By: George Cahn
A big dose of Brooklyn style has hit the New Jersey Gold Coast with the completion of SilkLofts, a unique rental conversion in Bayonne offering soaring living spaces and an unusual array of lifestyle amenities. The new collection of 85 loft rental homes is located in the former Maidenform Factory which was the birthplace of the modern bra. During World War II, the factory also manufactured military parachutes as well as carrier pigeon vests. Reborn as a modern, urban living experience, the converted five-story brick building is located at the intersection of 18th Street and Avenue E – just 800 feet from the 22nd Street Light Rail station and minutes from Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan. A separate building overlooks a landscaped interior courtyard and features a limited offering of Artist Lofts.
The homes combine dramatic architectural elements over 100 years old with contemporary finishes and appointments. Residents also enjoy unique amenities designed for social interaction, outstanding views and a commuter-friendly location, according to SilkLofts, LLC, which transformed the century-old former factory into the new signature residential property. A variety of floor plans are offered, ranging from 568 to more than 1,400 square feet of soaring living space at monthly rental rates ranging from $1,500 to $3,400 – a far cry from Brooklyn rents.
Masterfully designed to reflect the property’s historic roots, homes combine 19th-century restored elements that represent the building’s past – such as exposed heavy timber columns and brick – with modern finishes and appointments that innovatively meld it into the 21st century. “The Maidenform factory has been an iconic building in Bayonne for over 100 years,” said Doug Stern, president of SilkLoftts, LLC. “We’ve embraced the historic charm of the building and used it as a foundation for a new urban residential destination that rivals similarly-inspired residences in areas like Brooklyn, but at a price point that offers considerable consumer value.”
A mix of old and new is found throughout the loft residences, including soaring 12-to-20-foot ceiling heights, mahogany front doors, exposed brick and wood beams, bamboo and oak gunstock wood floors, gourmet kitchens with Quartz countertops and Chef Islands, and washer and dryers. Bathed in natural light through newly-installed, oversized energy efficient argon filled factory windows, the residences offer a variety of views, including the New York City skyline and Bayonne Bridge.
Wanting residents to “love where they live,” the developer has fashioned a creative suite of amenities for SilkLofts to foster a close-knit atmosphere. An outdoor, landscaped pocket park features an herb garden, barbeque, fire pit and a fully-operational pizza oven that’s ventilated through an old smokestack. There’s also an on-site fitness center, secured on-site parking and a welcoming lobby with historic photos of the original Maidenform factory.
“The definition of luxury is changing, particularly in urban areas,” said Mr. Stern. “We’ve shifted away from cold lobbies and theater rooms to more socially-interactive spaces and uses where residents can connect with each other. That was my goal for the pocket park, fire pit and pizza oven. I wanted to create a comfortable, casual setting where neighbors would gather and socialize. We’re delighted that our residents are taking full advantage of it.”
SilkLofts has been designed to LEED Silver standards (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) and was built in accordance with U.S. Green Building Council guidelines for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Among the green features are the use of bamboo flooring, energy efficient appliances and recycled materials.