120-Room Hotel Planned Outside Liberty State Park

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Morris Hotel Communipaw Avenue Bergen Lafayette Jersey City
The proposed Morris Hotel on Communipaw Avenue, Bergen-Lafayette, Jersey City. Rendering via Jeffrey A. Fleisher Architect.

Currently, visitors seeking an overnight stay in Jersey City must look along the Tonnelle Avenue corridor, in Downtown, or near the Hudson River waterfront. Many of the city’s communities, including The Heights, Greenville, McGinley Square, and the West Side remain largely residential and lack places for short-term accommodations other than Airbnb rentals. However, that could soon be changing in one Jersey City neighborhood that borders some of the area’s most visited tourist attractions.

Bergen-Lafayette could gain its first hotel if a proposal by Frank Cretella of Garfield Avenue-based Landmark Developers continues to move forward. Records from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) show that the Morris Hotel is being proposed for 269 and 273 Communipaw Avenue. If completed, the building would include 120 guest rooms and suites, along with parking, a restaurant, and coffee shop. Jeffrey A. Fleisher Architect of Hunterdon County is behind the design for this seven-story project.

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The JCRA Board of Commissioners voted to designate the company as the property’s redeveloper during its meeting on Feb. 20.

The site in question borders the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks and a residential block. Located near the Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, and the Liberty State Park Light Rail Station, the tracts are currently gated vacant lots that are owned by New Jersey Transit (NJT). According to the JCRA’s resolution, Landmark “will seek to enter into a purchase and sale agreement for the property” and the redevelopment agency’s staff has found the application “acceptable and supportive of the proposed hotel for the site.”

However, NJT spokesperson Lisa Torbic told Jersey Digs that “NJ TRANSIT has not been contacted in connection with any interest by the developer to acquire the referenced property.”

Landmark Developers and its sister organization, Landmark Hospitality, are behind multiple projects and businesses in Jersey City: Liberty House Restaurant at Liberty State Park and the upcoming 100 Monitor Street project nearby. Their proposal for the Morris Hotel still has a long road ahead, since the plan requires approval from NJT and the Jersey City Planning Board. Should Landmark’s application advance to those stages, the public would be able to weigh in on the proposal during public hearings held by both agencies.

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