Jersey Shore Spin-off Coming to Jersey City; Snooki and JWoww Moving to Former Firehouse


Jersey City officials have granted MTV filming permits for a spin-off of Jersey Shore starring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWoww” Farley. If you live Downtown by the Grove Street PATH, get ready to welcome your new neighbors: Sources say the ladies will move into the converted former firehouse at 38 Mercer Street.

The news hit the internet faster than a girl can throw on a pair of booty shorts.

“This makes me want to move to Newark,” Jersey City resident Daniel Morteh posted to his Facebook wall. “There goes the neighborhood,” wrote another local. A new page materialized called “Keep Snooki out of Jersey City.”

“The producers of the Jersey Shore spinoff have been issued a permit to film in Jersey City following a full and fair review by the permitting agencies, including the Police Department,” city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said in a statement. “The cast and crew of the Jersey Shore spin-off, like everyone else, will be required to follow all the laws of the State of New Jersey and the City of Jersey City, and to show respect for their neighbors.”

Morrill tells JCI the production company will foot the bill for additional police who will be stationed outside the house and maintain order when the ladies go out.

The amount of money the city will earn in permitting fees was not immediately available. But aside from other ancillary fees, Morrill says the cost benefit of the show will largely go to local businesses like hotels, bars and restaurants. She confirms producers have talked to several local businesses about filming but declined to say which ones.

Filming will start next Friday and last about six weeks, according to Fox 5, which broke the news last night. In an on-camera interview, Mayor Jerramiah Healy says that having the show in town is a good thing as long as the stars behave.

“My view is that the more people see anything about Jersey City and see what we have here in Jersey City, the better it is for our city,” he says, adding that the show could draw national and even international attention to our fair city.

The news comes after Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer last week shot down the request by MTV and 495 Productions to film the spin-off in the Mile Square City “in the interest of public safety and quality of life.”

Asked what he thought, Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, whose ward encompasses Downtown, sounded much like Zimmer.

“There is a reason Hoboken rejected it,” Fulop says. “No matter what they pay to film here, I feel we should have pride in the city and the goal as leaders to convey to the country that Jersey City is a great place to raise a family or move a business. This decision will have an image that is the opposite.”

Jayne Freeman, a columnist for the Jersey City Independent, nearly fell over watching the Fox 5 broadcast. She lived at the firehouse from 2006 to 2008 with her two daughters, acting as the caretaker of the property for owners Andrea and Russell Read. After she moved out, the Reads used the building as a location for their nonprofit, the Newforest Institute; sources say they are out of the country.

“I’m still very attached to the firehouse,” Freeman says. “It feels to me like one of them has taken up with my old boyfriend. When I saw it, I just got goosebumps.”

The house has stone floors, white tin ceilings, an original cast-iron spiral staircase and bedroom doors that say “Office of the Battalion Chief” and “Captain.” (Captain Snooki?)

When she left, there was also a long climbing rope hanging from the ceiling and a swing.

Estimates by the Jersey City Fire Department peg the building at more than 150 years old; the department has said the firehouse, the former Engine Company 3, closed in 1961. It became a residence 20 years later, according to the Jersey City Tax Assessor’s office.

In December 2007, local band manager and event promoter “Dancing Tony” Susco threw Freeman a Sweet 16 bash that filled the home’s cavernous interior with disco lights and music.

Susco says he not only welcomes Snooki and JWoww with fist-pumping arms — “I’m single and Italian, bring them in,” he says — but he would like to throw them a party.

On a recent episode of Jersey Shore, which is back in Seaside Heights after the cast’s season in Italy, plot points include Snooki’s trouble with urinary tract infections, Deena’s trouble with hair extensions and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s trouble keeping his shorts up. Snooki “pees” herself during the episode while dancing at the club Karma, and at one point puts on a white rabbit suit and tackles her castmates.

Snooki said recently that the spin-off will show “more of our other side, not partying so much,” and JWoww has compared it to a modern-day Laverne & Shirley.

While Freeman hopes they treat her old house with respect, she believes Snooki and JWoww outside of the influence of their castmates will “be on better behavior.”

