Officials in Kearny are expected to hear a proposal from a major local developer seeking to construct another project in Northern New Jersey.
The Kearny Planning Board is scheduled to conduct a virtual hearing over Zoom on Wednesday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss Russo Acquisitions, LLC’s application for Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval involving nine properties, including 23, 55, and 65 Passaic Avenue.
The proposed development is expected to come to a former industrial site and involve three buildings, including a two-story 12,300 square foot clubhouse and leasing center along with two buildings that would each be four stories tall. The four-story buildings would include a total of 289 apartments and close to 10,600 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space, according to a legal notice that was released on Saturday. A pool and 431 parking spaces are also envisioned.
Documents from Russo Development from December 2019 were recently released by Kearny’s municipal government and refer to this project as “The Bridge by Vermella.” These site plans highlight that the complex would include a walkway along the Passaic River and a dog run.
This hearing comes amid the recent completion of the nearby Vermella East project, which along with Vermella West, can be found in an area that Russo Development is now branding as “Hudson Pointe.”
In a phone interview just two days before the Kearny hearing was announced, Adam Pasternack of Russo Development told Jersey Digs that “we’re really trying to make a community and a section there and marry it with the retail that was already developed.”
Russo Development has increasingly been involved with projects in transit-oriented locations, with the company now having leased more than half of its initial phase of the Vermella Union complex near Kean University and the Union Train Station. There are additional projects coming to neighboring Essex County, including the 209-unit Vermella at Orange Station development and a project north of the Newark Broad Street Station in the Lower Broadway neighborhood.
Vermella at Orange Station is expected to open by the summer of 2021 at 377 Crane Street. This residential project will include 65 studios, 117 one-bedrooms, 23 two-bedrooms, and four three-bedrooms according to Pasternack, who acknowledged that none will be designated as “affordable.”
“We’re going to be at a pretty steep discount to Jersey City and a discount to even Harrison and some of the Newark projects,” said Pasternack. “We feel like the price point is one where it may not be on par with some of the communities right nearby, [but] it’s still, we think, a great value and you do get a lot for your money.”
Pasternack noted that the Newark project is still in the works, but also said that construction is expected to begin next year. The development is expected to include close to 300 units with an “affordable” component and a minimal amount of retail space. The name of this complex has not yet been determined.
Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the Kearny Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.