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18 Park Luxury Rental Building Honored By New Jersey Future With 2015 “Smart Growth” Award

18 Park in Jersey City, NJ

KRE Group and Ironstate Development’s Iconic Jersey City Project Praised as a Landmark Multi-Use Building, Anchor of Emerging Community

Development partners Kushner Real Estate Group (KRE) and Ironstate Development Company have received a 2015 “Smart Growth” award for creating an iconic, mixed-use development in an emerging neighborhood in downtown Jersey City.

New Jersey Future, a non-profit organization that promotes responsible land-use policies, named KRE/Ironstate’s 18 Park building one of the recipients of its prestigious annual award, noting that it was designed to be the “community anchor” of an 80-acre redevelopment area in Jersey City’s Liberty Harbor North neighborhood.

18 Park is a 422-unit rental building with upscale amenities and services, but it is also home to a variety of community organizations. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County occupied brand new, state-of-the-art facilities at 18 Park in 2014 after relocating from a severely outdated building nearby. The Great Futures Charter High School for Health Sciences also calls 18 Park home, as does a teen technology center that includes music recording and graphic arts equipment. The building also includes street level retail that contributes to the vibrancy and pedestrian-friendly character of the neighborhood, making it feel like a true “center” of the community.

“The broad combination of community uses, plus the retail space, the 415 apartments above the community facilities and the seven townhomes along the south side of the building all work together to generate a wide range of activity at various hours of the day and evening, giving the building the true feel of a community center,” the award announcement from NJ Future reads. “As Liberty Harbor North continues to develop, 18 Park’s role as a community center will only continue to grow.”

18 Park was designed from the beginning of the project with the goal of both resident enjoyment and community engagement in mind. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County facilities are independently accessed and include a spectacular gymnasium with a floor-to-ceiling wall as part of the club’s programmed space. Parking is concealed on the interior of the building and a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stop is right on the corner, allowing for a fully-engaged streetscape that encourages mass-transit usage and community interaction.

“We set out to create a dynamic, lifestyle-oriented property for our residents that would be not only a centerpiece of the Liberty Harbor North neighborhood, but also one of the most exciting rental offerings in all of Jersey City,” said Jonathan Kushner, President of The KRE Group. “Including usable community space for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County and other organizations was incredibly important to us too. The fact that we were able to accomplish both goals so seamlessly is a testament to our design team, our construction team and the Jersey City community as a whole.”

18 Park is one of seven Smart Growth Award recipients selected this year by New Jersey Future. Since 2002, the organization has honored more than 95 projects selected by an independent jury of professional developers, architects, planners and redevelopment experts.

KRE and Ironstate both have a history of successful development in Jersey City and currently have additional residential properties under construction in the city. The developers previously teamed up to develop and lease 225 Grand, just one block away from 18 Park. KRE is currently building Journal Squared, a collection of three residential towers in Jersey City’s historic Journal Square neighborhood that will ultimately comprise 1,838 rental residences and 36,000 square feet of retail space. Ironstate is constructing 70 Columbus, a 50-story tower with 543 luxury rental residences in downtown Jersey City, and URL® Harborside, a collection of three towers overlooking the Manhattan skyline that will ultimately deliver 2,358 residences to the city’s Harborside Financial Center neighborhood.

For more information on KRE, www.thekregroup.com. For more information on Ironstate, visit www.ironstate.net. For more information on New Jersey Future and the Smart Growth Awards, visit www.njfuture.org.

About Ironstate Development Company

Ironstate Development Company is one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the Northeast. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ironstate engages in the development and management of large-scale mixed-use projects and has a diverse portfolio of residential and hospitality assets. Additional information on Ironstate Development Company is available on the Company’s website at www.ironstate.net.


The builders: The Barry brothers are changing skylines and perceptions


via Joshua Burd/NJ Biz

David and Michael Barry have been busy all over the state. - (PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

David and Michael Barry have been busy all over the state. – (PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

As developers go, David and Michael Barry are just about as prolific and active as anyone else in New Jersey. But that’s not because they simply finish a project and then move onto the next one.

Quite the contrary — the heads of Ironstate Development are as much about building neighborhoods as they are about building a single multifamily high-rise or chic urban hotel.

“Whether it’s Staten Island, whether it’s parts of Jersey City — or as we once did in Hoboken or New Brunswick — we pick a place and we really like to make multiple investments there,” David Barry said, “because we think that we have the skill and wherewithal to change the perception of that neighborhood.”

The Hoboken-based firm proved that once again in 2014, from opening the second piece of its mixed-use redevelopment in Harrison to breaking ground on a multiphase, three-tower project on the Jersey City waterfront. And its pipeline is as full as ever with projects in well-connected urban centers around the region — continuing the model that has helped Ironstate thrive for decades.

