Plans for one of the largest developments to ever be proposed for Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood have just been revealed.
A company out of Great Neck, Long Island is seeking to build a massive project in three phases along two largely residential blocks in the middle of Ward C. Records from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) show that the Namdar Group’s plans involve constructing a new pedestrian plaza called the Homestead Walkway from Van Reipen Avenue to Cottage Street, which would likely be an extension of nearby Homestead Place. Then, the company plans on developing three buildings that would contain close to 750 residential units on the surrounding properties.
The first phase of the Namdar Group’s proposal calls for a “reconstruction” of the Congregation Sons of Israel synagogue at 35 Cottage Street and the new construction of a 27-story building with around 350 units. Subsequently, a 220-unit building would rise 25 stories above 26 and 28 Van Reipen Avenue, and finally, a 20-story building would bring 180 units to 26 and 28 Cottage Street. All of these towers would include retail space on the first floor.
The properties at 26 and 28 Cottage Street currently contain a two-story multifamily building and a three-story multifamily building. They were acquired by a company called 26-28 Cottage, LLC last November for $925,000, according to NJ Parcels records.
Meanwhile, the Van Reipen site was purchased by an LLC that is registered out of Namdar’s Great Neck office in 2016 for $3.125 million. The property is currently a vacant lot surrounded by fencing. A house that used to occupy the tract was demolished within the last decade.
This plan differs from most proposals in the region of this magnitude in that it involves transforming a quiet residential community into a major population center with some of the city’s tallest buildings. Although the first tower of Journal Squared is clearly visible just two blocks away from these properties, Van Reipen Avenue and Cottage Street mostly contain two-story and three-story homes. Most buildings of the size that Namdar is planning to construct on these properties are typically proposed for lots that are along heavily traveled corridors like John F. Kennedy Boulevard or in the midst of business districts like Downtown Newark. Despite this, the JCRA’s resolution states that Namdar will comply with all zoning requirements and that the development “will be designed to complement the surrounding neighborhood.”
The project has already cleared its first hurdle since the JCRA’s Board of Commissioners voted to designate Namdar as the redeveloper of all five properties during its February 20th meeting. However, the proposal still must go before the Jersey City Planning Board during a hearing, at which time the public will be able to weigh in.