Avalon Bay joins TOD team in Somerville, NJ


Somerset Development has sold a 15-acre property in downtown Somerville, NJ, to multifamily giant AvalonBay Communities Inc. The sale price was not disclosed.

The REIT plans to build a new civic center, street-level
retail, public plaza, NJ TRANSIT parking facilities, and 374-unit apartment
community as part of Somerset Development’s master-planned mixed-use transit
village in downtown Somerville, anchored by its immediate connectivity to NJ
TRANSIT’s Somerville’s train station.

“AvalonBay is very pleased to be developing another TOD
rental community at the Somerville train station within walking distance from
the vibrant Somerville downtown,” said Ludivine O’Toole, development director
at AvalonBay Communities. Ms. O’Toole added that “Avalon Somerville will have
studios to 3-bedroom apartment homes and amenities, including an extensive
fitness center, co-working space, lounge, heated outdoor pool, rooftop deck,
courtyards with BBQ grills, pet spa and pet park.”

In addition to AvalonBay’s apartments, one of the nation’s
largest homebuilders, PulteGroup, is building a new community of for-sale
townhomes at Somerville Station. Pulte’s plan in Somerville includes a 156-unit
townhome community that will offer homes ranging in size from 1,004 to 1,930
square feet. With construction already underway, the first homes are expected
to close in early 2021. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Somerset Development and AvalonBay to bring this long-anticipated redevelopment to life,” said PulteGroup Vice President of Acquisitions Corey Wescoe. “This contemporary townhome community will feature innovative floor plans at the foot of the Somerville train station, while also providing residents with direct walkability to Somerville’s vibrant main street business district.”


Somerset Development secured approvals for the redevelopment
plans via a unanimous vote from Somerville’s Planning Board in May 2018. The
project was celebrated as a welcome, transit-oriented vision for the
transformation of the parcel totaling 80 acres bound by the railroad, South
Bridge Street and Route 206 – and for the significant economic benefits it will
bring for the Borough.

“This project is the product of more than 30 years of
complex planning and collaboration among the Borough, NJ TRANSIT and various
stakeholders. AvalonBay’s land acquisition means that the vision for this site
is finally coming to fruition – something that will be celebrated throughout
the entire Somerville community,” said Ken Gold, vice president of acquisitions
and development for Somerset Development. “In addition to providing high
quality housing within steps of public transit, Somerset Station will create a
gateway to the Borough’s downtown, further invigorating what is already one of
the state’s most desirable places to live.”

Somerset Station is the largest mixed-use development ever
approved by the Borough of Somerville. A shared parking structure will replace
the existing commuter parking lot, allowing commuters to access the train
station uninterrupted throughout construction. Meanwhile, a new
4,000-square-foot civic center will provide needed space for future Borough
Council and municipal boards meetings.

“After many years of planning the redevelopment of the whole
landfill site, the Borough Council and I are happy to see the various elements
of this exciting project starting to be built,” commented Somerville Mayor
Dennis Sullivan. “With its variety of housing options, as well as new civic and
community space, this project will further enhance the walkable lifestyle we
promote throughout the Borough. Somerset Development and its partners have been
sensitive to Somerville’s current and future needs by incorporating these
elements into its design.”

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