X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The more than 400 luxury one-, two- and three-bedrooms were scheduled to be ready for occupancy in December at rents ranging up to $2,500. But opening day at Avalon River Mews in Edgewater, NJ, along the Hudson River waterfront in Bergen County, has been delayed indefinitely.

Last week, a spectacular nighttime blaze leveled the under-construction Avalon River Mews, which sits opposite Manhattan’s 125th Street, taking all of 15 minutes to spread from end-to-end of the building. That, and the fact that evidence points to a “hot spot” at one corner of the property, is leading officials to label the fire “suspicious.” A sub-plot in the aftermath has some locals openly questioning the wisdom of the runaway development that has engulfed the Hudson riverfront in Hudson and Bergen counties.

“It certainly is a suspicious fire, and our arson team is taking a look at it,” confirmed Bergen County executive Pat Schuber to local reporters. The Bergen County assistant prosecutor agrees but won’t release any details about the investigation just yet.

According to Gary Steinfield of developer AvalonBay Communities, his company is providing housing for about 100 people displaced when the fire spread to several adjacent homes. AvalonBay, the country’s 16th largest luxury apartment builder, is based in Alexandria, VA and has tri-state regional offices in Iselin, NJ and New York City.

Avalon Mews began construction a year ago this month, according to Steinfield. AvalonBay plans to start from scratch to complete the project, and most of its losses are covered by insurance. The project had been in an at-risk stage: with the frame done, workers had just begun to install interior walls and fire barriers, a prelude to installation of sprinklers.

The project is on the site of an old Alcoa aluminum plant, and it needed remediation to proceed. The fire was complicated by the fact that a tank farm holding million of gallons of home heating oil is located nearby, separated by only an old warehouse building. At the same time, Avalon Mews is just one of almost two dozen major construction projects in Edgewater right now, all of which is providing ammunition for the anti-development folks (mostly residents) in the region.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 

GlobeSt. Multifamily Spring 2022 (Formerly APTS)Event

Join 1000+ of the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt
Live Chat

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.