Puccini’s Restaurant, the famed Italian eatery and catering hall on the city’s West Side, sold earlier this month along with six adjacent parcels for $19.5 million, The Jersey Journal has learned.
The purchase, by Amerestate Holdings, indicates that the housing boom in Journal Square, which has been pushing real-estate prices up by double digit percentages in the heart of the city, is pushing further west.
The seven properties — including Puccini’s, a vacant textile factory and an apartment building — sit on four acres adjacent to railroad tracks that lead to the PATH transportation hub. Though not located in Journal Square, the properties are less than one half mile west of the PATH station, a roughly 10-minute walk.
The site is already zoned for multi-family, mid-rise buildings, so Amerestate would need no special permits from the city to construct up to eight stories (or 85 feet) and as many as 580 residential units.
A large-scale development on the site positions the West Side to become a more viable and desirable neighborhood, even if the developers stick to the mid-rises they are allowed to build now, according to Jersey City real-estate agent Jeff Kaplowitz.
“This is a very positive move,” Kaplowitz said.
The $19.5 million deal was brokered by CBRE, of Saddle Brook, and Grid Real Estate, of Fair Lawn, owned by Bob Antonicello, the former Jersey City Redevelopment Agency chief.
Antonicello said Journal Square’s “inherent value” is becoming “front and center” after decades of developers focusing on the city’s Downtown. In the next 12 months, he said, the neighborhood is going to see robust growth.
“People will be surprised at how quickly Journal Square turns around,” Antonicello said.
Charles Berger, of CBRE, said this is the third deal the firm has closed in this area in the last two months.
“We’ve become very active in Journal Square,” he said. “This is an area that keeps growing.”
Asked who Amerestate’s owners are, Berger said the New York-based firm prefers to remain “a little bit private.”
New York state had no records with information on Amerestate. Details of the sale aren’t available yet at the Hudson County register’s office, officials there said.