BNE Real Estate Group switched gears on Phase 2 of a condo development, instead offering rentals at the 141-Unit Water’s Edge, in Harrison, N.J.
When Livingston, N.J.-based BNE Real Estate Group purchased a six-acre former industrial site in the town of Harrison, N.J., along the Passaic River in 2005, the economy was strong, and condominiums were desired. The three-generation developer’s experience in building convinced the owners that a condo project would appeal to homeowners, who wanted a quick 20-minute ride into New York City on the mass-transit PATH line or proximity to the New Jersey Turnpike, and who also were priced out of Manhattan real estate and closer-in hip Jersey City and Hoboken housing. They were right. The 160 duplex units in Phase 1 at River Park sold out.
By the time, BNE was ready to construct Phase 2, the economy had tanked, and the condo market had dried up. “We knew we had to switch to rentals, and amend our plans,” says Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of acquisitions and a third-generation member of the company. BNE hired Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners in Lambertville, N.J., to design 141 units in two buildings, and gave it a different name, Water’s Edge, to distinguish the sites. Yet, the architects used similar brick and cementitious siding to connect them visually, even though the rentals were different in plan and elevation.