Kushner is developing a four-building, 265-unit luxury apartment complex at 72 Eagle Rock Ave. in East Hanover, the site of what is currently a vacant office building. — Rendering by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners/Courtesy: Kushner
By Joshua Burd
Kushner has started its demolition of another aging suburban office building, this time in East Hanover, paving the way for what will be a new 265-unit luxury apartment complex.
Located at 72 Eagle Rock Ave., the site has long been home to nearly 150,000 square feet of commercial space developed in the 1980s. That property was still largely intact Wednesday morning but is now coming down after a ceremony in which a demolition vehicle pierced the exterior wall and began to dismantle a section of the top floor, as visitors and members of the project team looked on from a distance.
Kushner now expects to deliver the new apartments by early 2025.
“Today’s groundbreaking is an exciting milestone for our company and for the township as we take the next step to develop the first luxury rental apartments ever to be constructed in East Hanover,” said Michael Sommer, Kushner’s executive vice president for development and construction. “East Hanover is highly desired by residents who appreciate its small-town, suburban charm in the heart of Morris County. We look forward to adding a new, modern residential option that will appeal to both existing residents and those who will be attracted to this incredible location.”
The ceremony came a week after the company broke ground on a 307-unit, age-restricted apartment building in Fair Lawn, where it’s also redeveloping the site of a vacant office building. The new East Hanover property, designed by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, will feature a mix of one- to three-bedroom units housed in four separate four-story buildings, along with a clubhouse facility with indoor and outdoor amenities.
Kushner added that 53 apartments will be designated as affordable housing. In the process, it will serve what commercial real estate leaders see as a critical need to prune the state’s overbuilt stock of suburban office space, which is especially acute in Morris County.
“It wasn’t viable before the pandemic,” said Stephen Shaw, a Morris County commissioner. “But now after the pandemic, with work from home, it certainly now is extremely outdated. Office vacancy rates in the area are at an all-time high and apartment vacancy is at an all-time low, and there’s an extreme need for housing in this region.
“That’s why I’m delighted to be here today as we witness this vacant outdated commercial site that’s going to begin the transformation today to become modern, energy-efficient multifamily housing, which is in high demand in this area,” Shaw said. “The sharp rise in home prices and interest rates have bolstered the appeal of rental properties for everyone from young professionals to empty-nesters while providing a well-balanced lifestyle through modern amenities and services.”
According to Kushner, the new complex will include a modern fitness center with a studio for yoga and fitness on demand, a theater room and residents-only clubroom. The property will also provide work-from-home options with a conference room and co-working space, along with outdoor features such as a sun deck and pool with pergolas, grilling stations, fire pits, a movie screen and other options for renters.
The property is minutes from many of Morris County’s large corporate employers and from Interstate 280, providing quick access to commercial hubs in Newark and New York City.
“It is amazing to see the growth and development that East Hanover has had over the years and I am proud that we are breaking ground today on a highly designed and fully amenitized multifamily project,” said Nicole Kushner Meyer, president of Kushner. “We have set the bar incredibly high in designing this East Hanover project to appeal to the modern customer.”