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NORTH BERGEN, NJ-Casa Blanca Development has started construction for Insignia Gardens, a residential/retail project on a former manufacturing site here. The 48 residential units and 11,500 sf of retail space are slated for completion in early 2006. The project is in Hudson County, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

The project “points to the future of development in northern New Jersey,” says Jeff White, president of the Hoboken, NJ-based Casa Blanca. “North Bergen responded to the difficulties of this site with a zoning overlay that shows insight and determination to maximize the value of its available land while maintaining the character of the town.”

The 1.5-acre site on Kennedy Blvd. was once occupied by a Sier-Bath Gear manufacturing facility. The munitions manufacturer completed an environmental remediation project that returned the land to residential standards about a decade ago and the site has since then been the subject of a number of redevelopment proposals.

“The site was a battlefield with a lot of plans for big developments that were shot down before Casa Blanca came along,” says North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco.

While relatively smaller in scope than some of the earlier proposals, Insignia Gardens is the largest project to date for Casa Blanca, which has been developing condos and apartments in northern and central New Jersey for the last several years. It will consist of a main 50,000-sf building with 30 condo units plus 11,500 sf of ground-floor retail space. 18 attached-style homes are also part of the site plan, along with an 80-car parking facility. The architect for Insignia Gardens is Architectura of Edgewater, NJ.

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