Local officials have signed off on a plan to revitalize almost 19 acres of land along the Hudson River, although a pending lawsuit still looms over the three-tower project.
Last week, Edgewater’s planning board granted final approvals to an application looking to rejuvenate a long-dormant parcel at 615 River Road. The property was owned by Hess Corporation and served as home to oil tanks for decades before it was purchased by 615 River Road Partners in 2014.
A thorough environmental remediation of the property was completed by Hess and the new ownership, but a lengthy battle ensued over the land. 615 River Road Partners filed a notable lawsuit against Edgewater in 2017, alleging that the town and local developer Fred Daibes were conspiring to block their previous plans for a major project totaling 1,800 residential units.
The case was eventually settled in 2019 and Edgewater declared the land an area in need of redevelopment last year. The buildout of the project is a joint venture between New York-based The Maxal Group and Denver’s Envirofinance Group.
The 1.2-million-square-foot development is designed by New York-based FXCollaborative, whose work includes The New York Times Building and several projects along the Brooklyn waterfront. The entirety of 615 River Road will include three 25-story towers, with two situated on the property’s northern side.
All of the buildings would feature sixth-floor outdoor terraces, with 20,000 square feet of retail space split between the structures. Sprinkled among the 1,200 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments will be 180 affordable housing units.
The structures will collectively provide 40,000 square feet of amenities for residents and the three buildings will include a total of 1,300 parking spaces, 15% of which will have electric vehicle charging stations.
Public amenities at the project will include a two-acre park dubbed Edgewater Green and a waterfront walkway connected to the borough’s existing river walk. The developers also plan to build a new ferry facility with service to New York and construct bus “super stops” that will create loading lanes for both north- and south-bound buses along River Road.
615 River Road faced some local opposition from residents since first being proposed last year, but the approved plan could provide some relief in the borough’s classrooms. A five-acre parcel on the western side of the property that straddles River Road will be deeded to Edgewater and is being set aside as the possible site for the construction of a new school.
“We want to thank the Planning Board for granting us the approvals that we have long sought,” said Bruce Sturman, a Managing Director of The Maxal Group. “We look forward to bringing a sophisticated, quality complex to Edgewater.”
While Sturman noted in the company’s release that the venture can begin applying for building permits as soon as possible, a legal matter at the property remains unresolved. The neighboring borough of Cliffside Park and the nearby SoJo Spa Club filed lawsuits against Edgewater and the developer in August and September last year, claiming the borough improperly designated the land as an area in need of redevelopment.
Those cases have since been consolidated into a single suit, but the complaint is still listed as pending in Bergen County court.