ENGLEWOOD, NJ-With final approvals finally in place, the Paramus, NJ-based S. Hekemian Kasparian Troast is set to move forward on the $50-million Englewood Commons, a mixed-use project on a 15-acre tract in this city’s redevelopment area. The project calls for a vacant former General Motors auto parts warehouse to be torn down.

Demolition of the aging structure will begin next month, according to company officials. HKT is a Paramus, NJ-based partnership.

In the warehouse’s place will rise a seven-building complex combining residential, retail and office uses, according to HKT’s final site plans. Five of the buildings will contain a total of 350 rental apartments, says the firm’s Michael Kasparian, and a sixth building will contain some 40,000 sf of retail space on two levels. Work will begin immediately on the residential and retail components, which are expected to be completed in about two years.

The seventh building will likely take a little longer. The 12-story structure will contain a total of some 200,000 sf of office space, and HKT officials say they will hold off on its construction until they have a major tenant lined up. Other elements of Englewood Commons’ site plan include 1,600 parking spaces, mostly underground, as well as a landscaped green. The project is being designed by the Lambertville, NJ-based Minno & Wasko.

To accomplish the complicated project, HKT had to first buy the lease on the warehouse from GM. The next step was the acquisition of the site itself from a local investment group.

Englewood Commons is actually part of a larger, 42-acre tract of mostly former industrial land that the city rezoned for redevelopment with mixed uses more than two years ago. Local officials expect that once it’s all built out, the redevelopment zone will have generated close to $500 million in private investment.

HKT itself is currently under contract to acquire a 20-acre site near the Englewood Commons site. Although no specific plans have been announced, company officials say they expect to develop another mixed-use project. In the meantime, city officials say that two other projects have been proposed by unnamed developers that would bring upwards of 400 apartments, most of them market-rate, plus 50,000 sf of retail space to the redevelopment area.

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