Category Archives: construction

Veterans and Affordable Housing Building Underway in Downtown Dover

Construction has begun on veterans and affordable housing units in Dover, NJ.

The $1.1 million project will consist of 70 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in a four-story building. Each floor of the building will have laundry facilities. There will be on-site parking, a community space, bicycle storage and on-site maintenance and support services for residents.

At least five percent of the units will be accessible to residents with physical disabilities, and all units will be completely adaptable.

Veterans will receive preference for half of the units. Five units will be set aside for residents who were previously homeless.

The project, which is part of Dover’s master redevelopment plan of downtown, is being built on a former parking lot. The building will conform to the existing architecture of downtown Dover. Developers anticipate completion of the project—which is being finance with low-income housing tax credit from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency—is expected in 14 months.

Princeton University Makes Room, Will Build New Soccer Facilities

Demolition of the Fritz Randolph Observatory at Princeton University has begun, the first step toward the new East Garage & Roberts Stadium at Princeton Stadium & Jadwin Gym. The university plans to salvage stones from the Observatory and use them elsewhere on campus, but the historic building will be lost to soccer facilities, athletics buildings, and amenities for fans.

A five-level parking garage is expected to be finished by Summer 2022. The university has targeted Fall 2022 for the completion of a new soccer stadium and practice field. Roberts Stadium will have a capacity of 3,000 fans, an NCAA regulation-sized soccer field with natural grass, support areas, a ticket office, concession area, and a press box. The practice field will have artificial turf. Both facilities on the East Campus near Jadwin Gymnasium will have lights for nighttime use.

The site will also have an athletics operations facility, paths and roads that create better access and travel through the area for cars, bikes, and pedestrians, and a geo-exchange utility facility and the needed associated infrastructure to support campus-wide carbon neutrality goals. The area being redeveloped is a 33-acre portion of a lot that is more than 140 acres. Already at the site are a biodigester pilot project, buildings for athletics and university operations, the Finney/Campbell athletic fields, and the East Basin.

Jersey City Tower Project Can Move Forward

With litigation recently settled, developer HAP Investments has been granted automatic site approval for the $400 million HAP 11 Tower Park and Community Center in Jersey City. The Summit Ave project, which has been in the works for years, can now move forward as part of the development of the Hilltop neighborhood near Journal Square.

The two existing empty two-story residential structures will be demolished, clearing the way for a 42-story, one million square foot mixed use tower. There are 800 residential units planned along with 35,000 square feet of retail.

Under the terms of the agreement, HAP will construct a 0.8-acre park at the location, as well as a $2.5 million community center, both of which will then be transferred to city ownership.  The tower will be built first and the community center and park must be completed within a year of the residential units Certificate of Occupancy. In addition, 40 of the 100 spaces in the garage will be reserved for the community center and park.

New York City Sees Biggest Negative Impact from Pandemic

The construction industry a took huge hit with coronavirus shutdowns and the ensuing economic downturn. But New York City was impacted more than the surrounding area in the first half of 2020, according to a CIS analysis of its projects.

In some of the most revealing numbers: new public projects put out to bid were down 51 percent. That’s more than 20 percent worse than Long Island and an even larger decline compared to Westchester, and New Jersey.

 Most discouraging was the total value of public projects that were bid in the first half of the year. Those numbers were down 61 percent. It is worth noting, however, that New York City’s project numbers were lower in January, February, and March, as well. The state didn’t shut down nonessential construction until March 31.

Employment in New York City building construction fell by more than 35 percent year-over-year in May, according to the state’s Department of Labor. While there was an immediate rush of activity and rehiring once non-essential construction could resume, that was primarily to catch-up on projects that were in progress. With the reduced number of public projects put out to bid, industry leaders worry that the work and hiring won’t continue.

Data from July backs that fear. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), construction employment in July was down 66 percent in 358 metro areas across the country compared to the year before. New York City lost the most construction jobs, down 26,500 (or 16 percent) from the previous July, according to the AGC.

Amid fears that the virus numbers will spike, forcing another shutdown in the city, contractors are pushing to finish work on projects in progress, but there is understandable concern that budget issues will kill any hopes of continued recovery. When the city’s budget passed in July – the first budget that has been lower than the previous year since the Great Recession in 2009 – money for affordable housing and public projects was cut. New York City faces a projected $9 billion revenue loss because of the global pandemic, at the same time President Trump is threatening to cut off federal funding to the city. If federal funding doesn’t come, Governor Andrew Cuomo says vital infrastructure projects and some of the city’s biggest construction plans, including projects at LaGuardia and JFK airports and the new Penn Station, could be put on hold. The AGC says that without federal funding, commercial construction companies will be forced to lay off more workers.

The analysis did show one bright spot: The number of new private projects being planned actually increased from 2019.

This could continue, particularly in private healthcare projects. Industry experts predict growth in healthcare construction for New York City over the next few years. There may even be an opportunity for private projects developing outdoor spaces for restaurants and retail.