NJBIZ sat down with firm’s principals to discuss 2014, the industry and its plans going forward.


Kushner, Ironstate’s 18 Park kicks off leasing

Exterior 28p

via Julie Strickland/The Real Deal

Kushner Real Estate Group and Ironstate Development Company’s 422-unit downtown Jersey City rental building is now leasing.

The 11-story building is offering up a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from $2,200 to $4,000 per month, according to a release from the developers. Several of the units are built in “town home style,” while some boast terraces, while all feature stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, 9-foot ceilings and hardwood floors throughout. Building amenities include Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Downtown Manhattan views, as well as a 24-hour doorman, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, catering kitchen and dining space, wifi lounge, screening area, dog run, bike room and an enclosed parking garage.


Designed to meet LEED certification, the property was also crafted to meet Feng Shui principles set forth by Feng Shui Manhattan.

The Marketing Directors is the property’s exclusive leasing agent.

The building will also be home to the new Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County, with a state-of-the-art facility with a gym and floor-to-ceiling glass wall that can be independently accessed.

18 P outside

The project, which broke ground in June 2012, marks the latest partnership venture between Ironstate and Kushner, who launched sales down the street at 225 Grand in 2010 and leased it up in ten months. Kushner Real Estate Group is run by Murray Kushner, not to be confused with his brother Charles of Kushner Companies.

Visit http://18park.com/

A New Jersey: Jersey City Surge

DN Cover JPEGDavid Barry and Ironstate Development are featured in today’s New York Daily News report on Jersey City development. Check out mentions of  URL Harborside, 18 Park, and 225 Grand.

Read the full article HERE.

Buy, Sell Or Stay Put


Patrick Sullivan at EXEMPT magazine highlights 18 Park in Jersey City and Ironstate Development Company.


The outlook is good even for nonprofit buyers. That’s because “cultural spaces are considered a sexy partner to have,” according to Wolf, a principal at the firm. Developers might look to nonprofit partners because of the cachet their programs bring, and because most nonprofits don’t need the foot traffic that retail spaces do and can thus be more flexible in terms of location. “Nonprofits are good partners in larger developer projects,” said Powers. “There’s interest in having a community partner.”

Such was the case for Gary Greenberg, executive director and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hudson County in Jersey City, N.J. Greenberg’s organization, housed in a retrofitted coal bunker since 1984, will move to a new facility about 200 yards away at no cost. Ironstate Development and Kushner Real Estate Group (KRE), developers of the new building known as 18 Park, approached Greenberg to ask if he would consider selling a portion of current property. Talks soon moved to selling the entire lot, and the developers suggested the Boys and Girls Clubs move into 18 Park, which is slated for completion next year.

Having a nonprofit on the ground floor is “helping to get notoriety and in general, the community, the city and lenders feel great about it,” said David Barry, president of the Hoboken, N.J.-based Ironstate De­vel­op­ment. “Overall it’s a great thing and people feel good about it. Whether it has a direct impact on dollars per square foot on the apartments, I can’t really say.”

The deal consists of selling the Boys and Girls Clubs’ current land and moving into the new space, and the Club will get to keep the difference between the sale price and the cost of the new space. The net gain for the Boys and Girls Clubs could reach up to $5 million, said Greenberg and Barry.

The sale of the old building closed in early May, and Barry said it sold for “roughly $12.5 million.” He added, “The city allowed us to zone (the old site) for additional development, and that allowed us to pay more than just the cost of relocating the Boys and Girls Clubs.”

Most of 18 Park will be luxury rentals, but Greenberg will have about 35,000 square feet on the ground floor, which is roughly the size of his current space. The new construction means fewer upkeep and repair costs. “There isn’t a day that’s gone by in the last 20 years we haven’t been fixing or repairing something. It’s a fortune to run and maintain,” said Greenberg about the current space. Once the club moves, he said, “Rather than spend funds on occupancy, we’re able to use those funds for the kids and the programs. It saves a tremendous amount.”

The club’s presence in the building is also beneficial to tenants, said Greenberg. He’s going to keep the facility open after hours so 18 Park residents can use the gym. “Imagine you’re a young guy, still playing a little ball, you know after the kids are gone you can go down and use the facility,” said Greenberg. The clubs’s space is “a community center for the building, as well.”

Read the full article here >>>

Path to glory

Jersey City development is on the march to greater heights

By MAX GROSS/ New York Post

Like some desperate boy on the make, Brooklyn and Long Island City spent a long time trying to convince apartment hunters to give them a chance.

Now it’s Jersey City’s turn.

Like Hunters Point and Williamsburg, Jersey City is close to Manhattan — only one train stop away (a PATH train, true). But new apartments are a lot cheaper, and a lot more plentiful, here than in the city.

