With the temperature well into the 80’s on a sunny day this week, the temptation was strong to test the limits of the developer’s hospitality during a media tour of the Cast Iron Lofts II building and dive right into the pool.
But that might have meant missing developer Lou Mont’s explanation of why he and his partners chose to construct a new building from the ground up with touches making it look like — or at least, evoking — an old warehouse.
“What we’re trying to create is a bit of a historic neighborhood,” said Mont, a partner at Manhattan Building Company, which built Cast Iron I and then II in a former industrial warren at the base of the Palisades between Hoboken and the New Jersey Turnpike Extension ramp to the Holland Tunnel. “It’s a blend of historic and new structures. But we’re using materials and finishes that lend themselves to the older, industrial look. We have the Statco Warehouse in the neighborhood, it’s also part of the history. The original Emerson Radio Company. So we wanted to blend in with that type of a motif.”
Mayor Steven Fulop, who later that afternoon cut a ceremonial red ribbon at the building’s Coles Street entrance, accompanied Mont on the tour. Fulop called the Cast iron project “phenomenal.”
“I think that you had a neighborhood here that languished behind some of the other developments down here, and they’ve started to invest serious dollars here in an effort to change this entire area of Jersey City, where we have more and more developers looking at it,” Fulop said. “And I think a lot of the people we’re attracting here, both from across the river and other areas of New Jersey are attracted to this industrial type of feel. They like this sort of building, and then when you look at all the amenities, I think it’s hard not to feel this would be a great place to call home.”