NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — For Julia Stoneham, a senior at Rutgers University, the modern apartments developed by Premier Properties on Mine Street was a perfect fit for what she was looking for as she finishes school.
“It’s certainly much more quiet than the dorms,” she said, adding the amenities of a lounge and a gym in the building are a tremendous plus. “If I don’t want to walk to the gym on campus, there is a gym in the building.”
Stoneham moved into her new one-bedroom apartment in August.
“I previously was living in another apartment building by Premier Properties and decided to take a look and what they built,” she said.
Stoneham noted that the building’s security system is a benefit, as well, because she can now see who is buzzing at the front door.
Through Construction Management Associates, its construction division, Premier Properties opened the Mine Street building of 26 new apartments. It caters to the New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Rutgers students, featuring modern design on a street celebrated for its history.
“We’re honored to have a role in this historic revitalization of New Brunswick,” said Mitchell Broder, President of Premier Properties. “We’ve created the building at 17 Mine Street to reflect the project’s goals of providing new, quality housing for seminary and Rutgers students.”
The new building ties into the College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative, headed by the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO). The strategic plan is designed to transform a significant area of Rutgers’ historic campus into a modern, accessible one, as well as to unify the College Avenue campus and create an aesthetically-pleasing, cohesive environment.
The catalyst for the College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative was a decision by the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, which has been part of the academic community of New Brunswick since the late 1780s, according to DEVCO officials.
“Construction Management’s ability to provide New Brunswick Theological students housing opportunities within sight of the Seminary was pivotal to the success of the College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative,” said DEVCO president Christopher Paladino.
Mary Clemmons moved into a new two-bedroom apartment with her husband, Joseph, a New Brunswick Theological student, in July.
“One of the main reasons why we like it is because it’s right across College Avenue from the seminary,” she said. “My husband can get to the library and class in less than five minutes. Also, all the amenities are on the same floor and we are on the street level, its quiet versus where we lived before at a busy intersection.”
Clemmons said the couple moved to New Brunswick from California.
“We have two cars so we were able to rent another space in the parking garage rather than find another space somewhere else,” she said
New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill said Premier Properties’ reliably brings attractive housing to the city’s off-campus neighborhoods, where there are still many old, worn homes that have accommodated generations of college students.
The development at 17 Mine Street, the mayor said, meets many of the needs and desires of those who want to live near the College Avenue Campus — modern amenities, safe development, ample parking and attractive, well-lit design.
“These types of smart projects are welcome additions to our community,” said Cahill.
Broder said the complex features 26 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with contemporary appointments including high-end stainless steel appliance packages, the latest fire safety features and soundproofing.
The building also offers common amenities including hidden garage parking, bicycle racks, laundry facilities, a lounge and a gym.
“It’s a big step up from traditional student housing,” said Broder.
Blanche Garcia, owner of B. Garcia Designs, Montclair, designed the interior of the apartments. She has been featured on television shows including HGTV’s “Design Star” and Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible.”
Garcia said she worked to incorporate the community’s historic and residential characteristics into the lobby and residences.
“We used warm woods that sometimes have an industrial feel, but then balanced it out with a relaxing but rich color palette that really grounds the spaces,” said Garcia. “We wanted the lobby to make a statement even though we still needed it to feel approachable.”
Garcia said she also used contrast wallpapers, including reflective silver tone wallpaper on the lobby ceiling, to make a statement and to ignite the senses.
“As you walk through the building, you will find a cohesive color story of grays, sea foam blues and an exciting splash of lime,” said Garcia. “The building is the result of great design and great craftsmanship coming together under one roof.”
Stephen L. Schoch, managing principal and an architect for Kitchen & Associates in Collingswood, said small-scale apartment buildings are safer for both students and neighbors.
They are also far better managed than single homes that are shared and can be overcrowded.
“This process increases local property values as a result of investment,” he said.
The Rev. Gregg A. Mast, President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary said seminary students are pleased to have 17 Mine Street as a housing alternative.
“Being just steps away from our Seminary, this makes for an ideal housing arrangement for our students,” he said.