Park Francis, a 99-unit luxury apartment building in Jersey City by Silverman Building — Courtesy: Silverman Building
By Joshua Burd
Silverman Building has opened the doors to its latest project in the Hamilton Park section of Jersey City — and the developer says there is still more to come.
The firm late last month celebrated the completion of Park Francis, a 99-unit luxury apartment building on Pavonia Avenue with new ground-floor retailers and restaurants. The development follows an earlier project directly to the north, in which it rehabilitated the former St. Francis Hospital to create an 11-story, 125-unit condominium property.
Next up is a parking garage about a block north, at 170 Erie St., where Silverman has plans to develop a 10-story building with about 60 apartments on the top five floors and retail and office space below. It will be the continuation of its work in a section of the downtown that Paul Silverman calls “an amazing neighborhood” — one that is just blocks from the Hudson waterfront, with access to two PATH trains, the Holland Tunnel and much more.
“Years ago we looked at this site and said this hospital shouldn’t be here. It doesn’t make sense,” said Silverman, a principal with the business. He noted that St. Francis announced plans to close around 2000, allowing the firm to begin to buy property in ensuing years.
“It was really just 18 years of thinking about it,” he joked. “It’s pretty amazing.”
The Jersey City-based firm has built more than 300 units in the Hamilton Park neighborhood. During a grand opening ceremony for Park Francis on July 24, fellow principal Eric Silverman recalled driving around the park early in his career, “thinking that it had amazing bones and that some day, I visualized something like this, but I never expected it to be this good.”
“I also realized that it takes an amazing team to build buildings and to create communities and neighborhoods like this,” he said, crediting the firm’s in-house team and its professionals in the project, including Fields Construction Corp.
Park Francis and Hamilton Square have transformed a block with its residential buildings and an infusion of new businesses on the ground floor. They include operators such as the restaurant Rumba Cubana, Tribeca Pediatrics and several others.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop heaped praise on the 37-year-old development firm for not only its long-term commitment to the city, but the design of its projects.
“When you look at the amount of developers that Jersey City has attracted over the years, we’re very proud of that,” Fulop said. “But if you look at the ones that are of the quality of the Silvermans, it’s very, very small.
“They actually curate the neighborhoods in thoughtful way to make sure that they have restaurants, florists and people that can sustain and help the community. So Jersey City is blessed to have the Silvermans and we look forward to more buildings like this.”