Albanese Org closes on land for big Jersey City development

Firm plans to break ground next year on 670-unit downtown project

Albanese Organization's president Christopher Albanese (LinkedIn, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Albanese Organization's president Christopher Albanese (LinkedIn, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

The Albanese Organization wrapped up a $70 million site purchase for a major, mixed-use project in Jersey City as rents surge in the area.

The Long Island–based developer expects to break ground next year on 670 apartments and nearly 17,000 square feet of retail at 286 Coles Street, JerseyDigs reported. Albanese’s 1.8-acre downtown site was split off from Hoboken Brownstone Company’s 305 Coles Street development, which has been in the works for at least two years.

The Albanese project will have sections of 21, 14, seven and five stories, plus parking for 355 cars and 350 bicycles, the outlet reported. Three stores, including one of 13,500 square feet over two floors, will occupy the retail space.

The apartments will be 70 percent smaller units — 67 studios and 400 one-bedrooms, perhaps in a nod to the shortage of such units in the metro area. Another 189 will have two bedrooms and just 14 will have three.

New York City politicians frequently demand developers redesign projects toward multi-bedroom units, believing they will go to families, but unrelated roommates often win bidding wars for those units after being unable to find affordable singles and studios. Jersey City apparently did not force such a change upon the Albanese Organization.

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There might have been some fist-bumping in the company’s Garden City offices yesterday when Zumper reported that Jersey City rents grew 50 percent in the past year, the highest of 15 cities in the metro area. The median rent for a Jersey City one-bedroom was $2,650 last month, just behind nearby Hoboken’s $2,830. New York City was No. 1 at $3,950.

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The family firm — its website depicts three generations of Albaneses — has one finished New Jersey project, also in Jersey City: A 526,000-square-foot, 41-story, 482-unit luxury rental building called the Hendrix. Its architect, Hoboken-based Marchetto Higgins Stieve, is designing Coles Street as well.

GRID Real Estate represented Albanese on the land acquisition, according to JerseyDigs. Information on the financing was not immediately available.

The Albanese Organization was founded in 1949 by the late Vincent and Anthony Albanese, who initially bought sites in Queens and built four-story attached houses. In the 1970s the firm began developing apartment buildings in Manhattan and commercial spaces on Long Island; its portfolio now includes a dozen properties in each place.

— Erik Engquist