Shovels in the ground for Belleville’s newest redevelopment project

Artist’s rendering of The Kelsey

More new luxury apartments are coming to Belleville and it was all made a reality Dec. 8.

Mayor Michael Melham and other Belleville officials dug ceremonial shovels into the ground that day, marking the start of construction of a six-story luxury apartment building that will be constructed at the site of a shuttered foam factory.

Deputy Mayor Thomas Graziano and Councilman Vinny Cozzarelli also attended the ceremony for the start of the project, to be known as the Kelsey, which will feature 114 apartments and about 1,200 square-feet of ground-floor retail.

Construction at 740-748 Washington Ave. is to be completed sometime in 2024.

The Kelsey is part of Newark-based Sound Development LLC’s Ethos brand, which already includes a 56-unit apartment complex on Franklin Avenue in Belleville.

The building’s name pays homage to the site’s history as an assembly plant for the Kelsey Motor Co. beginning in 1920. The car company went bankrupt in 1924, after only 601 Kelseys were built.

The property as it looks today Apple Maps

“The lobby of our building is going to incorporate an industrial look as a nod to the site’s storied history,” Sound Development’s Michael Pacillo said. “We are hoping to locate Kelsey Motor Company memorabilia, such as photos, and display them prominently in the lobby.”

More recently, the site was home to Foam Rubber Fabricators.

The Kelsey will feature 70 one-bedroom units, 44 studio apartments and about 130 parking spaces. It will also feature a rooftop pool, a gym and an expansive outdoor terrace.

“We are very excited to see The Kelsey starting to take shape on Washington Avenue,” Melham said. “My administration has made quality redevelopment a priority. We will continue to seek out suitable development opportunities for Belleville that takes advantage of our terrific location, mass transit and suburban feel.”

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.