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Thread: Jersey City Rising

  1. #3526

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
    That whole area should be low to mid rise or 20 stories max , 25+ belongs in JSQ and along the Waterfront...its also one line of buildings so it will seem out of place....at least the way I see it... Its not like a group of buildings like in JSQ plans or along the Waterfront corridor....its a just a block by 5 blocks line along a marina...
    I'm pretty sure New Yorker's want something pretty to look at also lol, but I kinda agree with you.

  2. #3527
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCexpert558 View Post
    I'm pretty sure New Yorker's want something pretty to look at also lol, but I kinda agree with you.
    That area is also woefully inadequate to handle the larger increase in workers and population , only 2 light rail stations , an uncompleted road , narrow roads....its a disaster in the making.

  3. #3528
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Default NJ Biz Article Via Ironstate's Wordpress Blog

    (nothing really new here, but confirms a few things from previous articles)

    An Ironclad Growth Plan

    BARRY BROTHERS MAKE IRONSTATE A SUCCESS BY STICKING TO DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    By Joshua Burd

    Ironstate Development principals David, left, and Michael Barry at the site of 18 Park, a 422-unit residential building in Jersey City.




    The ability to stick to a plan has always been a key strength of David and Michael Barry. Like their father and grandfather, who founded the development business they now lead, the brothers have stayed atop the industry by staying true to a strategy of building their multifamily and mixed-use projects around the state’s bustling urban centers.

    But that hasn’t stopped Ironstate Development from evolving under the brothers’ watch. In recent years, the firm has become a player in the region’s hotel market, and the Barrys are now expanding its reach beyond traditional hubs like Hoboken and Jersey City.

    “We’re not single-family homebuilders, we’re not suburban office builders, we’re not strip mall builders or any of those things,” David Barry said from his firm’s Hoboken office. “So when you talk about what we do, which is building multifamily at scale, you need places that are going to accommodate that.”

    Multifamily has weathered the storms of the troubled real estate market, helping to expand Ironstate’s pipeline and portfolio in recent years. The development firm of about 50, which descends from the family’s Applied Housing Co., has added more than 1,600 residential units, 55,000 square feet of retail and two hotels since 2007.

    The Barrys’ firm now owns and manages more than 6,000 residential units, and has a $1 billion project pipeline that includes another 7,100 units, according to the firm. Its upcoming projects also include 193,500 square feet of retail and some 200 hotel rooms.

    Ironstate stuck to its core markets during the recession, completing the signature W Hoboken Hotel and the 93-unit Berkshire, in Hoboken, and large joint venture apartment projects like 225 Grand and 50 Columbus, in Jersey City. The firm also built and opened a luxury rental building in Harrison during the downturn, in what was the first phase of a redevelopment project with the Pegasus Group.

    “On the rental side, the economics were still there,” Michael Barry said, noting that the apartment market is “somewhat countercyclical” to condominiums. “So even though the market had fallen apart across the board, there are still opportunities for good, well-placed development, particularly in the rental sector.”

    But with space in those areas running low, Ironstate has looked toward new markets to extend its large-scale, transit-centric brand of development. In the past three years, the firm has stepped into the five boroughs of New York, where it now has seven properties or sites under development. That includes a $150 million redevelopment project on Staten Island, where plans call for transforming a former naval base into a waterfront village with 900 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail.

    The firm opened a Manhattan office in February, given that the city “fits that mold and (is) an area where we can leverage our expertise in a profitable fashion,” Michael Barry said.

    Despite being third-generation developers, David and Michael Barry said the business was never meant to be a dynasty. The South Orange natives became active with what was Applied Development Co. in the early 1990s, with David joining after a stint as a practicing attorney and Michael after finishing graduate school.

    They effectively took the reins and formed Ironstate in 2001 after their father, Joseph Barry, retired as head of the company. And while their work often overlaps, each brother as an owner has his own role: as president of Ironstate Development, David spearheads the firm’s pipeline, while Michael oversees construction and management of the firm’s portfolio as president of Ironstate Holdings LLC.

    But together, the Barrys have built the firm’s reputation for creativity and a cutting-edge approach, industry colleagues say, and Ironstate has become a sought-after partner for other developers. For instance, by year’s end, Ironstate and Edison-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. will break ground on a three-tower rental project of more than 2,000 units on the Jersey City waterfront.

