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Ground broken for 90 Hudson Street at Colgate Center.

In an historic moment for Jersey City one that just a few years ago seemed the slightest of possibilities - Hartz Mountain Industries commenced construction on The Colgate Center by breaking ground at 90 Hudson Street on June 16th.

The $80 million construction budget for the 12-story, 420,000 square-foot building will create numerous jobs over the two-year development cycle, which began with Hartz's $10 million purchase of the one-acre 90 Hudson site in January.

"90 Hudson opens the new millennium with a building that has altered the face of commercial real estate in New Jersey," said Emanuel Stern, president of Hartz Mountain Industries. "No one had discussed speculative construction in New Jersey for almost 10 years to that point - but now it is common to see developers like ourselves addressing the needs of the market with at-risk projects. That's good for our industry and good for New Jersey, and we're proud of our role."

"New Jersey's appeal to leading businesses can only be fulfilled by insightful development like what is happening at 90 Hudson," said Governor Christine Todd Whitman. "We congratulate Jersey City on a fine new home for the companies who recognize the tremendous advantages and benefits enjoyed by businesses in New Jersey. This project exemplifies just how far New Jersey has come in the past four years. Our outlook for the future is extremely positive."

As recently as the mid 1990s, local officials and real estate executives did not foresee new commercial buildings being constructed on Colgate Center's Hudson River waterfront parcels, and the speculative development of a prime office building seemed particularly remote. At the time office, vacancies were 20 percent and rents that had plunged in the late 80's and early 90's had not nearly recovered.

But Hartz Mountain's savvy, and a rapidly expanding market, have combined to overcome what seemed insurmountable resistance - and touched off a new phase of development not only at Colgate Center, but along the entire Gold Coast.

"After we left the speculative development market in 1988, almost everyone who stayed in lost everything," said Stem. "When we came back in, the market was desperate for new space, but them were very few players even toying with the idea of addressing the demand with spec buildings. Our purchase of 90 Hudson changed the mind-sets of both tenants and developers, who now recognize that this market needs space and that there are opportunities to profitably develop it.

"Colgate Center limits some of the risk of developing speculatively, because it is the finest remaining site on either side of the river," Stern said. "We have had some very specific and deep interest from tenants, and as we break ground, I am sure we were right."

90 Hudson is positioned on the northeast parcel of the six commercial lots at Colgate Center. Hartz Mountain also expects to purchase and develop 70 Hudson, the site immediately south, and perhaps other portions of Colgate Center.

"With the ground-breaking of 90 Hudson Street, Hartz Mountain and the City of Jersey City will communicate a vital message: Jersey City's waterfront is a thriving center for business," said Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler. "Our state-of-the-art office buildings, continued development and economic incentives are sure to motivate even more New York area businesses to relocate onto our side of the Hudson River."

Schundler added that the City expects to create over six million square feet of office space with the completion of six proposed projects in Colgate Center, including 90 Hudson Street.

Primed for both residential and commercial use, Colgate Center - located directly across from Manhattan's World Financial Center - offers dramatic panoramic views of the New York skyline and is accessible by PATH, ferry, light rail or nearby highways.

"Planned specifically for the 21st Century, the success of 90 Hudson Street and Colgate Center is significant because it will set the standard for all future waterfront developments to measure up to," said Stem.

90 Hudson's many features will include state-of-the-art telecommunications, a sophisticated HVAC system designed to provide for supplemental cooling needs at minimum cost, VAV air distribution, high-speed elevators, a 24-hour/7-days-a-week concierge monitored security system, and a state-of-the-art life safety system with complete fire suppression system, and emergency generators.

Hartz Mountain currently owns and operates a private portfolio of 175 buildings, representing more than 30 million square feet.
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Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:office building in Jersey City, New Jersey
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 17, 1998
Words:719
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