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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.