If anyone had any doubt about how important the ribbon cutting for RiverParc at Port Imperial was on May 29, they just had to look around the lobby filled with bankers, developers, contractors and public officials.
RiverParc, developed by the Roseland Properties subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, would seem like a jewel in any Hudson County town. In Weehawken it marks the next stage in the creation of a new waterfront community along the North Hudson waterfront. The $117 million luxury residential community slowly taking shape along the riverfront is expected to become a new “downtown.”
RiverParc is part of the Port Imperial development that spans more than two and a half miles of waterfront facing Manhattan. It is located on the property between RiversEdge at Port Imperial and the NJ Waterway ferry terminal, adjacent to the park housing The Hudson Riverfront 9/11 Memorial.
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said the 280-unit luxury residence just south of the Weehawken ferry terminal is part of a vision for the waterfront that provides first floor retail along a significant portion of the waterfront. This, he said, will not only create a contemporary urban neighborhood but will also provide services to residents throughout the town not currently available.
“Township Council and Planning Board have worked with Roseland and others to create a thriving waterfront.” – Mayor Richard Turner
The first floor spa with an indoor swimming pool will offer memberships to the general public as well as residents of the building, although some additional features are open to residents only.
A whole new part of the township
“It’s hard to envision that 30 years ago there was virtually nothing on this land and now we have a thriving waterfront community,” said Mayor Turner. “We’re especially pleased that RiverParc’s fitness center and pool is available for membership to the public, offering an extraordinary amenity not only for the building’s residents, but also for the entire Weehawken community.”
In addition to panoramic views of New York City, the community offers a wide array of lifestyle-oriented features designed to evoke a distinct combination of community, comfort, and convenience, the developer said.
Among RiverParc’s amenities are a juice bar, a splash pad recreation area, bocce courts, and enclosed parking garage with electric car-charging stations.
The concept behind RiverParc, to create a reversal of traditional indoor and outdoor activities, is designed to foster a lively and communal living experience year-round and create a spacious, suburban feel commonly associated with outdoor amenities, organizers said.
“In today’s residential market, there’s a clear demand for communities that offer the both the gateways to major cities and a rich, holistic living experience,” said Andrew Marshall, Roseland’s executive vice president of development. “RiverParc provides a particularly innovative amenity structure while still embodying the cultural relevance and accessibility of Port Imperial. For that reason, we’re experiencing overwhelming demand from prospective residents.”
In total, Roseland has developed 2,400 apartments of the total of approximately 3,500 currently built at Port Imperial, with an additional 2,300 on the way. When completed, the 200-acre master-planned redevelopment project will be comprised of 20 total properties, including residential, retail and hotel components. The innovative community features world-class views of the Manhattan skyline and an intermodal transportation system, offering commuter ferry service to Manhattan and Light Rail service along New Jersey’s Gold Coast.
“The Township Council and Planning Board have worked with Roseland and others to create a thriving waterfront,” Turner said. “Still it amazes me to see one building going up after another. You couldn’t have finer developers than Roseland and Mack Cali.”
Turner said the waterfront area is 40 percent open space and includes the riverfront walkway, a 10 acre park, public recreation, and other amenities.
“All these are paid for by developers. Taxpayers pay nothing,” he said. “As we see development taking place, there is less and less land for the employees and workers, and so we’re setting up an area where they can park, a temporary parking lot.”
Affordable housing is being constructed elsewhere in Weehawken with funding paid by the waterfront development. This includes a new 28-unit senior building on the site of a rundown hotel.
“There is a lot more coming in,” Turner said. “One of the things the township insisted on is that the development along that road will be public stores, creating a new shopping and business corridor.”
He said there will be a hotel near the ferry terminal, and this will be a tremendous amenity.
Turner said all this leads to job creation. Weehawken has set up a program that would require businesses to offer jobs to residents of Weehawken first.
“If they qualify, then fine, if they don’t, then the jobs will go to someone else,” he said. “But at least local residents get the crack at them.”
While many people work in Manhattan, a number of people are looking for work locally, he said.
“We never thought we would have this many buildings coming on this fast,” Turner said. “These change the whole economic base of the town, each year it will get better.”
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.