Over 550 Units Planned Along the Passaic River in Harrison

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South First Street And Bergen Street Harrison
Site of proposed development: South First Street and Bergen Street, Harrison. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

It is no secret that the town of Harrison has seen an explosion of new development over the last decade and a half. From the Hampton Inn on Passaic Avenue and the Red Bull Arena to Harrison Urby, a variety of projects have been built south of Interstate 280 in this western Hudson County municipality. However, the trend does not appear to be slowing down yet, with construction underway for a new neighborhood of sorts called The Hub at Harrison Station and plans in the works for a 20-story tower and more at the North-of-Guyon site. Now, some details have been revealed for a proposed all-residential project by the Passaic River waterfront.

An anonymous firm likely named for the country’s 23rd president called Benjamin Harrison, LLC is behind plans for two five-story buildings near the corner of South 1st and Bergen Streets in the Waterfront Development Area, according to a legal notice. The company was registered last year out of New York, according to filings from the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.

If given the necessary approvals, the entire complex would include 552 residential units, making it among the largest in the immediate vicinity. A garage would be included on the tracts, with one parking space provided per unit, though the development would sit just over a half-mile walk from the Harrison PATH station and several Newark Light Rail stations across the river.

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The sites are located across the river from Downtown Newark in an area of town that has a multi-family residential, single-family residential, and industrial presence. Situated within an AE flood zone, the properties are just across the street from the Water’s Edge and River Park developments along with a row of houses and a warehouse. Previously, the premises were home to the GEO Specialty Chemicals Harrison plant and multiple industrial structures, but the lots were mostly cleared in 2016.

The development plans were initially slated to go before the Harrison Planning Board during its meeting on July 11. Benjamin Harrison, LLC applied for both Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval along with deviations and waivers such as excessive building setback, installing five signs instead of following the redevelopment plan’s maximum of two, and not extending Dey and Essex Streets as per the plan’s buildout map. The Harrison Redevelopment Agency heard the plans in the spring.

Jersey Digs will keep you up to date about this project as more details become available.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Harrison’s more than audacious redevelopment plan continues apace, with all the growing pains that are attendant on a massive upscale residential/commercial dense buildout (4-6 stories and more over 275 acres bordered by the PATH train/Amtrak rail lines to the north and the Passaic River to the West and South). Among these: 1, dramatically insufficient road access (only partially addressed in the plan in later stages of development), which can ill afford skimping on the Dey and Essex street extensions; 2. totally missing attempts to dovetail with Newark for development plans, pedestrian access, public transportation planning, which should have been part of the Greater Newark Amazon HQ2 bid process; 3. parkland set-asides will be the very last components built despite the rapid filling of high end town-home, coop and apartment units; 4. a very haphazard approach to store and amenity selection for the area, depending heavily on a central indoor mall with box store preferences near the new PATH station. In fact, during construction, several commercial street level ventures have come and gone in failure due to lack of transient traffic: the new residents are not going out on the town, and have little to draw them out. The plan is worthy, and uneven development steps are really unavoidable, but there can be no mistake that more serious pedestrian, belt roadway and mass transit planning is needed, and the promised Route 280 EB and WB ramps serving the Red Bulls Stadium is an absolute must or the new development will choke on its success. Signs of this are rampant already with the development only 30% complete.

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