When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave the green light to a $256 million project to build a new Harrison PATH station last year, the announcement shone a spotlight on other redevelopment efforts in the region.
Those projects, also spurred by a strengthening economy, are chugging ahead in anticipation of the station’s projected 2017 opening.
Within Harrison’s 250-acre redevelopment zone, an eco-wise hotel will open next year and plans are under way for additional residential and commercial space. The recent economic upswing has also triggered movement on several long-awaited residential and retail projects in East Newark and Kearny.
George Cahn, president of Cahn Communications, which represents several of the Harrison developers, said Harrison’s appeal to developers lies in its convenient location with ready access to the PATH and local highways.
As proof, he pointed to the recent groundbreaking for Element Harrison, a 138-room Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. hotel on Somerset Street. The seven-story LEED-certified structure, a joint venture between Ironstate Development and thePegasus Groupslated for completion in summer 2014, is the second phase of construction for Harrison Station, a mixed-use development.
Harrison Station’s first phase, which features 275 luxury rental units and 12,814 square feet of retail space, opened in 2011 and is fully leased. Businesses already located at Harrison Station include Five Guys Burgers and Fries and GNC; they will be joined by restaurant Sakura Japan next month, according to Cahn.
Groundbreaking for Harrison Station’s third phase, which will include a four-story structure with 329 rental residences and 8,675 square feet of retail space, will be held this summer, he added.
Elsewhere in West Hudson, an upscale 60-unit apartment complex on Passaic Avenue and President Street that has been under construction for more than a year is nearing completion and advertising for tenants, while in Kearny, Russo Development is slated to appear before the Kearny Planning Board in May to request modifications to its plan to construct rental units on Bergen Avenue east of Schuyler Avenue. The developer is seeking to construct townhouse-style units rather than the apartments in the original proposal, according to Mayor Al Santos.
Across town, a long-stalled project to redevelop a vacant factory that once manufactured aluminum baseball bats on Passaic Avenue may also finally inch ahead, Santos said. A new owner who purchased the site last year is seeking to demolish buildings that were seriously damaged there in a fire more than 25 years ago.
“We’re hoping that the buildings will be demolished this spring,” Santos said. “We’ve met with the owner a couple of times and his ideas for the property center around retail.”