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Advance Realty moving ahead with mixed-use project in Harrison

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Peter Cocoziello at the New Jersey Center for Excellence - (Photo By AARON HOUSTON)
Peter Cocoziello at the New Jersey Center for Excellence - (Photo By AARON HOUSTON)

One of the next steps toward transforming Harrison's industrial waterfront is moving forward, with Advance Realty set to begin a residential and retail project on its 80-acre redevelopment district.

The Bridgewater-based developer announced Monday it has site-plan approval for the project, which calls for 345 luxury apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail space. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter.

The project will be the next piece of the Advance's Riverbend District, a parcel that sits within Harrison's 250-acre redevelopment area. The site already houses Panasonic Corp.'s 48,500-square-foot technology complex, which opened last year alongside its new North American headquarters across the Passaic River in Newark.

The 1.2-square-mile Hudson County town has worked for some 15 years to redevelop its waterfront of mostly blighted industrial buildings. Its plans have garnered longstanding interest from several developers, who are drawn to the nearby PATH station that offers train access to Newark, Jersey City and Manhattan.

Those efforts received a boost last summer when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey broke ground on a $256 million project to replace the 78-year-old station. The new facility is expected to be open by 2017.

The upcoming Advance project will be adjacent to the 4-year-old Red Bull Arena, the firm said in a news release. Aside from its rental units, the retail portion will include a sports-themed bar and restaurant, a gym and other businesses.

John Johnson, a redevelopment attorney for Harrison, said the town is now negotiating a financial agreement for the site that will house Advance's new project.

Plans for the Riverbend District, which sits between the rail line and the Passaic River, also include additional retail, hotel and office space, the news release said.

Other New Jersey firms, such as Ironstate Development, The Pegasus Group, Roseland Property Co. and Millennium Homes, have opened residential and retail projects in Harrison in recent years as the town's redevelopment plans has fought through issues such as the real estate downturn.

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