Jersey City Adds Penthouse to Redesigned Public Safety Headquarters

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Public Safety Headquarters Old Vs New Jersey City
One story and 2,000 square feet were added to the design of the new Jersey City Public Safety Headquarters. Rendering by USA Architects (left, previous design; right, new design).

A $120 million project that hopes to strengthen city services while revitalizing a neighborhood will be vertically expanding by a floor following some modifications to a scheme that emerged last year.


Jersey City announced in September the imminent groundbreaking of their new Public Safety Headquarters. Set to rise at a parking lot on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Kearney Avenue, the facility is part of an ongoing endeavor to consolidate many of the city’s government operations within a few blocks of Bergen-Lafayette.

Jersey City Public Safety Headquarters Location
A new Public Safety Headquarters is coming to the corner of Kearney Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard on a lot that was previously used for parking. Image via Google Maps/Street View.

The Public Safety Headquarters will be the fourth component of the city’s Jackson Square municipal complex and was already slated to be one of the neighborhood’s tallest buildings at 11 stories when it was revealed. The revised plan now calls for a 12-story building that tops out at 187 feet, a change that will add about 2,000 square feet to the project.

Drawn up by Philadelphia-based USA Architects, the upcoming building will centralize the city’s police and fire operations under one roof and is set to host offices for departments like Fire Prevention, Parking Enforcement, Special Investigations Unit, Gun Permits, and Traffic Programming.

Other components of the 122,000-square-foot facility will include a Communications Center with 9-1-1 dispatch, Jersey City’s first-ever police and fire Recruitment Center, and a brand new police and fire museum.

Public Safety Hq Bergen Lafayette Jersey City
The new 12-story design. Rendering by USA Architects.

Construction of the project is set to be overseen by Pennsylvania-based Brandywine Financial and the development includes a parking lot for 12 cars to be used by public service vehicles. Utility connections and two emergency generators will be installed as part of the work.

Jersey City released the new plans under what is known as a Section 31 “courtesy review,” a state law that requires planning boards to assess applications for public projects. The board could review the records as early as this month, with the city still hoping to complete construction of the Public Safety Headquarters in 2022.

When the new facility is completed, Jersey City will be selling their current Fire Headquarters, the South Street Fire Union Offices, and the Gong Club property. The moves are expected to generate at least $30 million in revenue.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. It’s like a recreation of something you’d see in Berlin in the 1930’s. The only thing missing is a giant LED with the message ” DON’T FUCK SHIT UP. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!”

  2. Huh? Completely disagree, the design is if anything too generic, although for a municipal building like this I think that’s mostly appropriate. I certainly don’t get an Orwellian vibe at all, but it is weird the new rendering is so much darker with a gray sky which doesn’t help.

    This is actually one of the projects I’m most excited for, as I do think these different departments being all under one roof will make a huge difference in public safety operations, and this area could really use this. I’m looking forward to never having to go back to that awful Parking Authority office on Central Ave.

  3. I don’t understand what that big black thing is on top. Is it an addition of floor space ? Also the JC sign is really over the top……….no pun intended , but that sign is ridiculous.

  4. The above building is a smaller version, but the spitting image, of the Senate House in London which Orwell used as his model for the Ministry of Truth in his dystopian novel 1984. Those 8 foot high stylized badges on the front are just weird looking. Ditto for that idiotic black thing and signage on the top of the building.

  5. How many City Departments are going to be moved to MLK Blvd? (Jackson Ave. to those that remember.) It seems the City is moving any Departments that don’t require residents to physically go there. I guess it will solely be City employees that will be expected to venture there, either on the branch of the Light Rail that is the least safe, or parking your car daily hoping it’s still in tact upon your return.

  6. I am becoming weary of these comments about a neighborhood many I suspect know nothing about, but have preconceived notions as to the value of building in an underserved area of the city. The thinly veiled disdain and irrelevant comments are sadly more a symptom of borderline ignorance at best and darker impulses to judge anything that is not created with them at the center. Orwellian? Hotel/Casino? How silly. Jersey City I assure you is full of nondescript, banal, and downright unattractive buildings. Nothing about this building makes it remarkable one way or the other. I would have been interesting to see at least one thoughtful suggestion.

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