“I think there’s a less of a chance of the fight that happened when they were in Italy and wrecking the place,” she says. “I think with just the two of them, they’ll stay out of the physical drama.”

She wonders where the pair will go out in town, noting that Jersey City doesn’t really have anything like Karma.

If they don’t find what they’re looking for here, they could always go into New York. But not Hoboken; as Zimmer told MTV last week, “Any attempts to film in a manner that is not permitted without a permit will be dealt with immediately and aggressively by the city of Hoboken.”

Additional reporting by Matt Hunger

Photos by Jennifer Weiss, interior shots courtesy of Jayne Freeman

a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the The Wall Street Journal, and Agence France-Presse. She is also a former editor for Jersey City Independent.

  • Courtenay Mercer

    I am ticked. This garbage only serves to degrade the family friendly reputation JC has been trying to build. Well, if I see those cows (sorry, can’t exactly call them women, it would be an insult to real women) do anything illegal or disrupt my quality of life, I will be sure to call the police in 2 seconds flat. I hope all of the civil residents of this city will do the same.

  • Nicole Signoretta

    If you disagree with the decision your mayor made, please take the time to fill out this petition:

  • JayneF

    I look forward to teaching Snooks and Jenny how to hula-hoop at Creative Grove.  

    • Tony Borelli

      Ya know, that prolly would make a cute little segment for the show. It would locate them geographically for the audience because it’s in the very center of the Grove Street area, and it would give them an excuse to shake their booties in public.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone, Let’s call Mayor Healy’s office and let our voices be heard.  I live downtown near the Grove St. PATH and I really don’t want this in our city.  Here’s the #(201) 547-4900.

    • Chris Johnson

      When you chose to live in a city, you had to expect inconveniences like this one.  Should have lived further out in Essex or Morris County if you didn’t want to put up with this.  Are you among the same people that complain about our property tax increases? Because I’m certain that MTV cut the city treasury a nice sized check, which would be more than welcome at a time when Jersey City is more cash-strapped than ever.  I believe I am a part of a the silent majority that either sees no problem with this or thinks it will be good for the city, at least from a monetary standpoint and don’t see how it could embarrass the city any more than the city already has managed to embarrass itself.  As a sidenote, I don’t work for MTV or anything remotely connected to the entertainment industry.  I think Jersey Shore has got to be one of the dumbest shows on television ever and I don’t watch it.  But something that will bring some much-needed revenue into the city without the same kind of disruptions as, say a factory or casino would bring, I welcome with open arms.

  • Eric Fleming
  • Eric Fleming

    I am vehemently opposed to this. Whatever short-term gain a few bars, restaurants and hotels may gain from six short weeks of shooting is far overcast by the pall of this “show” tainting the image of our city in the eyes of the world.

    • Anonymous

      As opposed to what? Mayor Zimmer’s amazing state of denial that she is the CEO of the Bourbon or Beale Street of the New York metropolitan area? Is the idea that these two might WANT to spend time in Jersey City, and promote it to other people as a destination, such a bad thing? Let them film at Bar Majestic, Lucky 7, the Iron Monkey, and let the world see what JC has to offer. These two insipid women are visitors, not representative of the city as a whole.

      • Patrick Fermin

         they’re just visitors to New Jersey as well yet because of that dumb show NJ gets the bad press from it. If you didn’t know the majority of that cast from that shoe ARE NOT from NJ

    • Chris Johnson

      That show can’t taint the image of this city any more than our joke of a mayor and city council has already tainted it, Steven Fulop excepted.  I’m not too worried about it and you shouldn’t be either.  If it brings some money into Jersey City and MTV is cutting a check to the city treasury, this might have been the one smart thing our mayor has done since he took office.

  • Deirdre Kennedy

    How long will it take before one of them falls through the skylight????

