Somerset Development and NJ TRANSIT Break Ground on New Wesmont Train Station in Wood-Ridge, N.J.
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 07:06 PM EDT
Station is First in New Jersey to Proceed Through Public-Private Partnership; Will Serve as Centerpiece of 70-Acre Transit-Oriented, Mixed-Use Development
Somerset Development and NJ TRANSIT broke ground today on the new Wesmont Train Station, a state-of-the-art commuter rail station that will serve as the centerpiece of Somerset’s award-winning, 70-acre mixed-use transit-oriented redevelopment. The station is poised to serve as a model for effective collaboration among the public and private sectors.
The new train station will connect with the Bergen County Line and is expected to generate approximately 800 daily trips. All of the buildings at the Wesmont Station development will be within walking distance of the station, which will provide riders with a 25-minute commute into Manhattan.
An enthusiastic crowd attended today’s groundbreaking, which included a reception and supportive comments from Wood-Ridge Mayor Paul Sarlo; Steve Santoro, Assistant Executive Director for Capital Planning & Programs at NJ TRANSIT; and Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. Community officials and members alike celebrated the start of construction on the new station as a significant milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Wesmont Station development into a dynamic new neighborhood.
State Senator and Wood-Ridge Mayor Paul Sarlo said, “Wesmont Train Station represents a new chapter for Wood-Ridge’s future and I am so pleased to celebrate this milestone groundbreaking. I applaud the tireless efforts of Somerset Development and NJ TRANSIT – their work together has allowed us to make major strides in this monumental redevelopment. It’s an absolute honor to see the continued progress on Wesmont Station and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this new train station will have on our residents, businesses and community at large.”
“This public-private partnership will provide long-term benefits to the community. The creation of this transit-friendly neighborhood from what was once a Brownfield industrial site will now link Wesmont with New York, via Secaucus Junction, Hoboken and other destinations throughout the region,” stated Veronique Hakim, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director. “The combined projects will produce significant economic benefits, including new jobs and commercial activity. Further, this will also yield environmental benefits with residents, patrons and others utilizing public transportation in even greater numbers.”
Added Hakim, “Together with Somerset Development and the Borough of Wood-Ridge, NJ TRANSIT looks forward to welcoming new customers into our State’s public transportation network who will utilize Wesmont Station.”
The NJ TRANSIT train station is a key focal point of Wesmont Station, which will feature a dynamic mix of nearly 1,200 residences, retail space, commercial buildings, community facilities and open space that combine to create a pedestrian-friendly, live-work-play center.
Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development, master developer of Wesmont Station, added, “The train station is the heart of this project and today’s groundbreaking brings us another step closer to the realization of our vision for Wesmont Station. I would like to express my gratitude to Mayor Sarlo and NJ TRANSIT for their support and cooperation to make this a reality. It is truly a testament to the collaboration between the public and private sectors that we have reached this milestone, and we look forward to delivering a great new transportation option to Wood-Ridge.”
The train station will feature a fully accessible platform and an overpass that will provide pedestrians with safe access to the center-island platform. A 215-space commuter parking lot will also be created, as will a 56-space employee parking lot and an area for equipment and material storage. The train station will be equipped with automated ticket vending, 24/7 security monitoring and is handicap accessible with elevators and ramps throughout.
With many looking ahead to Wesmont Station’s future, developers have also been careful to preserve the industrial heritage of the site as a former Curtiss-Wright Corporation property. Along with the development’s Rosie the Riveter statue, the train station’s design pays homage to the property’s history.
NJ TRANSIT will operate the station upon completion. Jacobs Engineering Group is the design consultant for the station, with Anselmi & DeCicco, Inc. serving as construction contractor. Sowinski Sullivan Architects is the project architect.
The first phase of the Wesmont Station development comprises a 406-unit luxury rental apartment complex, Avalon at Wesmont Station, developed by AvalonBay Communities. The Avalon complex also features 27,000 square feet of retail space. Milk & Honey Market, a popular market and deli selling locally produced foods, occupies 10,000 square feet of the complex’s ground-floor retail space.
Additionally, Pulte Homes is currently constructing Liberty Square at Wesmont Station, a new community of 217 luxury for-sale townhomes.
Future development phases of Wesmont Station will include the construction of single-family homes and live/work townhomes. The development’s dynamic lifestyle offering will be further enhanced by the creation of walking trails and bike paths throughout the development.
About Somerset Development
Somerset Development is a residential and commercial developer located in Lakewood, N.J. The principals of Somerset have more than 40 years of real estate development experience. Somerset is recognized as one of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area’s most popular homebuilders. With an unwavering passion and commitment to detail, design and quality, Somerset has built an extraordinary following of buyers. As one of the few developers devoted to Traditional Neighborhood Design, Somerset works painstakingly to create neighborhoods of distinctive character and charm where small-town life thrives. For more information on Somerset Development contact the company by calling (732) 367-2828 or via their website at www.SDNJ.com.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.