Jersey City to Consider Plan For 43-Unit Building on First Street

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303 First Street Jersey City Development
303 First Street, Jersey City. Image via Google Maps/Street View.

A company controlled by a developer with a controversial history is looking to construct a new building at several Downtown parcels not far from the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza.


Jersey City-based Village Townhouse Estates has applied to the city’s planning department to develop four properties they own at 303-311 First Street. Totaling just over 7,000-square feet, the land runs to the corner of Coles Street and is situated within the Village Redevelopment Plan.

Jersey Digs first broke the news about plans to develop the property last summer and the final proposal has been altered a bit from that version. Drawn up by Alabama-based firm Christian Rogers Architect, the final edition consists of smaller residences that break down as 20 studios, and 23 one-bedrooms.

303 First Street Jersey City Rendering
Rendering of the proposed project. Image courtesy of Christian Rogers Architect.

No affordable housing would be included in the proposed project, which would feature 11 off-street parking spaces in the building’s cellar alongside 20 bicycle storage spots. An underground stormwater detention vault is built into the plans, as is a 720-square foot common roof terrace for future residents.

The exterior the project would consist of ivory brick on the first floor, with an entry canopy sporting a dark metal material. The higher stories of the building would feature cast stone, with a cornice demarcating the top floor.

Village Townhouse Associates is owned by Peter Mocco, who has developed much of the Liberty Harbor neighborhood along the southern border of Jersey City’s Downtown. Mocco ran into trouble back in 2018 when his 245 Newark Avenue project deviated from site plans and was constructed taller than approved plans allowed.

245 Newark Avenue also utilized façade materials that were not permitted and Mocco found himself in a similar situation in 2019. His 333 Grand Street project was built with an extra floor that wasn’t approved by the city’s planning board and again used an exterior insulation and finish system that was banned under regulations.

Mocco’s companies were fined $582,000 by the city over those violations. His company’s most recent development, the 32-story 88 Regent Street, has thus far not created any issues as leasing has begun.

Mocco’s latest project is tentatively scheduled to be heard by the planning board during their July 12 meeting, where it is up for final approval and seeking a variance related to the proposal’s rear yard setback.

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