New York Post: Jersey City’s charm, real estate boom lure NYC transplants


Native Edwin Blanco — pictured at new condo 99 Hudson, where he works — has seen his hometown change.

The emerging skyline of Jersey City may be starting to resemble its Manhattan counterpart across the river, but don’t you dare call it Gotham’s sixth borough.

“One thing we don’t want to be is the annex of New York City,” says Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop.

(Fulop spoke to The Post in October, before the tragic events of this week, when a police officer and three bystanders were killed in an attack on a kosher grocer.)

In terms of real estate, it’s hard not to notice the striking similarities on either side of the Hudson River as soaring towers compete for airspace.


A rapid boom in new construction is redefining Jersey City’s waterfront as the city enjoys an architectural and civic renaissance that Fulop says is primarily driven by its adjacency to New York and efficient public transit, with numerous ferry terminals and PATH train stations.

But Fulop emphasizes that the enclave of about 300,000 — which has for years attracted thriving immigrant populations while also being dubbed “Wall Street West” — special.

New rental and condo towers like 99 Hudson, the Ellipse, 235 Grand, Journal Squared, and Urby, among others, have helped refashion Jersey City’s downtown.

A sales manager at the under-construction 99 Hudson condo, Edwin Blanco, 34, is a bona fide native who has watched it grow — literally — over the years. “I know a lot of people who’ve moved away from home because they wanted change,” he says. “I got that throughout my life because the neighborhood was constantly changing. I felt like I grew up with my hometown.”


Jersey Digs: Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects Named “Firm of the Year”

Mhs Architects 2019 Aia Firm Of The Year Award

Hudson County-based Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects (MHS Architects) was just named “Firm of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey Chapter. The award was announced as part of AIA’s 2019 Service Awards and the honor distinguishes MHS Architects for their work as well as their success and significant expansion over the past year.

MHS Architects has offices in Hoboken and Jersey City’s Journal Square and has been a premier architecture, planning, and urban design firm for decades, specializing in residential and mixed-use multi-family developments anywhere from four to forty stories throughout New Jersey.

“We’re incredibly honored and appreciative to receive such a prestigious award,” said Founding Principal Dean Marchetto, FAIA, who has led the firm for its nearly 40 years in operation, in a prepared statement.

“This is a tribute to our entire team of architects, planners, and staff in recognition of their exemplary efforts to serve our development clients in award-winning fashion. Their unwavering dedication and commitment to both design and community building has allowed us to expand our scope of services and enter many new and exciting markets throughout the state. Their creativity and tireless work ethic have us well-positioned for continued growth in the years to come.”

Mhs Architects Nine On The Hudson West New York

Nine on the Hudson, West New York. Image courtesy Cahn Communications

The demand for a walkable urban lifestyle continues to grow and as a result, city centers are experiencing significant redevelopment. Real estate developers, including KRE Group and Toll Brothers City Living®, have relied on MHS Architects’ expertise and innovative solutions to transform areas into sustainable neighborhoods. Recent noteworthy projects are K. Hovnanian Homes’ Nine on the Hudson in West New York and Roseland Residential Trust’s Metropolitan Lofts in Morristown. And to match this demand, MHS Architects increased its size by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019.


Asbury Park Press: Veterans’ memorial is centerpiece of East Gate Park at former Fort Monmouth

A new veteran's memorial dedicated to those who served at Fort Monmouth is at the center of East Gate Park in Oceanport. The park was dedicated on Nov. 4, 2019.

A new veteran’s memorial dedicated to those who served at Fort Monmouth is at the center of East Gate Park in Oceanport. The park was dedicated on Nov. 4, 2019.

OCEANPORT – A humble, yet sturdy veterans’ memorial has been erected at the newly opened East Gate Park, an open-space of manicured lawns, pedestrian pathways and gardens on former Fort Monmouth land.

The memorial and park pay homage to the history of Fort Monmouth — which opened in 1917 as a U.S. Signal Corps base, and closed in 2011, a victim of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.

The act created the framework by which the U.S. closed hundreds of military installations in the post-Cold War era.

