Home Customized jerseys High Density Developments in NJ Being Redesigned for COVID Conscious Lifestyles

High Density Developments in NJ Being Redesigned for COVID Conscious Lifestyles


COVID-19 has changed not only the way we live, but also the spaces we live in.

Along with shopping and going to school in masks, maintaining social distancing at the post office, and going out to eat less, many of us are working from home. And for many, home has moved from urban areas to more suburban, rural or coastal areas in search of more room to move around and fresh air to breathe.

Now, high-density housing developers keen to attract tenants or buyers, especially in urban areas, have incorporated design features and amenities intended to address COVID-related concerns by minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. virus and allowing teleworking.

New projects that have appeared on the market since the pandemic generally include COVID-sensitive features such as contactless entrances, additional elevators and ultraviolet ventilation systems, as well as home office installations.

“A lot of people tried to be proactive and made a lot of changes, and our building is a great example of that,” said developer Art Johnson, director of Waterfront Management LLC in Jersey City.

Johnson’s building is a sprawling 629-unit rental complex known as 3 Acres on the west side of Jersey City, an emerging real estate market that has attracted investment following the development of the famed Hudson River waterfront, then from its Greenville and Journal Square neighborhoods.

Named for the size of the land occupied by the six-story rectangular complex, 3 Acres was designed by Hoboken architect Dean Marchetto of Marchetto Higgins Stieve before the pandemic hit in March 2020, but design changes were made during construction after social distancing became household words.

For example, the main entrance along Clairmont Avenue was originally designed as a set of revolving doors that would have generated repeated hand contact in the same location on the doors’ thick glass panels as residents Weaved their way in and out of the building during the morning and evening rush hours.

Thus, the revolving doors were replaced by a wide glass hall equipped with interior and exterior sets of automatic sliding doors programmed to open, one after the other, to keep the air warm or cool inside. inside or outside, as residents and visitors walk through the lobby or outside. on the sidewalk without touching anything.

There is a bank of three elevators immediately to the left and two more elsewhere for a total of five elevators in the relatively low building, intended to minimize clutter going up or down. To the left and right, spanning the 600-foot, two-block width of the building, is a lobby measuring 18 feet wide and 15 feet high, providing plenty of room for residents to pass each other at least six feet away. distance.

The lobby is punctuated by clusters of three or four coffee tables placed against the street side wall, each with a semi-circular seating area carved into the wall, creating a distinct look, a sense of intimacy and a physical barrier between people. seated on this side of each table.

Masks are recommended at 3 Acres, a 629-unit apartment complex in Jersey City, where several design elements are intended to minimize transmission of the coronavirus.Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Several standing signs reading “Masks Recommended” dotted the lobby and other common areas of the building. Johnson said plans for thousands of square feet of street-level retail space were scrapped to allow for expansion of common areas adjacent to the lobby. They include a 5,000-square-foot lounge with fireplaces, big-screen TVs, ping-pong and pool tables, pinball machines, a miniature two-lane bowling ally and a vintage jukebox, providing a diversion for a night out when an event is canceled or a crowded bar just isn’t for you.

A fascinating form of on-site entertainment is the 3 Acres Steinway Spirio digital grand piano, which can replicate anything played there or simultaneously duplicate a live performance by a pianist playing another Steinway Spirio anywhere in the world.

Three interior courtyards with day cabanas, shuffleboard and bocce courts, plus a near-Olympic-sized pool and 4,000-square-foot gym, allow tenants to spread out while they train.

“We’ve made everything bigger and more spacious so people have enough space to be together but apart,” Johnson said.

There’s a washer and dryer in every unit, including the only 289-square-foot micro-studios, which means renters can avoid congregating in a laundry room. Even the micro-units promote telecommuting, with bespoke furniture including a dining table that doubles as a workstation. Rents range from $1,500 for studios to $3,500 for a 1,100 square foot apartment with 2 bedrooms.

In Middlesex County, at 99 Bridge, a 150-unit rental complex in Old Bridge, a commercial suite allowing tenants to work remotely was just what new tenants Aqueel and Ritika Ahmed needed after moving into the building from northern California on October 1.

Bowling alleys at 3 Acres in Jersey City

A pair of mini-bowling lanes are part of the on-site entertainment at the Tenants’ Lounge at the 3 Acres apartment complex in Jersey City.Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The couple had kept their fintech jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, but moved to be closer to family in New Jersey for the birth of their child. The problem was that their home office furniture and all of their other belongings didn’t arrive for six weeks due to a moving company accident.

“They have a coworking lounge, with three offices and a conference room, and for a month and a half I worked in that office,” Aqueel said of 99 Bridge, which was co-developed by BNE Real. Estate Group, Sterling Properties and LPZ. “It was a very good thing that came in handy because my furniture didn’t make it.” The couple continued to work for the Bay Area company and live in Old Bridge, where their daughter was born. “She’s a Jersey girl,” confirmed her father.

Other COVID-focused features of 99 Bridge include an abundance of outdoor space, including a two-story tenant lounge with multiple gathering areas, a swimming pool, barbecue and outdoor dining areas, an outdoor bar with television projection areas, fire pits and a dog run.

The Atwater in Bogota, is a 3-phase rental complex totaling 539 units that has nearly rented its initial two stages and is now under construction on the 118 units of its final phase. The project, by PCD Development of New Providence, also includes a large outdoor space, as well as a business center with Steelcase Brody modules.

And Atwater’s indoor amenities are also equipped with ultraviolet air sanitizers that can kill the virus.

In Union County, Vermella at Garwood Station in Garwood, a 296-unit rental project by Russo Development, retained digital and in-person NFC concierge service, to give residents the choice to “attend in person or to enjoy virtual events based on their comfort level,” according to a spokesperson for the project. Russo also offers Teams/Facetime virtual tours for potential tenants.

Another Jersey City project, 351 Marin, a 507-unit rental building in the city’s downtown district, added seating to a 4,500-square-foot plaza to expand its outdoor space during construction after the epidemic. The joint project also includes “24-hour staff cleaning and disinfection,” according to the developers, KRE Group and Northwestern Mutual. Three-quarters of the units have been rented since opening in November, according to KRE and Northwestern.

Citizen Linden, a Union County project with 234 rental units and 4,500 square feet of retail space, offers coworking spaces on each floor, with three workstations each, to minimize clutter in a given area. Extra-wide hallways and elevator waiting areas have also been incorporated into the building’s design.

A pair of courtyards provide outdoor space with seating and a barbecue. “They also include bike storage and a bike-share program, as the popularity of cycling as a hobby has skyrocketed during the pandemic,” developer Accurate Builders & Developers accurately noted.

Antiviral benefits aside, features like spacious common areas and outdoor space would appeal to all potential tenants, not just the COVID-conscious crowd. And buildings are not necessarily marketed as safe havens.

Josie Charles, a 23-year-old pet groomer with a studio at 3 Acres, said she was unaware of the building’s antiviral features since moving in two months ago from Bayonne. And with his business, Unsoiled, relying entirely on home visits, working from home isn’t even a consideration for Charles. But she was happy to learn that her new digs could reduce the risk of her and her neighbors spreading the coronavirus, or any other contagion, to each other.

And she loves all the things to do there.

“It’s fun,” she said.

Josie Charles at 3 Acres in Jersey City

Josie Charles, a pet groomer who lives in the 3 Acres apartment complex in Jersey City, outside the buildings main entrance, where revolving doors have been replaced with sliding doors that don’t require of contact.Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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Steve Strunsky can be reached at [email protected]