    Mack-Cali CEO Mitchell Hersh, whose firm primarily develops office buildings, said the Barrys “bring a great deal of local market knowledge and experience to the table,” plus the ability to put their own equity capital into the project.

    Ironstate also is partnering with Kushner Real Estate Group, in Bridgewater, on three upcoming projects totaling 1,500 apartment units in Jersey City. Jonathan Kushner, the firm’s president, said the relationship goes back about seven years, fueled in part by the Barrys’ “forward-thinking” approach and pulse on the market.

    “In terms of apartment design and layouts, unit sizes and curb appeal, amenity spaces, lobby designs — they’re always on top of it, and they’re always ahead of the market,” Kushner said.

    The brothers also try to guide their residential projects using their hospitality experience, from revamping management systems to putting art in the lobbies.

    They have had plenty of practice in recent years, they said: Aside from the W Hoboken, Ironstate in 2009 opened the Bungalow, a boutique hotel that’s part of the ongoing Pier Village development in Long Branch. The firm also recently acquired the former Cooper Square Hotel, in Manhattan, and is renovating it in partnership with hotelier Andre Balazs. Meanwhile, in Harrison, Ironstate is preparing to break ground on a new 136-room hotel, part of its venture with Pegasus.

    The Barrys attribute their success in part to how they manage volume, through a close circle of about 10 key executives, and refusal to stray from their expertise in development. Instead, Ironstate brings in professionals in construction, architecture and marketing to cover those project phases.

    Such was the case in the early 2000s, when Ironstate set out to build the W Hoboken, one of its first hotel projects. Robert Siegel, the architect, recalled that the brothers hired a prominent consultant for Starwood’s W brand to complement their own experience in the city. Ironstate also allowed his design firm — Gwathmey, Siegel, Kaufman & Associates — to take the creative lead in the 27-story tower.
    That sort of collaboration helps lead to success, Siegel said.

    “A lot of it has to do with being intelligent enough to find the good opportunities to pursue, and then having the confidence to work with people to make it happen,” he said. “They’re great at that.”

  4. #3529

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    Not just visible from Manhattan anymore. From parts of Queens, LI, etc. you can see JC's skyscrapers poking through/above/around the gaps of Manhattan's skyline.

  5. #3530
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Cool North Downtown JC Development Continues

    Walkway Linking Second Street Light Rail to JC Heights Nearing Completion, as Pipeline Delays Nearby Park’s Construction
    By Summer Dawn Hortillosa • Sep 21st, 2012 • Category: Blog, News



    A new walkway will soon link the Second Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Hoboken to the Jersey City Heights and a future park which won’t be built until work on part of the controversial Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline is completed.

    While only a 3,300-foot portion of the walkway will be completed by the end of this year (four months ahead of schedule, according to NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder), the entire walkway will eventually allow pedestrians to travel between the station and the future Van Leer Park. The portion that will be built this year will have mulch, small shrubs and small trees that require minimal trimming or maintenance, CCTV and emergency call boxes, Snyder says. Areas where the walkway will replace city sidewalks will be concrete, while the path approaching the station will be asphalt. Snyder says there will also be a small park-like area with pavers off the main pathway. The $4.1 million project will be paid for using an earmark from the Federal Highway Transportation Fund.

    Van Leer Park, on the other hand, will most likely not be completed until 2014. The 1.5-acre recreational area is planned to be constructed near a 438-unit condominium development of the same name, which will be built on a seven-acre brownfield below the Palisades Cliffs where the former Van Leer Chocolate Factory once stood. Van Leer’s developers, the Hoboken Brownstone Company, began redeveloping the site of the old chocolate factory in September 2010.

    Van Leer Place, which is slated to begin construction by mid-2013, has been praised as a “green” building effort, with parts of the mixed-use development slated to have up to 90-percent energy savings compared to traditional buildings through the use of geothermal and solar energy. In 2010, Hoboken Brownstone received the Governor’s New Jersey Environmental Excellence Award. They also received a $3.6 million grant from PSEG’s Energy Efficiency Economic Stimulus Program for their efforts and last year, a Green Award from the city. Some of the development’s innovative features include solar panels, solar water heaters and thermally efficient concrete. When finished, Van Leer Place will be located at the base of the Palisades cliffs in the Jersey Avenue Redevelopment Zone at the northern end of downtown Jersey City.

