A rendering of a new mixed-use redevelopment project at the former home of The Record at 150 River St. in Hackensack, which calls for 650 apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail space. — Courtesy: Russo Development/The Hampshire Cos./Fourth Edition Inc.
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture’s plan to redevelop the former home of The Record in Hackensack is moving forward, under a plan that calls for 650 apartments and retail space along the Hackensack River.
The partners — Russo Development, The Hampshire Cos. and the Borg family’s Fourth Edition Inc. — on Thursday detailed their plans to transform the North Jersey newspaper’s former longtime home. Demolition of the complex at 150 River St. is in its final stages, paving the way for a groundbreaking this summer for a 272-unit first phase.
Sitting on nearly 20 acres, the property will benefit from a location near Route 4 and Interstate 80 and the city’s bus terminal.
“Taking a long-term approach to an asset that has been in our family for generations, was the right move, and we wanted to have a role in shaping its future use,” said Stephen Borg, president of Fourth Edition, whose family has owned the property since the 1940s. “Jon Hanson helped us partner with Ed Russo, who impressed us with his track record and long-term approach. We were very comforted that, like we do, Ed and Jon have deep roots in Hackensack.”
The project will mark Russo’s first so-called Opportunity Zone investment, meaning the site is within a census tract that qualifies for favorable tax treatment under the federal program of the same name. The program seeks to offer tax benefits to investors who redeploy capital gains into certain distressed or low-income areas throughout the country, offering the type of potential that has caught the eye of developers and equity partners.
The joint venture’s proposal, which also calls for 18,000 square feet of retail space, would also be among the latest additions to Russo’s fast-growing residential pipeline. The firm has largely targeted former industrial properties throughout New Jersey, with more than 1,500 rental units completed since 2015 and more than 3,500 units in planning.
“It’s thrilling to work with our partners and city leadership to shepherd in the next phase of Hackensack’s incredible redevelopment story,” said Edward Russo, CEO of Russo Development. “As a designated redevelopment zone within an Opportunity Zone, The Record site is a perfect storm for creating economic growth and development in an area of the State which needs both.”
The joint venture also noted that The Record property was integrated into the city of Hackensack’s redevelopment plan in 2012. The newspaper, which was formerly part of North Jersey Media Group before its sale to Gannett in 2016, now operates in Woodland Park.
For Hampshire, the progress follows its acquisition of the former Arena Diner site at 250 Essex St. in Hackensack, which is also part of an Opportunity Zone under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
“Extending back almost 100 years, Hampshire’s roots have always been firmly planted in Hackensack,” said James E. Hanson II, Hampshire’s CEO and president. “We are proud to invest in the next chapter of Hackensack’s vibrant history as we look to create a transformative project that will support the continued success of the city’s resurgence.”
With its 272 apartments, the project’s first phase will feature amenities such as pool with an active courtyard, fitness center, rooftop deck, work-from-home center and spaces for private events.