Category Archives: NJ

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 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.

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.

 

Companies Making HVAC Adjustments To Try To Reduce Spread of Novel Coronavirus

The COVID-19 data is on track for New York City to enter Phase 4 on Monday, but it will do so without reopening indoor spaces like malls and museums as was previously planned. Governor Andrew Cuomo made that announcement on Thursday and didn’t offer a new timeline. While it is likely a disappointment to many hoping to get back to business, it will give shopping centers some more time to meet the state’s new HVAC requirements.

Earlier this month, Cuomo said that malls would be required to have an air filtration system with MERV-13 rating or the highest rating the system will allow–no less than MERV-11. It is believed that the higher level of filtration will reduce the rate of transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Companies in New Jersey have been converting their air filters to MERV-13, according to Air Systems Maintenance, Inc. sales manager Mark Attias.

Attias said the number of requests created a back order and delay in getting the filters. It also doesn’t work for every system.

“You can’t always do that with smaller systems,” he said. “Residential can’t always do it, because it disrupts the air flow too much. It has to be specially designed.”

The other “large-selling” item, Attias said, is UV lights. The lights go into the duct work and kill viruses in the air flow. Delivery of the lights was backed up as well, because of the number of orders.

There are other HVAC modifications that may be helpful as well, including changing the air flow.

As public health officials learn more and state governments move to open more businesses, as well as schools, there will be more demand for HVAC companies and supplies for system modifications.

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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Murphy Signs Bill To Ensure Clean Water and Environmental Infrastructure Project Funding

This week, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to ensure the state’s environmental infrastructure projects will be approved and continue through the new fiscal year. The bipartisan bill (S-2499) appropriates $1.167 billion in state and federal funds for clean water and environmental projects.

The measure appropriates money to the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) New Jersey Infrastructure Bank Financing Program. It will be used to help “local government units, municipal, county and regional authorities, and small water companies with loans at or below the prevailing rates for qualifying clean water projects.”

State senator Kip Bateman, who co-sponsored the bill, said this will make sure that essential projects such as renovations an updates to water treatment facilities and wastewater controls damaged in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy will continue without putting more of the financial burden on property taxpayers.

The bill also authorizes the DEP to make clean water project loans to four municipalities in the Pinelands area that are receiving funding under the “Pinelands Infrastructure Trust Fund.” Disaster Relief Emergency Financing Program loans will still be available for short-term financing for projects to repair or improve the resiliency of environmental infrastructure systems adversely impacted by Storm Sandy, according to the bill.

Jersey City Moves Forward, Opens Bidding for Loew’s Jersey Theatre Renovations

While the pandemic has hit the arts and entertainment business and venues hard, last week there was a little hope for the future—and movement in the redevelopment of Journal Square in Jersey City―as the bidding process opened for the redevelopment of the historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre.

The building, which dates back to the 1920s, will require extensive renovations, restoration and possible expansion while also restoring the historic character and aesthetic appeal, while creating all of the modern needs such as added restroom capacity, as well as up-to-date concession and ticketing areas.

Construction of the $40 million project will need to create a facility that allows for maximum operating capacity and maximum safety of patrons. Upgrades are needed for the plumbing, production equipment, and electrical systems, as well as install new air conditioning, fire and security systems. Roof and exterior façade work will also be needed.

An effort will be made to clean and restore historic fixtures and add architectural lighting that complements the original. Historic production and mechanical equipment will be preserved in place or relocated within the building.

Proposals are are due in early August, and the city hopes to re-open the theater in 2022.

 

HVAC Companies Likely To Be in Higher Demand with COVID-19 Requirements, Reopenings

As the tri-state area begins reopening businesses and camp facilities, HVAC companies are likely to be in high demand.
Youth camps in New Jersey, which can open on July 6, must meet specific HVAC requirements to get approval from the state to reopen their indoor facilities.
According to the NJ Department of Health summer camp standards document, “Camps must ensure that their indoor facilities have adequate ventilation, including operational heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) systems where appropriate. i. Recirculated air must have a fresh air component ii. Open windows if A/C is not provided iii. Filter(s) for A/C units must be maintained and changed according to manufacturer recommendations.”
And it won’t just be camp facilities keeping HVAC companies busy as states transition to the reopening phases for businesses and, eventually, schools.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force member M. Dennis Knight recommends buildings where HVAC systems haven’t been running–or have been running minimally–since pandemic closures should replicate the process of new construction with regards to inspection, start up, and testing a system. He also suggested building owners recommission or retrocommission their systems. COVID-19 is not the only concern for restarting systems that have been down. There are always concerns for the integrity of a system after it hasn’t been running consistently or had proper maintenance, Knight said.
ASHRAE has put out building safe readiness and reopening guidance, as well as offering information on filtration and disinfection.

Jersey Walk Construction To Provide Housing, Retail Space in Elizabeth

The first phase of construction is underway for Jersey Walk, the mixed-use development at the site of the former Elizabeth General Hospital on E. Jersey St. in Elizabeth. The hospital closed more than a decade ago and the 5.5 acre site has sat unused. Now, a $125 million project is going up to try to revitalize the area and provide housing and retail space.

The first phase includes the construction of two six-story buildings. The approximately 218,000 square-feet will have 274 studio, one-bedroom, and two-room units, as well as 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level. The parking garage on the site, which can have nearly 550 spaces, will also be renovated.

Phase I is expected to be completed in Spring 2021.

Phase II will consist of the construction of two more six-story buildings with a total of 240 additional residential units.

Plans for the redevolpment of the site have been in the works for years. The property was sold to CMT Developers LLC in 2015. This March, the company received the funding it needed for the site, which is within walking distance of the Elizabeth Train Station and Elizabeth Avenue business district.