East Gate Park is at the center of East Gate Oceanport, rows of red brick townhomes, and duplexes that are refurbished officer homes and part of the fort’s second life in the private sector.

The developer of East Gate Oceanpoort is RPM Development. The group collaborated with veterans, Fort Monmouth’s economic redevelopment team, Palermo Edwards Architecture and Design 446 on the memorial and park.

“They bridged the folks that used to live and work here with the folk who live and work here now,” said retired Lt. Colonel John E. Occhipinti at a well-attended dedication for the memorial last week.

Occhipinti who served at the fort from 1999 to 2003, and later oversaw the fort’s closing as director for plans, training, mobilization and training.


NEW YORK YIMBY: YIMBY Scopes Views From 99 Hudson Street As Completion Nears, In Jersey City

Lower Manhattan. Photo by Michael Young

Work on the exterior of 99 Hudson Street is nearing completion. The external mechanical hoist has been dismantled and the remaining Jura limestone and glass panels are filling up the vertical strips in the curtain wall of Jersey City‘s tallest skyscraper. Designed by Perkins Eastman and developed by COA 99 Hudson, LLC, the topped-out 900-foot-tall residential tower soars prominently above the Hudson River waterfront and is clearly visible from Manhattan. Plaza Construction is in charge of building the 79-story project and Vidaris is overseeing the exterior envelope. The perimeter of the podium that contains the parking garage is also being enclosed with decorative metal panels.


99 Hudson Street. Photo by Michael Young



99 Hudson Street. Photo by Michael Young



99 Hudson Street. Photo by Michael Young


YIMBY went to the top of the skyscraper earlier this year, and returned recently to take in the views during golden hour. The views of Lower Manhattan and the Financial District is unrivaled and unobstructed. Future residents can also see Hudson Yards, Billionaires’ Row, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the growing NoMad residential towers, the World Trade Center and Brookfield Place directly across the water, Long Island City, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and the rest of New Jersey to the west. There is even a clear view of the partially opened American Dream Mall.


The World Trade Center. Photo by Michael Young



One World Trade Center. Photo by Michael Young



The Financial District. Photo by Michael Young



Downtown Brooklyn in the background. Photo by Michael Young



56 Leonard Street. Photo by Michael Young



Midtown. Photo by Michael Young


The Empire State Building, 432 Park Avenue, and One Vanderbilt. Photo by Michael Young

Looking west. Photo by Michael Young

Journal Squared. Photo by Michael Young

The American Dream Mall. Photo by Michael Young

The Statue of Liberty. Photo by Michael Young

Prices for the 781 homes range from $550,000 for studios to more than $4,000,000 for penthouse units offering up to 2,500 square feet of living space. In addition to the expansive top-floor penthouse residences, there are a select  select number homes that offer balconies. 99 Hudson Street has seen a total of 61 units under contract from June 1 to October 17 of this year, according to the building’s exclusive marketing and sales agent The Marketing Directors.

“99 Hudson has successfully tapped into a broad spectrum of buyers, which includes those already living in Jersey City, as well as savvy buyers from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island City who are taking advantage of the iconic building’s compelling value when compared with similar offerings across the Hudson River,” said Xiaocheng Zhou, president of COA 99 Hudson, LLC, the building’s developer. “The comparative value is further enhanced when considering all that 99 Hudson has to offer, including an iconic design, extraordinary residences, exclusive amenities, unparalleled views, and a vibrant, downtown waterfront location with convenient ferry, rail, and car access to Manhattan.”


Wall Street Journal: New Yorkers Cross the River for Smaller Spaces in Big Buildings

Young professionals splurge on studio units in decked-out Jersey City towers

The 46-story 235 Grand Street includes a top-floor studio apartment with one of the best views in the building. PHOTO: JOSE A. ALVARADO JR. FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Manhattanites looking for more space for their money have for years defected to Jersey City.

But what is drawing them across the river lately are compact studios in Manhattan-style luxury buildings.

