Arrivederci, Puccini’s!
Landmark sold as part of redevelopment plan
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Mar 29, 2015 | 8585 views | 1 1 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Puccini
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Puccini’s was a hot spot for political events for decades. It closed earlier this year. It was recently sold to make way for residential housing.
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Puccini’s Restaurant on Jersey City’s west side has been sold as part of a four-acre redevelopment site. With a classic Italian restaurant interior and quality food, Puccini’s has been an institution in its neighborhood for over three decades and the scene of many political fundraisers and family occasions like graduation parties, engagement parties, wedding and baby showers, and wedding receptions.

The buyer, an out-of-state investor, plans to develop the four-acre site into a mixed-use complex comprised of more than 500 residential units, as well as ground-floor retail. The property is located blocks from the Journal Square transportation hub and the proposed PATH stop in the Marion section of Jersey City.

The City Council is expected to change part of the zoning requirements for the location to allow first floor retail at the West Side Avenue and Broadway corner that the restaurant currently occupies.

The $19.5 million deal was brokered by CBRE Group, Inc. The property is comprised of an assemblage of underutilized buildings, including a large warehouse distribution facility, several multifamily homes, Puccini’s, and associated parking. The seven-lot assemblage is located at 1075 W. Side Ave, 1072 W. Side Ave, 1064 W. Side Ave, 54 Broadway and 153 Corbin.

Although rumors suggested the restaurant might reopen later in a newly constructed facility, city officials said this was not the case.

While a portion of the business remains in operation, the restaurant closed earlier this year in anticipation of the sale.

Gambling on upgrade in transit

“The new owners are gambling on the PATH building a new station in that part of the city,” said Freeholder Junior Maldonado. “It makes sense. It would be easy to do.”

A new PATH station would only involve construction of a platform, he said, and would become the first stop on the Newark bound line out of Journal Square.
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“Jersey City is one of the hottest markets in the Tri-State area, with Journal Square specifically being the key focus right now for investors.” – Charles Berger
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Charles Berger and Robert L’Abbate of CBRE Capital Markets’ Investment Properties team in New Jersey and Elli Klapper of CBRE Capital Markets’ Investment Properties team in New York represented the seller and procured the buyer in the transaction.

The team worked alongside local Jersey City brokers Robert Antonicello and Robert Antonicello, Jr.

“Jersey City is one of the hottest markets in the tri-State area, with Journal Square specifically being the key focus right now for investors,” said Berger. “This sale has set a record on a price-per-unit basis in the Journal Square area and, based on all of the deals we’re working on, that record likely will not stand for long. In the last two months alone, our team has closed approximately $30 million in property sales in the Journal Square area.”

The project is one of 30 developments underway in Journal Square and its vicinity. This list includes the Canco Lofts, 25 Senate Place, and the recently-completed Mana Arts Center, all of which are in the immediate area of this four-acre project.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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Bob2297
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March 29, 2015
If a new PATH station is built, the developers should aim for a lot more than 500 units on 7 acres. The highest densities in the city should be along the PATH and HBLR lines, and especially at PATH stations.

This is important city building, which will keep established neighborhoods in other parts of the city affordable while attracting jobs.