From left: Edward Russo, CEO of Russo Development; Lee Beard, retired CEO and president of Annin Flag Co.; Carter Beard, current CEO and president of Annin Flag; Nick Dinallo, director of development/construction procurement for Dinallo Construction Corp.; and Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan.
By Joshua Burd
Construction is underway at a project that would convert a historic flag factory in Verona into the centerpiece of a new 112-unit residential development.
The developers, Russo Development and Dinallo Construction Corp., held a ceremonial groundbreaking last week at what’s known as Annin Lofts, an ode to the historic Annin Flag Co. factory at 163 Bloomfield Ave. The project will result in 52 loft-style units, plus a new 60-unit sister building with a similar aesthetic.
The first residents are expected to move into Annin Lofts by fall 2018.
“The Annin building offered a unique combination of architectural potential in an area that was ideal for a multifamily community,” said Ed Russo, CEO of Carlstadt-based Russo Development. “This is a completely unique from any other new construction multifamily in the region, while adding to it so that it can continue to serve Verona and surrounding communities for the next generation.”
Operating as D&R Verona LLC, the joint venture is honoring a business that was founded in 1847 by Benjamin and Edward Annin and operated at the site from 1919 to 2013, according to a news release. Annin Flag has supplied flags through historic milestones including the Civil War, World War II and the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar mission, staying in the Annin family for seven generations.
Along with a celebratory groundbreaking last week, the developers and the family held a ceremonial flag raising.
“Annin is thrilled to have our Verona building in the hands of such competent and respected builders/developers,” Carter Beard, CEO and president of Annin Flag, said in a prepared statement. “We are confident they will produce a great product that will carry the name Annin Lofts proudly.”
The project will feature 13-foot ceiling heights, large windows, polished concrete floors and other loft-style elements. Amenities will be shared between the two buildings and include rooftop terraces, club rooms and underground parking for residents and guests.
“We are very selective about the projects we embark on, especially in the multifamily sector,” said Donald N. Dinallo, CEO and president of Dinallo Construction Corp. “The Annin Flag redevelopment project will have a major and positive impact on the community while seamlessly connecting its future purpose with its past.”
Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan added: “D&R understood and preserved the significance of the Annin Flag Factory to our community by maintaining the original building’s façade and complementing it with a second building that fits into the neighborhood.”
“We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition and inviting new residents to Verona once it is completed,” Ryan said.