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‘Lofty’ notions on the waterfront

 

Photos by Ron Leir Top: Artist’s view of proposed complex. Bottom: Layout of courtyard pool area.

Photos by Ron Leir
Top: Artist’s view of proposed complex. Bottom: Layout of courtyard pool area.

 

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent

HARRISON –

Chalk up another waterfront redevelopment project approved for Harrison.

Advance at Harrison LLC of Bedminster proposes to build a mixed-use project on a three-acre vacant lot at 1100 S. Fifth St. – also known in the redevelopment district as Parcel D – that sits just west of the Red Bull Arena.

Plans for the four-phase development were green-lighted by the Harrison Planning Board on Sept. 24.

Advance developer Peter Cocoziello proposes to put up five buildings, three of which will contain residential loft apartments, one with a fitness center and restaurant, and one that will be a parking garage. Some retail space, a courtyard pool and basement-level parking will also be part of the mix.

Assuming full build-out, within nearly four years, the project would be valued at between $160 million and $170 million and, factoring in the abatement agreement already approved by the town, would generate between $1.3 million and $1.4 million in annual payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT), according to Mayor Ray McDonough.

A total of 345 rental apartments spread among three five-story buildings, 5,400 square feet of retail confined to one of the three buildings, a 7,980 square foot two-story structure with a fitness center open to the public and a 212- seat restaurant that will offer 36 additional seats for outdoor dining, and a 305-space garage are projected.

Because the deck parking structure won’t be built until the last phase of construction, Advance has contracted with J. Supor & Son Trucking & Rigging to lease off-site parking for the tenants to meet the zoning requirements, at the rate of 99 during Phase 1, 72 additional spaces for Phase 2, 72 more for part of Phase 3 and 60 more during Phase 4. Each phase is expected to take 13 to 15 months to complete.

Tenants who choose to use those off-site spaces will be charged a fee for that parking, separately from their monthly apartment lease, according to an addendum to the Advance application filed with the Planning Board.

Phase 1 will see construction of the first residential building with a total of 139 apartments: 45 studios, 81 one-bedrooms and 13 two-bedrooms, plus 49 basement and courtyard parking spaces, various retail shops, a fitness center just for residents, a leasing office that may later be converted to retail space, and a courtyard pool.

With Phase 2 will come a second residential building of 103 apartments, comprising 30 studios, 63 one-bedrooms and 10 two-bedrooms, plus 31 basement level parking spaces.

Under Phase 3, a third residential building, also of 103 apartments, will be built, with the same unit breakdown as Phase 2, and 31 basement level parking spaces.

Finally, Phase 4 calls for construction of a 305-space parking garage and a two-story building that will contain a public fitness center and a restaurant that will accommodate both indoor and outdoor patrons.

In another real estate development, Jeff Milanaik of CrownPoint Group LLC and Jon Hanson of Hampshire Real Estate Cos., both of Morristown, are partnering to develop the former cookie factory property at Bergen and Second Sts.

The joint venture, known as Bergen St. Urban Renewal LLC, closed on the site in August. A former purchaser of the site who had intended to build townhomes there walked away from the project after the national recession killed the for-sale market.

Milanaik said the development team is preparing to submit a site plan application to the Harrison Planning Board for a residential complex comprising 104 rental apartments spread equally between two four-story buildings, with a combination of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, and on-grade, on-site parking for 104 vehicles.

Milanaik said that efforts were made in the project’s design to try not to overwhelm the Bergen St. neighborhood of largely single-family homes. In between the two residential structures will be a third building housing a fitness room for residents and other amenities, including a roof deck, he said.

This project is to carry with it a PILOT agreement but the financial information related to that arrangement wasn’t readily available.

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