Plans for a $60 million, 150-unit apartment building in the heart of Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus were unveiled at the zoning board meeting earlier this month.
50 Union Street Realty LLC, a subsidiary of Construction Management Associates and its apartment management division, Premier Properties, received preliminary and final site plan approval on the project that will consolidate the existing properties at 40, 46 and 50 Union St.
The Union Square Apartments will include 150 luxury studio apartments equipped with amenities such as stainless-steel appliances, quartz counter tops, designer light fixtures and detailed molding work.
Amenities for residents will include a 1,300-square-foot fitness room, several lounge and gaming areas with televisions comprising 3,000 square feet of common space and laundry facilities on each floor.
The first floor will feature a coffee bar with high-top stools, a mail and package management room and several seating areas, such as booths and tables conducive to studying. The developer will also be installing a rooftop solar system with the goal of providing for all of the common area power needs of the building.
“This building will compete with the finest, comparable, off-campus student housing projects in the country,” Mitchell Broder, of developer Premier Properties, told the zoning board.
Premier Properties has already redeveloped these three parcels once, replacing abandoned fraternity houses with private student housing over the last 25 years. It has also moved beyond the “group home” concept in the 6th Ward, replacing vacated fraternity houses and other older dwellings with new studio apartments.
Broder said construction would likely start in a few years. The zoning board granted several variances to the applicant, the most notable allowing for the building’s height. Buildings in this zone are limited to 35 feet, but the Union Square Apartment building is planned to be 84.31 feet high.
Steve Schoch, the architect for 50 Union Street Realty LLC, said the building would be in line with nearby student housing at the 10-story the Verve on Easton Avenue and the 14-story Sojourner Truth Apartments on College Avenue. He also said the design of the building’s exterior using red, orange and tan materials is meant to “visually break down the impression of the building, overall.”
“So, while the units stack efficiently going up, there’s visually a lot going on in the façade, window configurations and materials, different colors and textures that break that up,” Schoch said.
The project will include 67 off-street parking spaces, 12 of which are electric vehicle charging stations, with entrances to parking off Union and Mine streets. There are also 42 spaces for bicycles.
Broder noted that the project is 100% compliant in terms of providing all parking as required by zoning and it is primarily garage parking. Garage parking is both safer and is far more preferred by residents, he said.
“Looking back to when we first acquired the property at 50 Union St. approximately 25 years ago, my only regret now was not taking pictures of the Union Street-scape at the time,” Broder said. “Union Street was known to be unsafe and troublesome with primarily unkept fraternity houses. Over the years, we have essentially reinvented the whole street including redeveloping seven different properties.
“We even conceived and implemented a street branding concept to include poles and banners down the whole of Union Street,” he added.