A scheme aiming to revitalize city-owned properties while relieving a well-documented parking crunch is close to becoming a reality along a busy stretch of The Heights.
During their last meeting, Jersey City’s council voted 8-0 to adopt the Central Avenue Block 2901 Redevelopment Plan on second reading. The land affected by the measure totals about 2.68 acres and spans 24 parcels on the east side of Central Avenue between Griffith and Bowers streets.
Much of the property along the Cambridge Avenue side of the lots is currently dedicated to surface parking with the capacity to hold about 160 cars. The proposed redevelopment would apply to properties within Zone 1 of the plan, as parcels in Zones 2 and 3 are privately owned and will remain so.
Under the new zoning enacted by the council, a parking garage with a minimum of 400 public spaces would be constructed along several city-owned properties. That portion of the plan allows four floors of parking plus three floors of residential use, with vehicles set to enter and exit the garage along Cambridge Avenue.
The maximum building height for the redevelopment plan tops out at 74 feet and a 10,000-square-foot public plaza surrounded by retail would need to be built along Central Avenue as part of the deal.
The plan dictates that proposed buildings or additions to existing structures along this stretch of Central Avenue “shall mimic existing façades” and “be designed to present a harmonious appearance in terms of architectural style and exterior materials.”
A developer who undertakes the project will be required to incorporate green infrastructure as part of the city’s Resiliency Master Plan. Those measures include flood reduction, pollution solutions, and elements like a sustainable rooftop, solar panels, or a common rooftop recreation space.
Following the council’s approval, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) is slated to put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a developer interested in working on the project. An exact timeline as to when the RFP will be issued has not been announced.
A potential public parking garage along Central Avenue is the latest in a long line of initiatives looking to improve The Heights. A $3 million renovation of Riverview Park opened earlier this year and a $4 million streetscape revitalization along Central Avenue is currently underway.
Reservoir #3 is also undergoing a major overhaul that will stabilize and preserve the original Romanesque pump houses and expand an existing dirt path around the facility for greater public access.