Jersey City Approves Related Companies’ Harborside 4, an 800-Unit Tower

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Rendering of the approved Harborside 4 tower. Image courtesy of Handel Architects.

The path has been cleared to revitalize a parking lot in Jersey City’s Exchange Place neighborhood into a mixed-use high-rise that will further the area’s transition into a residential community.

During their May 7 meeting, Jersey City’s Planning Board greenlit a proposal for 20 Columbus Drive. The Related Companies, perhaps best known as the developer behind Hudson Yards across the Hudson River in Manhattan, purchased the 1.3-acre lot late last year for $58 million.

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20 Columbus Drive, Jersey City. Photo by Jersey Digs.

The land was sold by Veris Residential, who had once planned an office tower for the site. But those plans never got off the ground before the realities of COVID-19 put a major damper on new office developments throughout the country.

The 20 Columbus Drive property is known as Harborside 4 and it will be Related’s first high-rise residential rental project in New Jersey. The design of the development, drawn up by Handel Architects, features an L-shaped tower toward the north and west sides of the block on top of an eight-story podium.

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Image courtesy of Handel Architects.

The northern portion of the tower is set to rise 38 stories, while the eastern portion will top out at 50 stories and just over 684 feet. The building’s lobby will be situated along the southeast section of the property, which will get a new plaza with landscaping under the approved plan.

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Image courtesy of Handel Architects.

12,374 square feet of ground floor retail split between three storefronts will adorn the Columbus Drive side of the property, livening up a block that is otherwise a bit of a dead zone. The exterior of the development is slated to utilize bronze colored aluminum panels and glass materials.

The latest version of Harborside 4 will include a total of 800 units, breaking down as 161 studios, 432 one-bedrooms, and 207 two-bedroom units. No affordable housing component is included in the plan, which does not trigger Jersey City’s inclusionary housing ordinance.

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View of Harborside 4 from the Hudson River. Image courtesy of Handel Architects.

399 parking spaces are included in a garage in the project, as are 411 bicycle spots on the ground, 4th, and 5th floors. The parking entrance will be located mid-block to the north side of the site on Pearl Street.

The top of the base on the 9th floor will boast a landscaped common deck area outside along with several indoor amenity spaces. Other perks inside the development include a second-floor health club and a 39th floor devoted to indoor and outdoor amenities, the centerpiece of which is an outdoor pool.

The development was granted three minor variances by the Planning Board related to the number of street trees, tree spacing, and lighting. The development will add 21 trees to the landscape.

Related Companies is partnering with Panepinto Properties on the development. A potential groundbreaking date for the project has not been announced.

Harborside 4 joins a list of notable approved towers along the waterfront in Jersey City, several of which have failed to begin construction. The second phase of Urby, which includes over 1,500 units, has yet to break ground but did get revamped approvals last month.

Harborside 8, a 68-story tower from Veris Residential just a few blocks north of Harborside 4, has languished since gaining approval from the Planning Board over four years ago. The large parcel is still owned by Veris Residential.


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