‘Cookie Factory’ now apt. complex

Photos by Ron Leir LEFT: Principals of development team, joined by Mayor James Fife (c.) and other town offi cials, attend ribbon-cutting for 221 Bergen. RIGHT: Views of model apartment.
Photos by Ron Leir
LEFT: Principals of development team, joined by Mayor James Fife (c.) and other town offi cials, attend ribbon-cutting for
221 Bergen. RIGHT: Views of model apartment.


For many years, the Century Cookie Factory stood on Bergen St., just west of the Rt. 280 overpass, between S. Second and S. Third Sts., in Harrison.

Until 2007 – when it was torn down to make way for what town officials were led to believe, would be new residential units to be built by a developer.

That project, however, never got off the ground and officials went back to the drawing board.

Now, however, thanks to a tri-partite partnership of the Hampshire Companies, Circle Squared Alternative Investments and CrownPoint Group, that long vacant parcel has been filled by 221 Bergen, a 4-story, 104-unit, 122,000 square foot apartment complex. Construction began in earnest in October 2014.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $24 million development was held last Friday, attended by the principals, elected officials and invited guests.

Largely complete, the two 52- unit luxury residential buildings with one- and two-bedroom rental units still await some patchwork items’ completion such as painting and covering of stairwells.Developers project a Nov. 1 occupancy, according to CrownPoint’s Donald R. Rasmusson Jr.

Rasmusson said the development is designed to accommodate 78 one-bedroom units and 26 one-bedrooms encompassing seven different model types, ranging in size from 748 square feet up to 1,198 square feet.

Monthly rentals, as of last week, were priced as follows: one-bedroom apartments, with one bath, from $1,419 up to $1,899; and two-bedroom units, with two baths, from $2,422 up to $2,742.

All the units come equipped with “9-foot-high ceilings, entry foyers, full-sized washer and dryers, recessed and pendant kitchen lighting with quartz countertops and ‘roundover’ edges, gas stoves with outside ventilation, Whirlpool stainless appliances, WiFi access building- wide and optical cables for choice between Comcast or Verizon, tub and shower bathrooms with ceramic tile, cultured marble vanity top integral bowl and Moen bath accessories,” plus central A/C and heating and walk-in closets, according to a Hampshire press release.

Amenities include: a lobbylevel residents’ café lounge with a kitchen/coffee station and entertainment area, a second-floor residents’ fitness center, yoga room with an On Demand kiosk loaded with 140-pre-recorded exercise routines and a rooftop terrace with seating and umbrellas.

Ground-floor garage spaces are available to residents for $125 per month, supplementing surfacing parking, and storage units for $50 per month.

A “Butterfly” smart phone security system allows residents to see and buzz in visitors. Residents will be issued fobs for their own access to the building. A closed circuit TV system has been installed for security purposes.

The new development is “pet friendly.”

Hampshire founder/Chairman Jon Hanson said the Harrison project represented the real estate investment company’s “first foray” into the residential market in 40 years, adding that it would be among 1,000 new residential units backed by the company due to come on line soon.

Circle Squared founder/ President Jeff Sica said that he was brought into the Harrison venture by his then-client CrownPoint CEO Jeff Milanaik against a backdrop of “the immense changes and rebirth” of a former heavily industrialized community, plus the prospect of “bringing in Hampshire with its 60-year history who knows the real estate market. I’m honored to be a part of this.”

Milanaik, formerly involved for many years in warehousing in Harrison, said that the journey to 221 Bergen, for him, began in November 2012 when he approached the then-Mayor Ray McDonough to advise him that he was setting out to become a redeveloper, at which point, he said, McDonough mentioned the dormant cookie factory property and asked, “Can you get it done?”

“I said, ‘yes,’ and he shook my hand,” Milanaik recalled.

In February 2013, Milanaik said he “laid out my vision” for the project to Hampshire’s Hanson “which turned into a three-hour meeting. That was the beginning of the process.”

Mayor James Fife added: “I want to encourage this group to look at some other properties,” with an eye toward further redevelopment. A PILOT agreement is expected to generate around $350,000 in revenues to the town, according to Tax Assessor Al Cifelli.

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