    Van Leer Park, which is meant to complement the development, will be open to the public and include a children’s play area, a nature preserve and a dog run. To complete the project, the company will also demolish an adjacent building on city property that houses sewage tide gates. The equipment will be put underground and the property will be transformed into another recreational area.

    Hoboken Brownstone’s plans, however, are being stalled by construction on the controversial Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline. The Houston-based company got approval in May (despite protest from locals and Jersey City officials) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a pipeline through Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken to service New York City. Spectra recently acquired a parcel of land near where the park will be through eminent domain to begin installing pipes underground, says Hoboken Brownstone co-founder Daniel Gans. The last portion of the walkway, he says, won’t be finished until Spectra is finished.

    Gans says Hoboken Brownstone opposes the pipeline and the dangers it poses, but hopes that if the pipeline’s legal intervenors can’t stop Spectra in court that the company will take the appropriate safety precautions and that the line won’t affect the community negatively.

    “With infrastructure projects like this, it’s just how it is — people argue about trains, bridges, subway stations, railroads. dividing up properties. The pipeline, to me, is similar to that,” he says. “We joined in on fight with all the communities to say, Why are you doing this here, isn’t there another place to go? No one wants it right there. You just hope with technology that all these things… are built to the highest of standards.”

    While Snyder says NJ Transit currently only has plans for the 3,300-foot portion to the Heights this year and 400 more feet to Van Leer Park when the development is closer to completion, Gans says ideas have been tossed around about extending the walkway as far as Newport Green or even to a proposed 18th Street Light Rail Station. Snyder says there has been discussion about the benefits of such a station, but NJ Transit has no plans to build one at this time.

    Spectra Energy’s construction work has also affected others in the area. For example, Liberty Humane Society only recently made sure their operations would not be affected by pipeline construction under their back lot after talks with Spectra. Snyder says that Spectra’s construction is not affecting any of NJ Transit’s plans or operations.

    Rendering of Van Leer Place from Hoboken Brownstone Company

    http://www.jerseycityindependent.com...-construction/

  6. #3531
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation Liberty Harbor North Overhauled

    Liberty Harbor North Gets a Zoning Overhaul; Move Would Bring More Skyscrapers and a Long-Awaited Hotel to Downtown
    By Matt Hunger • Sep 28th, 2012 • Category: Featured, News, Politics



    The Liberty Harbor North redevelopment plan, 12 years old and long stale by city planning standards, is on its way towards significant revision thanks to a zoning amendment approved Thursday by the City Council at a vote of 6-2. The amendments will affect the Tidewater Basin area of the plan, permitting significantly taller buildings near Liberty State Park, while also changing the specifications of the long-stalled Tramz Hotel in Downtown Jersey City and the residential property that surrounds it.

    The more contentious of the changes, at least as far as council objections went, were the zoning changes to the hotel and its surrounding lands. The hotel was first announced in 2009 as an ambitious project of more than 500 hotel units and 300 residential units to be owned and operated by the Murad family. However, the land required significant environmental remediation, a lengthy process that slowed development and called for an $8 million federal loan backed by the city.

    At Thursday’s meeting, attorney Jim McCann (shown at left), a close runner up to Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis in City Council appearances, says the amendment is necessary to make the project “feasible” for developer Fisher Development Associates (FDA) to sign on and help the Murads make the hotel a reality. The Murads would remain the owners and operators of the hotel, said McCann, but the Fishers would assume the surrounding residential property and help construct the hotel itself. The changes gave more density to the residential part of the project and cut the hotel in half.

    This change, said developer Brian Fisher of FDA, “guaranteed” that the $8 million government-issued Section 108 loan would be repaid within three months. That money, which is backed by the city, was lent more than three years ago and would be returned to the city’s Community Development Building Grant (CDBG) fund to be used in future projects.

    “If this was six years ago, the Murad family would have been able to build the hotel already,” said Council President Peter Brennan. But the economy “went downhill,” he said — a hurdle cited by many developers.

    “The most important thing is the 108 loan will come back and can go to CDBG to pay for other projects coming in and looking for funding,” said Brennan. A 108 loan is money granted by U.S. Housing and Urban Development to aid in the economic development of an area. Although the money comes from HUD, a municipality has to back the loan itself, thereby putting pressure on the city when it backs a development project.

