Applied’s 862 apartments in HarborSpire
to cater to Jersey City’s new broker crowd
With development of Class A office buildings on the
Jersey City waterfront showing no signs of slowing, Applied Development
Cos. is about to launch construction of twin high-rise apartment buildings
to serve the city’s growing population of Wall Street brokers and other
The $140 million project will consist of 862
apartments, 20,000 square feet of upscale, ground-floor retail space and
above-ground parking decks with 680 spaces.
At 55 stories, the first building to be constructed
will be the tallest residential tower in the state, and both will be among
the tallest in any genre on the Hudson waterfront and in the state,
Applied president David Barry said in an interview last week.
Called HarborSpire to reflect their tall, sleek
architecture, both structures have received site plan approvals and last
week, Applied, the family-owned Hoboken developer, also landed a 15-year
tax abatement for the first building.
Art deco towers
Designed by DeWitt Tishman Architects LLP of Manhattan,
both Art Deco-style buildings will rise side-by-side on a city block in
the downtown financial district, behind Plazas 5 and 10, the newest
planned additions to Mack-Cali Realty Corps.’s Class A Harborside
Financial Center office complex.
The location is ideal for HarborSpire to capture
thousands of stock brokers and other professionals from companies like
Charles Schwab & Co., which just leased all of the 575,000 square-foot
Schwab’s expansion in Jersey City “is just the tip of
the iceberg” of the city’s coming increase in population, said Arthur
Flinn, associate at the Edison, N.J., branch of the Manhattan-based Julien
J. Studley corporate real estate services firm.
Flinn said, “You are going to see the population in
Jersey City swell incredibly in the next 18 months” when other Manhattan
brokerages, including PaineWebber and Goldman Sachs, begin to fill
building they have committed to on the city’s waterfront.
The office activity is bound to create demand for
apartments among the companies’ young professionals, who may not want to
contend with commuting from New York or the Jersey suburbs. Others may
move from Hoboken, a young professionals’ haven but whose popularity has
stretched its supply of rental housing thin.
HarborSpire’s first tower of 55 stories, with 445
rental units, 9,000 square feet of retail space and costing $80 million,
will break ground in November with completion set for about 18 months
later, Barry said.
The building will offer studios to three-bedroom
apartments with rents from about $1,750 for a one-bedroom to $2,350 for a
three bedroom plus utilities, or approximately $28 to $30 a square foot,
comparable to the city’s other luxury residences, Barry said. The
one-bedroom rate is about a quarter of an $86,000 annual salary, which
Barry said should be affordable for the city’s professionals.
Focus on luxury
“It will be a super-luxury building,” Barry said, with
an indoor pool, basket-ball court and other amenities. Each floor will
have nine units, all built into corners with ample windows. Most units
from the 20th story up – and all from the 35th to 55th stories, clearing
Harborside’s 33 story Plaza 5 – will have Manhattan views.
The second building, 50 stories with 420 units, will be
built according to market demand.
HarborSpire will take up a city block, bordered by
Washington, Green, Morgan and Bay streets. Applied purchased the land from
Liberty Center Associates, a private Florida partnership, for an
Applied will tap prior sources, HVAC Mortgage Co. and
the AFL-CIO Pension Trust Fund, to finance the project.
Obtaining a tax abatement was important to securing
financing. Jersey City’s tax rate is so high that if the abatement had not
been granted, “the burden would be so great that the building wouldn’t be
built,” Barry said. Applied expects to pay about $1.5 million the first
year that would go up incrementally in subsequent years.
No slump fears
Barry said his company “is mindful” of the slumping
economy but feels confident about building in Jersey City. The city has
developed an insulated, almost impenetrable economy that for real estate
translates to “a unique submarket that will fare better than most” in a
recession, Barry said. “Its office development has reached critical mass.
On a long-term basis, Jersey City is a good place to be.”
The company has been successful in the city with its
Port Liberte condominium project, which sold out its first 500 units.
Applied has filed applications for the next 275 of the total planned 1,650
units and expects to break ground on the next phase in the Fall, Barry
Applied is also building rental and for-sale housing as
part of redevelopment projects on the Hoboken and Long Branch waterfronts.
It is also seeking approvals for a $130 million retail-apartment complex
in New Brunswick, a project it is under-taking in partnership with Matrix
Development Group of Cranbury, N.J., and Roseland Property Co. of Short