Jersey City Condo Conversion of 150-Year-Old Factory Wins Preservation Award
- May 28, 2010
Jersey City, N.J.—The Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy has selected the Residences at Dixon Mills, a condo conversion in downtown Jersey City, to receive its 2010 Excellence in Preservation award. Given to outstanding examples of restoration or adaptive reuse of a historic building, Elmsford, N.Y.-based developer Robert Martin Co. is receiving it for its restoration of the former Dixon Ticonderoga furnace houses into condominiums.
The five buildings that comprise Dixon Mills were converted from a factory into rental apartments in the 1980s. Robert Martin Co. purchased the property in 2007 and developed the property into 467 condos and a lifestyle retail center converted from the development’s historic Powerhouse building.
The structure got its start more than 150 years ago, when entrepreneur Joseph Dixon moved his business to downtown Jersey City, where he manufactured several products, most famously the iconic yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. In our time, the building’s original Romanesque Revival-style architectural details, period brickwork and wrought-iron railings have been restored. The project also has the distinction of having no two floorplans alike.
The historic flavor of the building is a decided advantage in selling the units, Greg Berger, principal of Robert Martin Co., tells MHN. “The history of the building and its link to an old-world community brings an appeal to the homes similar to that of restored brownstones,” he says. “Buyers are attracted to the history and architecture of the project, and as opposed to the cookie-cutter layouts found in many new residential developments, the living spaces in historic properties like Dixon Mills gives buyers multiple layout options with the original architectural details of past generations.”
But that’s not all, Berger adds. “In today’s market, buyers are seeking to locate to central hubs of business and transportation, just as Joseph Dixon was looking to do with when he picked downtown Jersey City for the location of the Dixon Ticonderoga pencil factory,” he says.
The community is located three blocks from the nearby Grove Street PATH station, which offers direct rail access to Wall Street or Midtown Manhattan. As part of the community’s amenities package, Dixon Mills offers residents a shuttle bus that takes them from their door to the PATH station.
So far, according to Berger, buyers have responded positively, despite the hard times in residential real estate. The property sold more residences over the past year than any other condominium community in Jersey City, he says—70 in 2009—and is on pace to do at least as well this year.
Studios, as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, are priced from the low $200,000s. Duplexes and triplexes are also available, as are over 100 penthouses.