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Hanson's, Claremont Join Hackensack, NJ, Revival Effort

Joint Venture Breaks Ground on 82-Unit Multifamily Complex
May 10, 2018

The Hanson family, one of North Jersey’s commercial real estate dynasties, has deep roots in Hackensack, NJ. Now several of its companies are teaming up to be part of the comeback of the city’s beleaguered downtown.

"For us, we’ve been in Hackensack for a long time ... and this is our first project in what I refer to as the rebirth of Hackensack," said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of Hampshire Cos.

On Thursday, Morristown, NJ-based Hampshire Cos. and NAI James E. Hanson of Hackensack, NJ - along with joint venture partner Claremont Cos. of Far Hills, NJ - held a groundbreaking ceremony at 383-389 Main St., the site of the luxury, 82-unit apartment complex they are building.

The mixed-use project, named 389 Main, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2019. It will be five stories tall and measure 119,000 square feet, which includes 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The project is the latest addition to a flurry of redevelopments being undertaken in Hackensack, the county seat of Bergen County in the northeast corner of New Jersey, all meant to create a resurgence of its downtown. Like others in the Garden State, Hackensack’s downtown suffered and declined over the years as shopping malls and suburban developments opened and drew away customers.

The city has drafted a long-term rehabilitation plan for a designated area with 163 acres that includes 389 properties, according to a press release on the 389 Main project. As part of that city initiative, dozens of redevelopment projects are underway or being planned in Hackensack, aimed at adding more than 2,000 residential units, as well as retail and hospitality uses.

Jon F. Hanson, who last weekend was inducted into New Jersey’s Hall of Fame, is not only a developer but also an ex-chairman of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and a former adviser to several New Jersey governors.

And just hours after the groundbreaking on Thursday, Hanson was awarded NAIOP New Jersey’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the group’s annual gala in Somerset, NJ.

Left to right: William Hanson, president of NAI James E. Hanson; Hampshire Cos. president and CEO James E. Hanson II; Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse; Hampshire Chairman Jon F. Hanson; and Maximillian Dorne, director of development for Claremont Cos., at Thursday’s groundbreaking.

At the groundbreaking, he described the Hanson's ties to Hackensack, saying that his father James E. Hanson, then only a few months old, and family moved to the city in 1905.

"He had his formative years here," Hanson said of his father, who graduated from Hackensack High School.

In the late 1970s, Jon F. Hanson and his two brothers, Peter and Donald, carved up the family real estate business to create three separate companies. Jon F. Hanson took Hampshire Cos., which he had founded, while Peter Hanson went with what is now NAI James E. Hanson and Donald Hanson formed Roebling Investment Co.

Attendees at Thursday’s event included a number of Hackensack officials and executives from construction lender Provident Bank, who were greeted by a deep, triangular excavation at the site, which is on a corner lot.

Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse, whose administration has led the redevelopment effort, said that the City Planning Board on Wednesday night approved an application for a "state-of-the-art, ultramodern rock-climbing wall" at 77 River St.

"Projects like this are coming here because people are watching what’s going on in our city," Labrosse said.

The Main Street apartment complex is Claremont’s first project in Hackensack, according to Maximillian Dorne, the company’s director of development.

"From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s something that’s very unique," Dorne said. "It’s an oddly shaped site. It’s not a typical box. It’s almost triangular, almost V-shaped. So you’ve got an interior courtyard, second-story outside amenity deck, which will be really nice. More and more we’re seeing the importance of amenities ... And with our location being so far north, having this be a true kind of gateway project into town."

The property, once home to a 13,500-square-foot office building dating back to 1945, was formerly wholly owned by Sonehan LLC, a Hanson family entity that held the site for "multiple generations," according to the press release.


Linda Moss, Northern New Jersey Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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