Home & Garden

Somerville: Apartment Living Alongside the Raritan Valley Line: Demolition Begins; Leases Signed

An aerial view of the Cobalt Apartments, looking west; Veterans Memorial Drive East is in front of the building, right; the Raritan Valley NJ Transit rail line is to the rear of the building, left. Credits: Courtesy Weiss Properties
Leases are being signed for occupancy at The Cobalt Apartments on Veterans Memorial Drive East in Somerville. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Demolition of the Richards Fuel Oil Company building on South Bridge Street has begun. A 4-story, 69-unit apartment building will be built on the site. Credits: Rod Hirsch
A pile of rubble grows as demolition crews gut the interior of the Richards Fuel Oil Company building on South Bridge Street. A four-story apartment building will be built on the site. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Heavy equipment guts the interior of the Richards Fuel Oil Company building on South Bridge Street. A four-story apartment building will be built on the site. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Demolition has begun on the Richards Fuel Oil Company building on South Bridge Street. A four-story apartment building will be built on the site. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The borough’s inventory of apartment buildings in close proximity to NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line is expanding as developers begin to cash in on the demand for affordable rental properties with easy access to trains to and from New York City and points in between.

Demolition work has begun on the dilapidated Richards Fuel Oil Service building at 110 South Bridge Street to make room for the four-story SOMA Apartments, a 69-unit building that will be built adjacent to the commuter parking lot at the NJ Transit rail station by Sterling Somerville Urban Renewal of Livingston.

As heavy construction equipment tears into the Richards building, rental agents are signing leases around the corner at 70 Memorial Drive East for the Cobalt Apartments, the 117-unit, 4-story complex alongside the westbound tracks of the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line.

Sign Up for E-News

The distinctive blue, white and orange façade of The Cobalt symbolizes a shift in the New Jersey housing market, one that focuses on lifestyles and a younger demographic not interested in, or unable to purchase their own home, preferring affordability, mobility, a short walk to the train, and a vibrant downtown offering ethnic restaurants and unique retail shops.

The Cobalt emphasizes a two-minute walk to the train and Main Street restaurants on its website. The property was built and is managed by Weiss Properties of New Brunswick.

Next up for Weiss Is construction of The Davenport, a five-story, 60 unit apartment building on Davenport Street, to be built on the current site of the Social Security Administration building which is slated for demolition sometime later this year, according to developer Robert Weiss.

There are several other multi-family developments in various stages of planning and approvals throughout the borough, including a second apartment development on Veterans Memorial Drive East adjacent to the Cobalt Apartments, and further west alongside the NJ Transit rail line on the borough’s former landfill, an 80-acre property that will also include a park.

Once the Richards property is cleared of the main structure and a barn to the rear of the property, remedial environmental work will need to be completed, according to Colin Driver, the borough’s director of Economic Development.

Richards Fuel Oil Service ran a second business from the same building, Richards Swimming Pool Service and Supplies.

A workman on the site said several 55-gallon drums containing liquids had been removed from inside the barn.

Once the site is cleaned up, construction can begin, Driver said, probably within 3-4 months.

Driver describes the SOMA building as “contemporary but it will reflect the historical architecture of Someville.”

The building should be completed within 12-15 months after construction begins, assuming there are no weather-related or other delays, according to Driver.

SOMA will be built on a 1.82-acre tract of property that will front on South Bridge Street, with 109 parking spaces.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Hillsborough: Petitions For and Against APEX Sports Facility Circulate Online

March 21, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The public’s response to  a pair of online petitions for and against the proposed APEX Sports & Events facility are running 10 to 1 in favor of the 210,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor athletic complex, proposed for a 40-acre site on Mountain View Road adjacent to the 369-acre Mountain View Park.

In addition to three lighted, outdoor synthetic turf athletic ...

Walmart Pays $6.3M in Bonuses to New Jersey Employees

March 8, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - More than 890,000 Walmart U.S. associates received a share of more than $560 million in total cash bonuses March 8, including:

- More than $160 million in cash bonuses based on their stores’ Q4 performance, and

- More than $400 million in one-time cash bonuses tied to recent changes in tax law.

In New Jersey, Walmart associates are receiving approximately $6.3 million ...