Jersey City developers are betting that filling buildings with more studio apartments will pay off, as tenants trade personal space for high-end amenities like shared lounges, co-working areas and Zen gardens, at a price that comes cheaper than would larger, one-bedroom units.

At some luxury buildings, the studios are the main attraction.

“Studios are no longer relegated to the lower floors of a building or shoehorned in where larger apartments wouldn’t work,” said Jacqueline Urgo, president of new development advisory company The Marketing Directors, who worked with the developers of the 46-story 235 Grand Street, where 425-square-foot studios start at $2,850 a month.

Nearly half the renters come from New York City, she said.

“We have a studio on the top floor with perhaps the best southern view of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor in the entire building,” Ms. Urgo said.

A studio apartment at 235 Grand Street with views of Manhattan. PHOTO: JOSE A. ALVARADO JR. FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Michael Barry, the president and chief executive of Ironstate Development Co., which co-built 235 Grand with KRE Group, said he has gradually included more studios in his developments in recent years, after noticing leasing patterns at one of his earlier Jersey City buildings, which had fewer studios than his more recent projects.

“We would have almost no turnover in studios, or if we did, they would go immediately…whereas we might have standing inventory of one-bedrooms at certain periods of time,” Mr. Barry said.

Other new buildings under construction in Jersey City offer more studios than any other unit type. In the last phase of the Enclave, a three-building rental development led by BNE Real Estate Group, 65% of the 238 apartments will be studios.


Forbes: Hot New York Metro Properties

Here are a few hot luxury real estate properties making noise in New York City metropolitan area.

235 Grand (Jersey City)

Jersey City’s 235 Grand is a 46-story modern glass luxury tower by HLW that’s part of the city’s changing architectural skyline. Designed by HLW and developed by Ironstate Development Company and KRE Group, the rental building features 549 contemporary residences and amenity spaces designed by Bentel & Bentel.

The building offers dramatic views, marbleized baths, and sleek kitchens with quartz countertops, mosaic backsplashes and stainless steel appliances.

Residences range from studios (from $2,800s), 1 bedrooms (from $3,100s) and two bedrooms (from around $5,000), offering vistas of Manhattan, New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

The building includes 1,705 square feet of street-level retail space and will see future public green spaces added around the surrounding neighborhood. The tower is 75% leased, with half of those renters hailing from New York’s five boroughs.

Amenities include an attended lobby, gym, resident lounge, co-working spaces, and a landscaped rooftop terrace with swimming pool, movie screen, fire pit, barbecues, and showers. There’s also a kid’s playground, dog run, and bike storage. The property rests on the former site of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County. The developers built a new Boys & Girls Club spanning 34,000 square feet.


Fairfield County Business Journal: Urby Stamford replaces infamous ‘hole in the ground’

Urby Stamford

Stamford’s notorious “hole in the ground” is no more.

Almost exactly two years since ground was broken on the long-vacant site at the corner of Greyrock Place and Tresser Boulevard, Urby Stamford is open for business. The $200 million residential development — the result of a joint venture between Ironstate Development Co. and Brookfield Property Group — came in on budget and “mostly on schedule,” according to Ironstate President David Barry.

Barry said residents began moving in last month.

“It’s been really exciting so far,” he said, noting that Urby signed about 30 leases in its first three weeks. Interest in the 464 units that are available has been high, Barry said.

That statement was confirmed by Leasing Manager Alexandra Novoa, who said that along with General Manager Jason Pennypacker and Property Manager Casey Craig, has been leading daily tours around the complex at a rate of about 10 a day.

Though marketed primarily to 20- and 30-somethings, Urby has drawn “a really diverse mix,” Pennypacker said. “We’ve been getting really great feedback so far.”

“Typically, families are looking for more space and houses,” Barry said. “So the Urbys tend to draw the younger end of the spectrum. But all are welcome.”

He noted that inquiries have come from Westchester County, Boston and even Nashville. “There are a lot of people either looking to relocate or whose company is relocating them,” he said.

Urby Stamford is the fourth Urby development to be completed, following Staten Island, Jersey City and Harrison, New Jersey. Barry said Urbys are in the works for Dallas and Washington, D.C.

