Located in the Port Imperial community in Weehawken, the site boasts bus, light rail and ferry service to New York City. A burgeoning residential scene has emerged with hundreds of new apartments constructed over the past few years with many more on the way.
“I moved into the neighborhood just over two years ago and realized this was the perfect opportunity to open our first branch office,” stated Chen, “and I realized there was a need for a place to get coffee, a salad, sandwich or just a cookie!”.
Enlisting powerhouse designer Vanessa Deleon of Vanessa Deleon Associates in Manhattan, the pair embarked on a two-year design and construction project to transform the raw commercial condo into a stylish neighborhood destination.
“We wanted the space to reflect the cool urban vibe of Port Imperial and make a definitive design statement” Chen described of the new combination office and cafe. The space is cleverly divided with separate entrances yet connected by a 12-foot peek-thru window as well as a shared rear passage and a covered patio with outdoor seating.
Steven’s Cafe, operated by proprietor Steven Incekara, who incidentally also lives in the neighborhood, features 20-foot ceilings and soaring windows that invite the neighborhood in. The real estate side, dubbed The Chen Agency’s Port Imperial Real Estate Studio, is a dramatic 2-level co-working office offering flexible space for the agency’s sales associates to mingle with clients. Both spaces have industrial design elements with exposed mechanicals and raw concrete structural elements.
On a recent weekend afternoon, the cafe was bustling with patrons grabbing coffee and sandwiches while the real estate Studio was catering to clients looking for new apartments and condos.