For MonGroup CEO and President Dean Mon, creating a name in sustainable urban development is not only a way for his firm to stand out, but a way to give back to both its clients and the communities he and his firm have been welcomed to.
Mere weeks after acquiring 175 W. 7th St. in Bayonne, the developer has announced plans for a 56-unit low-rise complex near the Bayonne Bridge.
“We’re probably one of the few in New Jersey that does all of the three certifications, Energy Star, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and National Green Standard,” he said. “I think that makes us different. We provide a very different standard.
MonGroup's CFO said that while each unit costs 12 to 15 percent more to build to triple certification standards, the company feels the price is justified.
The developer said that while it may cost between $1,500 and $2,000 more to build each unit, he and his team feel the price is justified.
MonGroup’s goal, to promote sustainability and healthy living, also extends to the amenities and the design of the building itself. On this project, the firm commissioned CPA Architecture out of West New York to design a green roof deck above its parking garage, a fitness center, a private garage and storage units to add to the energy-efficient appliances included in every unit.
“Part of the Green Building certification is we train them as part of the details as to what the ‘Green’ entails and the savings,” MonGroup Customer Care Director and Green Project Manager Carolina Alvarez said. “We train them how to use everything according to the certification and manufacturer standards.
“I see it as our way of giving back to the community, because Mon does not upcharge for building a green building. That’s our way to give back to the community, because we’re competitive with the price in the market, and that’s also attractive to our tenants and our buyers.”
MonGroup said it is finalizing designs, but expects to break ground in less than six months with a total building time of up to 18 months. The developer said it expects the project to reach stabilization in two and a half years from when it was purchased from Jinco Inc. at the beginning of August.
“We’re excited with where Hudson County is going,” Mon said. “We have not seen the market fall off like some people were predicting. We still have a healthy interest in our products, in our buildings, and we’re very pleased. We have developed a good reputation in the area.”
The project’s proximity to transportation, including the Light Rail and highway systems, and other developments in the area will attract and retain tenants in Bayonne, Mon said.
“Where we are is in the southern portion of Bayonne, which is right when you come in from the Bayonne Bridge. We are on the east side of the bridge, but now on the west side, across from us, there’s a major project that will have stores, restaurants and environment as far as entertainment venues. I think the town is going to benefit from all the stuff that is going to happen.”
MonGroup recently completed the final phase of its Jaclyn Heights complex in West New York and has plans for a 48-unit development in Union City.
Jaclyn Heights is the first condominium project in New Jersey to receive LEED and National Green Building Standard Certification and to be built to tier 1 standard of the New Jersey Energy Efficient Homes Standards.