Revitalization plans for a dilapidated warehouse that involve significant upward expansion of the structure have been met with opposition in The Heights, and the community made their voices heard at a meeting last week that unveiled the latest development scheme.
The property in question is currently home to a two-story industrial building that rises about 28 feet at 107 New York Avenue. Spanning a full city block and over half an acre, its location is directly next to one of the main roadway entrances to the neighborhood. The parcel is owned by a company simply called MJSMS LLC and is an active warehouse.
Many months ago, the owner worked with MVMK Architecture on a proposal that would create 128 residential units and 61 parking spaces in an 18-story building. The developer had initially pitched a community center in the building’s base, while the city approached the developer about building recreational space at a different site.
A new outpost for the Boys and Girls Club was attached at one point, but the plans were never finalized and have now been scrapped. When approached to discuss potential givebacks, The Riverview Neighborhood Association deferred to their official stance of “consistent and long-standing opposition to building high-rise structures in The Heights”.
Last Thursday, a lawyer for the developer and MVMK’s Anthony Vandermark hosted a fairly animated meeting where they presented new plans for the site. They are significantly scaled back but still larger than the existing R-1 zoning in the neighborhood allows. The new proposal rises nine total stories and looks to adaptively reuse the existing warehouse by restoring and adding a masonry façade to the two-story exterior.
The original structure would then be used as a podium for a glass-heavy residential component that’s set back a bit from the current warehouse and would feature composite aluminum. 96 total units, consisting of mostly one- and two-bedrooms, would be included in the project, which lacks any studio apartments.
68 parking spaces for cars and 62 spots for bicycles are included in the plan, as are three separate retail spaces. They include a 5,000-square-foot space at the intersection of New York Avenue and Ferry Street, a 2,500-square-foot spot at New York and Ravine Avenues, and a 3,500-square-foot storefront at Webster and Ravine Avenues.
Amenities in the current 107 New York Avenue project would include a 6,000-square-foot green roof that sports a common area for residents. Several private roof decks would be built on the third floor of the new building using the top of the existing warehouse, and a stormwater detention system is included in the plans.
The building qualifies as a high-rise under New Jersey state law, so both a height and use variance would be needed from Jersey City’s zoning board to move the project forward. However, the lawyer for the developer stressed during the meeting that plans have not been submitted to the city yet, and the Riverview Neighborhood Association has already stated they oppose the project in its current form.
An attorney for the owner of 107 New York Avenue indicated after the meeting that the plan won’t be moving forward as is, but Jersey Digs will continue to monitor this project as any changes are made.