Part of a statewide initiative to increase and provide for affordable housing for working people in New Jersey, the $18.7 million Horizon Heights will add 52 workforce apartments in Hudson County.

Horizon Heights, Hudson County, N.J. “Workforce Apartments” to Accommodate Special Needs

“The need for affordable housing in northern New Jersey is acute, because the area is so built up and dense,” says Larry Regan, president of Regan Development Corp. of Ardsley, N.Y. “People are being pushed out, unless you knock down and build modern structures.”

Architect Jose Carballo, president and founder of Jose Carballo Architecture of Hackensack, N.J., says the site as the last developable piece of property in the area. Public transportation, retail and other services are within walking distance in the mixed-use neighborhood.

“The building was designed keeping in mind the existing brick, stucco and block buildings in the area,” Carballo says. “It’s newer than the other buildings, but the materials reflect the existing conditions.”

Regan Development, with financial assistance from New Jersey and Hudson County, redeveloped the former Welder Warehouse. The five-story Horizon Heights includes 14 special-needs units, eight for individuals with developmental disabilities and six for people with mental-health issues. Eighty percent of the units include a roll-in shower. The units are offered to families earning less than 60% of Hudson County’s median income, with rents ranging from $307 to $899 per month.

Del-Sano Contracting Corp. of Union, N.J., began demolition in July and site clean up and remediation in September. The property contained an old tank from a former gas station.

The property straddles the West New York and Union City, N.J., border and required approvals from both municipalities and negotiations as to which fire and police department would respond to calls at the building, Regan says.

Original plans called for underground parking, but after geotechnical borings indicated the site sits atop a prehistoric streambed, the team redesigned the foundation, which now features 35-ft piles and grade beams. Regan moved the concrete parking deck above ground. Ground-floor retail helps connect the building to the street, Carballo says. One-, two- and three-bedroom housing units occupy the four structural-steel frame floors above.

Soil conditions also forced the team to switch from a brick to a prefabricated façade.

“We came up with lightweight, exterior paneling that made the loads work,” Regan says. “The original real brick was too heavy.”

The project participates in the state’s Green Homes’ program, which sets green building guidelines, and the New Jersey Energy Star Program. The building features water-conserving fixtures, high-efficiency heating and cooling, and over insulated spaces. Completion is scheduled for December.

Key Facts
Project Cost: $18.7 million
Owner: Regan Development, Ardsley, N.Y.
Contractor: Del-Sano Contracting Corp., Union, N.J.
Architect: Jose Carballo, Architecture, Hackensack, N.J.