Just Sold: 181 Monticello Avenue

This 3,840 sq ft mixed-use trade at 181 Monticello Avenue for the price of $480,000.00 is a prime example of the continued investor interest in the burgeoning Monticello Avenue neighborhood. Hitting a record high of $125 PSF it shows the that prices are hitting new levels and keep going higher due to the incredible demand and lack of inventory. My focus is on the region, having recently leased 687 Montgomery Street to Jersey City Bicycle Company as well as 203 Monticello Avenue to Bloomsbury Square an organic skincare boutique and café. If you have any interest in filling a vacancy or having a property evaluated, please contact me at 973 610 5145.

Manhattan's Midtown Lumber Expands to Jersey City

My recent listing has been absorbed by Midtown Lumber at the price of $12 PSF with a 5 year modified gross lease. The satisfaction of seeing a building brought back to life with a little paint and retail front makes the long journeys of commercial leasing worth it. 

One of Manhattan’s oldest lumberyards is coming to Jersey City. The venerable Midtown Lumber will celebrate the grand opening of its new warehouse and retail store on Friday, June 16th, with a ribbon-cutting, catered BBQ, and an appearance by Mayor Steven Fulop.

Brothers Paul and Larry Kopf first opened Midtown Lumber in 1962 on West 25th Street in a historic building that previously housed a horse stable and later, the old West Side Lumber warehouse. For over 55 years, Midtown was a favorite of contractors and apartment owners, developing a reputation for accurate cutting and prompt delivery.

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Dranoff Calls Newark ‘Undiscovered’, Luxury 240 Unit Building

NEWARK, NJ—A long track record of building successful boutique multifamily properties in Philadelphia and its distressed neighbor across the Delaware, Camden, NJ, helped developer Carl Dranoff win the bid to develop One Theater Square, Newark’s first ground-up luxury multifamily construction in more than half a century, Dranoff told GlobeSt.com last week.

“It’s a carefully calculated risk,” says Dranoff. “It’s just a bullseye location, you just can’t get a better location.”

Dranoff Properties, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and city officials broke ground last week on Newark’s first luxury living address, One Theater Square. The building is expected to top out next fall, with the first tenants moving into apartments in June 2018, Dranoff says.

The 22-story skyscraper, with a signature curved glass tower, will contain 245 apartments, 12,000 square feet of ground level retail, 285 parking spots and amenities that include:  24-hour concierge service, a state-of-the-art fitness center, club rooms, and an outdoor entertainment space outfitted with soft seating, TV’s and fire pits.

Continue Reading on Globe Street

Reexamination Report Jersey City Master Plan and Regulations

The City of Jersey City adopted a new Master Plan in May of 2000, after more than a year of preparation, which included intensive staff research and preparation with community groups and leaders. The results were presented to and discussed within all six of the city’s wards ultimately leading to a consensus on the city’s future. The new Master Plan led to a total revision of the city’s Zoning Ordinance into the Jersey City Land Development Ordinance, which was adopted in April of 2001.

Since adoption of the May 2000 Master Plan, there have been a number of reexamination reports adopted; followed by timely amendments to the Master Plan based on the recommendations of those reports. The first reexamination report was adopted by the Planning Board after five and a half years, in December 2005, and subsequent reports followed in 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2015 with the latest report to date issued in March of 2015. 

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A Dilapidated Bank Turned Stunning Cultural Center Opens in Chicago’s South Side

Theaster Gates is an artist, urban planner, and professor and director at the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life who believes in a culturally driven approach to urban redevelopment. Gates’ Rebuild Foundation has transformed vacant houses and former housing projects into cultural and arts spaces on Chicago’s South Side. His latest and most ambitious project opened to the public on Saturday as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

The Stony Island Arts Bank is a gorgeously renovated 17,000-square-foot former bank at 68th Street and Stony Island Avenue on Chicago’s South Side that has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery, media archive, library, and community center that will host exhibitions and artist and scholar residencies. 

View Full Article on Slate.com


Lady Liberty Is Getting a Bigger Museum

On Thursday, city officials unveiled FXFOWLE’s design for a new, 26,000-square-foot museum to join the State of Liberty monument on Liberty Island. A rendering of the $70 million project, which will replace the small exhibition space currently at the base of the statue, shows a freestanding structure comprised of glass, granite and concrete rising up from the ground. The museum is slated to be completed in 2019. 

