by Darren Paltrowitz
Located west of Liberty State Park, and similar to other changing communities in Jersey City, Lafayette is the city’s newest up-and-coming neighborhood. A new addition in the works for Lafayette is the Baker Building by Point Capital Development, a collection of luxury apartments under construction at 234 Suydam Avenue.
The Baker Building has a total of 83 units priced from $1,500-$2,450 per month for 1-2-and-3 bedroom rentals. Public amenities include on-site parking, a gym, and on each floor, a laundry room; a fire pit, cooking grills, dog run, and on-site management. Baker Building is located between the Liberty State Park and Garfield Avenue stops on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and is less than one mile from both Liberty State Park and the Liberty Science Center.
John Fio Rito of Point Capital Development recently spoke to River View Observer (RVO) about what led Point Capital Development to build the property in the Lafayette section of Jersey City; and the project’s progress to date.
RVO: How would you describe the Baker Building to someone only generally familiar with Jersey City?
JF: In a nutshell: A first-class building that is an affordable answer to luxury living in a high-cost area. It’s location to mass transit makes downtown Jersey City and lower Manhattan reachable within 15 minutes.
RVO: Is there a particular amenity of the Baker Building that you enjoy most?
JF: The roof deck. Other than the Liberty Science Center and Liberty State Park, there is nothing between the Baker Building and the Hudson River; the views are panoramic.
RVO: How is the Baker Building affordable when compared to other luxury buildings in Jersey City?
JF: The Lafayette neighborhood is underappreciated, because although it is very close to downtown, it is seen as a periphery neighborhood with a lot of vacant, former industrial uses. The land cost is lower and so we are able to pass that on and provide the same downtown product at a less expensive price.
RVO: Was it always the plan to put this building in the Lafayette area? Was its design specific to this lot of land?
JF: The design is specific to the site and the neighborhood. I’ve completed 11 projects in downtown Jersey City over the last 10 years, and six additional projects in other wards of the city. In 2013, I saw the downtown land costs start to rise dramatically and that’s when I started looking in Lafayette It took me over a year before I found this site. When you move out of a well-established area, you have to have very specific criteria in order to ensure the project’s success. I like geographically definable areas, preferably with un-crossable boundaries, that drive development vertically, rather than sprawl it.
I also wanted to be close to mass transit and I wanted a parcel large enough for a substantial project that would make an impact. I also wanted something that would either reclaim unused land or repurpose an existing structure, so there wouldn’t be a concern about displacing current residents. I found all of that at the end of Suydam Avenue. The long side fronting Suydam is clad in brick to evoke a feeling of the area’s industrial past; and the back, which faces NYC, is clad in alternating colored panels for a more modern look. The intent is to capture the juxtaposition of old and new in an area in transition.
The Baker Building will be offering tours of its apartments in early March. Photos and floor plans can be viewed on the building’s website, www.BakerBuilding-JerseyCity.com, where residential applications are also posted.
For more info on Point Capital Development’s projects, go to www.pointcapdev.com