350 Condos Coming To The Great Falls

From the New York Times:

A Gritty Area With Awesome Views

PATERSON — THIS is a city with a reputation for being old, gritty and tired, but it has a natural wonder that is mostly a secret to outsiders: magnificent waterfalls.

Now, Paterson’s energetic mayor and a fired-up developer envision a vibrant neighborhood near these falls. It would create hundreds of condos in restored factory buildings and new low-rise structures, new retail space, a public access cable television studio, a hotel, an amphitheater and a waterfront trail along the Passaic River.

The mayor, Jose Torres, is pushing hard to have the Great Falls of Paterson ā€” the second largest by volume east of the Mississippi, after Niagara, according to the city ā€” declared a national park. And he has set in motion a plan to secure a National Park Service grant to finance the cleanup and stabilization of the historic district around the falls, which was declared a state park in 2004.

Currently, the area immediately around the falls is desolate. It is occupied by the city dog pound, two warehouses, a run-down arena and several burnt-out husks of buildings that once served as textile mills.

But the developer, Dornoch Holdings of Morristown, has seized on the mayor’s view of the place as a natural gem in need of polishing and has produced plans for a large-scale redevelopment to be built in phases over the next five to seven years.

The Great Falls Historic District project would create a total of about 350 market-rate condominium units in restored and newly built structures and an 83,000-square-foot hotel-conference center where there are now faded industrial structures running along McBride Avenue that have spectacular waterfall views.

Mr. Fishman said various Columbia mill buildings would be restored to maintain their “historical character,” and turned into a dozen 900-square-foot one-bedroom homes; one three-bedroom home of 1,800 square feet; and 30 condos, each about 1,200 square feet. Some of the units would be intended as artist’s live-work space.

I am actually rather excited about this project, and not just because news on the real estate front this Friday has been slow. I just hope this project gets off the drawing board, it will give a much needed boost to the area. Could this be a first step towards Paterson gentrification?

Caveat Emptor!

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101 Responses to 350 Condos Coming To The Great Falls

  1. UnRealtor says:

    “PATERSON — THIS is a city with a reputation for being old, gritty and tired…”

    That’s one to put it. Another way is: “Are the car doors locked? Let’s hurry up and get the hell out of here!”

  2. Metroplexual says:

    It would be great if the city had more to grow on. This was the first planned industrial city in the world. Planned by Alexander Hamilton himself. That historic area I hope will preserve the raceways and some of the old factories buildings. That history is all Paterson has going for it. At least Newark and New Brunswick have the universities. What is going to bring the young and talented to Paterson? The Lou Costello statue?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Grit? Is that what they’re calling crack these days?


  4. Anonymous says:

    This from a town who’s slogan should be “Come to Paterson, if your safety is not a concern.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone watch “Close to Home” tonight – great story about the crooked real estate, appraisal, and investor scheme! It has made a prime time television show!


  6. Trish says:

    I used to work in West Paterson and I sometimes took the train home from Paterson. I am a reasonable person, but weaving my way through prostitutes on the stairwells (which I was cool with cause they really didn’t bother me) and the drug dealers (which I was not really so cool with after they tried to hit on me) takes its toll. These condos would be more attractive if they managed to secure the downtown train station and bolster the innate infrastructure. Ok, New Brunswick (although it pains me to say this) 25% better than Paterson. Otherwise, same deal.

  7. Richie says:

    Historical indeed. The crime rate in Paterson will go up exponentially.


  8. Anonymous says:

    The cover story of the April 10 BUSINESS WEEK is the HOUSING MARKET. See:

    There are a number of articles and places to COMMENT online.

    Iā€™m going to give them a piece of my mind. You have to believe there will be a lot of prospective buyers reading these comments!

    This might be a great opportunity for one and all to comment as well!

  9. Michelle says:

    Wow. It would be GREAT to see Paterson turn around. My dad was born there are his side of the family just moved out about 15 years ago. Such a shame.

    I was on the Lower East Side last night and could not BELIEVE how much it has changed for the better! I lived in the East Village about 12 years ago and going south of Houston on the east side alone would have been really risky…now I probably couldn’t afford to rent there!!!

    There was a ton of drug dealers/users and hookers all over that area at that time. In fact the long thin park there was called The Shooting Gallery. It was rough. But gentrification really can work wonders quickly, as it did on the LES. How fabulous it would be for Paterson to have some of the same luck.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your ignorance of Paterson amazes me. Has any of you ever been to Paterson? I bet not. So drug dealers and prostitutes hang around the train station? Wow, I take the train everyday and I have never seen a drug dealer or prostitute there. Why dont you stop watching movies and making up lies about Paterson. Check out http://www.patersononline.net if you want to see what Paterson is really like.

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