Creating “Modern UrbanisM” communities where factories and warehouses once stood is a hallmark of a development firm whose latest endeavor is attracting new liFe to Harrison

by Laura D.C. Kolnoski

When completed, the seven-building mixed-use development rising adjacent to the PATH Station in Harrison will feature six buildings of 2,250 luxury residences and 80,000 square feet of retail space, and already features an Element Hotel with a retail concourse on a 27-acre site. Developed by Ironstate Development and The Pegasus Group, Harrison Station’s estimated total cost is $750 million.

Harrison, in Hudson County along the Passaic River, gained national recognition when visiting President William Howard Taft declared it a “Beehive of Industry,” a motto that stuck. Ironstate recognized the town’s assets, including a new soccer arena (home to Major League Soccer’s Red Bulls) and a vibrant multicultural community. What the town lacked was a modern, enticing residential/lifestyle component that would appeal to today’s urban tastes.

Ironstate’s ambitious development is based on the principles of New Urbanism, which combines residential units, retail, a hotel, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares, and a progressive yet historically respectful design. The Harrison Station site had long been home to industry and warehouses. As directed by the community’s Waterfront Redevelopment Plan, the project provides a modern transit-oriented development that emphasizes environmental responsibility and community connectivity. Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, based in Lambertville, was hired to provide the desired structural aesthetic for the residential aspects, and has completed other successful residential, commercial, mixed-use, and hotel projects, including the Bungalow Hotel and Le Club Avenue restaurant in Long Branch and 100 Marketplace in Bernards Township.

The Harrison Station project gives a nod to the brick skeletons of its past, while showcasing contemporary architecture. The façade breaks away from the flat industrial factory fronts and adopts projections and recesses that play with light and shadow. Exterior materials include a modern mix of brick, metal panels, and composite panels using a wood-grained finish. Rental units have open floor plans offering a loft-like living experience. For sustainability, the project’s lighting, appliance, and plumbing fixtures are Energy Star compliant.

The first phase opened in 2011 and features 275 luxury rental residences above 12,814 square feet of retail space. Homes feature high ceilings, oversized windows, large closets, designer finishes, and chef-inspired kitchens with top-of the-line appliance packages. Amenities include a two-story, 24-hour attended lobby; state-of-the-art fitness center, residents lounge with large-screen TVs and
ping-pong table, landscaped courtyard with outdoor pool, a beach volleyball court, and on-site parking. At street level, the retail space includes Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Pronto Gourmet, Sakura Japan, Supercuts, GNC, and Path Cleaners.

Next to be completed was Element Harrison-Newark, opened in 2014 by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Featuring 138 stylish, sustainable rooms and a light-filled atmosphere, the Element has become a social hub in Harrison where business and leisure travelers, professional sports fans, and locals intermingle.

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The hotel is owned by Harrison Hotel 1, a joint venture of Ironstate Holdings LLC and The Pegasus Group, and is managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts. Designed by New York architectural firm HWKN, it features a distinctive façade that tips its hat to the Element by Westin brand. Rooms and suites feature a fluid design of modular furniture, flat-screen TVs, desks with open shelving, custom-designed closets, and original pieces from local artists. Guest rooms also offer fully-equipped kitchens, the signature Heavenly Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms with rain showers.

Other brand signatures include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, and a 1,500-square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings.

Guests can avail themselves of Element’s complimentary bikes and other freebies, including Wi-Fi, its trademark Rise breakfast, a Relax evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks, and snacks. The hotel’s retail component includes The Station on-site bar, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cork Wine & Spirits, and an AT&T store.

Harrison Station 330 is the third phase, located one block from the Harrison PATH station. The four-story building has 329 rental residences, indoor and outdoor amenities, and 8,700 square feet of retail. Leasing for the apartments (studios and one- and two-bedroom residences) began in 2015. Amenities include an attended lobby/lounge, fitness center, residents’ lounge with business bar, an additional lounge with ping-pong, and a landscaped courtyard with a swimming pool, barbecues, a fire pit, and lawn area. A parking garage and surface parking are also available.

The fourth phase of Harrison Station broke ground in March. Its 409 rental units are scheduled for a spring 2017 completion. Co n c r e t e, a firm from Amsterdam, is the architect for this portion of the development.

Nearby, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is spending some $256 million to replace the 76-year-old PATH station with a grander, more accessible glass and steel terminal. The plan includes four new “quadrants” or entrances/platforms built on both sides of Frederick Douglas Boulevard. The first is under construction, and the first two are scheduled to open in 2017. Temporary platforms are currently open

“This new neighborhood provides an exciting alternative to more expensive options in Jersey City and Hoboken.”

and service is still bustling for New York and Newark bound trains. “Our company’s core business is rooted in revitalization; recognizing an area’s untapped potential and creating the necessary elements for a vibrant, urban lifestyle experience,” said Michael Barry, president of Ironstate. “In Harrison, that meant building a neighborhood around the existing PATH station with new apartments, socially interactive amenities, a lively streetscape, and a boutique hotel with a restaurant and bar. With the hotel thriving and more than 800 residents living in the completed buildings, we’re continuing to shape this new neighborhood while providing an exciting alternative to more expensive options in Jersey City and Hoboken.”

“Our goal has always been to create a vibrant, mixed-use community in Harrison in the same way that Hoboken and Jersey City respect their local fabric,” added Richard Miller, a principal with The Pegasus Group. “The pedestrian-friendly design and easy access to mass-transit service has clearly appealed to professionals and those interested in the New Urbanism lifestyle.”

Ironstate has already been a driving force in creating modern urbanism projects in Hoboken and Jersey City. The firm was instrumental in transforming the Long Branch oceanfront with Pier Village, and has developed other distinctive hotels in New Jersey and New York—projects that require ongoing coordination between municipalities, urban planners, community leaders, architects, designers, engineers, and other parties.

Harrison Station
300 Somerset Street / 973.484.3300 / harrisonstn.com