A model unit at Harbor 1500 in Weehawken — Courtesy: The Maxal Group and Hartz Mountain Industries
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has unveiled a new 236-unit luxury apartment building in Weehawken, marking the latest addition to the town’s waterfront Lincoln Harbor neighborhood.
The Maxal Group and Hartz Mountain Industries joined local officials on Tuesday to hail the project, Harbor 1500, which has transformed the former site of a defunct office building. Located on the south end of the town’s booming waterfront, the six-story complex extends 764 feet into the Hudson River, providing sweeping views of Manhattan.
Those views were undoubtedly top of mind for Bruce Sturman of the Maxal Group, who recalled walking onto the site for the first time with his partner Tom O’Gara.
“We turned to each other and we said it’s pretty much one of the most extraordinary pieces of land that we’ve ever been fortunate enough to be involved with,” Sturman said. “We saw a vision of what you see today — and then we were fortunate enough to meld that vision with a great partner, Hartz Mountain, and an unbelievable team who shared that same vision to create what you see here today.”
Designed by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, the property is 70 percent leased after hitting the market in February. That means renters have responded to the building’s views, its long list of amenities and the offerings of the mixed-used Lincoln Harbor neighborhood.
Hartz has spent more than 35 years planning and developing the 60-acre zone, which is home to retail, restaurant, office and hotel space along with other residential buildings. But Gus Milano, the firm’s president, recalled Tuesday the difficult road that led to Harbor 1500. That included grappling with an office building and a site that “had many challenges.”
“We were somewhat at a loss about what to do with it,” Milano said. “We had issues with the pier, we had to spend significant money to remediate it and stabilize it and we couldn’t figure out a proper way to capitalize it.
“So we went out to the market and lo and behold, after some time, we came into a joint venture with Bruce and Tom. And I have to tell you, they’ve been just wonderful,” he added. “They really solved all of the issues that we weren’t able to solve, both structurally and how to appropriately develop a multifamily project on this pier. And you can see the result of it.”
Hartz ultimately aims to build some 3,000 units within Lincoln Harbor, Milano said. He also noted that another new addition to the neighborhood, a long-awaited Whole Foods store, is now slated to open July 26.
Both Milano and Sturman, along with Hartz Capital President Edward Stern, heaped praise on town officials for their support of the project. For his part, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner cited the role of the planning board, town professionals and other municipal figures involved in the project.
“The end result is a really, really beautiful building, from an old decrepit office complex,” said Turner, who recounted the decades-old efforts to redevelop Weehawken’s formerly industrial waterfront. He called those efforts “a pleasant struggle” and “a labor of love” that can be challenging, but provide major benefits in the long run, as was the case with Harbor 1500.
“It all works out in the end and it’s a magnificent building,” Turner said. “And it’s a compliment to everybody, so thank you all.”
Harbor 1500, which was financed by M&T Bank, has more than 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space, including landscaped rooftop decks, a rooftop pool and hot tub and a plush screening room. Other features include a top-floor resident’s lounge and function room with waterfront views.
New residents will also have access to a tasting room with prep kitchen, a children’s room and a fitness center with high-end equipment and yoga and spin studios, according to a news release. The area can be expanded in favorable weather to adjacent rooftop outdoor areas via a retractable glass wall.