Lou Mont walks around the unfinished lobby of Cast Iron Lofts II like an expectant father.
Having constructed residential buildings in the Hoboken/Jersey City area since 1978, Mont and his development firm, Manhattan Building Company, have learned a lot about what people expect in luxury rentals.
Located at 300 Coles St., between 17th and 18th streets, the new residential offering is the second property to open within the Cast Iron Lofts collection that is spearheading the creation of a new neighborhood with easy access to the Hoboken PATH, the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, and ferry service, as well as its own shuttle to a variety of locations in Jersey City, Hoboken, and even parts of Manhattan such as SoHo.
In many ways, Cast Iron Lofts II, along with its sister project Cast Iron Lofts I, have actually anticipated an important change in trends over the last few decades.
“People used to move to places like Hoboken until they wanted to raise a family; then they moved to places like Clifton or Montclair,” Mont says, while overseeing some of the finishing touches on a building expected to begin receiving residents in a few short weeks. “Now people want to move to other parts of this area.”
He says people want to continue to enjoy the urban experience. But people need more room to raise kids, and other amenities that they did not need or want when they first settled into places like Hoboken just after college.
South of Hoboken
Both Cast Iron buildings as well as another residential project by the same company are the first of a new batch of residential development constructed in a former industrial area located near the Jersey City/Hoboken border.
Its marketing materials sell it as “SoHo West,” partly because of its similarity to the redeveloped area in lower Manhattan, but also because this area is south of Hoboken and west of Manhattan.
For decades, the area between Newport and Hoboken has been a kind of nowhere land, a lost world that is now rapidly becoming a hip area to live.
Mont said the central focus of the construction will be a new two block long park that is part of the city’s redevelopment plan for the area, adding an open space centerpiece similar to historic Hamilton Park in an older part of Jersey City.
“When we first conceptualized Cast Iron Lofts, we were excited about both the potential of this location.” – Audrey Spina
As the sales office hums with activity, workers throughout the building put the finishing touches on a number of amenities including the lobby, the ground floor retail, the spa area, and the rooftop pool and cabana area.
Unlike many other developments, Cast Iron Lofts features 232 loft-style residences with high ceilings and large floor plans. Most of these are one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
“We offer very few studios,” Mont said.
The larger spaces with multiple bathrooms and closets mean each unit can accommodate everything from groups of roommates to families.
The 27-story building also provides a number of indoor and outdoor amenities and 27,000 square-feet of street-level retail space.
“We’re very selective about the businesses we want in the building,” Mont said.
Cast Iron Lofts offers a wide array of onsite amenities, including a resort-style 17,000 square-foot rooftop deck with a heated pool, poolside shower, gas BBQ grills, outdoor fire pit lounge areas, a separate large Bark Park for pets, and lush landscaping with a shaded tree grove and sitting area. There’s also a fitness center with training stations, yoga studio, and fitness-on-demand system, a business center, private conference room, children’s playroom, resident lounge with bar, fireplace, billiard table, and large screen TV; a lobby library lounge, and bike storage.
“To fully maximize the resident experience, we’re also offering a 24-hour concierge, lobby package display system, valet dry cleaning service, on-demand fitness reservation system, and indoor reserved garage parking,” Mont said.
First in the neighborhood
One of the advantages of Cast Iron Lofts and its sister projects is its ability to get in first and set the tone for the neighborhood. While there are other projects approved for the area, Cast Iron is well on its way to establish what this neighborhood will become.
Mont said the concepts would avoid creating the “dead canyon” effect often found in parts of Newport. Ground floor retail and other efforts will bring people onto the street, populating the area. Events such as community street fairs and other such things will help in this effort.
Cast Iron I already has a pre-school, and both buildings offer play areas for children.
But the development isn’t just for families. It can accommodate roommates, empty-nesters and others.
“When we first conceptualized Cast Iron Lofts, we were excited about both the potential of this location, as well as the absence in the area of larger residences catering to those who desire considerably more living space, including families,” said Audrey Spina, director of leasing. “The success of the first building proved that we effectively tapped into that market demand, and we’re delighted to now introduce the latest offering of residences which will continue to shape this new neighborhood while providing a clear alternative to what’s being offered throughout Jersey City and Hoboken.”
Cast Iron Lofts II residences range from 885 to 1,885 square feet of living space at monthly rents starting from $2,495. The apartments are complemented by distinctive architectural elements and features, including 10-foot ceiling heights with exposed duct work, oversized windows, custom walk-in closets, hardwood floors, granite countertops, bathrooms with stained marble vanity, polished porcelain Carrera-tiled floors, and glass enclosed showers with shower surround and massaging shower-heads. There are also fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances.
“We have a large number of floor plans to choose from, including apartments with a bonus den,” said Spina. “These residences are significantly larger than those found in high-rise rental buildings along the waterfront. Each apartment is bathed in natural light and has been designed to maximize layout and location, with many boasting magnificent views of the New York City skyline and/or the Statute of Liberty.”
An onsite leasing center is now open at Cast Iron Lofts at 837 Jersey Ave. For additional information on the rental homes and to schedule a private tour of the furnished model residences and amenity spaces, please call (201) 795-3500 or visit www.castironcollection.com.
Al Sullivan may be reached at email@example.com.