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PERTH AMBOY, NJ-The Kaplan Cos. received preliminary site plan approval, as well as final approval for the first phase of Federal Hill, a $38-million, 300-unit multifamily project here. Federal Hill will rise on a site near Route 440 in this Middlesex County community that has been designated for redevelopment by this city’s redevelopment agency.

The Federal Hill project, as it now stands, is a scaled-back version of an earlier proposal by the Highland Park-based Kaplan Cos. The earlier version would have required the condemnation of a number of existing, adjacent single-family residences to aggregate the site, but those homes will now be spared. The Federal Hill site is now mostly occupied by obsolete industrial structures, most of which will be razed.

With the approval, the developer expects to have construction under way by early next spring, according to Jason Kaplan, vice president of the family-owned firm. Phase one itself will contain a total of 64 units, including 24 townhouses and 40 condominiums.

The overall project, which is expected to take four years to build out, will consist mostly of three- and four-story buildings. Although predominantly a for-sale residential community, Federal Hill will include some 80 rental units in a mid-rise building, according to Kaplan. In will also include both surface and below-ground parking on-site.

Federal Hill is being constructed on a site adjacent to this city’s new $51-million public safety complex. The Kaplan project is being designed by Michael Zemsky Architects of Westfield, which also did the work on the public safety complex. Both projects are being designed in a style reminiscent of this 321-year-old city’s Colonial history, including its role as the capital of the then-colony of East Jersey.

And, according to Kaplan, the target demographic for Federal Hill includes professionals who commute, given the site’s proximity to rail lines and planned ferry service to New York City. Another target is existing city residents looking to move out of the single-family category.

Federal Hill is one of several current redevelopment projects in this waterfront city. Others notably include the Landings at Harborside, a residential community being developed by the Florham Park-based Kushner Cos., and a new industrial park being developed by the Matrix Development Group of Cranbury on a former oil refinery site.

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