Another development proposal has emerged near the city’s border with Hoboken and unlike many projects in Jersey City’s Downtown, this one would include a significant affordable housing component.
Hoboken-based Pegasus Partners recently purchased several parcels of land that mostly make up the current home of Jersey City Unleashed, a pet resort and spa facility. The properties fall within the Jersey Avenue Light Rail Redevelopment Plan and are just a stone’s throw from the St. Lucy’s Church expansion project, but they aren’t surrounded by much else.
In contrast, both the Newport Redevelopment Plan to the east and the Jersey Avenue Park Redevelopment Plan to the west have been massively successful in sparking new development in those neighborhoods. To facilitate their project, Pegasus has already submitted a request to the city looking to amend the Jersey Avenue Light Rail Plan in a way that would relax height and density limits in exchange for adding affordable housing requirements.
Specifically, the changes would affect Block 7103, or 619 Marin Boulevard’s land. For lots ranging from 30,000 to 50,009 square feet in size, the new regulations would cap development height at 265 feet and limit density to 625 units per acre. Per the ordinance, any project utilizing those changes would be required to designate 20% of their living spaces as affordable housing and of those units, at least 50% would have to be set aside for low-income households.
The income restriction on the affordable housing units would last 30 years under the changes, which were passed on first reading by the Jersey City Council at their June 26 meeting. The ordinance will now head to the planning board for review during their July 23 meeting and if they sign off on the modifications, the council would need to approve the changes on second reading later this summer, possibly at their August 14 meeting.
Those moves would clear the way for Pegasus to submit a site application to the city’s planning board detailing their plans, which they recently revealed to Jersey Digs. Designed by MVMK Architecture, the development would include 452 rental units, 226 parking spaces, and retail space on the ground floor that hopes to activate the streetscape. The property would include amenity space, a rooftop deck, and likely utilize some LED features and green building techniques.
Pegasus Partners’ Managing Director Hany Ahmed said that the company is trying to get ahead of Jersey City’s proposed affordable housing ordinances with the development, as they prefer to move forward now due to the economics of the project. The company won’t ask the city for any abatement to move forward with construction, which would make it the first Downtown project in recent memory that includes affordable housing without being granted a tax break.
If all goes according to plan and the changes to the redevelopment scheme are approved later this summer, Pegasus is hopeful that they will gain planning board approvals during this year’s fourth quarter. The company said they could then potentially break ground at 619 Marin Boulevard sometime during the first quarter of 2020.