Jersey City’s Barcade Faces Uncertain Future Amid New Development Plans

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163 165 Newark Avenue Jersey City
Site of proposed development: 163-165 Newark Avenue, Jersey City. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

New development plans could spell changes for a prominently located Downtown Jersey City building.


A new mixed-use complex is in the works for 163-165 Newark Avenue, a site that stretches south along Barrow Street from the pedestrian mall to Christopher Columbus Drive. A public notice released at the end of July shows that the property owner, 165 Newark Avenue Fee, LLC, is looking to construct a residential and commercial development in two phases.

Barcade Development 165 Newark Ave Jersey City Rendering
Rendering of the proposed development, credit LWDMR Architects.

The company has filed an application with the Jersey City Planning Board to obtain Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval for the project, which calls for a total of 51 units, nearly 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and a possible rooftop deck. The development’s first phase would reportedly consist of a six-story building with a penthouse and “ground floor commercial mezzanine” while the second phase involves the construction of a five-story building.

Barcade Development 165 Newark Ave Jersey City Rendering 2
Per the notice, the facade on Newark Avenue and the northern part of the Barrow Street side of the building would be retained. Rendering credit LWDMR Architects.

Although much of the existing building is expected to be torn down in order to make way for the new buildings, some remnants of the structure would remain and undergo a rehabilitation as part of the current proposal for the premises. For instance, the facade of the edifice on Newark Avenue and the northern part of the Barrow Street side of the building would be retained during the second development phase, according to the notice. Renderings posted by LWDMR Architects and dated February 2019 appear to illustrate this vision for the site.

Since 2011, the part of the property facing Newark Avenue has contained Barcade’s Jersey City location, the future of which is now in question due to the redevelopment plans.

“At this time we don’t have any news about the project, but we are hopeful that we can figure out a way to remain at the location long term,” Barcade CEO Paul Kermizian told Jersey Digs in a statement.

One of the LWDMR renderings shows a Barcade sign in the retail space on the corner of Christopher Columbus Drive and Barrow Street, opposite its current location.

Barcade Development 165 Newark Ave Jersey City Rendering 4
A sign in the retail space appears to show Barcade moving to the other side of the block. Rendering credit LWDMR Architects.

The Christopher Columbus Drive portion of the property has been home to Nimbus Dance Works over the last few years, but the dance school has already announced plans to move to a new arts center inside The Lively on Warren Street next year. Previous tenants at 163-165 Newark Avenue have included Brick Haus Fitness and Washington Mutual.

The Jersey City Planning Board is scheduled to take up 165 Newark Avenue Fee, LLC’s application during its meeting on Tuesday, August 13, at 5:30 p.m.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the Jersey City Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.

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