According to North Bergen Township Administrator Joseph Auriemma, the planned development at the site, located at 5711 Kennedy Blvd., calls for two floors of residential space with approximately 70 studio loft-style units, as well as 30,000 square feet of commercial space on the first level.
The factory warehouse has been labeled an "eyesore" by township officials in the past and has been approximately 80 percent vacant for the last five years. Officials say that the rest of the building, approximately 16 loft units, has been rented illegally by the owner for the better part of the last year, incurring fines of more than $1 million for renting without proper approval.
"It's absolutely a great plan for the township," Auriemma said. "It would be taking an old, rundown warehouse that's 80 percent vacant and occupying it with both studio lofts and a commercial area. Lofts seem to make a lot of sense [for] there. People like artists and teachers are finding it very difficult to find similar type lofts in New York and Hoboken, so they have been looking to North Bergen. Right now, lofts are a very good investment. I think it definitely could work at the site and makes a lot of sense."
Before the Board of Adjustment would grant approval on the conversion, there were certain stipulations that had to be met. Those include making improvements to replacing individual air-conditioning units with a central system; replacing all windows and doors with new ones that are consistent with the design and character of the building; covering the adjacent parking lot with a screened wall and creating a fa