As the metroburb continues to grow, an increasing number of employees at Bell Works are seeking nearby housing options. This spring, the buzz is building around a new location for Bell Workers – or just members of the surrounding community – who might be looking for a beautiful place to live, convenient surroundings, and a short commute to work: Glassworks. The 55-acre site is expected to house 500 new residential units in Cliffwood (Aberdeen), just a 15-minute drive up the Garden State Parkway from Bell Works.
“It’s a very viable target for workers (at Bell Works) that might be stuck with long commutes, who might be looking for something in the area that is more affordable than the housing in Holmdel,” said Thomas Michnewicz, vice president of Somerset Development. Somerset is the master developer of Glassworks, as well as the developer behind Bell Works.
In addition to its proximity to Bell Works, Glassworks is adjacent to state highways and bus stops, surrounded by a wide range of local amenities and attractions, and only 10 minutes away from the Aberdeen-Matawan train station. But the development has much more to offer than a great location alone.
The site, which was once the location of the abandoned Anchor Glass manufacturing facility (hence the name ‘Glassworks’), had been left vacant and deteriorating for over 20 years. Seeing potential in its future, Somerset Development bought the property and obtained approvals for a mixed use project to include residential units, retail space and a hotel. The company then sold a portion of the site to Ingerman, a Mid-Atlantic based multi-family developer, contractor, and property manager, to build apartments.
The former Anchor Glass manufacturing facility was abandoned 20 years ago.
Currently Glassworks includes two communities, The Forge at Glassworks and The Willows at Glassworks, which together house 280 units total. As the development continues to expand in the coming years, additional apartments will become available on the property.
The Forge at Glassworks consists of 170 premium apartments. Each unit features stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and an in-unit washer and dryer. Residents can enjoy a community building which houses a game area, fitness center, lounge pool, sauna, fire pit, and barbecue.
The Forge offers one- and two-bedroom apartments, starting at 796 square feet and 1074 square feet, respectively, as well as three-bedroom townhomes which start at 1472 square feet. One of its most attractive features is its reasonable price point, which ranges from approximately $1,500 to $2,500 per unit.
Ingerman’s second development, The Willows at Glassworks, is an affordable family apartment community with 110 units. Like The Forge, The Willows features a community building with a fitness center and other amenities, as well as beautiful in-unit features. The exteriors of The Willows and The Forge buildings look identical to one another, reinforcing the cohesive sense of community Ingerman is cultivating at Glassworks.
“Something we’re very proud of at Ingerman is that we’ve set a new standard for what people think when they think of ‘affordable housing’,” explained Todd Stecker, director of leasing and marketing for Ingerman. “These are beautifully made apartments (at The Willows). They have granite countertops, hardwood cabinets, and spacious housing.”
The communities at Glassworks were designed as a mixed-use project encompassing rental and for-sale homes, public space, along with a retail component – all created with a wide range of residents in mind. The Forge features one and two bedroom apartments, as well as over 50 townhomes, to accommodate different demographics.
The apartments cater to millennials in their 20s and 30s, specifically to employees at Bell Works who want to be close to the metroburb without the expense of Holmdel housing. The townhomes are aimed toward beginning families, as well as older individuals who are looking to downsize.
“With the combination of rentals and for-sale properties, we wanted to have that mix to appeal to a variety of residents,” Michnewicz said. “This affords the workers here at Bell Works, especially the millennials and people in their first jobs, a lower cost of housing.”
Glassworks Park, a two-acre public park in between The Forge and The Willows, will be completed in the spring. The park will feature walking trails, basketball courts, and sections of the original smokestacks from the historical glass factory site.
“We are ‘new urbanists’; our goal is to build communities. We build communities as opposed to just building homes,” Michnewicz said. “Green space is important for communities as places that all can use to congregate and places to walk.”
Ingerman is wrapping up construction of both The Forge and The Willows, which Stecker calls “a flagship community for (the) company”. The company expects The Willows at Glassworks to reach full occupancy by March 1, and expects to complete The Forge in late spring. The Forge will be leased out through the summer.
Somerset is in the process of obtaining approvals to build an additional 99 townhouses beginning this spring, as well as 75,000 square feet of retail space and a hotel later in the development process.