Woodbridge township officials joined Atlantic Realty Development Corp. and other stakeholders on Tuesday to unveil Station Village at Avenel. — Courtesy: Woodbridge Township
By Joshua Burd
A developer has taken the wraps off a new 500-unit transit village project in Woodbridge, marking the transformation of a site that once housed a long-abandoned industrial plant.
Local officials on Tuesday joined Atlantic Realty Development Corp. CEO David Halpern and other stakeholders to unveil the project in the township’s Avenel section. Known as Station Village at Avenel, the $50 million development opens alongside a newly renovated train station across the street and will soon be joined by a 10,000-square-foot performing arts center with studios and other facilities.
“Today’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony represents the start of a new era for Avenel that has transformed the vacant General Dynamics site into a vibrant new community,” Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said. “Station Village at Avenel and the future Avenel Arts Center will enhance all of Avenel and will serve to create a sense of place.
“More importantly, the project has already increased property values for every home and property owner in Avenel.”
More than a decade in the making, the Station Village at Avenel project replaces what McCormac once called “the ugliest building in Woodbridge Township” — a shuttered former General Dynamics plant that left contamination across a 27-acre site. The mayor had spent much of his three terms shepherding the project and working with local residents to clear the way for the mixed-use residential construction, in part because it would require a cleanup of the highest possible standard.
The complex will also include artist studios, galleries, rehearsal and performance space and themed restaurants and hospitality facilities.
McCormac on Tuesday also joined the Woodbridge Township Redevelopment Agency, plus other representatives from Atlantic Realty and NJ Transit, to celebrate the grand opening of the apartments and townhomes. The performing arts center is slated to begin construction in December, with the project also calling for streetscape improvements, lighting, sidewalks, parks and green space.
John Leone, senior director with NJ Transit’s Office of Government Relations said the agency has renovated the North Jersey Coastline stop nearby and will conduct a periodic review of the need for additional stops at the Avenel station as occupancy increases at Station Village.
Also on hand Tuesday were Project Developer Alan Schall, Tom Clark of NJ Transit’s Office of Government Relations, Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency Director Caroline Ehrlich, Councilman Cory Spillar, Department of Planning and Development Director Marta Lefsky and Redevelopment Agency Chairman Hank Haidacher.