Article via The Real Deal

Obama Hopes To Change America Through Upzoning

It’s not every day that real estate developers find themselves in agreement with the Obama administration. On Monday, the White House released a “toolkit” of economic facts and talking points encouraging local and county governments to overhaul their zoning laws and housing policies. The takeaway? The president wants more development — and higher densities — to combat a nationwide housing shortage that’s dragging down the economy.

The report calls out local resistance to development and suggests ways for city and county governments to combat community opposition and NIMBYism.

“Over the past three decades, local barriers to housing development have intensified,” the report notes, particularly in areas of high job growth like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. “The intensity and impact of such barriers are most evident in the vibrant job-generating regions where fervent demand far outstrips supply.”

The inability for workers to find housing in areas where the jobs are is exacerbating income inequality and stifling economic growth, the report says. According to one estimate, barriers to development in major cities cost the U.S. economy about $1.95 trillion a year, Politico reports.

Continue Reading on The Real Deal

Urban Planner Designs Chorographic Map of Jersey City

Although urban planner Matt Ward has only been living in Jersey City for a little over a year, he probably knows the city’s neighborhoods better than the city’s lifelong residents do.

Ward has recently been getting attention for his graphic map of Jersey City’s neighborhoods which was featured as the Summer 2011 cover of NEW Magazine after the local publication held a cover contest.

“The response has been great. Everyone’s really liked it,” said Ward, who added that his $30 tote bags and $20 posters of the map have been selling well.

“People have been giving them as birthday presents to family members who grew up in Jersey City or people who recently moved or are moving away. Almost everyone I got in contact with enjoyed the print and it’s gotten some people curious about lesser-known neighborhoods I did some research on.”

The Los Angeles native said he was first inspired by Ork Posters maps and used his urban planning skills to create a similar graphic for Chilltown.

“I looked at Jersey City’s master plan, looked at historic maps, also some neighborhood maps online, looked at Wikipedia pages creates by neighborhood associations and things like that,” he said. 

The 28-year-old said the project brought him closer to some of his favorite neighborhoods like The Village, Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove and his new home, Bergen Hill.

“I think it’s great. It has some really beautiful architecture, some of the most unique in the city. Out of one window, I can see The Beacon, out of another I see the Statue of Liberty and out of another I can see downtown. I get to take in a lot of what the city has to offer out of my window,” he said.

Ward said he would like to continue creating maps as a hobby and that he is almost finished with a neighborhood map of Camden that was partially inspired the iconic Warhol Campbell Soup Can - a reference to the soup company’s headquarters being in the city.

Continue Reading @ NJ.com (2011)

Star-Ledger's Old Newark HQ Is Turning Into An Art Storage Warehouse

The vast expanse of well-worn carpeting has been replaced by a shiny, white epoxy finish, and the drop-ceiling has been removed to create more space overhead, exposing the steel support girders, now freshly painted.

Those and many other changes to the building that once housed The Star Ledger newsroom and business offices give the big, wide open areas the eager, if still-unfinished look of a new box store waiting to be stocked.

And stocked it will be, but not with the toys, clothes or patio furniture of a Walmart or Target. Rather, the space is being remade into an energy efficient, climate-controlled and hushed warehouse for works of art.

Continue Story @ NJ.com

Mack-Cali To Buy Back $250m in Debt, Refi 101 Hudson

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation wants to buy back $250 million worth of high-yield debt early as part of an effort to reduce its financing costs, the real estate investment trust announced Monday.

The company sent investors a tender offer to buy senior unsecured notes carrying an interest rate of 7.75 percent that don’t expire until 2019. Michael DeMarco, president of Mack-Cali, told The Real Deal that the firm plans to refinance the notes with a new $250 million mortgage on its Jersey City office building at 101 Hudson Street, at a floating rate of currently around 3 percent.

The move is part of an effort to “reduce credit costs through refinancing opportunities in 2016 and 2017,” according to a separate statement, and DeMarco said the company will announce more refinancings in the future.

Mack-Cali is an owner of suburban office properties and multifamily buildings, primarily in New Jersey. While most other REITs saw their stock prices soar in the years after the 2009 recession, Mack-Cali struggled amid a broader swoon in suburban commercial real estate. Between April 2010 and May 2015 its share price fell by more than half, from $35.17 to $16.90. Last June, Brookfield Property Partners  veteran Mitch Rudin took over as CEO, replacing Mitchell Hersh, and DeMarco became president and COO.

In September 2015, the new leadership announced a strategic plan that includes a reduction in debt costs and investment in capital improvements at its office properties. The stock price has since recovered to $27.90 as of Monday.

Last month, activist investor Jonathan Litt resigned from Mack-Cali’s board, which he had joined in 2014.