Klein Enterprises / JDAVIS Architects

Baltimore-based Klein Enterprises has announced a new 272-unit Class A community in Metuchen, New Jersey. The soon-to-be-named development will be situated on a former industrial site that has undergone significant environmental remediation over the past several years in preparation.

The demolition of existing structures was completed in April, and construction will take approximately 24 months with completion slated for fall 2025.

Offering a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, 15% of the units will meet state affordable housing requirements. In addition, on the ground level, six one-bedroom live-work homes will offer residents their own office space that can be accessed from the home and via a separate, private entrance for work-related purposes.

Featuring modern elements grounded by warm woods and black accents, the interior design will honor artists, literary figures, and intellectuals who brought culture and arts to Metuchen in the late 1800s.

The development will also pursue green initiatives to achieve National Green Building Standard certification through features like a partial green roof, a large solar array, electric vehicle charging stations, low-flow fixtures, LED lighting, and a pollinator garden. Residents also will have access to a community garden, a dog park, and a pool.

“Over the past few years, we’ve worked closely with both Mayor Jonathan M. Busch’s team as well as Middlesex County officials to establish a redevelopment plan that meets two primary objectives,” says Daniel Klein, president of Klein Enterprises. “The first was to preserve a portion of the property as the gateway to a new county nature preserve, and the second was to redevelop the balance of the property with a state-of-the-art residential building that fits the character of the community and incorporates green building elements. Collectively, we believe that we have not only met but exceeded these objectives.”

Once the land was contributed into the partnership by Metuchen Realty Advisors (MRA), Klein and MRA worked closely with the borough council to execute a redevelopment agreement and qualify for a 30-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement. The program will jointly benefit the project by tying tax obligations to project revenue while providing Metuchen with the flexibility to invest revenue back into the borough where it is needed most.

Sean Garland, chief investment officer of Klein Enterprises, says, “Along with providing best-in-class housing to residents, the redevelopment plan and PILOT program provide us with the flexibility to completely transform a dilapidated site that will increase surrounding property value, pump revenue directly into the Metuchen community, and allow our company to expand our presence in the Northern New Jersey market. This project is a testament to the overall value created when private developers work collaboratively with local governments to create spaces that benefit the overall community.”

The redevelopment plan will allow Metuchen to invest millions of dollars in major infrastructure projects throughout the area, promote environmental cleanup, and preserve approximately 20 acres of wetlands. Planned improvements include a network of trails, hiker/biker paths, and open space, and will also provide access and parking facilities for a new county nature preserve. The project is adjacent to the planned expansion of the highly popular Middlesex County Greenway linear park.

“The Borough of Metuchen has been discussing possibilities for this site for decades, and now the transformation has begun,” says Busch. “It is this very project that’s enabling us to open the largest recreational space in Metuchen, fund a variety of important infrastructure projects throughout the borough, and help protect our environment, all while providing our community with new housing options that will give many people the freedom to stay in the very community where they grew up and open doors for new neighbors. We are particularly grateful to have partners in Metuchen Realty Advisors and Klein Enterprises. This is an example of a public-private partnership that will be a true benefit to our community.”