By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Jersey City—Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and Ironstate Development Co. have formed a joint venture to develop multifamily rental property on the Jersey City waterfront. The project has no name yet, a spokesman for Mack-Cali tells MHN, but the first phase will consist of a parking pedestal to support two high-rise towers of about 500 apartment units each.
The companies anticipate a fourth quarter 2012 groundbreaking on the project, with occupancy to begin about two years later. The towers will be built on land owned by Mack-Cali within its Harborside Financial Center, which is adjacent to the Exchange Place PATH commuter station. Harborside Financial Center is currently comprised of five office buildings, a number of retail shops and a variety of restaurants.
Like other projects in the vicinity—and the Hudson River shore facing Manhattan is popular indeed these days among multifamily developers—the new Mack-Cali/Ironstate project will offer its residents views of the river and New York skyline. Residents will also be able to take advantage of area’s transportation infrastructure, which includes connections not only to PATH, but also to light rail, ferry and bus systems.
The apartment development represents something of a departure for Mack-Cali, since the REIT owns or has interest in 278 properties, primarily office and office/flex buildings located in the northeastern United States. Still, according to Mack-Cali president and CEO Mitchell E. Hersh, the company believes there’s strong demand for this type of high-end workforce housing at this time and place.
The REIT also has an experienced partner going into the project. Based in Hoboken, N.J., Ironstate has developed a number of large-scale mixed-use projects and has a diverse portfolio of apartments and hotels valued at several billion dollars. It also has $1 billion worth of development in the pipeline, including the redevelopment of a former U.S. naval base on the waterfront in Staten Island, N.Y., into apartments and retail space.