A headline development near Jersey City’s westernmost PATH station won’t rise quite as tall as once envisioned, as Kushner Companies has completely eliminated office space from one of their largest projects.
During the planning board’s October 29 meeting, a site plan amendment for the ambitious 30 Journal Square was approved. The initial version of the 72-story project was to rise 779 feet and contain 741 residential units, 15,030 square feet of retail, 96,602 square feet of office space, and a 436-space parking garage.
The latest vision for the development is a bit shorter, rising 68 stories and topping out at 718 feet. The difference is due to Kushner’s decision to remove the four floors of offices that were included in the approved version from 2016 and there are a few other notable changes that the board signed off on.
The revamped 30 Journal Square will contain four more rental apartments than the last version, totaling 745 living spaces. They break down as 140 studios, 374 one-bedrooms, 202 two-bedrooms, and 29 three-bedrooms. No affordable housing is required per local regulations, and none is included.
The most significant change might be the development’s parking, as a total of 372 parking spaces are included this time around. That number meets the minimum requirements set forth in the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan, which the property falls within.
Other components of 30 Journal Square remain unchanged. The new version was again designed by Morris Adjmi Architects and there will still be about 15,100 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Kushner will also construct a 12,000-square-foot public plaza between the future market that’s part of their 26 Journal Square property and the new tower.
The changes in height are notable, but 30 Journal Square would still be the fourth tallest building in New Jersey if it gets built. Kushner had initially pitched the development as the “tallest visual point of the Jersey City skyline” by virtue of the neighborhood’s elevation back when it was approved, but 99 Hudson’s 900-foot height, the 781-foot-tall 30 Hudson Street, and the 759 vertical feet of Journal Squared’s second tower would all outsize 30 Journal Square any way you measure it.
This is the third time that 30 Journal Square has been reworked. The initial edition of the development envisioned a tiered design that was eventually scrapped in favor of the 72-story version. Work at the property has not formally commenced despite the project getting approved by the planning board over three years ago.
Kushner Companies is one of the largest landowners around the Journal Square PATH station and their record in recent years has been decidedly mixed. On one hand, they have overseen a renovation of their 26 Journal Square property, which welcomed a Chipotle earlier this year.
However, Flatbread Grill was forced to close at that building following issues with leaks at their storefront. Additionally, little progress has been made across the street at Kushner’s other notable project, One Journal Square. The stalled development continues to be a vacant lot and the company recently revived their “anti-Trump bias” lawsuit against Jersey City officials after the previous version was dismissed by a judge over the summer.
While Kushner has not responded to our inquiries as to when 30 Journal Square could break ground, some movement might be on the horizon. YIMBY reported over the summer that Kushner applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for permits to start work at the site, which reportedly could commence as early as December 2019.