Upscale rentals enroute

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent

Two West Hudson communities will see their populations grow a bit thanks to a pair of residential developments being undertaken by an area builder.

Russo Development of Carlstadt, which completed Vermella Lyndhurst, a 296- unit, four-building apartment complex with a clubhouse, in March 2013, is now moving ahead with two new upscale rental projects.

In Kearny, the company, led by Ed Russo, is in the beginning phase of Vermella Crossing, a six-building, 150-unit apartment cluster, off Bergen and Schuyler Aves. All six residential buildings should be completed by summer 2015. An Investors Bank and a CVS, both built by Russo, sit just west of the residential construction site.

And, to the south in neighboring Harrison, the company is putting up Vermella Harrison, a single five-story, mixed-use development with 400 apartments and 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail, off Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South, next to the Red Bull Arena and just across from the Harrison PATH station. The first 100 apartments should be finished by July 2015.

One-bedroom apartments will range from 713 to 972 square feet of space while two-bedroom units will be anywhere from 1,197 to 1,236 square feet. Studio apartments will range from 451 to 587 square feet.

The name Vermella is being used to establish the “Russo residential brand,” according to Lisa Sikora, director of marketing for the company. “The goal is to build a portfolio of high-quality apartments that are designed and maintained to Russo family standards,” she said.

That brand will feature such apartment amenities as “gourmet kitchens with quartz countertops, stainless steel Energy Star appliances, hardwood floors in living areas, 9-foot ceilings, in-residence washer and dryer, ceramic tile in kitchen and bath and surround-sound,” she said.

All apartments will be equipped with central air and heating and most pets will be allowed at both Vermella Crossing and Vermella Harrison, with a “pet fee” to be charged, Sikora said. And there will be on-site property management, she said.


Photos by Ron Leir One of the six residential buildings going up at Kearny construction site (bottom). Russo Development is also building new apartments in Harrison (top), from which tenants will have view of downtown Newark skyline.
Photos by Ron Leir
One of the six residential buildings going up at Kearny construction
site (bottom). Russo Development is also building new apartments in Harrison
(top), from which tenants will have view of downtown Newark skyline.


Vermella Crossing will have a total of 222 parking spaces for residents and guests.

The first of the Kearny apartments – all of which will be spread among six three-story buildings – will front along Bergen Ave. As construction progresses, those that follow will be set up further to the back of the property.

A clubhouse and fitness center, available to tenants, a rental office and community room are expected to open by January 2015.

Each building will contain 25 apartments: 13 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units. Monthly rental fees have yet to be fixed; those amounts figure to be set by November or December 2014. An amenity fee will be assessed for the use of the fitness center.

At the Harrison development, which tenants will access via the extension of S. Fifth St., plans call for 121 studio apartments, 263 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units. No rental prices have been announced yet.

Residential units will be spread, primarily, from the second to the top floor of the building with ramped parking to be “wrapped inside” the apartments, so that tenants can conveniently access parking on each level of the building, said Michael Pembroke, Russo executive vice president.

Access to the garage will be via Crucible Drive.

Plans call for 400 parking spaces for residents and 60 retail spaces.

The ground-floor retail portion will front mainly along Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. S. and partly on Riverbend and Crucible Drives. No leases have yet been signed for the retail space.

Amenities may include a courtyard pool, a dog run, a putting green, bocce ball court and shuffleboard court in a second courtyard, plus a clubroom and gym for tenants only.

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