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Thread: Harrison Redevelopment

  1. #526

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    Panasonic plan might give Harrison a break from bad news

    Eliot Caroom/Star-Ledger StaffPanasonic plans a new technology center by Red Bull Arena in Harrison.
    The last few decades have been a roller coaster ride for Harrison, the former industrial locus that's trying to attract new economic life.
    It's been a long effort, according to Mayor Raymond McDonough, elected in 1994 to replace legendary Harrison Mayor Frank E. Rodgers, who'd held the office for 48 years.
    There have been ups: the promise of a film studio spending around $100 million to move to town, and the opening of the Red Bulls' soccer stadium. Then came the downs: the film studio canceled its plan and went bust. The nearly $40 million in public investment that brought the Red Bulls to town led to credit rating downgrades to junk status.
    Although Moody's upgraded Harrison's credit rating last month, the broader junk status stands, and the agency pointed to several reasons why: significant debt with high annual debt service, a low balance of funds and deliquent property taxes from Red Bull Arena.
    Now, though, it again seems glimmers of good news are cutting through the gloom.
    In April, there was news that Harrison's PATH station will get a $256 million overhaul beginning in January, and this May there was the Moody's upgrade, plus approvals for a new mixed-use complex featuring housing -- and a new business location for Japanese electronics giant Panasonic.
    Panasonic plans to build a 58,600-square-foot technology complex by Red Bull Arena, a short PATH train ride from its planned corporate headquarters in Newark, which will have moved from Secaucus.
    The technology center, approved last month by the Harrison Planning Board will include nearly 50,000 square feet on the ground floor, plus a mezzanine level and attached parking for 60 cars.
    "I welcome the addition of Panasonic to Harrison, that's for sure," said McDonough. "The prestige of this brand will mean a great deal to our redevelopment area. It means tax ratables and employment opportunities for our residents."
    The building will be wedged in between Harrison's rail line and a cathedral-like warehouse festooned with Red Bulls banners that serves these days as a garage for commuters and soccer fans.
    "Having the technology center in Harrison, which is right around the corner, so to speak is also a great move because now everything is closer together," said dt ogilvie, a professor at Rutgers Business School in Newark. "It's convenient for everybody. The locations are great because we have a train system which is easy to navigate."
    Panasonic's wasn't the only site permit awarded by the planning board last month, McDonough said: Russo Development, which will build the Panasonic project, also got the green light to build 340 units of housing and 13,000 square feet of commercial space nearby.
    McDonough said the Panasonic facility will bring construction jobs plus 56 permanent jobs with it, and said it may kick-start other commercial developments.
    "I'm looking to get retail, I'm looking to get commercial and this may open it up," McDonough said.
    Most of the future technology center is currently gravel and weeds, but at least one warehouse will be displaced: the home of Hawks Express, a pharmaceutical and chemical shipping company owned by Neil Villacari, who's been in the business 43 years.
    "Yello, Hawks," Villacari answers his phone, taking a break from pecking at his electric typewriter.
    After the call, Villacari said he has moved his business four times in the last few decades, from Kearny to Belleville to Clifton to Harrison.
    "Every place we went, they knocked it down and put up condos," Villacari said.
    But he doesn't begrudge the Panasonic project.
    "It's good for the town, it's good for everything," he said. "They're developing a town that's basically died.
    "Eventually all these (warehouse) areas will be gone."
    "I want to come back in 10 years and see it all done. It's gonna be beautiful."
    Eliot Caroom: (973) 392-7919, ecaroom@starledger.com and @eliotter on Twitter



  2. #527

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    Does anyone feel its going to get too cramped around the PATH station?
    http://www.mwilkconsulting.com/image...015%202012.pdf

    There are already cars parked on Somerset St, waiting to pick up passengers from the PATH train which block the incoming/outgoing traffic. They should do something about those who keep blocking the already narrow road.

  3. #528
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    This is going to turn into a small nightmare.

  4. #529

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    Anybody have a plan that shows how the Panasonic Tech Center will sit on the site?

    Side note: hoping that one day, the big warehouse next to where the Tech Center is proposed will be repurposed into some spectacular retail hub. Would be a shame for the town to lose all of its industrial past. That building refurbished would be a great monument to the town's former glory.

  5. #530
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Hey arcman - if you're talking about the warehouse I think you're talking about, the current plan is to convert that to a structured parking garage. As far as the tech center is concerned, you can check the Hudson County Planning Board website mid-July for the meeting minutes from the June 20th meeting...the board usually asks for a detailed description of how new buildings will be situated on development sites (or go to the meeting in person of course...they take place in JC).

    Quick update from Saturday 6/16:

    400 President Street (East Newark):
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    Hartz Site:
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    Signage goes up for the new Pronto Marketplace:
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    In addition, there are several fresh survey markings at the Element Hotel site...stay tuned.
    Last edited by West Hudson; June 17th, 2012 at 11:19 PM.

  6. #531
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Another quick update for 400 President Street. This building will go a long way in redefining this stretch, and should lead to further redevelopment within the coming years.

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  7. #532
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    What can we expect to develop in this part of Harrison / East Newark over the next decade?

  8. #533

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    I am looking thoughts on buying a condo at River Park at Harrison with intent to live there for 5 years. Is the company building new condos?
    Last edited by sleiveen; July 9th, 2012 at 08:06 AM.

  9. #534

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    Thoughts on buying a condo at the River Park at Harrison with the intent to live/rent for 5 years in light of new developments around the town, locking low interest rate, real-estate market at almost nadir, and inflation.?
    Last edited by sleiveen; June 25th, 2012 at 04:19 PM.

  10. #535
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleiveen View Post
    Thoughts on buying a condo at the River Park at Harrison with an intent to live there for 5 years? Is the company building new condos? Is it worth it given the ongoing expansion of Harrison?
    Riverpark will still be a long-term grade investment property 5 years from now, so you probably won't be able to make a big profit if you intend to flip a unit at that point. It will take at least another 15 years to build out the Harrison Commons promenade stretching from F.E. Rodgers to First Street, where Riverpark is located, and once this is complete, Riverpark values should be much higher than they are now. The plan as of right now for the rest of the site is to build another 6 buildings out as rentals, with the next two breaking ground in August or September and completion scheduled for July 2013. Those two will be built with condo-like finishes, and the developer is leaving a conversion to condominiums open as a possibility in the future.

    I will say that Riverpark has a high cap rate compared to properties in downtown Jersey City & Hoboken. So if you're going to purchase a unit and rent it out, Riverpark is not a bad place to do so.

  11. #536

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    I wonder whether it's worth buying riverpark as an investment property? How hard would it be to find tenants? On Craigslist these units go for $1,900 - $2,000

  12. #537

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    See below the photos of my recent rumblings in Harrison.
    Aside of proximity to NYC, comparative to the rest of central and south NJ, Harrison is still a shit-hole. I lived at Riverpark for one year (Jan 2008 thru Jan 2009).

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  13. #538
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Still better than Newark, and you didn't post any photos of the rather charming CBD.

  14. #539

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    I believe Harrison is actually one of the best investments for the potential. Anyone getting in now will probably reap the benefits...if you wait until everything looks nice, then the premiums will kick in. JC and Hoboken are no longer affordable and the PATH makes the commute from Harrison to NYC almost as if it's another borough...actually in many cases it's even a shorter commute.

    -----JT-----

  15. #540
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    Hopefully Harrison doesn't become as expensive as JC or Hoboken.

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