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Mack-Cali, Ironstate partner on waterfront rentals

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Using property the company already owns, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. announced Wednesday it is partnering with Ironstate Development Co. to build two residential towers on the Jersey City waterfront.

The development will be part of Mack-Cali's Harborside Financial Center, currently the location of five class A office buildings, as well as retail shops and restaurants.

"It's all part of the strategic vision, which is to complement a very premiere office development we have down at Harborside, and complemented by our 101 Hudson Street high rise building down there with a full complement of amenities and uses that create this 24/7 work/live environment," said Mitchell E. Hersh, president and CEO of Mack-Cali.

Hersh said the towers were a demand-driven choice for the land, focused primarily for younger professionals, with the majority of the units in the initial phase being one-bedroom and studio apartments. The Harborside development is being designed to offer an affordable choice for the urban work force for both Jersey City and lower Manhattan.

"It's diversifying quite nicely, and it's an epicenter of the urban environment, and our residential product on a comparative basis will be a very good price point compared with what's available in Manhattan," Hersh said of the Jersey City waterfront market.

"From a strategic perspective, this allows us to round out the uses down there," Hersh said. "We now are in full control of making sure every aspect of the urbanization trend is addressed at that development, which is a very significant part of our asset base, certainly in this region."

Familiarity with David Barry, president of Ironstate, factored into the decision to partner with the Ironstate, Hersh said, as well as the company's "interests that are aligned with ours, to say long-term ownership and being part of putting capital into the project, equity into the project."

Groundbreaking for the towers is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2012, with occupancy occurring in 2014. The architect named to the project is HLW International LLP. Hersh said no state incentives will be involved with the residential development.

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