One of the remaining patches of vacant land in the city is about to become the home of an environmentally-friendly residential tower. Two developers held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to kick off construction of their 135-unit rental project at 900 Monroe St., which will rise next to light rail tracks on the west side of town. It will also include a 135-car automatic garage, a 7,000 square foot public park, and a day care center.
On Tuesday, representatives from the development companies, along with Mayor Dawn Zimmer, gave speeches at the site, which is now peppered with construction equipment and men in hardhats who are tilling it into the foundation for a home. The building is expected to be completed in fall of 2015.
Zimmer has gained a reputation for being cautious about overdevelopment in town, but has said she favors development decisions that “start with what the community wants” and are able to withstand storms. On Tuesday, she told the crowd that she was impressed by the new project’s environment friendly qualities, including a roof that will catch rainwater in a part of town prone to floods.
“Obviously I’d like to protect Hoboken comprehensively from the flooding,” she said. “Citywide, we need to be doing as much as we can to reduce the amount of rainwater going into our combined sewer system.”
She also touted other features of the building, including the fact that the mechanical equipment controlling the elevators will be located above the flood level. She said that this is likely to be a requirement for new buildings in the future.
Bijou Properties, a local developer who has built and won awards for environment-friendly building projects in town, is developing the property in conjunction with Intercontinental Real Estate of Boston. Tishman Construction of New York, the general contractor, also sent representatives.
The project was approved by the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments in 2012.
“We look forward to creating a one-of-a-kind apartment building,” said Intercontinental CEO Peter Palandrian. “Hoboken, as a market, presents every compelling investment dynamic we seek in a deal.”
He said the company is looking to invest in other New Jersey projects.
Larry Bijou, the head of Bijou Properties, said, “It will be constructed with innovative green building practices to promote a clean and healthier lifestyle while considerably minimizing its impact on the environment.”
He added, “We’re grateful Intercontinental chose to partner with us on this progressive urban building and are thrilled that they recognize the outstanding potential of this up-and-coming neighborhood and the appeal of Hoboken in general.”
Indeed, for years, the west side of Hoboken lay underdeveloped. But with mile-square Hoboken attracting thousands of professionals who work in the metropolitan area, all parts of town are in demand. Ninth Street contains a ShopRite supermarket and the relatively new light rail station, both amenities that were not there 20 years ago. Many other luxury buildings have sprouted in that section of town.
Bijou Properties is also constructing an environmentally friendly 212-unit apartment building at 1415 Park Ave. with a 383-car automated parking garage. That project received a 2013 Smart Growth Cold Award from the Hudson County Planning Board.
Bijou has also built three other “green” buildings in town: the Hostess Factory at 210 Fourteenth St., Garden Street Lofts at 1425 Garden St., and Edge Lofts at 1405 Clinton St.
The project will also contain a 7,000-square-foot public park.
Caren Matzner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .