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Take A Tour Of Hudson Lights, Part Of Fort Lee’s Ongoing Transformation

Hudson Lights in Fort Lee, as seen from the corner of Schlosser Street and Main Street. All photos by the authorHudson Lights in Fort Lee, as seen from the corner of Schlosser Street and Main Street. All photos by the author

New buildings replace old ones quite frequently, and skylines evolve. It isn’t very often that a development literally redraws the map, but that’s what has happened with Hudson Lights, located in downtown Fort Lee, N.J.

Hudson Lights as seen from the corner of Palisade Avenue and Main Street

Hudson Lights as seen from the corner of Palisade Avenue and Main Street

Hudson Lights is a mixed-use development by Kushner Real Estate Group and Tucker Development. Manhattan-based Arquitectonica designed it. There are two buildings located on a site bound by Lemoine Avenue, Main Street, Park Avenue (formerly Martha Washington Way), and Bruce Reynolds Boulevard, and along the newly-created Hudson Street.

The corner of Main Street and Hudson Street in Fort Lee

The corner of Main Street and Hudson Street in Fort Lee

Hudson Street in Fort Lee, looking north

Hudson Street in Fort Lee, looking north

The site was once owned by Harry Helmsley, but legal issues, followed by the market downturn that killed the Centuria mixed-use project, left the site to languish for decades. Now, the site’s development is ushering in a new era to Fort Lee. Some residents are concerned about added traffic in an already-congested borough, but many others are excited to see new businesses.

The first building is on the east side of Hudson Street. It is 12 stories tall, rising to 150 feet, and contains 276 rental units, starting with 670-square-foot studios and going up to 2,072-square-foot three-bedrooms. Amenities include a residents’ lounge, fitness center, pool, and outdoor space. Completion of the residential portion, occupying eight floors, is expected by the end of the year, though some of it is already occupied.

View of the George Washington Bridge from Hudson Lights

View of the George Washington Bridge from Hudson Lights

View from the outdoor amenity level at Hudson Lights

View from the outdoor amenity level at Hudson Lights

There is also a parking garage, occupying three floors and intended for use by both residents and visitors to the development’s commercial tenants, which occupy the ground floor. A CapitalOne Bank and CVS pharmacy are already open, while a 16 Handles yogurt shop, spinning studio Cyclebar, and Anthony Franco’s Pizza are under construction. Also on the way are Gaonnuri Restaurant, Linwood Wines, European Wax Center, Tutti Nails & Spa, and Coldwell Banker.

City Perch and iPic Theaters at Hudson Lights in Fort Lee

City Perch and iPic Theaters at Hudson Lights in Fort Lee

The second building is across Hudson Street. It rises two stories to 40 feet. The 533-seat iPic Theaters dine-in cinema and its accompanying City Perch restaurant are already open, and Paris Baguette (currently located on Lemoine Avenue) and clothier SeeSaw will soon join. The southern portion of that half of the development features some public green space.

View of the public green space at Hudson Lights

View of the public green space at Hudson Lights

The north end of the Hudson Lights property could hold a second phase, possibly with a hotel, but developers have not yet ironed out those plans.

Site of potential phase II of Hudson Lights

Site of potential phase II of Hudson Lights

Hudson Lights, however, is only half of the picture. Across Park Avenue is The Modern, a 47-story, 496-unit glass rental tower developed by SJP Properties that opened in 2014. Under construction to its south is The Modern II. Nearly a twin of its predecessor, the newer building will also rise 47 stories and will hold 450 rental units. It is already about 15 stories up and is due to be complete in 2018.

The Modern and The Modern II in Fort Lee

The Modern and The Modern II in Fort Lee

All of this sits a stone’s throw from the George Washington Bridge, which carries motor vehicles, bus routes, and a bicycling and walking path to Manhattan.

5 Comments on "Take A Tour Of Hudson Lights, Part Of Fort Lee’s Ongoing Transformation"

  1. So many urban planning failures in this project. I was very excited for this project, and it’s truly a disappointment.

    For one thing, they widened Lemoine avenue into a 4-lane speedway that is a hassle for pedestrians. Even worse, most of Hudson Lights’s shops seem to turn their backs to the existing commercial strip on Lemoine Avenue. Why? Why not add to the vibrancy of the existing commercial district instead of detracting from it?

    On top of that, the public “park” is barely a park. It’s a pathetic lawn with trees around the perimeter. When you go to a park, you want to be surrounded by greenery, not stare at it (in this case, in the form of a flat, boring lawn) from the outside. It would’ve been nice if they built a path through a lawn, and added some interest by putting trees, flowers, landscaping, anything in the lawn.

    • Park Avenue could definitely repurpose one of the northbound lanes into a two-way bike lane. No need for 4 lanes on that stretch in one direction. In fact there is ZERO bike infrastructure from the second you get off the GWB path (Excepting the path down to PIP). If Fort Lee wants to be the next Hoboken/JC, it needs to be more bike and ped friendly.

  2. Sunflower welcome everybody at the corner, but an abundance should be refilled the new one. (^_^)

  3. 1) Lemoine Avenue was always 4 lanes (it is in it’s entirety through the town).
    2) There is in fact significant retail along Lemoine (along with Main Street and Hudson, which also surround the new square).
    3) Surely more landscaping could have been added to the square, but some open public green space is far from a bad thing.

  4. Manhattan-level development without the infrastructure. When will they begin building a subway from Fort Lee to the tip of Bayonne? Oh I forgot, we are not in China. The diesel fumes from the bridge and approach must be off the charts. The agenencies are covering this up. I love visiting PIP, otherwise no thanks.

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