Argent Ventures, LLC was unanimously designated as the redeveloper of 41 and 52 Aetna Street in Ward F by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) Board of Commissioners during its meeting on March 21st.
The properties, located just west of Jersey Avenue, are situated in the Grand Jersey Redevelopment Area, and consist of over two City-owned acres. In late 2016, the JCRA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) urging applicants to take advantage of this “extraordinary development opportunity,” likely because the properties are situated within close walking distance of the Jersey Avenue Station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Jersey City Medical Center, New York Waterway service from Liberty Harbor, and the Ethel Pesin Liberty Footbridge to Liberty State Park.
However, part of the reason why these massive lots adjacent to Interstate 78 have sat vacant for decades, filled with abandoned structures, trees, and weeds, is because of on-site contamination. The RFP stated that soils on the properties “are contaminated with typical industrial and urban contaminants such as PCBs, heavy metals, and historic fill,” and that environmental investigations were recently conducted.
Now, development is finally slated to come to this part of Aetna Street. JCRA records show that Argent Ventures is scheduled to acquire the properties in order to construct a multi-phased project. When completed, the lots would consist of a building with 300 residential units and another with 75 residential units. The proposal also calls for parking to be provided on the first floor of each building.
The latest proposal has not yet been heard by the Jersey City Planning Board or the Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment. It is not yet clear whether Argent Ventures will join the dozens of other Jersey City developers who have applied for and received long-term tax exemptions from the City of Jersey City.
Argent Ventures is also responsible for the upcoming Baldwin Place development at the C.F. Mueller Pasta Company site near Journal Square, and is one of the developers of the proposed 2,000 unit mixed-use complex and Crescent Park at nearby 246 Johnston Avenue. If plans for the latter project, the proposed Aetna Street development, and the creation of SciTech Scity come to fruition, this former industrial corner of Jersey City could be transformed into a new neighborhood.