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Partners focus on $600M waterfront 'dream'.

Westminster Communities, the development and construction division of Kushner Companies, has assembled a multi-faceted development team for the 49-acre, mixed-use waterfront redevelopment project in Perth Amboy, N.J.

Known as The Landings at HarborSide, this ambitious eight-year, $600 million plan incorporates residential and retail components with recreation, parks, a marina and a future hotel site. The first phase of residential development and a Sales and Design Center are now under construction.

"The Landings is divided into four phases and includes the cleanup of blighted areas, demolition of decayed structures, the upgrading of infrastructure, and the construction of a thriving new waterfront community," explained Sam Gershwin, president of Westminster Communities.

"To execute such a project, we have assembled a team consisting of the best, most experienced individuals and firms in the industry."

Based on the latest "New Urbanism" design principals, The Landings is planned to combine the openness of suburban living with the feel of a small town and all the conveniences of an urban environment. The redevelopment area will be a contiguous part of surrounding neighborhoods, the waterfront, and the historic downtown.

Design components include preparation of the overall project plan, as well as the design of discrete components including residential and retail buildings, individual condominium residences, parking structures, the Sales and Design Center, and the exterior communal areas including parks, courtyards, and waterfront structures and promenade.

The Liebman Melting Partnership (TLMP) of New York City, an award-winning firm of architects and planners, is the project-wide architect and master planner.

One of the first consultants to join The Landings at HarborSide team, TLMP created the master plan for the entire redevelopment and is actively involved in the design of the first two residential buildings now under construction as part of Phase I. Since 1979, TLMP has produced large-scale housing projects, mixed-use neighborhoods and smart office buildings at home and abroad.

EDAW, Inc. of New York City is the landscape architect, working with Liebman Melting to design all public realm elements including the streetscapes, public parks, private courtyards, waterfront park, esplanade and hotel garden plaza. EDAW is a global practice providing integrated environmental, planning and landscape design services focused on creating exceptional communities.

The development and approval process in the state of New Jersey is a complex one, particularly for a redevelopment of this scope. Westminster Communities has engaged two legal firms for the project:

WolfBlock Brach & Eichler of Roseland, New Jersey, is handling acquisition and land use issues, dealing with purchase contracts as well as permitting and approval matters associated with the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency, the Perth Amboy Planning Board, and the City of Perth Amboy. Founded in 1903, WolfBlock is a 300-lawyer entity with nine offices in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. (GH&C) of Middletown, N.J., is addressing environmental/regulatory issues.

Schoor DePalma of Manalapan, N.J., is the project-wide consultant on civil engineering. The firm has performed an analysis of utility systems and road infrastructure, coordinated infrastructure planning and is handling site plan approval for The Landings.

Cultural Resource Consulting Group (CRCG) of Highland Park, N.J., conducts studies on acquired properties to determine their architectural, archeological and cultural significance. CRCG helps to determine whether these potential resources are best preserved, rehabilitated or removed.

Economics Research Associates (ERA) of Washington, D.C. is an International consulting firm that is working with The Landings to determine retail feasibility and design.

The Landings includes approximately 2,800 feet of waterfront within the development area. This has required the expertise of some uniquely specialized firms.

LGA Engineering, Inc. of Lakewood, N.J., is providing marine engineering services, assisting in determining bulk-head design, providing an analysis of the in-water features of the property, including piers and dry docks, and facilitating FEMA approvals. LGA is a member of the Birdsall Services Group, a multi-disciplined consulting firm with offices throughout New Jersey.

EcolSciences, Inc., a 30-year-old multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm located in Rockaway, New Jersey, is responsible for assessing the environmental condition of acquired properties, designing plans to mitigate environmental situations where they exist and submitting the plans for DEP approval.

Builder Marketing Services of Long Valley, New Jersey, is coordinating the marketing components for The Landings and devising the program for individual unit sales. They are working in conjunction with Oxford Communications of Lambertville, N.J., responsible for developing the collateral materials related to sales and marketing of The Landings properties, and the public relations firm, Caryl Communications Inc., of Fair Lawn, N.J.

Century Design, Inc. of New Hope, Pa., is implementing the Liebman Melting design for The Landings at HarborSide Sales and Design Center. Century Design has won national and regional recognition for its design expertise, demonstrated over the past 16 years in a diverse range of custom residences, model homes, information and sales centers, club houses and offices.

Focus 360 of San Juan Capistrano in California is designing a virtual reality/interactive media presentation for the Sales and Design Center. The company's three-dimensional, animated displays have been featured on "LIVE With Regis and Kelly" and have been used by some of the nation's top real estate firms.

Joseph McCaffrey, a multimedia consultant with 25 years of experience in audio/visual solutions, is designing the audio/visual network for the Sales and Design Center. McCaffrey is a specialist in defining the required functionality and designing tailored solutions for corporate, institutional and public facilities.

"We are very proud of the partnerships we have made with these outstanding firms and the expertise they are providing," noted Gershwin.

"Together, we are making the dream of a renewed and revitalized Perth Amboy into a reality as The Landings at HarborSide proceeds from a design on paper to a beautiful, thriving, multi-dimensional and desirable community."
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Title Annotation:Construction & Design
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Mar 10, 2004
Previous Article:Builders expect condo demand to continue.
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