By Mak Ojutiku | The Jersey Journal | Originally published on NJ.com
A piece of Downtown Jersey City history officially has new life.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held recently for Modera Lofts, an eight-floor, 500,000-square-foot luxury apartment building located at 350 Warren St.
The $150 million apartment building was built out of the former Butler Warehouse, a 110-year-old historic building, originally a storage facility, that was empty for roughly five decades.
Dallas-based developer Mill Creek Residential started rehabbing the site when it purchased it for $35 million two years ago. A number of representatives of the company, and Jersey City, were on hand for the official opening.
Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil made an appearance on behalf of Mayor Steve Fulop, while Downtown Councilwoman Candice Osborne and former city Planning Director Bob Cotter both thanked Mill Creek for their efforts to preserve the historic building.
Richard G. Murphy, managing director of developer Mill Creek said after the event that the project was risky in many ways, but the end result is something that you won’t find anywhere else on the waterfront.
“Several years we saw the building, (and) it was in terrible disrepair,” Murphy said.
“When most other developers were looking at the property to rip the building down and go with a high-rise, we very quickly saw the potential to rehab it into what we have now.”
The historic building stands on its original wood timber beams, and holds 366 one-, two-, and three-bedroom loft-style apartments that all feature hand-crafted windows, exposed brick walls, and hand-sanded solid oak wood beams.
Some features of the original building, such as 100-year-old brass elevator gears, ladders, and metal vent guards, have been repurposed as interior decor.
“Not very often do you see a company that wants to save all of these integral parts of the history of the building,” said Joshua Knoblick, the lead designer for the refurbishment of the building’s objects. “For me, this is how you understand the history of a place, through its objects…all the things that were put in by crafts people 100 years ago.”
Residents first started moving into the building earlier this year, and nire than 60 percent of the apartments are currently leased. Rents start at $2,145 for a 446-square-foot one-bedroom unit, and go up to $5,900 for a three-bedroom, two bathroom apartment.
Amenities include a fitness center, a hotel-style rooftop deck featuring a lounge bar, and a 2,000-square-foot ground floor clubhouse. The ground floor also holds multiple studios where local artists can have access to workspace and a public art wall to display their works.
“We fully understand that there are a lot of people out there that want to be on the 40th floor and have a view of Manhattan. We can’t give that, but what we can give is a unique loft style living,” Murphy said.
“Our amenities package is second to none,” Murphy added. “It’s as good a lifestyle that’s being offered on the Gold Coast, and we believe that we’re the most unique building on the Gold Coast.”