Weehawken, N.J.—The apartment sector is booming across the country, but in Weehawken, N.J., condominiums are king, too. With two new luxury projects in the 200-acre Port Imperial master-planned community, Roseland Property Co. is giving the people everything they want—for-sale homes at The Residences at Henley on Hudson and rentals at RiverTrace.
“For us, it makes a lot of sense to have a rental community and a for-sale community being built concurrently because they still appeal to separate market niches,” Carl J. Goldberg, managing partner at Roseland, tells MHN. “It allows us to provide product options to a wider range of potential purchasers and/or renters, which makes Port Imperial that much more desirable. A lot of people want to live along the Hudson River Waterfront and this gives them a choice.”
Working with partner Lennar Urban, Roseland broke ground just days ago on a new condo tower that will add 36 new homes to Henley on Hudson. The four-story riverfront building will offer a host of amenities including a 6,000-square-foot, multi-use clubhouse that reached completion with the opening of a 27-unit condo building at The Residences at Henley on Hudson last year. That property sold out quickly earlier this year and sparked the commencement of the newest project. Construction kicked off not a moment too soon. “I think there were a lot of people in the immediate area who have been waiting for this building to start and the proof is in the pudding because five or six homes have already sold,” Goldberg notes.
There are a few key elements behind the strong demand for condos in Weehawken, and at Hudson on Henley in particular. “First and most importantly is the location,” he says. “It’s immediately adjacent to the Hudson River waterfront and enjoys probably the most spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline on that entire stretch of waterfront. Water is magic and the views make that even more special.”
But there’s more to the project’s location than a chic, postcard-worthy panorama of the Hudson River and New York City. “Two other factors that make this specific project unique is its immediate adjacency to mass transportation,” he adds. “It’s right at the intermodal connection between the light rail and the ferry system so it gives you a variety of commuting options to the city and the ability to leave your car at home. And lastly, Weehawken is a really unique community within Hudson County. There’s a very high quality of life and it’s a relatively small community, despite it being in the midst of the urban center that is Hudson County. Even in a constrained for-sale market like we’re in today, the right product and the right location still has a lot of pent-up demand. There are a lot of people that have been delaying their purchase decision, but they’ve delayed their purchase decision for the product and the location that meets their very specific demands and expectations.”
While some have been waiting for the right time and the right condo to buy in Weehawken, others have been looking for the right place to rent, and Roseland will provide a new option with the 316-unit RiverTrace. The developer will break ground on the $120 million project on November 9, just over a week after the initiation of construction of the new condos at Henley on Hudson. Again, the timing is just right. “The luxury rental market in the Hudson River waterfront has been extraordinarily strong over the last several years,” Goldberg asserts.
But it’s not just the riverfront submarket that is thriving. The apartment vacancy rate in the state of New Jersey is on track to drop to an enviable low of 3.7 percent by the end of 2011, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.
RiverTrace will cater to a particular set of renters—renters who demand accommodations comparable to those found in upper scale for-sale residences. “People with certain lifestyles have decided that rentals make a better option for them than purchasing, but they expect the same kinds of amenities and more importantly, the same kinds of finishes, for their rentals because they have the same level of disposable income as those people who are purchasing,” he explains. “These are renters-by-choice who are making a lifestyle decision.” Once more, the proof is in the pudding; Roseland’s Towers at Monaco, a 523-unit luxury high-rise apartment community in Jersey City, reached completion earlier this year and rented out at over 100 apartments per month with premier rental rates to match. “The demand for luxury rental in Hudson County continues to be almost unabated.”
Both RiverTrace and the new condominium building at Henley on Hudson are expected to debut in 2013.