Two new Ft Lee residential towers are about to become a reality…after 4 decades

According to an article in The Record and on…Two 47-story towers proposed in Ft Lee, the developers of this project are gearing up to build one of the most exciting projects to happen in New Jersey, since Hartz Mountain developed the first major waterfront project (Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken) in the early-to-mid 1980’s. This was the project and company that started to gold coast revival, and then many others after them.  And this proposed new project can once again symbolize the start of a new beginning for New Jersey housing market.

The twin 47 story luxury residential towers that will be developed in Ft Lee NJ will be nothing short of a spectacular addition to the Fort Lee skyline. And maybe this will be the project that nudges other towns to fast track projects and push developers to start building once again.

If completed, the project would mark the borough’s largest redevelopment effort to date — some four decades in the making.

What’s sad about this project is that it was decades in the making. Between past administrations who were against every new project, and a slew of  developers who were beyond greedy with their wildly insane density proposals, they all got what they deserved. Nothing.

Now a smarter generation is in place and good things are hopefully about to happen. Hopefully.

A quick observation for history buffs: If the past is an indication of the future (which I don’t believe it is), these projects could be a flop. From what my own past research found,  there has never been a high rise development in Northern New Jersey where the original developer was successful. Every project lost money and were resold to other developers who then made money because they purchased these buildings for far less than their original cost.

Though these buildings will not be half as tall as the Empire state building, they will stand equally iconic as New Jersey’s tallest buildings, and will be placed where hundreds of thousands of people will see it on a weekly basis.

Whether or not the projects “serve as a renaissance for our entire community” as mayor mark Soklich puts it, will only be known after its completion.

The article highlighted the talking points that the people who favor this project want you to hear (and I agree with most of them), but to be completely objective about it, we also need to look at some of the possible long term negatives:

Just what will this project do for the community is still cause for discussion:

  • Will the traffic become so unbearable that people shy away from the area, or will it add to something that’s already a nightmarish rush our problem.  Or will the effects be as minimal as the developers project
  • Will the two towers put the nail in the coffin of condo sales…which have already been dead for years.
  • Will the addition of 900 new apartments with amazing views of the GW bridge and Hudson river kill the areas rental market for older buildings
  • Will 900 units only add 53 -81 additional pupils to the school rolls, or will it burden an already scandalous school system
  • Will the “tax bonanza” as the reporter puts it, really happen or is this just another fantasy that Ft Lee perpetrated just to get the project built

I for one can’t wait for this project to get started.  The sights and sounds of progress will once again be in the air and hopefully the excitement will ignite other to do the same.  We’re a country that needs to build things, and to see our progress, and no place will it be more noticeable to so many people.

Because the location is so prime, I bet there’s already a long-term deal with one of the news stations for a traffic cam.  I just hope they’re smart enough to have it streamed so we can get real time video on our cell phones.

This won’t be the last post on this project so stay tuned for more insight.

Let’s hope it all works or for the best


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