Just Outside the City, and Building Bedrooms



via RONDA KAYSEN/ The New York Times

HARRISON, N.J. — Sitting in his office, surrounded by Halloween kitsch and posters of building designs, the mayor of Harrison talks like a man who has been selling an idea for a long time. After 15 years, his vision to transform this long-forsaken industrial town into a bedroom community for single, young professionals is finally taking shape.

A flurry of development is under way in this 1.2-mile-long town along the Passaic River, across from Newark. A 275-unit upscale apartment building was fully leased within seven months of its 2011 opening. On the heels of that success, other developers have broken ground on residential, retail and commercial projects in a redevelopment zone that circles the town’s New Jersey PATH station.


“Harrison is really like new build,” said David Barry, president of Ironstate Development Company, which built 300 Somerset Street with thePegasus Group. “We’re creating a neighborhood from whole cloth and trying to give it a sense of place.”

By the end of the year, the team will break ground on the Element hotel, an extended-stay hotel that will charge visitors about $150 a night. The seven-story hotel will sit across the street from 300 Somerset, wrapping around a 1,440-car garage the team built in 2010. The Hudson County Improvement Authority operates the garage and Harrison receives the revenue from it. Eventually, Ironstate and Pegasus plan to build five more apartment buildings with about 2,000 units and 67,000 square feet of retail.



First Group of Harrison Station Rentals Are Fully Leased


Harrison Station
is now 100% occupied.

HARRISON, NJ-All 275 units are now leased and occupied at the first Harrison Station complex, Greg Russo, a principal of Ironstate Development, tells GlobeSt.com. Debuting last September as the first rental project in a planned mixed-use community on 245 acres around a PATH Station, the building leased quickly from the start.

“We were able to stop offering concessions by March, and are now seeing some decent rent increases,” says Russo. Because the project was the first luxury rental building to go up in a raw post-industrial area where abandoned warehouse buildings still stand on surrounding streets, a month’s free rent was originally offered as enticement.

The development features an Olympic-size outdoor pool and deck, a fitness center, and other amenities. The exclusive marketing and leasing agent for the property was The Marketing Directors, which is based in New York and which has long been active selling and leasing apartments on New Jersey’s Gold Coast.

Ironstate, which has Pegasus Group as a partner in Harrison, is to begin work within a few months on a 136-room Element by Starwood hotel adjacent to the rental complex and PATH station. Also, by the end of the year, the companies will break ground on a second residential complex, Russo says.

The partners are only two of six development companies at work on projects under way at the massive redevelopment site. Russo Development, headed by Edward Russo – no relation to Greg – has begun construction of a 300-unit rental apartment building.

Heller Industrial has nearly completed demolition of buildings across Frank E. Rogers Boulevard from the PATH station, which is itself scheduled to be rebuilt starting next year. Heller expects to begin work on a mixed-use structure including 65 rentals by the end of the year.

The Ironstate/Pegasus building includes almost 13,000 square feet of street-level space, and Russo says this is also filling up. A Five Guys restaurant is now open at the site, and Russo reported recent lease-signings with a Pronto Gourmet market, Fakara restaurant and the hair salon Pro Cut.


via Liz Burlingame/ Northeast Real Estate Business

There was a time when Harrison in Hudson County, New Jersey, was dominated by views of aging warehouses and commuter parking lots. That landscape is changing, however. The former industrial center has become a hotbed of residential development, including a $750 million, mixed-use project known as Harrison Station.

The first completed building in the project opened last September and included 275 apartment units and 12,814 square feet of retail space. By April, the apartment units were fully leased, while Five Guys Burgers & Fries; Pronto Gourmet; Pro-Cuts; and Sakara, a Japanese restaurant, have each inked leases for retail space.

Ironstate Development Co. and the Pegasus Group are developing a $750 million mixed-use project in Hudson County, Now Jersey.

“The absorption has been very consistent, which is a sign that you haven’t tapped out that demand,” says Greg Russo, a senior vice president of Ironstate Development Co., one of the site’s developers.

