Poor N.J. office market brings another developer to build residential on waterfront

November 18, 2011 09:59AM

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From left: Hartz Mountain CEO Leonard Stein and a rendering of the Lincoln Harbor rental development
A stagnant office market in New Jersey has led to residential development along the state’s Hudson River waterfront, where builders lure Manhattan workers with luxury amenities at cheaper prices. According to the Wall Street Journal, the struggling commercial market was precisely what led developer Hartz Mountain Industries to push to rezone the Lincoln Harbor waterfront land it has owned for 30 years in Weehawken, N.J. in order to erect a massive rental complex.

Since 1981, when it purchased the plot of land near the base of the Lincoln Tunnel, the developer has brought 2 million square feet of commercial space. But where it had once intended to bring two more office towers, that were stuck in litigation for a decade, Hartz is now constructing a 581-unit rental complex. The development will be built across a handful of eight-story buildings clustered around green space.

The Journal said the developer eschewed the plan to develop offices in hopes of experiencing the same success as waterfront developments across New Jersey, especially in Hoboken and Edgewater. Lincoln Harbor has an advantage over those two areas in that its waterfront has ferry access to Manhattan’s West Side, but from there commuters have a difficult trek to Midtown. Still, there’s a demand for more luxury apartments overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

“The Gold Coast of New Jersey has begun to rival Manhattan, with the same level of luxury, with added amenities and all at a much better price,” said Martin Brady, vice president of sales for the Marketing Directors, which is handling sales or leasing for a number of projects in the area. [WSJ]