Despite Stalled Projects, a Construction Boom is Hitting Journal Square

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Journal Squared Journal Square Jersey City
Journal Squared, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

2021 has been a big year for Journal Square following a deal to renovate the iconic Loews Jersey Theatre and the announcement that the renowned Pompidou will be bringing a museum to the neighborhood. That public investment is being complemented by significant private development, although a few projects have been shelved following COVID-19.


The most prominent change in the historic heart of Jersey City is certainly the recently completed second phase of Journal Squared, which rises 68 stories and includes 704 apartments. KRE Group’s skyline-changing project has temporary greenery where the third and final tower is slated to eventually rise, a building the company hopes to complete by 2024.

Journal Squared Journal Square Jersey City 2
Journal Squared. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Several other prominent developments in the area are close to wrapping up, including a 16-story tower at 289 Jordan Place. New York-based Sequoia Development and GRID Real Estate are behind the endeavor, which includes about 300 rental units and 4,000 square feet of retail space.

289 Jordan Place Journal Square Jersey City
289 Jordan Place, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.
289 Jordan Place Journal Square Jersey City 2
289 Jordan Place, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Heading closer to the neighborhood’s PATH station, a 20-story high-rise at 26 Cottage Street has topped out. The development, from Great Neck-based Namdar Group, will include 166 rental apartments featuring various in-home concierge services like weekly tidy-ups, grocery delivery, and more.

26 Cottage Street Journal Square Jersey City 2
26 Cottage Street, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

One side of 26 Cottage Street is being left blank to accommodate a future mural on the building. The project is one of several towers Namdar Group has planned or approved for the neighborhood, which also looks to convert Homestead Place into a pedestrian plaza lined with retail.

26 Cottage Street Journal Square Jersey City
26 Cottage Street, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Just off the main stretch of Newark Avenue, another 15-story development is underway at 32 Oakland Avenue. The project, from Morris County-based FM Home Improvement, includes 297 units along with commercial space on the ground floor. In addition, two floors of office space are planned, as are 181 parking spaces.

32 Oakland Avenue Journal Square Jersey City 2
32 Oakland Avenue, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

That development is just a stone’s throw from the site of the future Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex. Infrastructure work near the property is already complete and proper construction has begun, with an estimated completion slated for 2023.

Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex Journal Square Jersey City
The future Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex is underway. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

While high-rises tend to steal the show, smaller developments have also been adding to the landscape. Construction has begun at a parcel near Grandview Terrace at 3060 JFK Boulevard that will add 99 residential units, ground-floor commercial space, and 50 vehicle parking spaces to one of Jersey City’s main thoroughfares.

3060 Jfk Blvd Journal Square Jersey City
3060 JFK Boulevard, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

An 83-unit development at 39 High Street from Titanium Realty Group that will add 83 units to the stretch has also begun to go vertical. A smaller development at 348 Baldwin Avenue, dubbed Hilltop at JSQ, will soon add 45 condominiums to a new construction marketplace that is dominated by rentals.

39 High Street Journal Square Jersey City
39 High Street, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.
Hilltop At Jsq Journal Square Jersey City
Hilltop at JSQ, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Despite the hum of construction, there are a few prominent developments that have stalled in the neighborhood. Ironstate’s Urby Journal Square, slated to break ground last year before COVID-19 hit, remains a surface parking lot and the company officially shelved another Urby project along Sip Avenue earlier this year.

Kushner Companies’ 30 Journal Square also remains in limbo. A 68-story version that included a 12,000-square-foot public plaza and retail marketplace was approved in November 2019, but no work has begun at the property.

30 Journal Square Jersey City
No construction is underway at 30 Journal Square. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

Kushner’s One Journal Square across the street is supposedly going to have a different fate. Following a brigade of litigation and various controversies, Jersey City approved a redesign of the 1,723-unit development in January. While construction has not yet begun, both Kushner and Jersey City officials had stated work on the two-phase development would begin in June.

Another long-planned development looks like it is moving forward after lots of false starts. An 18-story tower at 413 Summit Avenue set to include almost 150 units has been in the works since 2019 and excavation work has officially begun at the property.

The Journal Square development party could get even bigger in the coming years with other notable projects in the area like HAP Tower continuing to move forward. Jersey City’s planning board recently greenlit a 30-story high rise along JFK Boulevard that includes hotel and banquet space plus another 373-unit development up the street dubbed Journal Square Estates.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Writer failed to take into account the recent news about Katerra and how that will affect some of the projects named here. Many projects in JSQ are languishing — looks like more will be delayed in light of the Katerra development and how construction has halted at several of their JSQ sites.

  2. Whether it moves slow or fast dramatic changes are coming to JSQ. Best laid plans, etc. At this point I doubt Kushner will build that ugly ass thing he proposed earlier this year at 30 JSQ. If I had my druthers I’d hire the guy, Jason Long, who’s designing the Pathside museum. He’s doing some cool residential stuff in Brooklyn.

  3. Journal Squared is offering reduced rents in an effort to fill an overbuilt project, as are many other projects in JC. Kaaterra is gone, and I don’t see Kushner going ahead with that huge, ugly building they’ve been talking about for years. In fact, I think they should erect some taxpayers, similar to what they tore down a decade ago. It will be much better than the filthy, neglected lot that greets us every day.

  4. Amazing stuff, JSQ future is looking bright. The commercial spaces are slowly changing…very slowly but still changing. With more developments the speed will accelerate. I remember Grove Street changed at a painfully slow pace for decades and in a matter of 5 years it became a completely different area.

    Rental concessions has been a normal thing for most large developments with the crazy challenges Covid created. It’s not just specific to Journal Squared. But those will be reduced over time. I believe the new building is 50-60% leased already which is pretty insane.

  5. The fall of Katerra. There will be dozens of Journal Square that will be impacted as a result. If only there was another construction company within the New York City metro area that could take on these contracts now that Katerra has gone kaput. It’s a same shame. The goals of the Journal Square 2060 plan may never be met due to the fall of Katerra.

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