And while new construction often seems stalled or small-ball in the five boroughs, Jersey City is shooting for the moon.

Manhattan trends including eco-friendly living are starting to appear at developments like Madox, the new rental building that will be the first LEED-certified residential building in Jersey City (as well as the first smoke-free one). Madox will open the Paulus Hook neighborhood this fall.

“It might be the first smoke-free [residential] building in New Jersey,” says James Caulfield Jr., a principal with Fields Development Group, which is putting up Madox.

Prices haven’t been set yet for the 131 apartments (there will also be at least two commercial spaces), but one can expect them to be in line with other newer Jersey City luxury properties (in the upper $30-to-lower-$40-per-square-foot range, per year).

In the next 15 months, Paulus Hook will get another boost of development with the Warren at York. This will be a 12-story, 139-unit rental building featuring one-, two- and three-bedrooms that range from 714 to 1,350 square feet.

“We’re going to have a gym, a media lounge, a pool table, a movie screen, sitting areas and a green roof,” says Jonathan Schwartz, senior vice president of BNE Real Estate Group, which is developing the Warren at York.

Clearly, eco-friendly has been accepted by more than one Jersey City developer.

Madox and the Warren at York are smaller than other Jersey City developments in the works. The new 18 Park, which broke ground this summer, will be an 11-story building with 422 apartments; the residences will sit atop the 34,000-square-foot Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County and 10,000 square feet of retail. The development should be finished by early 2014.

“This was kind of a win-win transaction,” says Josiah Wuestneck, senior vice president at Ironstate Development, which is building 18 Park withKRE Group. The Boys & Girls Club “needed a new home and an endowment to ensure longevity of organization. They had an existing site, so we worked out a deal where we would build them the new space and relocate them.”

While this sounds mammoth, also on Ironstate’s plate is Harborside Financial Center, which is being developed in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty. This is a three-phase project that will bring over 2,000 units to market, as well as several million square feet of office space.

“We’re going to break ground on the first building, which is 69 stories,” in the fourth quarter of this year, Wuestneck says. Ironstate is planning 766 apartments in this first tower. This first phase of Harborside, should be finished in early 2015. (The other two towers are expected to be similar in design and size.)

And if that’s not enough, Newport is also planning more buildings — although so far the developer LeFrak has been mum about any of the details.

Eat your heart out, Long Island City!


Glory Days Ahead

  By Michael Ratliff, Associate Editor


The lobby at 225 Grand

With rents in Manhattan expected to increase 7 percent in 2012, it is no surprise that many apartment seekers are looking to the outer boroughs and New Jersey as a refuge. Queens, Brooklyn and Hoboken are well-known hot spots for young professionals looking for a better bang for their buck when it comes down to both space and amenities. Get ready to add Jersey City to that list.

The state’s second largest city sits just over the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. It has been quickly overcoming its stigma of urban decline thanks to the availability of underdeveloped waterfront land. The industrial businesses that vacated from the 1950s through 1970s left behind a plethora of vacant rail yards and factories, space that allowed for a full-on urban renaissance that began in the 1980s and is still moving at full steam today. This is perhaps most visible in the success of the Exchange Place financial district, colloquially called “Wall Street West,” which experienced a rapid construction of high-rise office buildings—assets that are now occupied by the likes of Goldman Sachs, UBS and Merrill Lynch. Add in a light rail system that debuted in 2000 and now offers seamless access to Manhattan-bound PATH trains and you have an area primed for extremely successful transit-oriented development.

“There is a ton of land and it is not developed, and it is extraordinarily convenient to be next to New York City,” says Christian Giordano, principal & director of Architectural Design at HLW International LLP, a global firm that is designing several high-profile multifamily developments in Jersey City. “The city knows they are sitting on valuable, undeveloped land, so they are really encouraging developers to come in and build these apartments. And the developers are trying to get the one-bedroom crowd that wants a bigger place and wants to have a little bit of an easier lifestyle than living in Manhattan.”

HLW International is currently designing a series of towers for a joint venture between Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and Ironstate Development Co. in Exchange Place. The first phase of the development will include two waterfront towers with approximately 500 units each. Ground should break in late 2012 with an expected construction period of two years.

Just a few thousand feet southwest of Exchange Place is Liberty Harbor, a high-density, transit-oriented infill redevelopment that is home to some of the city’s newest multifamily projects. The 80-acre, 28-block neighborhood is home to 225 Grand, another HLW International designed building, this time developed by Ironstate Development Co. and Kushner Real Estate Group. The fact that this building leased up just 10 months after its May 2010 completion demonstrates just how strong Jersey City market fundamentals are.