While all share some design elements, each Urby is designed to be “unique to the ethos of the area,” the developer continued. “Stamford has a mix of five- and seven-story buildings, and Jersey City is 69 stories tall,” he noted.

Urby Stamford technically consists of 11 buildings, though they are all interconnected, sharing a common underground parking area. The project’s second and final phase, which will add 184 units in its two remaining buildings, will begin in January and take about 15 months to complete, Barry said.


Real Estate Weekly: 235 Grand pushing the boundaries as urbanites stretch out

Kushner and Ironstate have created adaptable community space that’s suited to work and play.

Jonathan Kushner’s Grandma used to tell him, “When things are going right, don’t ask why.”

But when asked why his newest Jersey City rental had leased up 75 percent of its 549 units in just four months, he couldn’t resist: “The Grove Street neighborhood, leading into Liberty Harbor, is the best neighborhood in Jersey City.

“You’ve really got everything at your fingertips. City Hall sits at the center of the community and all around you’ve got parks, hospitals, schools, transportation and more nightlife than you know what to do with. The neighborhood has really matured into a fantastic place to live and that’s why we are here.”

Kushner calls 235 Grand Street “the capstone” of the three projects Kushner Real Estate Group (KRE) and Ironstate Development Company have jointly developed within the Liberty Harbor North Redevelopment Area, following 225 Grand and 18 Park.

Two of the most active companies in Jersey City, KRE is also developing the three-building Journal Squared and 351 Marin Boulevard, while Ironstate recently completed The Columbus Collection adjacent to the Grove Street PATH Station.

More than two decades in the making, Liberty Harbor North is turning into everything its architects hoped, or, as the city’s planning director at the time said, “One hell of a development project.”

Now comprised of dozens of buildings across 80 acres of formerly derelict industrial land on the edge of the tidewater basin at Liberty State Park, the high-density neighborhood is fed by a network of ferries, light rail, subways and highways and seems as integrated with old Jersey City as it does separated.

The 46-story 235 Grand and its high-rise neighbors look out over the low-rise downtown of historic Brownstones and two-families that make up Paulus Hook and Van Vorst Park. On a clear day, you can see as far as the GW and Verrazano bridges and, of course there’s the bird’s eye view of Liberty State Park, Ellis and Liberty islands and the Manhattan skyline.
Nearby, the local Restaurant Row has everything from pizzerias to cocktail lounges, craft brew spots to Korean barbecue peppered along a pedestrianized section of Newark Avenue where you can sit on a rooftop or street bench and admire The Jersey City Wave, a giant mural by Shepard Fairey.


The Star Ledger Highlights Gold Coast Signature Properties

The Star Ledger recently published its fall Gold Coast Living section highlighting signature properties in Hudson County, NJ.  We were proud to have nine buildings featured in the section, including 7 Seventy House in Hoboken, 99 Hudson, 235 Grand, BeLa, and The Enclave in Jersey City, Skye Lofts South and Harbor Station South in Bayonne, Henley on Hudson in Weehwaken and One Park in Cliffside Park.



Forbes: Rutherford, New Jersey: A Small Village With A Big Downtown

Forbes’ Keith Flamer beautifully captures Rutherford, NJ’s small-town charm and robust downtown which now features a new modern living option, The Parker, from our client Vango Development.

Built by Vango Development and designed by The Childs Dreyfus Group (CDG), the building offers 52 contemporary units—10 studios ($1,700s), 33 one-bedrooms ($2,300s), and nine two-bedroom units ($3,000s). Just six weeks on the market, The Parker is already 75% leased.

Spacious apartments boast high ceilings, oversized windows, in-home washer-dryers, custom closets, and gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. The Parker also includes a modern lobby, gym, and a resident lounge (with shuffleboard, pool table and big screen TV)–no amenity fees.

The pet-friendly property occupies a former dormant space the width of a city block, with a main Park Avenue entrance, back exit private parking garage, bike storage, and future health-fitness street-level retail (likely a juice bar, coffee shop, yoga studio). Phase 2 of The Parker begins in 2020.


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