One of the most prominent developers in the Newport neighborhood of Jersey City has been given the initial green light to revitalize a pier along the Hudson River despite concerns raised by several members of the public over the proposal.
During a March 15 special meeting, Jersey City’s planning board granted preliminary approval to revitalize about 8.5 acres of land at 2 Sixth Street. Jersey Digs first broke the news about the LeFrak-owned project back in September 2020, which has been dubbed Pier 6.
Images of the original five-tower proposal emerged just about a year ago, sparking a petition in opposition from residents at the nearby Mandalay on the Hudson. Counsel for LeFrak stated during the special meeting that they met with the community to discuss their concerns last April and scaled their plans back this time around.
The latest version calls for four towers along the pier with garage parking for 897 cars and a total of 1,723 residential units. The residences in the development would consist of 154 studios, 780 one-bedrooms, 641 two-bedrooms, and 148 three-bedroom spaces, but the development does not trigger the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance and no affordable housing is included.
Designed by Miami-based firm Arquitectonica, the two taller towers on the western portion of the pier are set to rise 42 stories and be connected via a six-story parking structure. Ground floor townhomes will be included in the design of the parking podium’s northern and southern sides and the entirety of the western portion would include 887 units and 449 parking spaces.
The eastern portion of the property would mirror the western area with two 39-story towers also connected by a six-story parking deck with ground-floor townhomes and 448 parking spaces. 836 units would be included in this phase, as would a 4,000 square-foot ground-floor retail space set to overlook the Hudson River.
Both pairs of towers are to include roof decks on top of the parking structures set to feature recreational areas for residents. To facilitate the project, LeFrak will extend 6th Street eastbound along the southern portion of the pier and create several northbound “loops” for vehicles to access the buildings.
Over 36% of the land is designated as open space under the plan, as the endeavor looks to extend the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway along the entire perimeter of the pier. The plan is allowable as-of-right, as it complies with all existing zoning laws and required no variances.
LeFrak was granted approvals from the board for the preliminary site plan and a subdivision that will separate the pier into three parcels. The first two lots on the western side will be home to the eventual towers, while the final parcel is situated in the extreme northeast area of the property.
While that portion has an existing use as a heliport, that section is not included in the current application and a spokesperson for LeFrak told Jersey Digs that the parcel is “slated for future development.” A portion of the pier to the south of the heliport, also not included in the application, will remain vacant.
Concerns were raised by residents during the public comment portion of the meeting about the project’s density, its potential impact on traffic, a perceived lack of open space, and school overcrowding.
LeFrak still needs additional approvals to move forward with the project and as a condition of the preliminary approval, the board dictated that LeFrak must provide 3-D renderings when applying for final site plan approval.