Last night, developer Frank Peraza presented his proposal for the redevelopment of the St Aloysius convent. The plan comes in two phases with the first being the restoration and adaptive reuse of the convent. The second phase will include a newly constructed rental building on the adjacent parcels.
St Aloysius convent falls in the newly created West Bergen – East Lincoln Park Historic District. However, the developer submitted his application prior to it taking effect. Still, he wants to maintain the historical integrity of the building and restore it properly. This includes custom-made wood windows to match the existing ones and restoring and repointing the brick and blue stone facade. The plan also calls for one additional story to be built on top of the existing structure, making the entire building four stories.
The convent will be divided up into 16 condo units. The majority will be duplexes and will range from 600 square feet up to its 1600 square foot crown jewel chapel unit. Phase one calls for 41 surface parking spots, 25 of which will be allocated back to St Aloysius school. This leaves 16 spots for the 16 condo units.
Peraza gave the following very early pricing estimates:
600 sf 1 bedroom – $180-200k
1000 sf 2 Bedroom – $250-300k
Phase two is a five story, 54 unit rental building to be built next to the convent. It will encompass the majority of the current parking lots as well as two additional lots where two single family houses currently sit. This building will house two levels of parking, the ground level and one below. Peraza stressed that phase two will only come after the completion of phase one and is entirely dependent on the market.
The community raised a few concerns over the project, mostly traffic related. Being that there are two schools on the same block, they worry construction and later residents will create an even bigger bottle neck in the mornings. Another member suggested demolishing the two vacant derelict houses and landscaping the lot as to avoid a prolonged eye sore waiting for phase two to begin.
Other than these concerns, the majority of the community seemed to welcome the project. They’re hopeful the developer will create a property that adds value to the community and helps revitalize that stretch of West Side Ave.
In order to complete the project, Peraza is requesting a Use Variance to build multi-family in an R1 zone that only allows for 1-2 family dwellings. The proposal goes in front of the Jersey City Board of Adjustment on Thursday, Sept 17th at 6:30, in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 280 Grove St. This meeting is open to the public, so if you have an opinion and want your voice heard, we encourage you to attend.