HARRISON PREPARES FOR APARTMENT BOOM

via Liz Burlingame/Northeast Real Estate Business

There was a time when Harrison in Hudson County, New Jersey, was dominated by views of aging warehouses and commuter parking lots. That landscape is changing, however. The former industrial center has become a hotbed of residential development, including a $750 million, mixed-use project known as Harrison Station.

The first completed building in the project opened last September and included 275 apartment units and 12,814 square feet of retail space. By April, the apartment units were fully leased, while Five Guys Burgers & Fries; Pronto Gourmet; Pro-Cuts; and Sakara, a Japanese restaurant, have each inked leases for retail space.

Ironstate Development Co. and the Pegasus Group are developing a $750 million mixed-use project in Hudson County, Now Jersey.

“The absorption has been very consistent, which is a sign that you haven’t tapped out that demand,” says Greg Russo, a senior vice president of Ironstate Development Co., one of the site’s developers.

Ironstate and its joint venture partner, the Pegasus Group, were initially attracted to the area’s transit access. The new building is just steps from the PATH station, with quick access to the New Jersey Turnpike.

The developers partnered in 2000, and after acquiring several parcels and completing environmental clean-up work on the site, they constructed a four-story parking deck before starting construction on apartments and retail space. This June, they will break ground on the project’s next phase, a 136-room Element hotel, to be built around and atop the parking garage.

When completed, Harrison Station will ultimately include 2,600 residences and 80,000 square feet of retail.

The developers have noticed strong demand from those who work along the PATH line in Hoboken, Jersey City, or New York City

Young professional singles and couples, ages 20 to 39, are the target demographic for rentals, says Jacqueline Urgo, president of The Marketing Directors, the development’s exclusive leasing and marketing agent.

Urgo says many renters are attracted to living in luxury housing without the Hoboken price tags. “The well-designed homes, full suite of amenities, and supportive street-level retail complete the desirable urban lifestyle experience,” says Urgo. “It’s all at a price point that is extremely favorable when compared to areas like downtown Jersey City and Hoboken.”

Rents in the Harrison Station building average $1,450 for a studio, $1,675 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,150 for a two-bedroom unit. The development also includes a beach volleyball court and outdoor pool.

The project is also across the street from a 600-unit, mixed-use development by Heller Urban Renewal. Crews began demolition on the site last November.

The Heller development shares the same name, Harrison Station. Local developers reached an agreement to call the neighborhood Harrison Station to avoid name confusion. “Our project will be called Harrison Station 300 Somerset St.,” says Russo. “The neighborhood should have a name, and we’ll both build off that brand.”

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