A historic furniture warehouse in the Powerhouse Arts District of Jersey City will be preserved and redeveloped by Mill Creek Residential, a multi-family developer that specializes in luxury apartment construction.
The company announced on April 29 that it has partnered with Rockwood Capital to purchase the eight-story warehouse.
The building at 350 Warren St. was one of a number of structures located in the Powerhouse District that some members of the community had hoped to preserve as an arts neighborhood. The area is also known as the Warehouse District.
Constructed as a furniture warehouse for Chicago-based retailing and wholesaling company the Butler Brothers in 1900, the building took up almost an entire city block, and was seen by some history preservationists as an example of construction from the gilded age of Jersey City’s industrial era.
Designed by Jarvis Hunt, one of the greatest architects at the turn of the last century, it features corbelled cornices, parapets, decorative brick banding, and entirely brick bearing walls.
“Jersey City is teeming with new development and we anticipate playing a major role in the continuing transformation of this neighborhood.” – Richard Murphy
“Mill Creek is actively and strategically identifying investment opportunities within the northeast and we are excited to continue to expand our presence in New Jersey with another luxury apartment community,” said Richard Murphy, managing director for Mill Creek Residential “Jersey City is teeming with new development and we anticipate playing a major role in the continuing transformation of this neighborhood.”
Downtrodden area no more
The Powerhouse district for decades was a downtrodden industrial area that got its name from the massive brick power station constructed in 1908 to provide electricity to the Hudson Tubes – which later became the PATH trains, Located between the Holland Tunnel and Exchange Place PATH station, and buildings there are mostly factories and warehouses.
The Butler Brothers later moved into retail and established a number of major five and dime chains in small towns across the country. By the 1940s and 1950s, the Butler Brothers company was among the largest wholesale companies in the nation, and offered weekly shipments to its retailers. Unlike companies before and even later, the company maintained a vast stock of items in warehouses such as the one in Jersey City.
The building is two blocks from the nearest Hudson Bergen Light Rail Station and one block from the Grove Street PATH station, providing seven-minute access to Manhattan’s World Financial Center and 18-minute access to Midtown.
Developers say residents will benefit from the surrounding neighborhood, which encompasses millions of square feet of office, residential and retail, including the 1.2 million-square-foot Newport Centre Mall.
CBRE Group Inc.’s New York Institutional Group, led by Jeffrey Dunne, Gene Pride and Patrick Carino, represented the seller, 350 Warren LP, and was also responsible for identifying Mill Creek as a potential buyer.
Jeffery Duane said 350 Warren said the building drew a lot of attention from regional and New York based developer partly because of its unique “ ‘loft building’ characteristics and prime Jersey City Central Business District location.”
“Mill Creek is acquiring a redevelopment asset unlike any of the conventional apartment projects in Jersey City with high ceilings, and unique exposed brick and wood interiors,” Dunne said.
Within a mile of 350 Warren, there has been a 50 percent increase in population since 2000.
Most of the new residents fit the key renter demographic of 25- to-44-year-old, highly educated renters, with over 75 percent over the age of 25 having at least a college degree and over 88 percent working white collar jobs and having an average annual household income of $132,000.
Since 2003, more than 7,600 residential rental units have been added and absorbed to the Jersey City’s Central Business District, creating a 24/7 environment.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.