Blue Onyx begins work on development project on historic Paterson site

A rendering of the 24+Half project in Paterson. (Blue Onyx Cos.)

Real estate development firm Blue Onyx Cos. has begun the redevelopment work on a historic mill site in Paterson, it announced recently.

The Clifton-based development, construction and management firm said in a news release that the “24+Half” adaptive reuse project will see seven former mills and warehouses at 24½ Van Houten St. transformed into a mixed-use development over a five-year plan.

Another rendering of the 24+Half project. (Blue Onyx Cos.)

“Blue Onyx is committed to bringing strong, positive impact to today’s urban landscape by investing in and developing transformative real estate projects,” CEO Levi Kelman said in a prepared statement. “As soon as we saw this property, we saw its potential as a vibrant, mixed-use community. We’re excited about creating a catalyst for renewal within this historic neighborhood in a way that celebrates Paterson’s entrepreneurial past while looking forward to a sustainable future.”

The 2-plus-acre site is listed on the National Historic Register, and is located within the Old Great Falls Historic District along the Passaic River, Blue Onyx said in a news release. The developer plans to convert the property into 19,000 square feet of residential and commercial space, including coworking spaces and a distillery/beer garden. It also created a 12,230-square-foot beach environment called “Paterson Beach,” which launched this month.

The “24+Half” site is two blocks from downtown Paterson. Amenities will include a community theater and event space, public gathering spaces and spaces for private events.

“I believe that 24+Half will spur much interest from businesses, investors and developers alike about what’s possible in Paterson, with many incentives available to businesses to locate there through the Urban Enterprise Zone, Opportunity Zone and Smart Growth Coalition programs,” Kelman said.

The city is planning a riverwalk that will pass through the property, Blue Onyx said.

The company acquired the site in December, and plans are now going through the approval process. Blue Onyx has partnered with architecture firm HWKN on the design.

“I believe 24½ Van Houten is a strategic site for unbridled potential,” Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said in a statement. “The 24+Half project will help us to move forward with the progression of Paterson, improving quality of life for residents, as we continue to develop and revitalize the area around the Great Falls National Park.”