New ‘high-end’ digs coming soon?


Photo by Photo by Ron Leir/ Mayor Ray McDonough displays rendering of a highrise apartment building and deck parking proposed for area next to Bridge St. Bridge.

By Ron Leir

Another real estate project is on the drawing board for Harrison’s waterfront redevelopment area.
David Steiner, of the Steiner Equities Group, of Roseland, and a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, is pitching a “high-end” high-rise apartment building near the Bridge St. Bridge on the town’s Newark border.
Steiner and architect Jacob Bloch presented the concept for the project at a special meeting of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency, held last Tuesday, Dec. 20, and the agency board voted to designate Steiner the redeveloper for the 2.6-acre site.
The special meeting was originally called for last Monday but then moved to Tuesday because of scheduling issues involving the participants, according to Mayor Ray McDonough.
The targeted property, which is occupied by a used-car lot along Harrison Ave. and a lumberyard behind it, runs from the Passaic River to Dey St., down Dey St. to Warren St., bordering the River Park apartment complex.
Steiner’s plan calls for a 20-story concrete and steel building that would accommodate 200 rental apartments – a combination of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units – along with a rooftop restaurant and a health club for tenants.
A four-deck parking garage which would provide spaces for the building’s tenants would be built next door and atop the garage, there would be tennis courts, plus possibly basketball courts and possibly a pool.
Steiner, who was born in Newark and worked in the sheetrock industry before becoming a civil engineer, has a development track record, according to McDonough, who said Steiner had approached him about doing a project in Harrison.
Steiner’s firm owns a film studio in the Brooklyn Naval Yard; the company built the Bridgewater Town Center mall on Rt. 202 and malls in Manalapan and Lakewood; it has also built condominium apartments in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, McDonough said.
Before Steiner can start building in Harrison, though, he’ll have to acquire the privately-owned parcels in the redevelopment tract.
It’s unclear whether Steiner has begun negotiations with the owners.
If and when he secures a contract to purchase the property, then the agency and town would consider entering into a redevelopment agreement with his company and, after that, he would go to the town Planning Board for site plan approvals.
McDonough said that all the developers in the town’s redevelopment zone have asked the town to grant them PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) agreements.
McDonough said that when he relayed that information to the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which is closely monitoring Harrison’s fiscal operations, DCA instructed him to request something in writing from the developers “asking them to explain why they need the PILOT.”
Meanwhile, in other news on the development front, McDonough said the town has been awarded a Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection to apply toward a projected $30 million environmental cleanup of the old Hartz property where Heller Industrial Parks plans to build 600 new apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space.
“From what I understand,” McDonough said, “it will take one year to take down all the buildings on the site and remove the PCBs and other contaminants and dirt.”
McDonough said that the Heller firm just put the demolition phase of the project out to bid and seven contractors submitted bid proposals.

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