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Developers break ground on Harrison apartment complex
By Joshua Burd
As seen in NJ Biz

The first piece of a new 104-unit residential complex in Harrison is slated to open by early next year, according to developers The Hampshire Cos. and CrownPoint Group.

The project, which will include two 52-unit luxury apartment buildings, is among the latest in the town's long-running plan to redevelop its blighted industrial waterfront. It will sit at 221 Bergen St., just a few blocks from the PATH station that is the cornerstone of efforts to create a rail-served urban community there.

Hampshire and CrownPoint gathered in Harrison last week for an official groundbreaking ceremony for the project. They were joined by local officials and project investors, including Jeffrey Sica of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.

"Born of industrial roots, there is a modern community emerging right here in Harrison as the town's urban infrastructure is being transformed into vibrant neighborhoods," James E. Hanson II, Hampshire's CEO and president, said in a prepared statement.

The two Morristown-based developers have tapped Feinberg & Associates P.C, a multidisciplinary architectural firm, to design the two residential buildings.

The effort to redevelop the 1.3-square-mile town goes back some 15 years, and local officials have had to endure massive environmental cleanup projects, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the recession. That has resulted in a handful of new projects and active construction in recent years, as some of the rundown warehouses have slowly been replaced by new residential and commercial complexes.

But stakeholders have said construction is picking up. Two projects that would bring another 543 high-end apartments to the area are nearing completion, and nearly 720 more are just underway or expected to break ground within the next six months, including the CrownPoint and Hampshire project.

"Having spent 15 years in Harrison, I know firsthand the dedication and hard work that has gone into the revitalization of what once was the Beehive of Industry," Jeff Milanaik, CEO of CrownPoint Group, said in a prepared statement. "Today we begin a new project and take one more step in achieving our vision for the town of Harrison."