Waldwick Station, a joint venture project by Russo Development and Dinallo Construction Corp. — Courtesy: Russo Development
By Joshua Burd
As a crowd gathered last week to mark the opening of a new luxury rental complex in Waldwick, a nearby resident was among those who had wandered over to the property.
Admittedly, she was an opponent of the project before it had broken ground. But she found herself with a much different opinion on this day, so different that she was now there to inquire about leasing one of the community’s 110 apartments.
Ed Russo expects to see many others like her.
“I think we’re going to get a number of people from the community looking to downsize,” said Russo, CEO of Russo Development, citing the lack of new rentals in the surrounding swath of northern Bergen County. “You don’t hear about many others getting built, so this is unique.”
It was an auspicious start for the development known as Waldwick Station, a joint venture between Russo and Dinallo Construction Corp. Located at 41 West Prospect St., the project has transformed the site of what had been a vacant business and an adjacent parcel alongside an NJ Transit train stop, providing the borough with its first upscale transit-oriented apartments.
The developers welcomed local officials and other visitors on Nov. 22 to officially open the downtown community.
“We look forward to all our new residents being a part of our great community,” Mayor Thomas Giordano said. “Waldwick has always been a community that is built on tradition, values and family. May the new residents feel they, too, are part of our Waldwick family.”
Rents start in the mid-$1,800s for the property, with units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms.
The complex, which was designed by Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects, sits on a long, thin footprint between a residential neighborhood to the west and the train station to the east. As such, the property has two distinctly different facades, one that’s meant to blend with the nearby homes and another that resembles a series of train cars.
“To be able to design a building that has two different responses based on its context is a unique challenge,” said Dean Marchetto, founding principal of Marchetto Higgins Stieve.
Apartments feature modern finishes and appliances, while renters have access to covered parking on the ground floor. Amenities include a new fitness center, fully furnished entertainment clubroom and an outdoor roof terrace.
Russo is also planning a small ground-floor retail space that is expected to house a coffee shop for residents and commuters. When complete, it will be a far cry from the former DeMartini Coal and Lumber Cos. site, which had been vacant since 2013.
“Recognizing a vacant industrial site in a downtown, and near a train station, provided the opportunity to create a prime residential use that will enhance the surrounding community,” said Donald N. Dinallo, CEO and president of Dinallo Construction Corp. “Waldwick Station is a symbol of those properties that may have languished for years that, with creativity and collaboration with the municipality, can be a great success.”