By Jamie Lackey
The multifamily market has been through its share of ups and downs over the past several years and even more so in the last year. Always a strong market, the Northeast region multifamily market continues to attract attention from developers and investors worldwide. In many markets, multifamily rental development has taken center stage now that the condominium craze has slowed down, but in many urban markets, residents are still eager to buy their own piece of real estate to call home. In this month’s issue of Northeast Real Estate Business, we take a closer look at four multifamily developments within the Northeast marketplace.
Gull’s Cove, Jersey City
Metro Homes LLC is developing Gull’s Cove, a 432-unit condominium project that will also contain 30,000 square feet of street-level retail, at 201 Luis Munoz Marin Boulevard in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The project is about half a mile west of the Hudson River and it is part of an 80-acre master redevelopment plan that will transform the waterfront in Jersey City. The plan includes 6,500 units of market-rate housing, 1 million square feet of hotel space, 750,000 square feet of retail space, 4.5 million square feet of office space and abundant park space.
The first phase of Gull’s Cove totals 323 homes, including 15 penthouse units, in one building. The second includes 109 units in two buildings. Dean Marchetto & Associates served as architect for the project. Residences range from 500-square-foot studios to 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom units. Prices start in the mid-$300s. The Marketing Directors Inc. is handling sales.
Amenities include a landscaped plaza with putting green, a state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor parking. The project also offers an “At Your Service” Concierge program. The 24-hour services include dog walking, maid service, vehicle detailing, and dry cleaning. Residents will also appreciate that SAWA Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is one of the retail tenants in the building.
“The building’s proximity to Manhattan and mass transportation options — which result in a near-effortless commute — has clearly played a critical role in the building’s sales success,” says Dean Geibel, managing partner with Hoboken, New Jersey-based Metro Homes, LLC. He adds, “We’ve also incorporated a level of amenities and services into the building that one would typically only find in an upscale hotel environment. We’ve tried to rethink traditional living concepts by placing as much emphasis on lifestyle as on the actual homes, and the market is clearly embracing it. Of course, our dramatic views of the Manhattan Skyline, Liberty State Park, Ellis Island and New York Bay also help distinguish the building.”
The Metropolitan, Stamford
Hannah Real Estate Investors, Stillwater Investment Management, and Summer Partners, LLC recently developed The Metropolitan at 1515 Summer Street, in Stamford. The project represents the first New York-style residential building in Stamford.
The development included the conversion of an eight-story, 66,000-square-foot office building into 39 luxury loft condominiums, including three penthouse units, as well as the ground-up development of The Townhomes at the Metropolitan, which consists of 12 units. Stamford-based A. Pappajohn Company served as general contractor, and Perkins Eastman was the architect.
The original structure, built in 1968, had been largely vacant for 15 years.? The building now has a new exterior façade treatment and a newly constructed porte-cochere entry. New, energy-efficient, fully operable blue glass window systems were installed in all units. Additionally, all electrical, mechanical and plumbing and safety systems were replaced and upgraded.
Condominiums range from 900-square-foot one-bedroom units to 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom units. Prices start in the low $500,000s. The penthouse residences range from 1,751 to 3,373 square feet. The largest unit is currently listed at more than $2 million. Three- and four-bedroom townhomes range from 2,066 to 2,500 square feet and are priced from $749,500 to $875,000. William Raveis’ New Homes Division is handling sales.
“This project is situated in Stamford’s pedestrian core, a short distance from the city’s urban transit center and its well-designed parks and open spaces,” says Seth Weinstein, principal of Stamford, Connecticut-based Hannah Real Estate Investors. “With close proximity to entertainment venues, diverse dining options, offices, services, and retail businesses in the city center, The Metropolitan has attracted residents seeking a culture-rich living environment within an amenity-rich building.”
Amenities include a private fitness center; a temperature-controlled wine storage facility; and an elegant clubroom with a flat screen television, copper bar, and comfortable Italian modern furnishings. A full-time concierge is available to assist residents and their guests. The condominiums and townhomes have ample parking; in fact, each townhome has a private garage.
“The development is extremely appealing to those who prefer an upscale, urban living environment over a suburban
single-family home setting and the higher level of home maintenance associated with that property type,” says Weinstein.
The Lofts at Valley Forge, Valley Forge
O’Neill Properties Group of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, recently completed The Lofts at Valley Forge in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The ground up development is part of Riverview, a 65-acre live, work and play community that spans seven buildings. The Lofts residential component features 388 units that range from 686 to 1,282 square feet.
Designed by Niles Bolton Associates, the $42 million project was once an industrial park that had been overlooked for years. But O’Neill Properties saw that it had tremendous access to the area’s most important arteries, including Routes 422 and 202, the Schuylkill Expressway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and could offer such great outdoor recreational resources only footsteps from residents’ front doors. This community caters to residents who make the outdoors part of their lifestyle. The Lofts at Valley Forge offers unprecedented access to the region’s most coveted attractions right outside their door, including the 40-mile Schuylkill River Bike Trail, 4,000 acres of national parkland, and a reclaimed Schuylkill Riverfront for water skiing, jet skiing, fishing and other outdoor recreation.
In addition to its convenient location and access to stellar outdoor recreation, the Riverview development was also an opportunity for O’Neill to reclaim a portion of the riverfront. Riverview is reclaiming some 5,000 feet of formerly inaccessible river frontage and giving it back to residents, and the community as a whole. The master plan calls for a pedestrian friendly, walkable community comprised of tree-lined streets, an open-air piazza, and a waterfront trail along the river.
The Lofts feature one- and two-bedroom apartments, which feature gourmet kitchens with Whirlpool Premium Appliances, custom premium wood cabinets, granite counter tops with breakfast bar seating, large windows with unobstructed river views, 9-foot ceilings, and a private balcony for every apartment.
The property also offers a 5,025-square-foot club house and business center, which includes a wireless Internet café, Nintendo wii, custom billiards room, resort-style pool with heated Jacuzzi overlooking the S