Local officials and developers broke ground on a project that will fill the last open lot of Hoboken’s downtown waterfront, which has been more than ten years in the making.
SPJ properties — together with the city and its main tenant Pearson Publishing — will start construction of a 14-story building on the 26-acre lot right next to the W Hotel as soon this week, according to Community Development Director Brandy Forbes.
The construction of the building will last about 18 months and is expected to be completed in July 2014, said Jeff Schotz, executive vice president of SJP Development.
There will be four retail units on the ground floor of the building, Schotz said. While he didn’t yet disclose which retailers expressed interest, he said that a restaurant, a daycare as well as a clothing store have expressed interest so far in renting out space. Pearson Publishing will rent the first six floors of the building, said Schotz. About 900 employees from the company’s other New Jersey locations will be moving to Hoboken.
Will Ethridge, Pearson CEO for North America, said that Hoboken is the perfect location for Pearson, because of its location and characteristics.
“This community is the type of vibrant stimulated center for a business like ours,” said Ethridge.
The building — officially called Waterfront Corporate Center III — on the waterfront will be a LEED silver certified office building.
Zimmer said this development will be a significant step in “making Hoboken a model for sustainability.”
Two hundred parking spots will be available under the building on Sinatra Drive, but the city as well as SJP Properties will be encouraging all employees to take public transportation to work. Forbes said the city will coordinate with Pearson and SJP to educate people about the public transport possibilities.
The plan for Sinatra Drive between First and Fourth — the South Waterfront Redevelopment Area — originated in 2001 as a partnership between the Port Authority and the City of Hoboken.
Other parts of the South Waterfront Redevelopment include the W Hotel, 333 River and the other corporate buildings.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer welcomed the new employees to Hoboken during the groundbreaking on Monday. Also in attendance on Monday were First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.
“This is a great day for Hoboken,” Zimmer said.