Getting details about one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Garden State hasn’t been easy, but Jersey Digs has finally obtained some images that reveal the look and specifics of the upcoming Avalon Tower project.
We first broke the story about AvalonBay’s plans to develop a surface parking lot at 444 Washington Boulevard into a high-rise back in August. Some other specifics emerged later that month, and Jersey City’s planning board officially approved the development at their September 10 meeting.
Designed by Manhattan-based Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, the 950-unit Avalon Tower will rise just about 722 feet high at its highest point, with a shorter section topping out at 575 feet. Under the plans, the high-rise will be constructed near the northwest corner of the premises, while a six-story parking garage and retail facility will be built along Washington Boulevard just south of the tower.
Breaking down the tower’s apartments, 505 of the units would be studios, 265 would include one bedroom, 160 would contain two bedrooms, and 20 would have three bedrooms. The high-rise’s 59th floor is slated to feature an amenity area that includes an outdoor terrace and pool, while a “multipurpose terrace” will also be featured throughout the building’s the second floor.
The 145,216-square-foot parking garage just south of the tower will include 382 spaces for residents plus a health club and 17,192 square feet of retail space split between four different storefronts facing Washington Boulevard. A new service road will be created between the buildings for loading and parking access, and an additional 130-space surface parking lot will include spots set aside for those visiting the project’s retail component.
Both new buildings will utilize aluminum and brushed stainless steel on their exteriors. The existing Avalon Cove buildings at the property, which consist of 498 apartments inside two five-story structures, will remain under the plans. When the tower is built, the entire Avalon complex will include a total of 1,448 units.
As part of the deal, Avalon Communities will construct public features called the East Coast Greenway Plaza and Overlook Plaza along Thomas Gangemi Drive. That component, drawn up by Melillo + Bauer Associates of Brielle, New Jersey, will offer Manhattan skyline views along with a pedestrian terrace, a children’s play area, and a dog run.
One feature the Avalon Tower will not include is affordable housing. The property falls within the East-Waterfront District of the Harsimus Cove Station Redevelopment Area, which does not mandate any affordable housing be included in the project. The development was granted several “c” variances by the planning board related to the project’s minimum yard factor, accessory parking use, and the locations and types of signs that will be used.
When built, Avalon Tower will be the fourth tallest building in both Jersey City and the state behind only 99 Hudson, the Goldman Sachs Tower, and the second phase of Journal Squared that’s currently under construction. The approved 30 Journal Square would also be taller than Avalon Tower, but that project has yet to break ground.
While the look of Jersey City’s latest waterfront development is clearer, a timeline for the project hasn’t been announced. AvalonBay Communities has not responded to our inquiries as to when the development might start construction, but it’s safe to say that it will permanently alter the city’s skyline when it starts rising from the ground.