Nearly 1,000 people recently turned out to celebrate the launch of a new 241-unit luxury rental building located within The Beacon apartment complex in Jersey City. The impressive turnout was the latest example of the public’s interest in new residences at The Beacon, where 115 apartments have been rented throughout the 1,155-unit complex in the past month. The appeal of the residential community is clear: modern residences with upscale finishes and appointments, meticulously restored architectural elements, an unparalleled suite of amenities and services and an incomparable offering of outdoor space located within the community’s vibrant urban setting.
With a knife and a giant pair of scissors, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop made official the opening of the Hague during Saturday’s “Beacon Birthday” celebration.
The leasing of the new luxury apartment building marks the total fulfillment of a long, ambitious, sometimes-troubled dream to turn a shuttered Art Deco-style hospital fully into “The Beacon,” an eight-unit complex of condos and market rate apartments. The last of those buildings to be opened was the Hague.
First, Fulop cut the red ribbon to the entryway of the building. Then he cut the cake, a fondant-wrapped replica of the Hague building crafted by Carlo’s Bakery.
The ceremony took place at about 3 p.m., following a rapid-paced tour of the Hague from Mitch Bodner, managing director for Beacon development firm Building and Land Technology.
Fulop told a crowd that the completion of The Beacon, one of the biggest historic renovation projects in America, has strong significance for the city. “Jersey City has one of the best renaissance stories in the entire country,” he said, with Bodner and Mauro Castano, of “Cake Boss” fame, by his side.
Stefanie Hoffman, a leasing agent with The Beacon, talks about the Margaret Hague, the last of six buildings to open at The Beacon, a residential community that once housed Jersey City Medical Center. The building was once a maternity hospital, named for the mother of Jersey City Mayor and political boss Frank Hague.
Named for the mother of longtime Jersey City mayor and political boss Frank “I am the law” Hague, the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital opened in October 1931, and was the birthplace of more than 300,000 babies, including Martha Stewart, former Gov. Jim McGreevey, and Frank Sinatra’s kids.
But the hospital, part of the old Jersey City Medical Center complex, closed its doors for good in 1979, an abandoned white elephant on high ground overlooking downtown, it’s windows broken and copper plumbing hauled off by scavengers. The grand, beau arts hospital was so run-down, such an eerie and sad curiosity, that it was used by novelist Richard Price in his 1992 best seller “Clockers” to symbolize urban decay.
But now, at the ripe old age of 85, the former maternity hospital is being reborn as a luxury apartment building, the last of eight medical center structures to be restored and repurposed as a residential community known as The Beacon.
To mark the occasion, The Beacon’s developer, Stamford, Conn.-based Building and Land Technology, or BLT, will host a “Beacon Birthday” celebration on Saturday, where local officials, nurses who worked at the hospital, and possibly former babies who were born there will be in attendance.
Building and Land Technology (BLT) has opened the doors to Hague, a significant milestone that represents considerably more than the launch of a new 241-unit luxury rental building in Jersey City. As the sixth apartment building to open within The Beacon, Hague completes the effort to restore a collection of iconic architectural gems and transform them into an urban residential destination.
With the final piece of the puzzle now in place, The Beacon stands as a national success story, a cherished piece of Jersey City’s storied past reborn as a modern living experience that is home to more than 2,000 residents, 1,155 residences, incomparable amenities and an unparalleled offering of outdoor space.
“This is truly an historic milestone,” said John Masso, The Beacon’s regional manager.
When Erin Sweeney moved back to New Jersey five years ago, she headed straight for Newark, rather than return to her hometown in rural Sussex County. The 32-year-old nonprofit executive said she always dreamed of living in New Jersey’s largest city. “I feel like it’s our city,” Sweeney said. “It’s a transportation, legal, education hub. It’s an important place. I want it to be great and I want to be part of that.”
History also lives at The Beacon.
Listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, The Beacon’s six ornate buildings have been restored to preserve the architectural grandeur of its Art Deco-era origins, with marble walls, terrazzo floors, etched glass, gilded beams and moldings and bronze chandeliers. The 241-unit Hague, the latest and final addition to this community, developed by Building and Land Technology (BLT), opened in March.
“BLT had a grand vision for these remarkable buildings,” said John Masso, The Beacon’s regional manager. “To see them now fully reawakened as an inspired 21st-century use teeming with resident activity and, once again, an asset to the city, is both thrilling and rewarding.”
The community, perched at the highest spot in Jersey City, offers a range of options, from studios to three-bedroom triplexes, with rents ranging from $1,600 to $8,000 a month. An array of features, amenities and outdoor space are designed to lure young professionals, couples and retirees.