    Second most important, by Brennan’s estimates, would be the other benefit to the city: the city’s hotel tax generated over $6 million last year, which suggests the city could use another hotel, particularly downtown where he said the Hyatt has been operating at near-full occupancy.


    At-Large Councilman Rolando Lavarro and Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop voted against the measure, however, describing the property as being “flipped” at the expense of the taxpayers. Ward C Councilwoman Nidia Lopez was absent.

    “The Murad family is getting a huge windfall from this sale,” Fulop said, “but that money should go to the taxpayers.”

    The councilman said the taxpayers “cleared the property of pollutants” by lending the Murads the city-backed loan. “And then the city proposes to give [a] density bonus so the developer can flip it to a large Healy donor.”

    But the Fishers, who have a positive reputation among many on the council as well as the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, gave the project the legitimacy it needed, according to Ward B Councilman David Donnelly.

    Donnelly, who noted he voted against the project the first time around, said he was more confident it would actually be completed now, a sentiment echoed by At-Large Councilwoman Viola Richardson.

    The Murad family bought the property for about $12 million from the city back in 2009; by comparison, Fulop said an adjacent and similarly situated property sold for $21 million. With the future Tramz Hotel property now remediated, it would likely be worth much more, thereby opening the possibility that it could be flipped for a profit.

    Fulop further alleged that the Murad family was in violation of the redevelopment agreement by missing deadlines written into the plan.

    But redevelopment agency head Robert Antonicello said the Murads’ minor violations were neither unusual nor egregious and shouldn’t be a sticking point in moving the project forward.

    “Since 2006, a lot of folks were in active discussion with the Murads about a joint venture for purchasing the site,” Antonicello told JCI. “It’s a prime site but they had difficulty building on it because of the economic downturn in ’08.”

    McCann had also insisted a second developer was going to be part of the residential portion of the project from the beginning.

    “Every contract has a timeframe to build and [the Murads'] timeframe had slipped in terms of certain permits,” Antonicello acknowledged. “But over the past 24 months, [the Murads] worked to try to partner with an existing developer, someone with a track record.” They apparently found this in FDA.


    But Fulop remains skeptical. “In order to circumvent the redevelopment agreement for the property, [the Murads are] taking a minority stake so they can say it’s a joint venture,” he said at the meeting. “When residents ask why taxes increase, it’s decisions like this that rob them blind.”

    At the caucus meeting on Monday, Fulop noted that the Fishers had donated to the Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s 2009 mayoral bid. According to ELEC, which publishes campaign finance information, four Fishers from Fisher Development had contributed $8,100 to the campaign. Turrunumn Murad, one of the owners of the site, contributed $5,100 to Healy’s campaign between 2006 and 2007. Fulop stopped short of saying anything was done illegally, however.

    ELEC records show that Fulop received just $400 from Fisher in 2009, as it turns out, but nothing from Murad.

    Fulop further noted that Fisher Development “is the same donor that caused the Hovnanian settlement that got the sweetheart deal at Crystal Point. http://www.jerseycityindependent.com...r-k-hovnanian/

    The Hovnanian settlement was, incidentally, approved at Thursday’s meeting at the same 6-2 vote as this amendment.

    “This [is] the same as the city financing renovations, increasing density, and using all its powers to ensure a developer makes money while allowing them to renege on their commitment,” Fulop said.

    But city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said Brian Fisher “has a proven track record of residential development in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, and he and the Murads will be developing the Tramz Hotel and adjacent residential properties.”

    “The Planning Board is recommending to the City Council that the redevelopment plans be modified to accommodate additional density while creating a sense of neighborhood and preserving lines of sight,” he said.

    Fulop further took aim at his fellow council members who he says flip-flopped on the vote after speaking with the mayor or McCann “one-on-one.”

    “Two council people were appointed to this council who were rubber stamps and looked out for mayor’s best interest and not the taxpayers,” said Fulop, “but they’re no longer on the council.”

    Brennan took issue with being called a rubber stamp, resulting in in an unintelligible shout-fest between the councilmen.

    The second component to the amendment, which would allow for 55-story buildings where previously only 16-story buildings were permitted, would create what City Planner Bob Cotter has called Jersey City’s “Central Park West.”

