Fully-Affordable 64-Unit Development Coming To 445 Ocean Avenue, Jersey City

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Lena Francis Edwards Apartments 445 ocean ave jersey city
445 Ocean Ave rendering | Credit: Genesis Companies

After years of planning, development is underway for a new residential project in Jersey City. The building will rise in the northern edge of the city’s Greenville neighborhood at 445 Ocean Avenue, between Fulton Avenue and Dwight Street, in Ward F, directly across the street from the Ward A border.

County documents show that the project, proposed by MidAtlantic Engineering Partners, LLC of Hamilton Township, Mercer County in partnership with the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, is slated to include 64 residential rental units, all of which will be designated as affordable housing. 12 of the units will contain one bedroom, 36 will contain two bedrooms, and 16 will contain three bedrooms. Hudson County’s Planning Board unanimously approved the proposal during its meeting on November 14, 2016.

When completed, the building will be known as the Dr. Lena Frances Edwards Apartments, according to the Lower Manhattan-based Genesis Companies, which identifies itself as the project developer. Dr. Edwards, who is also the namesake of a local park and a charter school, was a Jersey City resident and “was one of the first African American women to be board-certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist”, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A statement from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) states that a groundbreaking ceremony for this $17.9 million development was held last fall. Five units in the building will be reserved for individuals currently experiencing homelessness, and homeless veterans will be given a priority. 2,300 square feet of retail space are also planned for the building, and services for residents will be provided by agencies like the Central Jersey Community Development Corporation and Women Rising.

Residents of the Dr. Lena Frances Edwards Apartments will be located at the heart of a growing community in the Turnkey Redevelopment Area, and will be within walking distance of the Richard Street Station on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NJ Transit local bus service, American Supermarket, and several local businesses. Other new buildings have risen in the past decade across the street from the property as part of the Ocean Pointe project.

Five years ago, the future of this property was quite uncertain. At the time, the site contained vacant lots and row houses owned by an area resident who envisioned opening a cafe inside, according to a report published in The Jersey Journal. However, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency ended up planning to obtain the property through eminent domain, and to require the property owner to pay for site clean-up. The Jersey Journal’s article states that a dry cleaner was once located at the site, but that the owner was not aware of this when he acquired the tract.

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