Ironstate and its joint venture partner, the Pegasus Group, were initially attracted to the area’s transit access. The new building is just steps from the PATH station, with quick access to the New Jersey Turnpike.

The developers partnered in 2000, and after acquiring several parcels and completing environmental clean-up work on the site, they constructed a four-story parking deck before starting construction on apartments and retail space. This June, they will break ground on the project’s next phase, a 136-

room Element hotel, to be built around and atop the parking garage.

When completed, Harrison Station will ultimately include 2,600 residences and 80,000 square feet of retail.

The developers have noticed strong demand from those who work along the PATH line in Hoboken, Jersey City, or New York City

Young professional singles and couples, ages 20 to 39, are the target demographic for rentals, says Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors, the development’s exclusive leasing and marketing agent.

Urgo says many renters are attracted to living in luxury housing without the Hoboken price tags. “The well-designed homes, full suite of amenities, and supportive street-level retail complete the desirable urban lifestyle experience,” says Urgo. “It’s all at a price point that is extremely favorable when compared to areas like downtown Jersey City and Hoboken.”

Rents in the Harrison Station building average $1,450 for a studio, $1,675 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,150 for a two-bedroom unit. The development also includes a beach volleyball court and outdoor pool.

The project is also across the street from a 600-unit, mixed-use development by Heller Urban Renewal. Crews began demolition on the site last November.

The Heller development shares the same name, Harrison Station. Local developers reached an agreement to call the neighborhood Harrison Station to avoid name confusion. “Our project will be called Harrison Station 300 Somerset St.,” says Russo. “The neighborhood should have a name, and we’ll both build off that brand.”

Harrison Station To Get An ‘Eco-Wise’ Element Hotel By Starwood





HARRISON, NJ-Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is to open a 138-unit hotel at Harrison Station in 2014 with its “eco-wise” Element brand, the Stamford, CT-based company announced today.

The hotel will be developed and owned by Ironstate Holdings, the Hoboken-based company which opened a 300-unit residential complex in the redevelopment area around the station last year.

The Element Harrison will be the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey, after the Element Ewing Princeton. The Element brand, launched in 2008, was the first major hotel brand to designate that all its buildings would be built “green,” meeting the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.

“Element Harrison will provide a fresh, new update on lodging that will appeal to travelers to the bustling Newark metropolitan area,” said Brian McGuinness, a senior vice-president with Starwood. “The Element brand offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play.” The hotel will be managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts.

Element Harrison will have a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, and a 1,500-square-foot meeting space with state-of-the-art technology. Rooms designed to accommodate business travelers will have swiveling flat-screen televisions and large desks with open shelving, spa-inspired bathrooms, and fully equipped kitchens.

“We’re very excited to introduce Element to Harrison and expect the brand’s fusion of style, personal wellbeing and sustainability will resonate with guests,” says James Ronga, the vice-president of Ironstate Holdings. “Our location adjacent to the PATH Station and so close to Newark Liberty International Airport will also make Element Harrison a highly attractive choice for travelers on the go.”

The Harrison Station PATH station offers a direct connection to Newark Penn Station and the city’s business district, and also quick trips to Jersey City, and lower Manhattan. The hotel will be situated a short walk from the Red Bulls professional soccer team stadium in Harrison. The Prudential Center in Newark, which is home to the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team, college basketball, concerts, family shows and special events, is also nearby.

Starwood Hotels’ Eco-Wise Element Brand to Deliver Fresh, New Option in Greater Newark

Element Harrison is slated to open in Summer 2014, just minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport

STAMFORD, Conn., Apr 24, 2012(BUSINESS WIRE) — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced plans to open Element Harrison in Summer of 2014, just five miles from Newark Liberty International Airport. Owned and developed by Harrison Hotel 1, an entity of Ironstate Holdings, LLC, a Hoboken, NJ-based developer, and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Element Harrison will join Element Ewing Princeton as the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey. Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wise Element(R) brand delivers a smart new lodging option for travelers with 138 guest rooms and suites built green from the ground up.

