In Hoboken, the growth is epitomized but the rebirth of the formally blighted west side, the coming of a luxury hotel, and new residential housing on the waterfront. In Jersey City, both market-rate and affordable units are on tap. In Secaucus, several new retail "big box" stores are opening in Harmon Meadow, and the "transit village" around the Secaucus Transfer Station will begin to take shape. In North Bergen, townhouse, high-rise, and condo projects have been approved. In Union City, school construction and work on two high-rise residences are right around the corner, and in West New York, the construction of luxury waterfront developments with million-dollar views of the Manhattan skyline keeps rolling along.
For more information on some of the projects in progress, see last week's issue at www.hudsonreporter.com.
Probably the most noteworthy project in Hoboken in 2005 will be construction of a new W Hotel. It's important not only because of its size and height, but because it's a symbol of how far the city's south waterfront has come. At one time, the area was barren and unreachable, having fallen into decline when shipping industries went elsewhere. But now Hoboken will join Chicago, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Sydney in having its own W.
The project will include 225 hotel rooms and 40 "luxury residence" condos. Construction should begin in early 2005 and the hotel is scheduled to open in 2006, said Michael Barry, president of Applied Property Management Company.
Gwathmey Siegel Architects has been hired to design the 275-foot tall building. The firm is known for its modernist landmarks, ranging from the minimalist addition to Frank Lloyd Wright's spiraling Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami. When finished, it will be the tallest building in the city.
Hoboken's west side, away from the waterfront, is building up too. The opening of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail there this past year and the coming Northwest Redevelopment Plan are resulting in rampant growth in the shadows of the Palisades.
Back in 1998, Hoboken's west side was blighted, with only a smattering of time-worn warehouses and trucking companies. Under the administration of former Mayor Anthony Russo, the City Council created the "Northwest Redevelopment Area" and adopted a plan for the area to stimulate growth in the region. Now many blocks have new condo projects springing up.
One example is a $50 million development that includes a 90-unit affordable housing building at 1118 Adams St. Adjacent to it, 1100 Adams St. will be a luxury condominium building. These projects are a joint venture of the publicly-owned Tarragon Reality Investors, Inc, Hoboken-based URSA Development and local developer Frank Raia.
Also, construction has just recently begun on the highly anticipated Village West. The Planning Board has approved 435 new residential units uptown on Monroe Street, of which 19 will be affordable artist work/live loft spaces and 25 more will be affordable housing.
Activists are concerned about the sizes of proposed developments and worry that they don't include nearly enough open space. There has been a coordinated grassroots effort to turn proposed high-rise areas - 800 Jackson St. and 900 Monroe St. - into parks instead.
In 2005, construction over 1,500 new units of housing will rise on the city's northern waterfront as well.
One project is Toll Brothers' Hoboken Cove. They plan to add 753 units to the abandoned industrial area at the northern tip of Washington Street, next to the existing residential "Tea Building," which they also now own. The company is also a partner with Pinnacle Downtown in developing an 832-home condominium community at the site of a former Maxwell House Coffee Plant on the city's central waterfront.
Construction will continue at the Shipyard by the Applied Development Corporation on the northern waterfront. Already, 841 units have already been built. Applied has approvals for 319 more units for a total project size of 1,160 units.
Both luxury and affordable apartments are being built throughout New Jersey's second largest city.
In early December 2004, the Planning Board approved a $135 million project called "the View" which will include three condominium towers located near Liberty State Park.
The 30-story tower will have 328 units; a 20-story tower will have 86 units; and an 18-story tower will have 161 units.
There will be commercial space and possibly an upscale restaurant on the ground floor of the towers.
The primary developer is Lance Lucarelli, based in Bayonne, who said recently that he is just waiting for approvals for building permits and hopes to start building in December 2005.
Another major project will rise on Newark Avenue between Grove Street and Luis Muñoz Marin Boulevard. Approved by the city's Planning Board in early 2004, "Grove Pointe" will consist of 29 stories with 525 residential units. Scheduled to open in fall 2006, Grove Pointe is being developed by the Bridgewater-based firm Schenkman/Kushner. Included in the project is a garage with 535 parking spots. There will also be a revamping of a one-block section of Newark Avenue and the triangular park area at the entrance to the Grove Street PATH station, directly across from the building.
Another market-rate housing development that is currently under construction is Montgomery-Greene. The 19-story, 113-unit building located on the corner of Montgomery and Greene streets also includes over 3,700 square feet of retail space and a 123-space parking garage. Prices for one-bedroom units when completed will go from $434,900 to $501,900 and two-bedroom units from $604,900 to $705,900.
The project is the collaboration of developers KOR Companies based in Wall with New York City-based Time Equities. Construction started late last year.
And in a non-housing related development for 2005, there is the ongoing construction of Liberty National Golf Course. This private golf course is located near the Port Liberté development near Liberty State Park. By early 2006, members will be able to use the championship-caliber 18 holes, designed by golf course architect Bob Cupp and former PGA Tour player Tom Kite.
The $30 million course is being built by the Hoboken-based Applied Development Company in partnership with the Mashpee, Massachusetts-based Willowbend Development Company, which is financing the project.
Affordable in JC
Affordable housing will take center stage in Jersey City the coming year. Much of the construction is happening away from the waterfront and in the inner city at a time when many longtime residents are worried about being priced out of their neighborhoods.
Among some of the more interesting projects for 2005 will be Woodward Terrace, a mixed-income development of 70 townhouses. The project is part of the Hope VI housing program initiated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize public housing across the country with building and management improvements, as well as social and community services to address residents' needs.
