N.J. downtown receives a new condominium building amid suburban housing surge

Deborah K. Vick

A 60-device condominium building in downtown Somerville is opening amid surging interest in suburban household housing in New Jersey pushed by the coronavirus pandemic.


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The five-story Davenport Flats opened Oct. 26 and, as of past Monday, 6 of the 60 models has been rented, developer Robert Weiss mentioned.

Even though renting an condominium is not the identical as obtaining a household, Weiss mentioned he expects the exact same components boosting this year’s suburban housing market — from extensive-phrase working from residence, to seeking to steer clear of far more crowded parts — will spark curiosity in his developing.

The units array from 956 sq. feet to 1,379 sq. ft. Rent starts off at $2,200 for every thirty day period for one particular-bed room flats, and $3,000 for every thirty day period for two-bed room apartments.

“You can shift out of the city, fall your lease extra than 50 %, and be in a great, risk-free spot,” Weiss explained.

Angela Sicoli, president of New Jersey Realtors, reported the suburban housing surge continues to be ongoing.

“We have witnessed outward migration from the cities to the surrounding suburban regions, in particular the northern New Jersey spot,” Sicoli claimed.

Asked about what could attract tenants to Somerville, Sicoli said, “Some people today moved out of city residing, and probably they didn’t find a home, or would rather reside in an condominium and hire.”

Weiss stated the Davenport Apartments expense $20 million to construct.

While development was halted for two months last spring thanks to the pandemic, Weiss claimed that did not have also much of an effects.

“The only fortunate detail is we were effectively along the way,” he stated.

The building’s debut is featuring some cheer to Somerville’s downtown, which like other business districts in New Jersey has grappled with organization closures and other vacancies through the pandemic.

Natalie Pineiro, government director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance, mentioned it is yet another sign of getting again to typical.

Of Somerville’s 17 retail vacancies, 7 are on monitor for new tenants in the following couple months. The other 10 had been vacant prior to the onset of the pandemic and business constraints in March.

The prospect of new constraints, as the state contends with an ongoing raise of coronavirus situations, is elevating fears, she claimed.

“I feel we’re doing effectively once again. We’re just viewing the governor to see what the up coming handful of months are going to provide and hoping for the ideal,” Pineiro explained.

Weiss said his condominium making is properly-suited for the pandemic-driving evolution away from commuting to perform and shelling out additional time at house. The courtyard lounge place serves as a yard, of sorts, with a seating area around a hearth put.

“It’s a fantastic site, inside a fantastic locale,” Weiss mentioned in referencing his constructing and Somerville.

He acknowledged that difficulties posed by the pandemic are unavoidable. Duties that would have been routine, pre-pandemic, these as showing models to potential tenants, now require masks and a slower pace.

The primary marketing level, he said, is the area in downtown Somerville. The borough is dwelling to about 12,000 and addresses extra than two miles.

“It’s a superb town. Tons of eating places. Suitable off Principal Road. A suburban life-style with an city aptitude to it,” Weiss said.

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Rob Jennings may be reached at [email protected].


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