  • Cara DiGs
    • Chris Johnson

      They’re going to be here for a few short weeks, MTV is paying the city a wad of money for this, and some local businesses will benefit.  Don’t like the traffic and noise issues? Well, it’s only going to be six weeks and furthermore, when you chose to live in a city, these are the types of things you knew or should have known you would be dealing with, otherwise you would have chosen to live in Springfield or Short Hills.  Jersey City is not a place where you can expect peace and quiet 24/7, live elsewhere if that’s what you want.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic! While they may be two of the most shallow, uninteresting, and ridiculous people to walk the face of the earth, the exposure of bars, restaurants, and the neighborhoods of Downtown Jersey City to the rest of the world is an excellent opportunity. Jersey City is one of the most tolerant and diverse cities to be found anywhere, and the idea of JC tolerating these two idiots only helps to promote the cultural tapestry of JC.

  • JayneF

     Wait a sec! Do we think less of Florence, Italy for housing the Jersey Shore crew?? Why would this six week stint have a lasting and negative impact on Jersey City’s reputation? I can’t tell if everyone is morally opposed to these two cast members or they’re annoyed by location vans clogging the streets. What’s the big outrage?

    • Patrick Fermin

       that’s because Florence already had a great reputation as a world class city with a vast amount of culture. For a city that is developing it’s own culture and it constantly seen as just a 2nd rate city, having this trash will not make us look good

      • Tony Borelli

        I suspect that there will be an initial wave of “ew, Jersey City must be a trashy town,” followed by a million articles (they’re starting already) about how it’s actually an odd fit because JC has its own quirky, scattered yet decidedly un-Snookified culture.

      • JayneF

        I hate to break it to you, but in the shadow of Manhattan, EVERY city is seen as 2nd rate. It took Brooklyn decades just to come into its own, and it’s already a part of New York City.  Jersey City will not suffer from this any more than it suffers from the teen boys who murdered a man with a machete or the drunk driving tragedy on Grove & Grand two weeks ago. Those are valid concerns and ones that diminish our safety and quality of life. Not two girls who like to party for a living; go to Lucky 7s some night – there are plenty more with the same aspirations.

  • Tony Borelli

    Bring ‘em on, I say. We’ll have ‘em swilling fancypants wine at Bar Majestic and eating confit de canard at Madam Claude with their pinkies in the air in no time.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just a TV show folks. The biggest problem I have with this is the probable traffic and parking issues

  • Anonymous

    If you do not like this decision, then you need to boycott any establishment that welcomes them. The greatest weapon we have to fight ANY decision we do not like is with out pocketbooks….. Money talks people! 

  • Lenny Misuraca


  • Anonymous

    There are lots of Snookies, and JWowws in Jersey City already……………they just don’t have a TV show. 

  • Anonymous

    DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN… I live a block away and used to literally live across the street from that building. This past summer I was in the jersey shore and had to drive by (completely by accident) the house where they film Jersey Shore and traffic was a complete nightmare, idiot kids everywhere (yes I may be 35 but I am officially the grumpy old man saying kids get off my lawn)… To quote Ice ‘motha-f-ing’ T – “There goes the neighborhood.”

  • Alan Wright

    The phenomenon of the Jersey Shore is already over. Nobody will watch this spin-off, so Jersey Citizens have nothing to worry about. Even so, like many of the people in Jersey City, the people on the show aren’t from Jersey City. They’re from Staten Island and Rhode Island.

    Most of the people from downtown aren’t from JC, either. The same is true of the immigrant population of the Heights, the immigrant population of Journal Square, and elsewhere in the city.

    Even former City Council from Ward F(Bergen/ Lafayette) and current Councilwoman-at-large Viola Richardson wasn’t from Jersey City. She was “from” South Carolina and the Bronx. Nidia Lopez was appointed/ elected to the council for Ward C (Journal Square), but we know she’s “from” Puerto Rico and probably Florida. Steve Fulop represents Ward E (Downtown), but he’s “from” Edison. After a few years of working and adapting to the city, they’re now part of the fabric of it.

    That’s what happens in cities. People come, people go. Jersey City is big enough and has enough integrity to take all comers. It doesn’t need to be protected against a few petulant, boring, irrelevant club kids or the TV show.