Element Harrison will typify the “balance” that Starwood’s Element brand offers to business and leisure travelers. Just minutes from Newark, Jersey City and lower Manhattan, Element Harrison will be walking distance to a variety of shops and restaurants and within proximity to Newark’s business district. Less than 30 minutes from Manhattan’s financial district, the hotel is located right at the NJ PATH Harrison train station and close to the Newark Penn Station and the Gateway Center. The hotel will also be ideally situated in the heart of a growing sports and entertainment hub, including the newly-opened 25,000 seat soccer stadium for the NY Red Bulls professional soccer team in Harrison, and the Prudential Center in Newark, which is home to the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team, college basketball, concerts, family shows and special events throughout the year.

“Element Harrison will provide a fresh, new update on lodging that will appeal to travelers to the bustling Newark metropolitan area,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “The Element brand offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play.”

The Element brand made history with its 2008 launch. It is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. More than just a “green” hotel brand, however, Element offers travelers a sophisticated setting with stylish rooms designed for comfort. Every signature detail aims to fuel a life in balance and on the move. Element Harrison will feature all the brand’s signatures, including:

– Rise, Element’s hearty and healthy complimentary breakfast

– Motion, a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center

– Indoor Pool

– Relax, complimentary evening receptions

– Restore, a gourmet food pantry

– 1,500-square-feet of meeting space with modular furnishings, flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet and business or social needs

– Dynamic gathering spaces, from a lobby flooded with natural light to a multi-storied window wall and from an outdoor fire pit, to water features and a barbecue

– Light filled guest rooms with a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving, and custom-designed closets

– The signature Heavenly(R) Bed

– Spa-inspired bathrooms with an invigorating rain-shower and dual-flush toilet

– Fully equipped kitchens featuring filtered water, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and utensils to prepare a gourmet meal

“We’re very excited to introduce Element to Harrison and expect the brand’s fusion of style, personal wellbeing and sustainability will resonate with guests,” said James Ronga, Vice President of Ironstate Holdings, LLC. “Our location adjacent to the PATH Station and so close to Newark Liberty International Airport will also make Element Harrison a highly attractive choice for travelers on the go.”

About Element Hotels

Accessible, affordable and active, Element Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its complimentary RISE healthy breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes-to-borrow and electric vehicle charging stations.

Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit http://www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1090 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visithttp://www.starwoodhotels.com .

About Ironstate Holdings, LLC

Ironstate Holdings, LLC (and 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 apartments and hotels valued at several billion dollars. The Company’s multi-family portfolio comprises an extensive range of apartments, condominiums and retail and recreational spaces in key urban centers near mass transportation hubs, while its hospitality holdings include the W Hoboken Hotel along the Hudson River waterfront facing Manhattan. Ironstate has approximately $1 billion in the development pipeline, including the redevelopment of the former U.S. Naval Base on the waterfront in Staten Island, NY.

Additional information on Ironstate Development Company is available on the Company’s website at http://www.ironstate.net .

About Crescent Hotels & Resorts

With corporate offices in Fairfax, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada, Crescent Hotels & Resorts owns, manages and co-invests in hotel real estate, and is a North American recognized Top 10 independent, third-party operator of hotels and resorts. The company currently owns or operates 68 hotels and resorts aggregating more than 14,000 rooms in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company’s portfolio encompasses properties in the resort, luxury, upper upscale, boutique, convention and premium select-service segments, as well as legendary independent hotels and resorts. Additional information about Crescent Hotel & Resorts may be found on the company’s Web site http://www.chrco.com .

(note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions)(note:we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement)(note:whether as a result of new information)(note:future events or otherwise.)

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

New Jersey Town Bets Big on PATH


HARRISON, N.J.—Nestled along the Passaic River, this town has never quite shed its gritty industrial image, even as residential development helped transform nearby Jersey City and Hoboken from faded urban centers into commuter havens.

