A busy street corner just a few blocks from a major transit hub is likely to play a big role in the vertical transformation of Journal Square as a diverse 30-story development has been cleared to rise in the neighborhood.
During their April 20 meeting, Jersey City’s planning board unanimously approved an application to revitalize three lots at 2958 John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 71-73 Cottage Street. Currently home to a Pep Boys, the 14,500 square feet of property is down the street from the historic Stanley Theater and near the newly renovated 2 Journal Square.
The company behind the project is simply called Journal Square Tower LLC, an entity that can be traced to a West Orange-based Galatz Partnership. Jersey Digs was the first news outlet to partially reveal the look of the project, which is truly a hybrid endeavor and includes seven different uses.
Designed by Hoboken-based MVMK Architecture, the façade of the 303-foot-tall development features eased edges and was influenced by a lotus flower. The building sports several “petals” that drape themselves over the primary façade, with the separation points being used to create the outdoor space throughout the tower.
Architect Anthony Vandermark told the board that the development was revamped amid COVID-19, as plans initially called for an all-residential project. The exterior of the building will utilize an extensive window wall and a spectra alucobond system, which consists of aluminum composite made from recycled materials.
The development’s double-height ground floor will sport a retail café space plus three separate lobbies. One will grant access to the residential component, while the second will be the entry point for the two floors of office space. The third entrance will be utilized by guests of the hotel portion.
100 parking spaces are to be included in the cellar and on floors three and four under the plans. The fifth and sixth floors will each feature 11,029 square feet of office space, with the lower office facility including an 800-square-foot outdoor space.
Floors seven through eleven at the development will play host to 115 hotel rooms, some of which will feature inset balconies.
186 market-rate residential units will be situated on floors 12 through 28, with six set aside on the upper floors as units for the building’s ownership. The other 180 apartments will all include one bedroom and range anywhere from 426 to 910 square feet, with 150 of them sporting outdoor space.
The development’s 29th floor is where a 10,088-square-foot banquet hall will be situated, a facility set to include some outdoor space. The above penthouse will be home to a restaurant spanning over 8,260 square feet that includes an outdoor “upper viewing room” on the roof that runs an additional 1,045 square feet.
Speaking of the roof, the remainder will be comprised of a 2,287-square-foot amenity space for residents set to include a 715-square-foot infinity pool. Other perks for future occupants of the building include an 820-square-foot second-floor gym, 620 square feet of co-working space, and 108 bicycle parking spaces.
The development is located within Zone 3 of the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan and was granted a total of nine variances by the board, although they were all rather minor. Several deviations pertained to tower or yard setbacks and the development was granted an allowance for nine more feet in building height than allowed under current zoning.
Relief was also granted for floor-to-ceiling height deviations, minimum required sidewalk width, and the minimum step-back of the enclosed rooftop amenity space.
A date has not been announced as to when construction could commence, although the existing Pep Boys on the land will first need to be torn down. Longtime residents might get a case of déjà vu when the building disappears, as another Pep Boys in Downtown’s Metro Plaza was demolished in 2015 to make way for the first tower of the VYV development.