The town of Harrison was once a thriving center of industry, boasting countless chemical and metal product manufacturers. But until recently, the former center of this industrial activity lay vacant and forgotten. The mixed use Harrison Commons project is an early and essential step toward revitalizing this neglected area, ushering in a new chapter for the city.
A Place with Potential
The area is ideally located, with the nearby Harrison PATH Station providing access to lower Manhattan and Newark for over 6,500 weekday riders. The newly constructed Red Bull Arena and Prudential Center ensure that there will be no shortage of foot traffic in Harrison.
A Renaissance Begins
The efforts to rebuild the waterfront area began with a redevelopment plan approved in 2003 that allowed the land to be rezoned from industrial to mixed use and residential. The first building in this multiphase plan is Harrison Commons, designed by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners. The project includes 275 residential units and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
“It’s a fully sealed wet system with silicone sealing the joints. The system itself is proprietary, but it’s a pretty generic concept. We have our own extrusions for that system, but each fabricator will have something similar,” says Wojciech Siewior of Fairfield Metal LLC, the fabricators for the project.
Why wet seal rather than rainscreen? “It depends on where you want to seal the building, underneath the skin, or on the outside. It’s easier to do it on the outside rather than a rainscreen with a barrier underneath,” explains Siewior.
Up to the Task
Fairfield Metal was well prepared for fabricating the necessary panels for this development project. “It has been a very easy project for us. It’s kind of symmetrical, so all the sizes are fairly straightforward, so it was quick to measure and fabricate. It wasn’t challenging to us in any way,” says Siewior.
ALPOLIC helped make the project even simpler. “It’s always nice to have material all here all in one shot so we can go ahead and fabricate things right off the bat, so [ALPOLIC is] great with that so we don’t have to wait on the material.”
Just the Beginning
Harrison Commons represents the beginning of the process of revitalization. As developers set their sites on the surrounding empty fields and abandoned buildings, it’s sure to become a focal point of the city of Harrison’s rebirth.