Development Could Replace Century-Old Jersey City Auto Body Shop on Central Ave

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Cabala Auto Body 70 Central Avenue Jersey City
Site of proposed development: Century-old Cabala Auto Body, 70 Central Avenue, The Heights, Jersey City. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

With new developments continuing to pop up all over Jersey City, many industrial properties and lots containing auto repair shops are becoming the sites of new residential buildings. Now, the building used by a longtime business in The Heights could be replaced with one of these new developments.

Joseph Cabala Auto Body has long been a familiar sight to drivers on Central Avenue for more than just a few decades. The auto repair shop between Hopkins and Beacon Avenues has been in business for exactly a century, opening its doors in Jersey City in 1919. Back in 1956, the company advertised in the Secaucus Home News that they were “one of the oldest established auto body and refinishing firms in Hudson County,” adding that the business was started by Joseph Cabala, Sr. and was owned and operated at the time of the ad by him and his son.

However, the shop’s properties at 70 Central Avenue, 113 Beacon Avenue, and 112 Hopkins Avenue are now the site of the proposed project by Legacy Development Group, LLC of Union City. The developer is looking to construct a five-story building at the site, according to a legal notice from January 11. The structure, which would be located in the Hopkins and Central Avenues Redevelopment Plan Area, is expected to consist of 31 residential units. The legal notice does not mention plans for retail space in the proposed building.

Currently, the property is owned by Chromagetic, LLC and is situated near the Jotham W. Wakeman School. In order to move forward with the development, Legacy Development Group has applied for Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval from the Jersey City Planning Board. Multiple variances are being sought in connection with the proposal, including minimum lot size, parking aisle width, and maximum building coverage.

A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 22, at 5:30 p.m., according to the notice.

It is not immediately clear if Joseph Cabala Auto Body would relocate should the development move forward. Jersey Digs reached out to the business and will update this story should we hear back.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the Jersey City Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.

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