A rendering of Clarus Maplewood, a mixed-use project featuring 20 apartment and ground-floor retail space — Courtesy: JMF Properties
By Joshua Burd
Developer JMF Properties has spent the past year filling its multifamily pipeline, with construction underway at four properties and groundbreakings in sight at several others.
The common thread among just about every project? Proximity to mass transit.
The Whippany-based firm detailed its development activity in a news release Tuesday, touting projects that are in progress or planning across five different counties. Those projects range from 20 apartments in Maplewood to a 284-unit development in Raritan, all driven by the spread of transit-oriented development and the demand for walkable, lifestyle-driven downtowns.
“The two forces are creating meaningful opportunities to urbanize appropriate suburban locations with mixed-use development that creates a convenient, vibrant, connected lifestyle,” Joseph Forgione, CEO and president of JMF Properties, said in a prepared statement. “This is our core business, and we appreciate the trust these municipalities have placed in us to deliver a dynamic new asset to their towns that will reap benefits for years to come.”
In the Sleepy Hollow section of Plainfield, JMF has started construction on 212 rentals on a site between the city’s Netherwood train station and the Fanwood train station. Dubbed Quin Sleepy Hollow, the community will include features such as an electric car charger, a dog park and bike share program, with leasing expected to launch in fall 2017.
The firm’s Maplewood project is also under construction, the news release said. Along with its 20 rental units and hotel-style amenities, plans call for 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, all located steps from the township’s NJ Transit station.
In fact, the project known as Clarus Maplewood has already attracted leases with Starbucks, BCB Bank and farm-to-table restaurant Tavern, JMF said. The firm added that the property is being developed to obtain a so-called WELL multifamily residential certification, a program centered on building features that impact human health and wellness.
JMF detailed other plans in its announcement Tuesday, including:
- 150 rental units in Berkeley Heights, where it will break ground this winter
- 147 rental units and 20,000 square feet of street-level retail on Kinderkamack Road in Emerson, with a groundbreaking planned for the near future
- 284 apartments in Raritan (Somerset County)
- Plans to build for-sale townhomes and retail in Bayonne, where the city council in June designated JMF Properties as the redeveloper of a 40-acre portion of Harbor Station at the Military Ocean Terminal.
All that comes as the firm celebrate a milestone at a recently completed project. In Deville, JMF is approaching the lease-up of 100 rental units known as Estling Village, a project located steps from a train station.
And with a portfolio that is spread across so many different municipalities, Forgione said the firm strives to tailor its development strategy to the character of each community.
“There are 565 municipalities in New Jersey, and each one is different from the next,” said Mr. Forgione. “From architectural design to density to bedroom count to amenities and retail uses, we develop an integrated plan that will both meet consumer demand and enhance the local landscape, not to mention the local tax base,” Forgione said. “We work closely with residents, elected officials and community leaders to ensure desired results.”