going to be a smart home,” Stephen says. “It’s the wave of the present.”—Kate Rounds