The $14.3 million Woodward Terrace project is being constructed by the Michaels Development Company, based in Marlton. Construction is slated for early 2005 and the completion time is 18 months. A total of 600 low- and mid-rise rental apartments will be built, as well as 250 for-sale homes and condominiums on the Lafayette Gardens site by Michaels Development.
The project is part of a larger three-phase, $35 million program to improve the Lafayette Gardens Housing Complex located off of Pacific Avenue. That meant that a number of units of Lafayette Gardens were demolished, and new complexes were built in their place. They include, besides Woodward Terrace, the Lafayette Senior Center, which is a four-story, 83-unit senior citizen apartment building, and the forthcoming Pacific Court Townhouses, which will have 72 units of housing.
Another affordable housing project being constructed in 2005 is the Summit Avenue Homes, located not on Summit Avenue but on Halladay Street and other locations in the Lafayette section of the city. The project will consist of 18 three-bedroom homes priced at $142,900 and eight two-bedroom residences priced at $123,900. They're being built through a joint venture of the Applied Development Company based in Hoboken and the D.R. Mon Group in Shrewsbury. The homes are expected to be occupied starting in spring 2005 and will be purchased by prospective homeowners with help from The Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency (HMFA) that will offer 100 percent financing to qualified home buyers.
In the Journal Square area, the State Square project will be completed in the coming year. The 12-story, 130-unit rental apartment building being built on the site of the old State Theatre will consist of 30 units reserved for low-income occupants and 100 market-rate units.
The $31 million project broke ground in 2003 and is being built by a consortium of local and out-of-town developers including The Fort-Lee based Alpert Group, the Applied Development Co. of Hoboken, Panepinto Properties of Jersey City, Harwood Properties of Montclair, and former Congressman Frank Guarini.
In other affordable housing news, the international organization Habitat For Humanity, based in Americus, Ga., announced in September 2004 that they would form a branch known as Habitat for Humanity for Greater Jersey City that would pursue the construction of low-income housing not only in Jersey City but throughout Hudson County. The organization plans to build two homes in the coming year on a parcel of land located on Ocean Avenue near Stegman Street in the Greenville section. They are in the process of acquiring the land from the city.
North Bergen will see the ongoing construction of the Insignia Gardens project, which will consist of nine two-family homes (starting at $295,000), a 50,000 square-foot structure that consists of 60 one- and two-bedroom condominiums, and 11,500 feet of retail space.
The developer is Hoboken resident Jeffrey White and his Casa Blanca Development Company. The housing complex should be ready for occupancy by 2007.
Also, there is Churchill Estates, a 39-unit brownstone townhouse/condominium complex with beginning prices of $575,000. New homeowners are to get one assigned parking spot, with the parking lot constructed under the townhouses. It will be built around the tiny, narrow street called Churchill Road, a dead-end thoroughfare that only has access to and from River Road below, on the cliffs of the Palisades at the North Bergen/Edgewater border.
In 2004, Sam's Wholesale and the state's largest Wal-Mart opened in the Harmon Meadow area of Secaucus. This is a trend that is going to continue throughout 2005, with a number of new "big box" stores" in the pipeline.
By next summer, Hartz Mountain is scheduled to open an additional 199,200 square feet of commercial space in three locations in the Harmon Meadow Mall. The company has already leased much of it to national chain stores: Marshall's/HomeGoods, A.C. Moore, Linens n Things, and another large chain that has not yet been undisclosed.
A building offering 34,000 square feet is under construction across the parking lot from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, just north of the Loews 8-Plex Theater. The space is being marketed and a tenant should be secured in early 2005.
Bordering Secaucus in East Rutherford will be Xanadu, a $1.3 billion, 4.96 million-square-foot mixed-use commercial development that will be built around the existing Continental Airlines Arena. It is being marketed as the "ultimate sports, leisure, family entertainment, shopping, hotel and office complex in the United States," and will include theme parks, theaters, restaurants, a 500,000 square-foot hotel and conference center and 1.76 million square feet of office space.
The lead developer is the Mills Corp. of Arlington, Va. in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of Cranford. The first phase, scheduled for 2005, includes: a contractor staging area, 1,675 parking spaces (one deck plus surface parking), filling and preparation of undeveloped areas, relocation of utilities and on-site road work.
The Union City Planning Board has approved an application to build a 15-story residential building on 22nd Street between Kerrigan and Summit avenues.
The 22nd Street high-rise is one of two that could begin construction in 2005. The second is an 11-story building that will be built on the corner of 17th street and Palisade Avenue. The building will replace an unfinished abandoned building.
Also, the site of the old Roosevelt Stadium will see a new Emerson High School this year, with a new state-of-the-art stadium.
West New York
Waterfront development in West New York will continue to be driven by the Port Imperial North residential project, which also connects to the ongoing Port Imperial South development further down on the Weehawken waterfront. Spanning more than two miles and over 200 acres of West New York and Weehawken riverbank, the nearly 8,000-unit development residential and shopping area is in full swing and taking shape. It's a project that will be built over the next decade.
Weehawken in 2005 will be the site of a major ongoing project.
As part of the ongoing Port Imperial South project, the developer Roseland Properties is constructing a 16.4-acre park along the Hudson River waterfront park. he park will include both passive and recreation areas to eventually include two youth baseball fields, a multi-purpose field for soccer and football, a six-lane synthetic running track, three tennis courts, a hockey rink, and a swimming pool.
Roseland Properties will be responsible for building the two youth baseball facilities, the multi-purpose field and tennis courts, while the township will pick up the cost of the swimming pool and ice hockey complexes. Also, the new park will have a boat launch and feature two small playgrounds. The cost for the entire project is estimated at $5 million.