Every day, thousands of drivers and bus riders pass by the building at 568-572 Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City. With several windows boarded up, graffiti covering the rear portion of the structure, and weeds growing on the facade, it would not be immediately clear to passers-by what the history is of this brick three-story building in Ward F or what its future will hold. However, there are new plans for this property between Crescent and Monticello Avenues that could cause the building to be used for a vastly different purpose than for what it was originally constructed.
The building’s owner, 568 Communipaw Ave., LLC, is proposing that this former warehouse and factory be renovated and converted into apartments and commercial space. A legal notice that was released earlier this month shows that the company, which is registered out of a house on Stevens Avenue in Greenville, wants to turn the building into 18 residential units along with retail space on the ground floor. The proposed pricing of the units is not yet known.
Located in the Jackson Hill Redevelopment Plan Area, the structure stretches back to Harrison Avenue and was once home to the Smooth-On Manufacturing Company. Smooth-On was in the iron cement business, according to the company’s advertisements, and appeared to be in operation on the premises throughout the early- and mid-20th century. Founded in 1895 according to their website, Smooth-On actually still exists today and is based roughly 90 miles west of Jersey City in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. The Morning Call reported in 1995 that the company moved from Jersey City to Morris County in 1967, leaving New Jersey altogether for the Keystone State around three decades later.
568 Communipaw Ave., LLC’s proposal for the Communipaw Avenue building, which is situated near Lincoln High School and next door to a firehouse, is contingent upon the company receiving Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval from the Jersey City Planning Board for this “as of right” project. A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m.
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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