Capital One Vacates Iconic Downtown Jersey City Bank Building

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Now closed and the site of unknown future redevelopment: 201 Newark Avenue, Downtown Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

As project after project continues to gain approval or break ground along Newark Avenue, a parking lot just off the city’s most notable pedestrian plaza could be the next target for developers.

Earlier this month, a branch of Capital One Bank closed for good at 201 Newark Avenue. The stately building, which was built in 1928, has a parking lot and a drive-thru directly adjacent to the structure. It’s also a bit vulnerable in terms of being protected; the property is not landmarked and falls between the Van Vorst Park and Harsimus Cove Historic Districts but is not located inside of either one.

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Capital One at 201 Newark Avenue has closed. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Most of Newark Avenue is classified the same way and that reality is part of what contributed to the demolition of a 150-year-old building at 270 Newark Avenue last year. However, a revamp of city regulations enacted since then now requires all property owners to submit to a historic preservation review when seeking a demolition permit, so that history is less likely to repeat itself.

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Drive-through and parking lot at 201 Newark Avenue. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

The entire parcel of 201 Newark Avenue, including the parking lot, is owned by Trust Company of New Jersey. They are registered out of a P.O. Box in Wichita Falls, Texas, and don’t appear to have listed the property for lease or sale yet. But as adaptive reuse or expansion of buildings like banks and churches becomes more common, the property might be one that Downtown residents should keep their eyes on.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. That structure should NOT be allowed get a permit for demolition! That is an iconic structure, which is a face of that area! Should a developer want to reuse and build on top, fine without damaging the structure…

  2. Nice looking building but not exactly *stately*. The large expanse of arched windows are certainly eye-catching given the corner location. The structure itself is pretty ordinary and quite narrow so not a really practical use of the space. It’s not however without charm so gut the interior but keep the windows and stone exterior. Build out the parking lot and add a smart looking but height appropriate tower on top of it.

  3. It would be a great property to have a bowling alley or some sort of KID and ADULT friendly activity. Perhaps a climbing wall?

    I honestly don’t care what it ends up being as long as it’s not torn down and it’s not condos!!!!

    • I don’t see anything wrong with building more places to live. Demand is very high, a lot of people want to live around NYC and the more supply the better. If they can integrate an old building on then even better.

  4. Capital One put a thick layer of white paint over the excellent and distinctive Art Deco murals inside the bank last year. The outside of the building is OK, but is not really historic, having been built pretty late in 1928 (most of the area was developed between 1860 and 1890). It would be nice to save it, but it will be hard to make a legal argument for historic preservation in this case that would compel the owners to keep the building as is.

    I wouldn’t mind having more apartments in the area–if I hated neighbors and apartments I would live in the other 99% of the country where everyone lives in single-family homes. That parking lot/drive-through is a perfect place for some shops and apartments.

    • Completely disagree with you! I grew up downtown and the character of the area has changed drastically. The building should remain and not be lost to development this time around.

      • Completely agree with Eval. While downtown JC wasn’t quite the shit hole that certain parts of NYC were 30 years ago it certainly wasn’t any sort of special destination either. Shopping, night life, cultural events, upgraded housing are all positive developments.

  5. This is where the Neighborhood Associations need to work together so no property is not part of one of them. They represent the line of defense against developers who tend to want to put in too high, too dense, too loud, too quick condos so maximize money in an area they won’t be living in.

  6. Forget about parking. The structure is better reused for some kind of office/retail use with the parking lot redeveloped with some portion of affordable housing.

  7. It’s actually the ideal location for a really cool restaurant… I have been in there a number of times and often thought is has the perfect layout for a cool eatery and bar! Used to think it was such a waste of a cool space on a bank of all things!

  8. Nice Building!!!

    If I would be on the Historic Voting Board. I would vote to keep the building.

    Any one knows the history of the building?

    We should keep on developing Newark Ave up to Journal Square and beyond

  9. The property was sold to a developer last month – the plan is to build on the lot and tie into the existing building. It was on the market for some time. It absolutely will be a development site which will be announced in the next couple months.

    • ugh. more yuppies. more condos. more assholes. less parking. less public amenities. more people. less spots in schools. overcrowding. surplus of rentals and condos (decreasing property value).

      i wonder who this developer is? is he also in bed with city govt?

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