Following Redesign, Jersey City Approves 80-Unit Bates Lofts Development

Bates Lofts 40 Center Street Jersey City 2
The approved redesign of Bates Lofts, Downtown Jersey City. Rendering by Urban Architecture LLC.

Several post-industrial parcels tucked along the western fringes of Downtown have been mired in controversy for the last two years, but a scaled-back project that includes some retail space has finally been settled on for the land.

During their May 18 meeting, Jersey City’s planning board unanimously greenlit an application to redevelop several properties at 12-24 Brook Street and 34-40 Center Street. Jersey Digs unearthed a plan last year to bring a 95-unit project called Bates Lofts to the property, but owner Manhattan Building Company downsized and redesigned the latest approved edition.

Bates Lofts 40 Center Street Jersey City 3
The mixed-use residential development will be located on vacant parcels at 12-24 Brook Street and 34-40 Center Street. Rendering by Urban Architecture LLC.

Working with Jersey City-based Urban Architecture LLC to overhaul the scheme, the final version of Bates Lofts is set to rise six stories and top out at 70 feet. A total of 80 units will be built within the development, breaking down as eight studios, 37 one-bedrooms, 24 two-bedrooms, and 11 three-bedrooms.

While the development will not include any affordable housing units, it will feature a ground floor commercial space spanning 1,806 square feet. 80 parking spaces within a garage will occupy much of the first and second floors, which will also incorporate spots for 40 bicycles.

Bates Lofts 40 Center Street Jersey City 4
The approved plan for Bates Lofts includes only one tower and no affordable housing. Rendering by Urban Architecture LLC.

Amenities at the Bates Lofts include a 1,500-square-foot residential gym on the second floor and a sprawling rooftop deck set to feature eight grills, five fire pits, and various lounge areas. The exterior of the project was also overhauled as part of the work, as brickwork and bronze paneling will be used on the building.

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Planned rooftop deck amenity. Rendering by Urban Architecture LLC.

The project falls within the Mixed-Use District of the Bates Street Redevelopment Plan and was granted two variances by the board related to minimum front yard setback and maximum building coverage above the ground floor. The development’s approval ends a long battle over the property, which Manhattan Building Company was initially looking to rezone to allow multiple towers and 2,360 units.

Jersey Digs was the first outlet to report that plan’s specifics, which included a 20% affordable housing component and several community givebacks. After significant pushback from the community over the proposal during several meetings, the effort was abandoned in favor of the current approach.

Bates Lofts 40 Center Street Jersey City 1
The original proposal included 2,360 units, with 20% designated as affordable housing, but was abandoned after significant community pushback. Rendering by Urban Architecture LLC.

Manhattan Building Company has been hard at work constructing the first phase of the massive Emerson Lofts development over the last year, which is located along Downtown’s northern fringe. A groundbreaking date for Bates Lofts has not been announced.

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  1. So zero affordable units, a miniscule retail area and seems like no remediation/restoration work included for the I-78 underpass area? Thanks NIMBYs!

    It looks like this is only a few of the parcels that would have comprised that original 4-tower plan, but still ridiculous and a loss for the community at large. This does look very nice though, aside from all that.

  2. “bronze paneling will be used.”

    Nope, not even faux bronze but something like bronze *colored* paneling. Not a bad design. Like the irregular window configuration.

  3. What happens to the low income housing for people like me the lower income are been push out on the street while luxury apartment built for the rich pocket

  4. While I agree it’s sad to see people have to move but economically it makes sense. Generally low income areas there is much higher rate of families in welfare and the income coming in isn’t producing much taxes for the city. That also leads to less disposable income which leads to no real commercial life.

    As the areas in and around downtown booming, it’s only a matter of time it spreads to the outskirts of downtown. It’s an opportunity to convert an area into more visibility appeal buildings and residents who will be bringing more tax revenue and they will be out and about shopping, eating, drinking and basically supporting the local economy.

    Again we can sit and be emotional about it and I don’t personally agree with 0% affordable housing, I can see why it’s happening and why the city supports it. But with rising costs like lumber and other material and labor, I also see why developers can’t afford affordable housing if they want any profits.

  5. It’s a beautiful project. However, the loss of “what could have been” … 4 towers which would of brought many affordable housing, a community center and other advantages should we haven’t been so narrow minded…

  6. ITS all about the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS! The government creates poverty, NOT the PEOPLE! Poor folks are needed to fuel the RICH! If you don’t know/learn the rules of money you will always be poor in this money game!!


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