Mixed-Use Building Gets Approval for Newark’s Ironbound District

A new mixed-use building has been approved by the Newark Planning Board. Florio Residential and Retail at 648-652 Raymond Boulevard calls for 120 residential units and 2,800 square feet of ground floor retail space. It is another building in the ongoing redevelopment of Newark’s Ironbound District in the East Ward.

The new five-story building across from Newark’s Riverfront Park will be more than 141,000 square feet. The residential floors will be a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units. There will also be more than 1,200 square feet of amenity space on the second floor and a 5,200 square feet terrace for use by residents.

A ground level parking garage with 89 spots is also planned.

The project requires the demolition of the existing building on the site, which sits a little more than a mile from both Newark Penn Station and the PATH station in Harrison.

New Townhouses Planned for Asbury Park Waterfront Redevelopment Area

Asbury Park is adding more luxury residences, as the NJ Shore city’s planning board approved the application for preliminary and final site plan and major subdivision for the AP Triangle Townhouse Development earlier this month.

The approximately four-acre, triangular space bordered by Heck Street, Cookman Avenue, and Asbury Avenue is part of Asbury Park’s Waterfront Redevelopment Area, which covers more than 140 acres. The 24-lot site will be subdivided into five lots. Residential buildings will be constructed on three of the lots. A fourth, on the northeast corner of Heck and Cookman, will be an outdoor public space. The fifth lot will remain undeveloped.

The new construction will create 48 townhouses with at least three bedrooms and three baths and include a loft space and roof deck. Plans also call for each unit to have two parking spaces, one in a garage and another in the driveway.

Bridesburg Waterfront Park Gets Grant To Move Forward

Plans for a 10-acre waterfront park in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia are moving forward after PennDOT awarded a $1.4 million grant to the city last month.

Construction of Phase 1 is expected to begin in 2021―with a public opening set in 2022―at the site in the historic neighborhood along the Delaware River. Phase 1 includes a large lawn area, restrooms, parking and walking trails.

Phase 2 will be the construction of stage and picnic pavilions, terraced lawn seating, and a river boardwalk. The park will connect to an existing 2.2-mile trail and create an 11-mile stretch of parks and trails along the Delaware River. It will be part of the Circuit Trails and East Coast Greenway networks that run 750 miles and 3,300 miles, respectively.

Additional funding for the $9-million waterfront project, being built on the site of a former concrete plant, is being procured by Riverfront North Partnership and the city of Philadelphia.

In a second, related project, a new two-lane road with a dedicated bike path will be built to ease traffic in Bridesburg and offer more recreational opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Funding Secured for Mixed-Use Building in Downtown Maplewood

Downtown Maplewood is going to get new apartments and commercial space. Funding has been secured for the 104 Baker Street site, the former home of Toomey’s Automotive. The location will be developed into a 25,000-square-foot mixed use space that sits a quarter-mile from the train station.

The three-story building will have 11 residential units―nine two-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments―and 3,500 square feet of commercial and restaurant space on the ground level ground. There will be an indoor/outdoor rooftop terrace for renters, and each apartment will have a parking space behind or below the building.

The plans were approved in November for the location that the town had declared a “site in need of redevelopment” in the busy downtown area, but financing wasn’t arranged until earlier this month.

 

Mixed-Use Development Approved for Former Newark Pabst Site

For decades, the beer-bottle shaped water tower was a landmark for travelers on the Garden State Parkway, but the Pabst Blue Ribbon Newark brewery was demolished in 2008 and the iconic giant bottle dismantled as well. Since then, the South Orange Avenue site has remained vacant. The city has a plan to change that.

Earlier this month, a mixed-use development proposal was approved by the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Crown Village at Pabst Blue Ribbon Site would be four buildings with commercial space on the first floor and a total of 660 residential units. The plan for the four-acre site also calls for a day care center with outdoor secure play area, two gyms, a common work area with conference rooms, individual study offices, an outdoor basketball court, community rooms, and other more amenities. And there will be 665 parking spaces.

This is not the first proposal to develop the site over the years, but Newark mayor Ras Baraka is hopeful this one will come to fruition. He recently held a virtual town hall for residents to learn more about the project and have any questions answered.

CIS Breaks Down the Pandemic Impact with a Look at the Numbers of Projects Out to Bid in 2019 vs. 2020

As the industry works to come back from the affect of the pandemic and related shutdowns, CIS looked at the numbers of private and public projects out to bid across its coverage areas for the first six months of 2019 and 2020 to gauge the impact.

Interestingly, both public and private project numbers were down in January and February before governors of many Northeast states put stay-at-home orders in place and paused non-essential construction. Private projects were down nearly 25 percent in January and 14 percent in February. There were fewer public projects as well, down 12.7 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, in the first two months of the year.

April took the biggest hit by comparison with both private and public projects out to bid down more than 56 percent. In May and June, the numbers are creeping slowly back up but still fall far short of 2019 totals. In June, private projects were down about 30 percent and public projects were down 20.

The total year-over-year change in number of new public projects for January through June is 31.4 percent.

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The total change in number of new private projects for January through June is 34.1 percent.

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