By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
Verona, N.J.—For some time, officials of Verona, N.J., situated in the state’s western Essex County, have sought new housing alternatives, as well as much needed tax stabilization for residents. Phase II of The Highlands at Hilltop, a new luxury residential building in Verona’s Hilltop area, should go far in providing both.
On Oct. 6, officials of Roseland Property, JMP Holdings and Verona Township broke ground on the development, slated to bring 130 one- and two-bedroom rental residences to the Hilltop neighborhood. The development will also feature a 6,000-square foot clubhouse and tennis and basketball courts, according to Roseland Property Company and JMP Holdings, which comprise the joint venture partnership developing The Highlands at Hilltop.
Situated just 21 easy-commuting miles from midtown Manhattan, Phase I of The Highlands at Hilltop debuted in May, 2010. The 95-unit luxury rental building with 4,700-square-foot clubhouse and outdoor pool quickly spurred substantial public interest, and before long was 100 percent leased and occupied.
The apartments being constructed in Phase II will range in size from 698 to 1,465 square feet. They will boast luxury appointments that include kitchens with granite countertops, cherry wood cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms will boast stone countertops and porcelain tile, and all but the carpeted bedrooms of the apartments will feature graceful hardwood floors.
The joint partnership chose Verona because of its commuting ease and proximity to Montclair’s cultural attractions and upscale shops and boutiques, located just minutes away. The Highlands at Hilltop fills a market niche while also providing an outstanding lifestyle alternative for a diverse and upscale mix of people interested in the rental lifestyle, says Carl Goldberg, partner with Roseland Property Company. “Residents enjoy the convenience of renting, and the high-end amenities that make the community special,” he observes.
“It’s an attractive lifestyle for a young professional or for people who are at a point in their lives where they want the flexibility to be able to travel and not have to worry about maintaining a single-family home.”
The groundbreaking offered a forum for Verona Township and city officials to shower praise upon the initiative and the benefits it will deliver.
“The development at Hilltop is the most important arrow we have in our financial quiver,” said Joseph A. Martin, manager of Verona Township. “As far as stabilizing taxes for residents goes, new development is important.”
Added Verona mayor Frank Sapienza: “The project is what a public-private partnership should be. We already have a beautiful building right here, and we look forward to the continued development of the site.”
At the groundbreaking, both Goldberg and Sapienza praised the collaboration between the municipality and development team. That cooperation has allowed for an efficient and responsible evolution of The Highlands at Hilltop, benefiting all parties, they said.