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SOMERVILLE – The developer of a 117-unit apartment building on Veterans Memorial Drive has received a $23.6 million loan for the project. one of several expected to bring new hundreds, if not thousands, of new residents into the Somerset County seat.
Weiss Properties, headquartered in New Brunswick, received the loan from Amboy Bank, based in Old Bridge, for The Cobalt, where site work began earlier this fall.
The site, a vacant lot backed by NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line, was once the site of an auto junkyard. In the late 1990s, it was seen as the possible site for a Somerville municipal complex.
“We are excited to be an integral part of Somerville’s growing redevelopment plans” said Robert Weiss, president of Weiss Properties. “The residents of The Cobalt will be able to walk to the New Jersey transit station, Main Street restaurants and the Division Street pedestrian mall.”
The four-story Cobalt Apartments, approved in 2013 by the Planning Board, will have 13 studio apartments (500 to 524 square feet each), 68 one-bedroom apartments (736 to 822 square feet) and 36 two-bedroom apartments (1,070 to 1,087 square feet). All of the units, even the studios, will have washers and dryers. At the rear of the property and not seen from the street will be a parking deck, Weiss has said.
Weiss, who did not disclose rents for the project, said earlier this year that he hopes the project to be completed in 2015.”Somerville’s future is very bright,” Weiss said earlier this year. “It can only get better.”
The Cobalt is part of burgeoning transit-oriented development in Somerville. The apartment complex will be two blocks from the Somerville station of NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line.
Next to The Cobalt’s site, DGM Management, which already owns several properties in downtown Somerville, has received conceptual approval for Station House, a 93-unit apartment complex, at 44 Veterans Memorial Drive. The buildings in the site, which once housed an auto body shop and a weekly newspaper publisher, have been demolished. DGM Management has not filed a formal application to develop the property.
In September, NJ Transit, owner of the 35 acres next to the train station, signed a memorandum of understanding with Lakewood-based Somerset Developers for an ambitious project that could eventually result in 675 housing units being built, an investment that Somerville officials could add $300 million to $500 million to the county seat’s property tax base.
Earlier this year, Edgewood Properties opened The Edge at Main, an apartment building on the former site of the Downtown Somerville Mall, a block from the train station.
Weiss Properties, which has developed and managed properties throughout New Jersey for more than two decades, has recently been named the redeveloper of a tract in Willingboro.
“Amboy has been financing commercial real estate for over 125 years and this $23.6 million construction permanent loan represents Amboy’s commitment to financing the redevelopment of New Jersey’s communities,” said Domenick Margiotta, senior vice president and chief lending officer at Amboy Bank.
Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; firstname.lastname@example.org