“Jersey City is unique in that it has better transportation to Lower Manhattan, and in some cases Midtown Manhattan, than the Upper East and Upper West Sides,” says Jonathan Kushner, president of Kushner Real Estate Group. “The young professionals want to live here and save the money that they would otherwise spend living in Manhattan and still have a high-quality housing experience with convenient transportation and access to nightlife and parking. It’s just a really great way to live.”


Scaled up architecture with community benefits

The Division of City Planning has been actively seeking to ratchet up the quality of architecture in Jersey City over the past 20 years to help raise property values and in turn tax revenue, which will benefit some of the city’s older communities. Waterfront areas like Liberty Harbor are especially important.

“I make the analogy to a cash crop,” Cotter says. “You put the best plants, the one with the highest production values, on the waterfront land because it is the most fertile. If you want to get the world-class users, you are going to need world-class architecture.”

But in order to get the best, Jersey City is willing to be a bit more flexible in regards to the needs of developers and architects compared to other cities, according to HLW’s Giordano.

“Jersey City is great in the respect that they will hear what the developer has to say, and they will actually think about it. They might push back if they feel that it is more important to have the right thing for Jersey City, and they will ask us to adapt for it,” Giordano says. “Or they might see that our idea makes sense, and realize that if they aren’t amenable to some of the developer’s needs, they are not going to build. It is not New York City, where you follow every rule to a tee and there is no messing around. Here it is a give and take.”

But the Division of Planning does add that the needs of the Jersey City community will always take precedence.

“While there is flexibility in the zoning, and there is flexibility for the architect to create the best product possible, at the same time we let them know up front about all of the components that the community needs to make sure that the development doesn’t have any negative impacts,” says Bucci-Carter.

A quintessential example of the materialized Liberty Harbor redevelopment plan is HLW’s 225 Grand. It is currently the largest single residential property in the new neighborhood. The 348-unit community consists of a 15-story concrete tower with a glass and brick façade and a lower five-story wrap built from lightweight steel that includes a small retail portion and internalized parking. The luxury rental comes complete with a full host of amenities including a doorman, fitness center, billiards room, lounge, business center and a roof deck pool on top of the lower portion. Edward Shim, a senior designer at HLW who worked on 225 Grand from the start, says that a well thought-out amenity package is especially important in Jersey City.

“Unlike New York, where all of the amenities are available down the block, Jersey City currently lacks that support,” Shim says. “As a result, the developers are trying everything they can to provide those amenities with the asset.”

The fully leased property has eliminated concessions and enjoys rents that continue to grow, performance markers that demonstrate the overall strength of the market, says Joshua Wuestneck, senior vice president of development at Ironstate Development Co.

“We are extremely bullish on the rental housing market in Jersey City and in the shadow of Manhattan in general,” Wuestneck says.

The success at 225 Grand serves as a launching point for the partnership’s next two developments in Liberty Harbor, the first being 18 Park, a 422-unit building located two blocks to the south. Construction will commence in 2012, allowing for a slated occupancy by fall 2013. The property will include a custom-designed facility that will serve as the new home for the Boys and Girls Club that is currently located on the site of Ironstate and Kushner Real Estate Group’s third, and largest, project in Liberty Harbor.

“The whole plan kind of came together organically with the Boys and Girls Club, which needed an injection of capital into their organization,” says Wuestneck. “It also allows the club to remain in the same area, which was important for them. It has certainly been a win-win situation for everyone.”

The project, which for now is called Block 5, will entail a 45-story podium rental tower where the Boys and Girls Club (currently located in a repurposed coal bunker) now sits. The site, which will also house a 10-story rental structure, will total approximately 670 units when completed. The asset will also have the distinction of serving as a welcoming gateway for Liberty Harbor from the historical districts to the north thanks to some clever tweaks to the street grid. The plan calls for an extension of Grove Street, which terminates at the Boys and Girls Club, and the revitalization of an adjacent underutilized park.

The yet-to-be-named 45-story tower designed by HLW International will feature a similar amenity package and design to what is currently being offered in 225 Grand. There will be an outdoor pool with deck space located on top of the roughly eight-story parking/residential podium. The outdoor element will also include some green space, a playground and a miniature dog run. Interior amenities should include a multi-use lounge and a fitness center. The building’s design also focuses on improving what is available in the immediate vicinity, which becomes an additional amenity for both residents and Liberty Harbor as a whole.

“Aside from redesigning the park to become an attractive amenity not only to this building, but also to the surrounding buildings in the area, our solution was to come up with a lobby entrance and ground floor that was double-height,” Shim says. “The lobby will be directly across from the park and flanked by two larger pieces of retail. The two-story retail element will activate the street level and bring some life and people into this development, which really should become the focal point for this particular area.”

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