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Ironstate Development Named Top NJ Developer

Ironstate Development Company tops The Real Deal’s list of top New Jersey developers.

BY C. J. Hughes

Hudson County, which includes urban areas like Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken, is radiating cool these days, with its hip restaurants, arts scene and proximity to New York City. That vibe, along with rents often around 50 percent of Manhattan’s and 20 percent cheaper than those in Brooklyn, is making it one of the hottest residential destinations in the tri-state area, its supporters say.

“It’s a terrific location for somebody who wants affordability,” said Jeffrey Kanne, the chief executive of National Real Estate Advisors, which has teamed with Kushner Real Estate Group to build Journal Squared,
a three-phase, 1,800-unit colossus in
Jersey City.

Using our own research and data from CoStar Group and BuzzBuzzHome,

The Real Deal ranked the top developers by number of units that hit the market in 2014 and 2015, as well as those that will come online by the end of 2017. When firms partnered on projects, TRD allocated the full number of units to each of them.

1. Ironstate Development Company

Claiming the top spot is a Hoboken-based firm with deep roots in the area, Ironstate Development Company, with 3,354 units. A huge chunk of that total is made up by URL (Urban Ready Living) Harborside, an amenity-laden rental complex in Jersey City with a total of about 2,300 units. Its first phase, which will open in mid-2016, will consist of 763 apartments in a massive 69-story tower.

Harborside, which is being developed in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, will feature a gym and even an urban farm with beehives. Its lobby cafe, which is expected to be operated by New York chain Coffeed, will be open to the public and “become a social hub for the neighborhood,” said Michael Barry, an Ironstate executive.

The company is also the developer — with Panepinto Properties (see #10) — behind the luxury residences 50, 70 and 90 Columbus in Jersey City.


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!


Housing Calls To Mack-Cali


Mack-Cali Realty Corp., New Jersey’s largest office landlord, announced a joint venture to develop two luxury apartment towers on Jersey City’s waterfront Wednesday.

The deal, Mack-Cali’s first foray into multifamily properties in a decade, comes as the company seeks new ways to expand as demand for office space in the Garden State remains stagnant and competition for office tenants grows fierce.

Meanwhile, the apartment market has been strong, and demand for rental apartments is growing, especially from young, urban professionals priced out of the Manhattan.

Mack-Cali, a real-estate investment trust, is teaming up with the Hoboken-based Ironstate Development Co., which built and owns Hoboken’s W hotel. The Jersey City development plan calls for two luxury towers with 500 rental units; each tower will have one-bedroom and studio apartments, sizes that appeal to younger renters. The towers will utilize two city blocks of vacant parking lots adjacent to Mack-Cali’s Harborside Financial Center office complex spanning roughly 3 million square feet on the waterfront.

“This an opportunity to take advantage of land we already owned and to grow the business by putting that land to work in a sector of the real-estate market where there is very strong demand and where we expect it to be…profitable for us,” said Mitchell Hersh, chief executive of Mack-Cali in an interview. He indicated that this company could announce additional multifamily deals in the future.

Mack-Cali, which is based in Edison, N.J., and owns 278 properties, has been among the worst performing REITs this year, in part because of its heavy concentration in the office sector in New Jersey. The office-vacancy rate in northern New Jersey was 18% as of the third quarter, higher than the national average of 17.4%, according to Reis Inc.

Meanwhile, apartment landlords nationwide are seeing rental rates increase and vacancy rates decline. In the third quarter, the vacancy rate in Hudson County—which includes Jersey City—was 5.2%, flat from a year earlier and lower than the 5.6% national rate, Reis said. Hudson County’s rent after freebies came in at an average of $2,523, up from $2,466 a year earlier. The national rate is $1,004.

“What they’re doing, I think it’s very smart. At the moment, the market clearly shows more demand for residential than for office,” said Jamie LeFrak, a principal in the LeFrak Organization, a major developer in Jersey City. He noted that with so much office space under construction at the World Trade Center just across the river in lower Manhattan, residential is “the highest and best use of the property now.”

Mack-Cali and Ironstate expect to break ground on the apartment towers in the fourth quarter of 2012.  READ MORE WALL STREET JOURNAL >>>

Waterfront rentals shine in a dull market

via The Newark Star-Ledger

By Kathleen Lynn/The Record

Two luxury apartment projects are planned for the Hudson River waterfront, a sign that rentals remain the most robust segment of the real estate market.

Mack-Cali Realty, the state’s largest office landlord, said yesterday it is teaming up with Ironstate Development of Hoboken to build two highrise towers of 500 units each in Jersey City. READ MORE >>>>


Edison, New Jersey—December 7, 2011—Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE: CLI), along with Ironstate Development Company, today announced that the two companies have formed a joint venture to develop luxury multi-family rental towers on the Jersey City Waterfront.

The first phase of the project consists of a parking pedestal to support two high-rise towers of approximately 500 apartment units each. Featuring a contemporary design, the towers will encompass planned on-site amenities including a café, pools, fitness center, and more. The project will offer its residents magnificent views of the Hudson River and New York Skyline. Residents will benefit from the area’s comprehensive transportation infrastructure, making it easy to travel via PATH, light rail, ferry, bus, and car.

The project will be built on land owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corporation within its Harborside Financial Center, which is adjacent to the Exchange Place PATH station. Harborside Financial Center is comprised of five state-of-the-art class A office buildings, retail shops, and a multitude of fine and casual restaurants.

The companies anticipate a fourth quarter 2012 ground breaking on the project and expect residents to take occupancy within approximately two years thereafter.

The architect on the project is HLW International LLP.

Mitchell E. Hersh, Mack-Cali president and chief executive officer, commented, “On behalf of Mack-Cali, we are thrilled to be working with Ironstate to develop this premier project. It allows us to utilize a portion of the land we already own in a manner consistent with creating a 24/7 ‘city within a city.’  We believe there is strong demand for this type of high-end workforce housing and we chose to partner with Ironstate because of their vast experience and exceptional reputation in the development and management of high rise residential real estate.”

David Barry, Ironstate Development president, commented, “We’re delighted to announce this partnership with Mack-Cali as both companies have long worked towards a common goal of creating a world-class live/work destination in downtownJersey City. This well-positioned site represents a tremendous development opportunity to introduce quality rental residences to an established waterfront neighborhood already offering broad public transportation options, a vibrant commercial base and complementary retail.”

About Mack-Cali Realty Corporation

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is a fully integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) providing management, leasing, development, construction and other tenant-related services for its class A real estate portfolio. Mack-Cali owns or has interests in 278 properties, primarily office and office/flex buildings located in the Northeast, totaling approximately 32.4 million square feet. The properties enable the Company to provide a full complement of real estate opportunities to its diverse base of over 2,000 tenants.

Additional information on Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is available on the Company’s website at www.mack-cali.com.

About Ironstate Development Company

Ironstate Development 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 and the newly-acquired Standard East Village in Manhattan with partner Andre Balazs. 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 www.ironstatedevelopment.com.

Statements made in this press release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “plan,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” or comparable terminology. Such forward-looking statements are inherently subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties, many of which the Company cannot predict with accuracy and some of which the Company might not even anticipate, and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and are advised to consider the factors listed above together with the additional factors under the heading “Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, as may be supplemented or amended by the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are incorporated herein by reference. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events, new information or otherwise.


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