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Jax Daily Record Friday, Oct. 10, 201412:00 PM EST

N.J. developer plans high-rises for Intracoastal, Beaches

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by: Carole Hawkins

A New Jersey developer has added a third multifamily high-rise to its list of planned waterfront projects with the pur-

chase of industrial property at Atlantic Boulevard and the Intracoastal.

KABR Group of Ridgefield, N.J., bought the Bellinger Shipyards, a 43.8-acre parcel on the north side of the Atlantic Boulevard bridge, last week for $9.4 million.

The property is entitled for 590 multifamily units, 60,000 square feet of office/retail and a marina with 400 dry dock spaces and 250 wet slips.

In 2013, KABR also has two lots in Jacksonville Beach, which company executives believe are the last beachfront lots vested for high-rise construction.

One is next to Casa Marina at the site of the former Atlantis hotel. The other, known as the Beach House, is at 1407 First St. S.

In 2004, Jacksonville Beach prohibited new construction higher than 35 feet, so the opportunity to build high-rise projects there now is unusual.

“It’s pretty exciting, especially to build anything with an ocean view,” said Jeff Klotz, a local real estate investor who has partnered with KABR on the projects. “We’re experiencing the third or fourth wave of a complete revitalization of the Jacksonville Beach community.”

The Bellinger Shipyards property, with 1,000 feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage, offers a similar opportunity.

“The vistas, you can’t buy properties like that. God doesn’t make them anymore,” said Hobart Joost of Colliers International, who brokered the

deal for the seller, M.D. Moody and Sons Inc.

Rising rents, a strengthening condo market and progress at Harbortown, a 298-unit apartment complex across the Intracoastal, suggest the Bellinger Shipyards project will be well-received, said Ken Pasternak, a principle with KABR.

“In Phase One, we typically build toward a rental market model as opposed to a condo market,” he said. “But our analysis suggests the market’s ready for either one.”

Pasternak said the company hopes to break ground in late 2015.

It will spend the next three to four months on site remediation and going through a “visioning” process for the design.

Pasternak was not specific about what the complex would look like, but said it will be a “circa 2015” building that steps away from stucco walls and small windows found in beachside architecture today.

He said the company would work with the planned unit development document filed by Moody in 2007, which envisions four 144-foot residential towers, a public boat ramp, marina, retail and a restaurant.

Design details are also fuzzy for the two planned high-rises at Jacksonville Beach.

According to a news report on the company’s website, Pasternak had met with architects and engineers on the Beach House development in January and said at that time he hoped to break ground by the end of 2014.

But on Thursday he said both the Beach House and the Atlantis projects were still in the visioning stages and wouldn’t break ground before next year.

The KABR Group was founded by Pasternak, Laurence Rappaport and Adam Altman in 2008. According to the company’s website, its investment strategy is to acquire real estate assets from highly motivated sellers at discounts.

The company owns commercial assets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia and Jacksonville.

In 2011, KABR acquired the land and development rights to the second phase of the Trump Jersey City complex, a 50-story luxury residential tower of more than 400 units, parking and retail. It broke ground on that project in May.

Previously, Pasternak was the chairman and CEO of Knight Trading Group, a company he co-founded and ran from 1995-2002.

At one time, the company was the largest market maker in Nasdaq-traded securities.

[email protected]

(904) 356-2466

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