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RAHWAY, NJ-Silcon Group will formally break ground on Wednesday for Carriage City Hotel and Tower, a mixed-use redevelopment in this city’s downtown area. The Carriage City project will provide a couple of “firsts” for this Union County community. For one, it will be the city’s first project that marries three uses in one building. For another, the project’s hotel will be the city’s only hostelry.

The final price tag for the 380,000-sf, 15-story tower has not been released yet, but preliminary numbers put the cost of the project in the $80-million range. Located at East Milton Ave. and Irving Place, Carriage City Hotel and Tower will rise across from this city’s commuter rail station. The region surrounding the rail station was designated by the State of New Jersey five years ago as a “transit village,” part of a program to encourage commercial and residential development around the state’s established transportation hubs.

In a prepared statement Carlos J. Silva, chairman and CEO of the Elizabeth, NJ-based Silcon Group, says the project “signals the rebirth of Rahway as a dynamic urban center. It will enhance the image of the city for years to come.” The building’s residential component will consist of a total of 209 one- and two-bedroom condo units. The retail will total approximately 20,000 sf, and the project will also include a 7,000-sf eatery. The property’s hotel will consist of 102 extended-stay suites and studios. An operator for the hotel has not been announced.

Carriage City Hotel and Tower is being jointly designed by the Morristown, NJ-based architectural firms of Nadaskay Kopelson and Arturo Palombo. Actual construction will start shortly after this week’s official groundbreaking, and Silcon is targeting mid-2007 for its completion and opening.

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