It was once said that Jersey City’s revitalization efforts were a “tale of two cities” — the Waterfront and Downtown areas were booming while other neighborhoods struggled. In 2018, Journal Square could perhaps be described the same way; while the second Journal Squared tower is under construction and development approvals in the area are notable, many new projects have yet to break ground, and the One Journal Square property continues to be a large, vexing gap.
On the positive side, a prominent building is getting a revamp that includes a major effort to activate the streetscape. 2 Journal Square, a 325,000-square-foot office building that was built in 1987, will soon be repositioned into Class A office space sporting prime retail and restaurant opportunities on the ground floor.
An existing Chase Bank branch on the street level will be staying put, but currently vacant first-floor office space will be converted into two separate retail storefronts. The first spot will run 7,600 square feet and potentially feature outdoor seating areas in addition to creating a buffer area between the building and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, a wider road that is sometimes criticized for its lack of pedestrian friendliness.
The second space will run 7,300 square feet, making both storefronts sizable for any potential tenant. The future retail at 2 Journal Square, just steps from the PATH station, will have great signage visibility and the building has existing below-deck paid parking. Food use is welcome, as the property looks to take advantage of a recent migration of restaurants to the nearby area that includes Flatbread Grill, Chipotle, Banana King, and others.
Retail real estate brokerage RKF’s Rutherford-based office is handling the leasing for the future conversion, with brokers Robert Mackowski and Glenn Beyer handling the duties. “2 Journal Square represents an excellent opportunity for a savvy retailer to capitalize on evolving demographics, especially for lifestyle-driven brands — including boutique fitness, gourmet cafés, and home goods,” says Beyer.
Signage has just been put up at the property trumpeting the announcement. In a statement to Jersey Digs, RKF says renovations will commence in the fourth quarter of 2018, with the retail component expected to be available sometime in early 2019.