Less than three months after the official ribbon cutting, the Baker Building is nearly 80% leased. The 83-unit rental building in the Lafayette neighborhood of Jersey City was lauded when it was announced. In a neighborhood largely skipped over by developers over the last two decades, the project was a beacon of the area’s revitalization.
Considering the robust leasing activity, it seems Point Capital Development struck the right chord with the project.
Baker Building sits on the site of an old paint manufacturer called the Baker Coating Factory. Once a heavily industrialized area, due to its proximity to the Morris Canal, Lafayette is seeing a transformation into a bustling residential and commercial hub.
Being that the building is the first of its kind in the area, it was hard to predict who would be attracted to it. So, we caught up with a few of the Baker Building’s newest residents to gain a better understanding of the new community.
As it turns out, the community is well mixed. A portion of new residents previously lived Jersey City, many in other neighborhoods. One couple we spoke with has lived in Lafayette for 8 years. Others are completely new to Jersey City, coming from NYC and at least one from further out in New Jersey.
When asked what attracted them to the Baker Building, rental prices topped the list followed by the fact that the building is brand new.
Even though prices were a big draw, John Fio Rito, head of Point Capital Development, contends it wasn’t out of necessity, “While price is most definitely the driving factor; recently, we are seeing people who can easily afford downtown choose to live at the Baker Building.”
Location and proximity to transportation came in third. Those we talked to had a wide variety of commutes. Most residents commute into Manhattan but others head into downtown Jersey City or out into New Jersey for work.
With the Light Rail a short walk away, commutes are rather manageable. Most residents working in Midtown claimed a 40-60 minutes commute. Another resident who works near Exchange Place has a brisk 15-minute trip to work.
Building such a large scale project in an area other developers wouldn’t touch for decades may seem like a risky proposition. But John Fio Rito wasn’t deterred. His strategy was for the project to act as a catalyst for the neighborhood.
He prefers projects that can have a positive impact on their surrounding communities. One way that he does this is by supporting local businesses. At the Baker Building, for example, he’s partnered with Grind Coffee Shop to open a second location in the building. He’s also brought Hoboken CrossFit expert Brazen Athletics to fit out the building’s gym. Liberty Pilates is offering free pilates classes to residents and JC Bootcamp has shown interested in offering small group personal training to residents.
Recently, the building played host to the Morris Canal Community Development Corporation’s monthly meeting.
Although still in early phases, Fio Rito has another project right nearby where he hopes to leverage the community he’s building. Whereas the Baker Building has no retail space, the new project will have a large retail component. By fostering local businesses he hopes their success will eventually fill his retail spaces with local, community focused business.
The success of the Baker Building has proven the viability of development projects outside of downtown. In the last couple months, a few other development projects have been approved in Lafayette. And although they haven’t broken ground yet, the area’s momentum is certainly increasing.
With only 18 units left, the Baker Building is approaching full occupancy. Only two 1-bedroom units remain, however, there are 2- and 3-bedrooms units available. The rent on a 3-bedroom/2-bathroom is $2,350. You can hardly find a 1-bedroom downtown for that.
If you’re looking for a newly constructed apartment with amenities without paying downtown’s ever increasing rents, the Baker Building is a great choice.
For a more in-depth look at the units and amenities, read our previous article: The Baker Building May Be One of the Best Values in Jersey City Right Now
For more information or a tour fill out the form below or visit BakerBuilding-JerseyCity.com
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[gmap height=”250px”]234 Suydam Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304[/gmap]
234 Suydam Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304