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SOMERVILLE, NJ-The response to an RFP for redevelopment of this city’s 112-acre former landfill was minimal in terms of firm proposals, but one has emerged as the front-runner with three major real estate names attached. Pulte Homes, AvalonBay Communities and Rockefeller Group Development would team up to build nearly 1,200 residential units and 195,000 sf of commercial space in three phases.

The site bordered by Route 206 and NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley rail line has been unused since the mid-80s when the landfill was closed. A previous proposal for a shopping center development fell victim to nearly two decades of litigation.

According to information released by officials of this Somerset County seat, the Bloomfield Hills, MI-based Pulte will be the lead developer and will specifically handle the project’s condo housing. AvalonBay, which has an office in Woodbridge, NJ, will do the rental residential, and New York-based Rockefeller will handle the commercial space.

As proposed by the trio of developers, the project will be divided into four sectors, according to this city’s economic development manager, Colin Driver: The Hub, focused on this city’s commuter rail station; and three surrounding neighborhoods dubbed the Heights, Heights East and Heights West. The first phase will include 500 rental apartments, 72 condos, 800 parking spaces and 28,000 sf of retail space in the Hub.

Also in the first phase, more than 200 condos and townhouses will rise in the Heights East neighborhood. Phase two will add a total of more than 400 condos and townhouses in the Heights and Heights West neighborhoods. The final phase will add nearly 170,000 sf of commercial space. A timeline for the approval process and subsequent three-phase development has not been released.

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