A new plan to transform a former fire station on Palisade Avenue into residences sounds like it will soon move forward, as a local developer aims to go before the Zoning Board in the next few months to gain approvals for the project.
Formerly occupied by the Ladder 10 Fire Company, the property at 520 Palisade Avenue was an active fire station for many years. Built around 1920, the station was eventually disbanded in favor of two other ones that also service The Heights neighborhood.
Despite that history, the building remains aesthetically similar to this day and the structure has been used for many different purposes over time, from a warehouse to a grocer to a furniture store. It most recently housed a Filipino gift shop and several different owners have proposed redevelopment plans at the site over the years.
Jersey City-based Pronti Construction purchased the property in 2015 for $2.5 million and has presented their plans for the building to the Riverview Neighborhood Association. Their vision, designed by G3 Architecture, calls for the restoration of the entire front façade of the building and the construction of a new section up the back of the structure that will rise about 75 feet.
Scaling back plans that they originally presented, Pronti’s latest and final version of the project will consist of 17 units, 10 parking spaces and 2,000 square feet of retail space. Currently, there is a loading bay on one side of the property that will eventually be home to the development’s parking garage component, which will use a lift-style system to stack cars.
Originally proposed rear balconies on the project were eliminated by Pronti after the neighborhood cited privacy concerns, so the building will instead feature a roof deck for residents. The side lot parking section will also sport a green roof and the project will likely be rentals, although that decision is not set in stone.
Pronti told the RNA that they will be applying for and need several variances, including for height and density, to make the project financial viable. They told the group they aim to go before the Zoning Board within the next few months.