Update: This meeting has been canceled. A rescheduled date has not been announced.
Over the last two decades, new developments in Jersey City have primarily been concentrated in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods within a mile and a half of PATH train service.
Parts of the city such as Downtown, Newport, Harborside, Journal Square, and Bergen-Lafayette have each seen the construction of numerous residential or mixed-use projects, with additional developments continuing to be proposed.
However, a section of Jersey City that has long been largely car-oriented with few modern multi-family complexes is where residential developers have increasingly started to focus.
Sandwiched between the Hackensack River and the West Side neighborhood, the low-lying Route 440 corridor has been lined with industrial properties, car dealerships, and strip malls for decades.
Derricke Dennis, an ABC News correspondent, moved into the community in 2009.
“There was a truck stop across the street with trucks idling until 11:00 at night,” Dennis said. “There were really no sidewalks. It was a truck zone basically.”
Lately though, previously commercial parts of the area have become the site of multiple completed projects, including The Agnes, 16 Bennett, Rivet, and CityLine.
“It’s actually shocking to see new buildings go up all around me,” Dennis said. “From 2017 to now, it’s like every year there’s a new building popping up.”
The new developments that have recently been built are only a small fraction of what has been proposed for the neighborhood.
At 49 Fisk Street, a 337-unit building is planned. At 405 Route 440, a company from Florida is looking to construct an eight-story development at the site of a former diner. Plus, a two-building complex with a total of 450 units could come to the site of a Carbon Place scrap metal yard.
The largest of the potential projects near Route 440 would be Bayfront, a residential, retail, educational, and open space complex at a 95-acre former industrial site that would include a new terminus for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s West Side Avenue branch.
Plans for the second largest development in the neighborhood were revealed in June. This complex would be developed by a company called Route 440 Developers, LLC and could include two 55-story towers, a 38-story tower, a 30-story tower, and a public park if completed.
Route 440 Developers, LLC is going to hold a community meeting to discuss their plans on Wednesday, October 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park’s Hank Gallo Community Center, according to a public notice.
“The project has been designed to accommodate the proposed Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension, as well as the proposed widening of Route 440 and the potential relocation of significant facilities owned by the Municipal Utility Authority,” the notice says in part. “The overall project is envisioned to ultimately include over 155,000 square feet of retail and approximately 3,000 residential units.”
It is not yet clear how the residential units in some of the planned developments near Route 440 would be priced or what impact these projects would have on the cost of living in existing neighborhoods nearby. It also remains to be seen whether all of the proposed complexes will end up coming to fruition. What is evident is that the projects that have already been finished have brought a number of additional residents to this part of Jersey City.
“People who don’t want to pay a million dollars to live downtown are finding that they can come to the West Side, especially the 440 area, and get a good value and some space for the money,” Dennis said.
Note to readers: The dates of community meetings and public hearings are often subject to change.