A recently completed renovation project illustrates the changing tide in Lafayette. Featuring high-end rental units and two commercial spaces – one of which has drawn a popular downtown restauranteur to the area – the fully-restored building on the corner of Communipaw Avenue and Pine Street highlights Lafayette’s increasing popularity.
Gutted and renovated by Owen and Kristina Samuelsen, the project at 196 Pine Street, consists of four premium rental units above two commercial spaces. The rentals feature 10-foot ceilings, restored original fireplace mantels, exposed brick, and repurposed wooden window frames. They’ve also been updated with modern cabinetry, recessed lighting, exposed ductwork, and washers and dryers in each unit. One of the four units is already rented, the remaining three are on the market starting at $2,100.
The residential units are marketed by Basilio Rivera of Christoph Schluender Realty. Contact Basilio at 201-240-8048 or [email protected] for more information.
As for the commercial spaces, both have already been leased. One to Samuel Kirk, the operator behind Paulus Hook breakfast hotspot Sam a.m. In an interview with Jersey Digs, Kirk discussed his vision for the project. The concept is still in its early stages, but he envisions a “relaxed, low key dinner and brunch spot”. Inspired by Lafayette’s proximity to Ellis Island, he wants the eatery to reflect the immigrant experience with dishes that “transport people to a different place and time”.
Kirk says the concept will be unlike anything else in Jersey City. He wants it to become a reasonably-priced go-to spot for the local residents but also a draw that brings people to the neighborhood. He’s opening the restaurant with his wife, Amanda Kirk and the chef from Sam a.m., Francis Samu. No concrete timeline is set for the restaurant, but Kirk anticipates opening in early 2017.
The other commercial space has been leased to Luna De Papel, a creative workspace where the community can enjoy the art of crafting. Classes will lean toward the more practical life skills but at the same time will provide fun projects for people of all ages. Some examples include basket weaving, basic sewing skills, knitting/crochet, and felting to mosaics, paper mache, and scrapbooking. The space will also offer access to cutting machines, embossing machines, sewing machines and more.
Lafayette is proving to be one of the more popular neighborhoods outside of downtown for both developers and businesses. The Baker Building was the first large-scale project to come to the area in decades. It opened in April and leased up at a record pace. A 308-unit project was recently approved at 100 Monitor Street and a 20-year tax abatement was granted to a 93-unit project at 440-446 Whiton Street.
On the business front, the Grind Shop brought premium coffee to the neighborhood in late 2015 and Martha’s, a casual luncheonette opened this past April.