A recent NJ Biz report by Joshua Burd highlights our client Bijou Properties and their development projects in Hoboken, NJ. The article is paywalled, but here’s a quick taste …
Executives from Bijou Properties had gathered in uptown Hoboken in early 2009, excited to cut the ribbon on the firm’s new 30-unit, high-end condo building known as Garden Street Lofts.
That’s when they noticed something about the street that had been closed off for the ceremony.
“A lightbulb went off,” said David Gaber, partner and CFO of the firm, later adding: “We saw everyone out on the cobblestone street and (thought), ‘Why would we open this up to cars?’”
They never did. Instead, the developer worked with city officials to turn the space into a pedestrian plaza, which now houses a farmers market every Saturday from June to November.
“It just made a lot of sense,” Gaber said.
It was another step in building a neighborhood in the north end of Hoboken, where Bijou has also converted a former Hostess factory into a 42,000-square-foot retail center. And the firm has taken the wraps off its latest addition, a 12-story apartment building known as Park + Garden.
The project, which sits between 14th and 15th streets, features 212 units and the types of amenities that renters now expect along the Hudson River. That means everything from stainless steel appliances and outdoor party spaces to a fitness center and a high-tech automated parking garage.
But it’s Park + Garden’s “green” features that are equally important to the Hoboken-based developer. Chief among them is a vegetated rooftop terrace that will absorb storm water and ease the burden on the city’s sewer system; there’s also the state-of-the-art rooftop heating and cooling plant and cogeneration module, which uses high-pressure natural gas to produce hot water and electricity.
Matthew Testa, Bijou’s director of construction, said that allows the landlord to be ecofriendly and socially conscious, but also provides a benefit to tenants. He estimated a Park + Garden tenant could pay $100 for a monthly heating and cooling bill that could be $400 in the middle of winter — something that could go a long way in creating a sustainable neighborhood with a steady core of residents.
“That’s a green philosophy in itself, because we all know people are nomadic in the Jersey City and Hoboken areas,” Testa said, noting that moving inevitably leads to throwing things out and buying new property, sometimes unnecessarily. “Keeping people here three to five years actually has a lot of positive benefits that are more than skin-deep.”
That’s not to mention that Bijou’s development pipeline is giving new life to an area that is one of the last undeveloped frontiers in the Mile Square City.