TRENTON, N.J. (WPVI) --Construction workers have begun transforming the dilapidated old buildings at the former Roebling complex on Route 129 in Trenton into a modern, $150 million mixed-use development.
Developers are using the bones of the long-abandoned factories, and turning them into environmentally-friendly lofts, office space and restaurants.
"It's these old industrial spaces where you can see the trusses and the steel beams and the timber floors, and you get the big factory windows," said David Henderson, HHG Development Associates.
As the developers showed Action News the space now being renovated, they talked of lofts that will feature up to 20-foot ceilings and spiral staircases. They are hoping to attract singles and couples looking for a vibrant, urban atmosphere.
"We're excited because this is a diverse community, and we expect to have a very diverse population coming here," said Michael Goldstein, HHG Development Associates.
The developers think it's important to honor the buildings' rich industrial history so things like a rusty old wire rope testing machine will be cleaned up and put on display.
"To really take advantage of the character of the space, the very tall ceilings, the steel structure, there's wonderful pieces of equipment," said John Hatch, HHG Development Associates.
City officials are thrilled that the old buildings are being given new life.
"We'll cultivate new jobs, new activity," said Mayor Eric Jackson, Trenton, N.J. "The Millennial population will come in, and create more development within our city."
Rentals will start at $1,140 monthly. The first phase of the Roebling Lofts project is expected to be completed by next Spring.
Eventually the 7-acre site, where they once made the wire for aviator Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis plane, will become a booming center for work and play in New Jersey's capital city.