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New Jersey & New York Construction Law Blog

Major renovation planned for New Jersey high school

A construction company based in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey has been awarded a contract to handle significant renovations involving Orange High School in the City of Orange. Awarded by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA), the nearly $40 million project includes an addition to the school's existing structure and an enclosed circulation link bridge that will serve as a connection to a nearby preparatory school.

A Clinton-based company was awarded a contract to handle construction management duties for the high school renovation project. A New York-based architectural firm is also involved with the project. The extensive update to the school, which was built in 1974, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2021. When the renovations are finished, the school will be capable of educating a maximum of nearly 1,700 students.

Construction proceeds on residential building

New construction projects continue to rise throughout New Jersey. One major project in New Brunswick, the home of Rutgers University and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, is The Standard, a new high-rise residential complex designed for the city's downtown. The building is planned to reach 247 feet above street level with a focus on residential accommodations. Construction is already taking place with the concrete core at the center of the building forming a unique part of the New Brunswick skyline.

When construction is completed, the 21-story building will include 186 different apartments with a major focus on rental properties. The project is being developed by Landmark Properties, which envisions that lower levels will be promoted to university students from nearby Rutgers. On the other hand, the upper floors of the building will be marketed to working professionals in the area. The sizes of the units will range from studio options to five-bedroom homes. The building is also planned to include additional amenities, including common study rooms that will be located on the lower levels and marketed as a boon to attract students. The building will also include a fitness center and storage space.

New Jersey developer secures financing for Bayonne project

A major New Jersey real estate developer has secured financing for a multifamily development in Hudson County. Industry sources report that Kushner Real Estate, which is based in Bridgewater, has closed a deal that will provide it with the $50.4 million it needs to complete the 200-unit luxury project. The money will come in two installments from People's United Bank and PNC Bank. The first $5.4 million is a pre-development loan, and the remaining $45 million will be made available in the form of a construction loan that must be paid off or refinanced after three years.

KRE began working on the project in mid-2018 and expect work to be completed by early 2020. The development, which is known as Harbor Station North, is the company's first project in the Gateway Region. When it is completed, Harbor Station North will boast three blocks of luxury rental accommodation and approximately 10,000 square feet of upscale retail space. Industry experts expect the apartments and stores to be rented quickly because the location is just a short walk from the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service to Jersey City.

Residential and non-residential construction starts on the rise

More people in the New Jersey and New York area are investing in construction projects based on March 2019 construction start figures. These stats are specific to New York-area construction, which typically extends to parts of the Garden State. This positive news comes after three straight months of declines. The nearly $4 billion in construction starts for March 2019 is a 40% increase from what was reported in March of 2018.

The biggest winner with construction starts, according to a report by a data and analytics firm, was non-residential construction. Compared to the prior month referred to in the report, this type of construction increased by more than $2 billion. This is roughly a 70% spike from what happened with non-residential construction a year before during the same period. Residential starts are also on the rise.

Luxury Jersey City apartment complex appeals to investors

The construction and building industry in New Jersey is continuing to grow, as one real estate company announced the successful sale of its latest Jersey City luxury complex. Soho Lofts has 377 units in the city directly across from Manhattan; it features ready public transit access to New York and is designed to appeal to professionals with Manhattan jobs. Mac-Cali Realty Corporation, a major player in the New Jersey real estate market, bought the property on behalf of Roseland Residential Trust.

Roseland focuses on multi-unit housing projects like Soho Lofts, located on the border between Hoboken and Jersey City. In addition to convenient access to the PATH train, the apartment complex is located near the Holland Tunnel and Interstate 78. It also offers easy access to the NJ Transit bus terminal. The complex includes 369 units ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom options as well as eight townhouses. The entire project consists of 13-story and 20-story towers as well as low-rise, four- to seven-story buildings, including ground-floor retail opportunities.

New grocery construction sparks excitement in Paramus

Dairy-themed supermarket retailer Stew Leonard's is entering the New Jersey market, breaking construction on its first location in the state inside the Paramus Park Mall. When completed, the store will include 80,000 square feet of space. The store is known for high-quality products and customer service at its stores in Connecticut and New York, and it has earned a following for its connections to local farmers and for its sale of unique items. The company says that around 80 percent of the store's products are prepared daily inside the shop or brought in fresh on a daily basis.

Construction plans for the site include the chain's well-known quirky decor choices. Stew Leonard's has been called a "Disneyland" for its unique aesthetic, including animatronic characters and a unique weaving aisle. The chain is also known for its friendly staff and focus on customer engagement. While customers are interested in the new construction project, others are as well, as the store will create 350 new jobs in the area.

Construction firm selected for casino expansion

New Jersey residents may have heard that a leading construction company in New York has been selected to lead the $400 million expansion of Resorts World Casino New York City. Plaza Construction will manage phase two of the expansion project underway in Jamaica, Queens. Resorts began building the casino expansion in July 2017, and construction is expected to stretch through 2020. The enlargement will add nearly 500,000 square feet to the gaming property, and the first portion of the new construction is scheduled to open in summer 2019.

The new construction will include a 400-room, 10-story hotel offering five-star suites and a grand entrance. In addition to the hotel accommodations themselves, the property will also include conference and meeting facilities, retail shops, restaurants and bars. There are approximately 1,000 construction workers employed in the building of the expanded casino property. Resorts officials describe the construction project as creating an "unrivaled entertainment and hospitality destination" that will include gaming as well as an array of dining and shopping facilities. Plaza Construction touted its experience building other large, luxurious hotels and high-end real estate.

Three aspects to cover in a construction contract

New Jersey is seeing an uptick in construction projects, especially with construction season right around the corner. But with this projected growth, more agreements will be necessary to assure the building are completed efficiently.

But what should contractors consider in a construction contract? There are some baseline aspects that every contractor in New Jersey should include in their contracts before starting a new project.

Modular project slated for housing development

Modular construction may be a growing trend in the market for new projects in New Jersey and New York. In a modular construction process, a building is constructed away from its final location inside a plant or other controlled facility. It is then assembled on site. While modular construction could present an array of benefits for busy, crowded city locations, it has run into difficulties in the past. Construction delays and other issues have plagued urban modular projects in recent years, including the tower project at Pacific Park in Brooklyn.

Modular construction has been touted as a way to boost construction of affordable housing projects, given the savings that developers can reap by using off-site construction. However, technical concerns have been an issue, as some taller modular projects require the construction of a steel frame on-site to provide stability and strength to the overall building. One 167-unit affordable housing project in East New York is slated for a modular approach. Thorobird Companies and Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services proposed using the technique to construct the building, and their proposal was selected by the city government.

Bayonne Bridge nears completion of construction project

A major New Jersey bridge project has reached completion as announced by the Port Authority on Feb. 8. For drivers using the Bayonne Bridge to cross between Bayonne and Staten Island, the road capacity of the bridge will double. The $17 billion project has transformed the two-lane bridge into a four-lane bridge. Each lane is 12 feet in width, and the bridge retains shoulders where damaged or disabled vehicles can pull over in an attempt to alleviate traffic jams, Port Authority officials said.

The Port Authority also said that the construction project included additional on- and off-ramps on both the New Jersey and New York sides of the bridge. According to the agency, the 90-year-old bridge was widened by 64 feet, and the bridge is also high enough to allow modern container ships to pass by on the way to major ports in both states. Ships carrying up to 18,000 containers can now safely clear the bridge, something that was not possible prior to the renovation. Local officials celebrated the conclusion of the project, but it was not without controversy.

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