Somerset Development has sold a 15-acre property in downtown Somerville, NJ, to multifamily giant AvalonBay Communities Inc. The sale price was not disclosed.
The REIT plans to build a new civic center, street-level retail, public plaza, NJ TRANSIT parking facilities, and 374-unit apartment community as part of Somerset Development’s master-planned mixed-use transit village in downtown Somerville, anchored by its immediate connectivity to NJ TRANSIT’s Somerville’s train station.
“AvalonBay is very pleased to be developing another TOD rental community at the Somerville train station within walking distance from the vibrant Somerville downtown,” said Ludivine O’Toole, development director at AvalonBay Communities. Ms. O’Toole added that “Avalon Somerville will have studios to 3-bedroom apartment homes and amenities, including an extensive fitness center, co-working space, lounge, heated outdoor pool, rooftop deck, courtyards with BBQ grills, pet spa and pet park.”
In addition to AvalonBay’s apartments, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, PulteGroup, is building a new community of for-sale townhomes at Somerville Station. Pulte’s plan in Somerville includes a 156-unit townhome community that will offer homes ranging in size from 1,004 to 1,930 square feet. With construction already underway, the first homes are expected to close in early 2021.
“We are thrilled to partner with Somerset Development and AvalonBay to bring this long-anticipated redevelopment to life,” said PulteGroup Vice President of Acquisitions Corey Wescoe. “This contemporary townhome community will feature innovative floor plans at the foot of the Somerville train station, while also providing residents with direct walkability to Somerville’s vibrant main street business district.”
Somerset Development secured approvals for the redevelopment plans via a unanimous vote from Somerville’s Planning Board in May 2018. The project was celebrated as a welcome, transit-oriented vision for the transformation of the parcel totaling 80 acres bound by the railroad, South Bridge Street and Route 206 – and for the significant economic benefits it will bring for the Borough.
“This project is the product of more than 30 years of complex planning and collaboration among the Borough, NJ TRANSIT and various stakeholders. AvalonBay’s land acquisition means that the vision for this site is finally coming to fruition – something that will be celebrated throughout the entire Somerville community,” said Ken Gold, vice president of acquisitions and development for Somerset Development. “In addition to providing high quality housing within steps of public transit, Somerset Station will create a gateway to the Borough’s downtown, further invigorating what is already one of the state’s most desirable places to live.”
Somerset Station is the largest mixed-use development ever approved by the Borough of Somerville. A shared parking structure will replace the existing commuter parking lot, allowing commuters to access the train station uninterrupted throughout construction. Meanwhile, a new 4,000-square-foot civic center will provide needed space for future Borough Council and municipal boards meetings.
“After many years of planning the redevelopment of the whole landfill site, the Borough Council and I are happy to see the various elements of this exciting project starting to be built,” commented Somerville Mayor Dennis Sullivan. “With its variety of housing options, as well as new civic and community space, this project will further enhance the walkable lifestyle we promote throughout the Borough. Somerset Development and its partners have been sensitive to Somerville’s current and future needs by incorporating these elements into its design.”