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JCMAN320
December 21st, 2006, 03:53 AM
It's official; Ratner is coming to Hudson County to to build a tower in North Bergen according to the Jersey Journal.

N. Bergen: Tower is OK at Columbia Park mall

Thursday, December 21, 2006
By CHARLES HACK
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NORTH BERGEN - The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to approve zoning changes that will allow a major developer to build a 370-foot apartment and commercial building at Columbia Park mall on Kennedy Boulevard.

But despite asking for the zoning changes, the site's New York-based owner, Forest City Ratner, said it hasn't decided what it wants to build.

"Market conditions will dictate what is economically viable, and this rezoning gives us a range of options," said Robert Rediker, senior vice president of Forest City Ratner.

The ordinance allows the developer - which bought the mall in 1998 - to replace the struggling theater with a 25-story residential tower with 350 units atop four stories of commercial buildings. Most of the surrounding buildings reach 35 feet.

Rediker said the multiplex theater at the site had not been profitable, despite "very successful" efforts to boost attendance - including showing movies produced in India.

"We have to look for ways to reinvent this space, and that is what all this is about," said Rediker. He said that parking requirements imposed by the ordinance will limit what can be built.

Some residents have said they are concerned that a 29-story building would be out of scale for the neighborhood and fear it will clog local streets with traffic, including southbound Kennedy Boulevard, the 495 access road and nearby Kennedy Center.

Some commercial tenants who attended the meeting wanted to know how the development would affect their future at the site.

Gilbert Pirosseno, of 28th Street, said he was concerned about access of emergency vehicles and the scale of the building.

"It will look like a sore thumb sticking up there," he said.

Rediker said existing retail outlets would not be affected. And he said his company would be ready to present plans to the commercial tenants of the site by March of next year.

Existing entrances on Kennedy Boulevard and the access road on Route 495 would remain open, Rediker said.

Officials in New York yesterday also approved Forest City Ratner's massive Atlantic Yards development project in Downtown Brooklyn - which will also deliver offices, commercial space and thousands of residential units to the borough, as well as the new home for the New Jersey Nets. The team and Forest City Ratner are both owned by Bruce Ratner.

LeCom
December 29th, 2006, 12:51 PM
North Bergen, good choice - this community would be ideal for this type of project.

http://a7.cpimg.com/image/55/34/4414037-8aac-028001E0-.jpg

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 07:59 PM
^ Hulk by the river.