New hotels, office buildings, and a data center
Commercial development thrives from the waterfront to the meadows
by Dean DeChiaro
Reporter staff writer
Mar 23, 2014 | 5096 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print

With the influx of commuters and young families moving across the Hudson River from New York City, residential development is booming. But what about commercial development? There are several big hotel and other commercial projects coming to the area.

In November, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and a group of developers announced that over the next two years, developers will build two connecting Marriott hotels on the township’s waterfront: a 226-room Renaissance by Marriott and a 154-room Residence Inn for extended stays. The hotel complex will be erected over an existing five-story garage that opened this summer, and will be adjacent to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal.

Guests will share access to the outdoor terrace, pool, fitness center, a high-end restaurant on the sixth floor, and a function space for up to 750 seated guests.

On Hoboken’s southern waterfront, a new 14-story commercial building broke ground last summer just south of the W Hotel, making it the final piece of the puzzle in the city’s master plan for its 26-acre waterfront. Textbook giant Pearson Education signed a 15-year lease as the building’s first tenant, bringing 900 jobs. The building, developed by SJP Properties, will create approximately 600 construction jobs and will be LEED Silver Certified, highlighting its distinction as environmentally friendly.

In Jersey City, the food producer Goya Foods is planning to move forward with construction of a massive new facility on County Road after a state authority ruled that the city’s 20-year tax abatement that whisked the company from its former home in Secaucus was legitimate. The new 615,000-square-foot headquarters will be located at 350 County Road. It will include 577,000 square feet of warehouse space and 38,000 square feet of office space.

The first of many tenants moved into Jersey City’s new massive warehouse distribution center, the AMB Warehouse, in September. The warehouse, located where Sip Avenue meets Routes 1 and 9, broke ground last April, but already has tenants for its 880,000-square foot space on a site that was once a landfill. Peapod, the online grocery shopping and delivery service, and Imperial Bag and Paper Co. are currently among the warehouse’s two anchor tenants. The warehouse is reportedly going to bring 1,000 jobs to Jersey City.

In Secaucus, commercial development made more headlines than residential, an unusual trend on Hudson County’s western shores. Last March, the developers of the residential Secaucus Junction, Atlantic Realty Development Corporation, announced Phase III and IV of their plan, which will include a marina on the Hackensack River waterfront with restaurants, stores, and a recreation center.

The town also made significant progress on its Harmon Meadow development. Hartz Mountain Industries has been reinventing the development’s retail area on Route 3, adding two restaurant choices this year and planning two hotels within the next two years. The company’s office building at 450 Harmon Meadow Blvd. was torn down this year.

The company is also planning to open a 170-room hotel in the area, but did not give many details. They estimated it will open within 18 to 24 months.

In addition, a 150-room Marriott Residence is set to open this spring at the site of an old six-screen movie theater on the site.

The developers also demolished an eight-screen movie theater two to three years ago and replaced it with an L.A. Fitness.

Also in Secaucus, Mayor Michael Gonnelli cut the ribbon in February on the newest addition to the town’s growing flock of data centers. CoreSite Realty Corporation opened the 280,000 square foot facility on Emerson Lane. Called NY2, it is connected to the company’s NY1 data center at 32 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, as well as other regional communication hubs.

“We’ve become the data center capital of the country,” said Mayor Gonnelli. “We’ve got the fiber and we’ve got the electric to support these centers.”

Electricity costs in Secaucus are significantly lower than in Manhattan.

As described on their website, “CoreSite connects, protects and ensures the optimal performance and continued operation of mission-critical data and IT infrastructure for enterprises and Internet, private networking, mobility, and cloud service providers.”

CoreSite has one or more buildings in eight locations across the U.S., including Boston, Chicago, Miami, and Silicon Valley.

Meanwhile, nearby in the Meadowlands, the massive recreational center/shopping development on Route 3, once called Xanadu but now called “American Dream,” reached a settlement in early March with the New York Jets and Giants. Both parties were suing each other over the once-stalled development, but thanks to the settlement, the major project can move forward. It will bring indoor skiing and lots of shopping and big restaurants to the Meadowlands.

The settlement agreement has not been made public.

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