    This proposal, which was originally approved in 2009, would only “shift density,” not increase it, but it would create an additional 1,900 units by shrinking the size of a unit from an average of 1,400-square-foot two- or three-bedroom units to 1,000-square-foot one-bedrooms or studios. It would also establish three modest-sized privately-owned but public-use parks. The changes in unit size reflect the housing market, said City Planner Bob Cotter.

    Not only will the new plan have a smaller footprint, he added, it will make better use of the waterfront. “The buildings will be set back like in Asbury Park, so the view is better.” The changes would include the widening of both Marin Boulevard and Park Avenue North in the Liberty Harbor North redevelopment area.

    The original plan for LHN created back in 2000 came from renowned architect Andres Duany. But Cotter said that Duany’s plan was no longer appropriate for the area or the market. The cost of the 1,400-square-foot units would end up costing between $3,500 and $4,000 to rent, he said, far more than the single bedroom and studio units that he estimated costing $1,800 or slightly more.

    “These would be for kids just out college who have their first job,” said Cotter. The Duany plan was too Florida-centric, he added, where space and rent is cheaper.

    Antonicello, however, has been vocally critical of the change in plans, saying it was turning the city into a “bedroom community” for New York City. “We want to build communities here,” he said, noting homeowners with families will contribute much more to the city than transient commuters.

    The zoning amendment was tabled in 2009 because previous Business Administrator Brian O’Reilly and Antonicello were concerned about the then-unresolved settlement between the Kerrigan family, the JCRA, and main LHN redeveloper, Peter Mocco. That has since been resolved, but only after some unorthodox strategic maneuvers, such as Mocco’s decision to file for bankruptcy. That decision, Mocco has said, was necessary so a court could resolve an issue with a property title, which was in fact resolved not long after the filing.

    The council had no strong opinions on this change either way, based on the lack of discussion at the meeting.

    Photos by Steve Gold

    http://www.jerseycityindependent.com...l-to-downtown/

  7. #3532

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
    That area is also woefully inadequate to handle the larger increase in workers and population , only 2 light rail stations , an uncompleted road , narrow roads....its a disaster in the making.
    That's true, but its never stopped developers in the past...

  8. #3533
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    This is a big problem with Jersey along the Hudson in general. Many of the streets and even blocks are tiny.

  9. #3534

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    Quote Originally Posted by stache View Post
    This is a big problem with Jersey along the Hudson in general. Many of the streets and even blocks are tiny.
    I agree. Parts of Jersey City's waterfront contain some of the oldest settlements in New Jersey and it shows in some areas of the street network.

  10. #3535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don31 View Post
    That's true, but its never stopped developers in the past...
    Well Jersey City needs to upgrade its streets and roads , I escort a few Eldery Residents around the city and the Downtown Streets are like Freeways and put people second to cars...there are no islands on Christopher DR , and the signals are poorly planned on Washington...the sidewalks are suburban sized on Grand and Traffic flies by at 50mph... It takes me 5 mins to cross Grand due to nobody slowing... There needs to be Traffic Calming on all streets and roads like in Hoboken and Newark.... Most cities and large towns have done this , but not Jersey City for some reason...and people are dying...I think theres more deaths Downtown then in Journal SQ or the Heights...

  11. #3536

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    Quote Originally Posted by stache View Post
    This is a big problem with Jersey along the Hudson in general. Many of the streets and even blocks are tiny.
    That's a good thing. Urban areas should have narrow streets and small blocks.

    I don't want superblocks and superhighways destroying the urban environment. That's the difference between Hoboken and Paramus.

  12. #3537
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    Thanks for sharing.

  13. #3538

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    That's a good thing. Urban areas should have narrow streets and small blocks.

    I don't want superblocks and superhighways destroying the urban environment. That's the difference between Hoboken and Paramus.
    You're comparing apples to oranges. Hoboken is the way it is because it was settled several hundred years ago, before the automobile, when everything had to be close by. Shortly after Paramus was carved out of farmland, the George Washington Bridge opened and the automobile era took off. After World War II there was an explosion of suburbanization and towns were laid out to serve the automobile.

    Disclaimer: I too think urban areas are a good thing, I'm merely making a statement.

  14. #3539
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Don, nice try, but Schwarz is just looking for an argument.

  15. #3540

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    Quote Originally Posted by stache View Post
    Don, nice try, but Schwarz is just looking for an argument.

    Thanks stache. I'm just trying to be rational here.

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