A recent announcement of $256 million in funding to replace the town’s 76-year-old PATH station, which isn’t even currently wheelchair accessible, could help change that.

A half dozen developers are planning to break ground on more than 1,000 new units, primarily rentals, in Harrison by the end of the year.

The construction is part of an even more ambitious idea: to add 13,000 units over the next decade to a town that has just 13,000 residents now. And it’s a gamble. That’s about as many new rental units as are slated to sprout in Brooklyn in the coming years.

But if it’s successful, the building boom may help reverse Harrison’s downward course.

“What was the alternative? Have the town die?” Mayor Raymond McDonough said.

Harrison’s redevelopment in many ways reflects a continuing reversal in the state’s fortunes. As single-family homes in leafy suburban towns languish, cities are experiencing a bit of a revival because of their proximity to public transportation.

“This doesn’t mean the suburbs are going to disappear, but it really makes sense for people who are close to New York,” said Stuart Meck, an associate research professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

In the mid-twentieth century tens of thousands of employees streamed into Harrison’s industrial zone each day, home to companies like RCA electronics and Otis Elevator Co.

About 15 years ago, the city created a plan for developing the 250-acre former industrial section of Harrison into a primarily residential community. But the plan hit a series of obstacles, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., when the flow of commuters to downtown Manhattan dropped.

Private investors have spent or committed more than $650 million toward the redevelopment effort, and $286 million of public funds have been committed to the redevelopment from different levels of government.

Harrison still faces significant hurdles: The developers will have to create retail and green space, where there is currently almost none, and the new developments are isolated from the already limited downtown core.

A new rental development in Harrison, near the town's PATH station./Ramin Talaie for The Wall Street Journal

But the success of one of the area’s recent rental developments has given other developers the confidence to move forward. Harrison Station—a 275-unit rental building built by Ironstate Development and Pegasus Group on remediated brown fields—began leasing in September and is fully rented.

Among the building’s attractions are a swimming pool and beach volleyball court. But its primary selling point was more likely cheap rents—$1,750 a month for a one-bedroom—and generous incentives.

Sarah Lin, a 33-year-old who works at World Financial Center, moved into the building a few weeks ago. She and her husband were living in a studio apartment on the Upper West Side, but Ms. Lin, who is pregnant, said they needed more space.

Ms. Lin said the landlord offered two months of free rent when they signed the contract, which helped seal the deal.

“A friend recommended it. She said it’s much safer than Newark,” Ms. Lin said. “There’s more space, and people are not very hectic.”

The same partnership plans to break ground this spring on a 138-room Element by Westin hotel, as well as a second apartment building.   CONTINUE >>>

New Jersey’s Real Estate ICONS

The Garden States commercial real estate business has a long and vast history and an even brighter future.

Neither, however, would be possible without the efforts of individuals who helped shape—and continue to influence—the market. Here’s a look at some of the people who have become regional household names in the industry.

By Sarah Wolfe/ Real Estate FORUM


It’s said there wouldn’t be a Hoboken without the Barry family. After all, that’s where, in 1970, brothers Joseph and Walter Barry founded Applied Housing Co. and embarked on revitalization projects that cemented the firm’s reputation as an innovative large-scale urban developer.

Some 30 years after Applied’s founding, brothers David and Michael Barry continued that legacy, forming Ironstate Development, which owns and manages more that 6,000 residential units with $1 billion in projects in the pipeline. As co-president (with Michael) of both Applied and Ironstate, its development arm, Barry has spearheaded some of the state’s largest revitalization projects, including the Shipyard and W Hoboken Hotel & Residences in Hoboken; Port Liberte in Jersey City; and Pier Village in Long Branch, now in its third phase. Barry is also a member fo the boards of the New Jersey Apartment Association and Fortress Investment Group LLC, a global investment manager with an estimated $40 billion in assets as of 2010.

%d bloggers like this: