A rendering of a new 120-unit apartment building at 1000 North Ave. in Plainfield — Courtesy: Iron Ore Properties LLC/Nastasi Architects
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture is nearing the start of construction for a new 120-unit apartment building in Plainfield, in a project that will redevelop the site of a blighted industrial property.
The partners, Iron Ore Properties LLC and AMJ Capital LLC, recently closed on the site at 1000 North Ave. and kicked off demolition of the existing building. They now expect to start construction this spring, bringing a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units to a parcel alongside the city’s Netherwood train station, the last stop on the Raritan Valley line that is under an hour from Manhattan.
The milestone comes after land use approvals were originally granted in 2017, the developers said, noting that the team needed to resolve major issues with the design.
“Working with the former owner and the city of Plainfield, our team transformed the building and design, vastly improving both the layout and the aesthetics,” said Josh Mann, co-managing member of Millburn-based Iron Ore.
Designed by Nastasi Architects of Hoboken, the project is part of the city’s North Avenue Redevelopment Area. Plans also call for a roughly 20,000-square-foot outdoor amenity deck, about 5,000 square feet of indoor amenity space and 120 secured covered parking spaces.
Iron Ore and AMJ, which is based in Basking Ridge, are financing the development using Opportunity Zone equity. The development team said it has already secured Plainfield businesses for work on the project and have invited others to bid, while it plans to announce job fairs and information for city residents in the coming weeks.
“Without the Opportunity Zone program, this deal sits on the sidelines,” Mann said. “Without the ‘OZ’ dollars and the (payment in lieu of taxes) provided by the city of Plainfield, we would not be putting over 200 people to work and eliminating the eyesore that sits on the property.”
Matthew Schiller of Murphy Schiller & Wilkes LLP served as the attorney for Iron Ore in its acquisition of the site, while Julie Gralla of The Kislak Co. Inc. represented both the seller and the buyer. The developers held a groundbreaking ceremony last week that drew Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, Assemblywoman Linda Carter and Councilman Stephen Hockaday.
“This is a transformative project for Plainfield and this corridor,” Mann said. “The neighborhood surrounding the train station is vibrant and there is a huge demand for apartments. This building will be a major step up in terms of finishes and amenities for the corridor and we are excited to get started.”