Jersey City Approves Adaptive Reuse Plan for Former Elks Lodge

Elks Lodge Jersey City Heights
The Elks Lodge at 81 Hutton Street in Jersey City Heights. Image via Google Maps.

A brick building in The Heights that dates to the 1800s will be undergoing an adaptive reuse and expansion under a new plan that was recently approved by Jersey City’s Zoning Board.

Passersby to a stately building at 81-83 Hutton Street might not realize just exactly how long the two-story structure has been there. The property was originally built by the Arion Society, which was one of the leading German singing social organizations in the United States from its founding in January 1854.

Historic Elks Lodge Jersey City
Historic image of the Elks Lodge. Image via the application.

A “determination of significance” from Jersey City’s Planning Division concluded that the building was likely constructed between 1861 and 1872. The Protective Order of the Elks No. 211 took over the property in 1967, but the building has sat vacant in recent years.

The land is now owned by a subsidiary of M2M Development and will soon be transformed into The Everton House. Jersey City’s Zoning Board has approved an application to add a modern expansion and restore the luster of the property, which will add height to the building to just under 62 feet consisting of a vertical glass-heavy addition.

81 Hutton Street Jersey City
Rendering of the planned project. Image courtesy of Hampton Hill Architecture.

Designed by Hampton Hill Architecture, the plan will demolish the interior of the existing building plus a one-story accessory structure on the land while restoring the main structure’s brick façade. An existing westerly masonry wall will remain and the walls facing Hutton Street and Cambridge Avenue will be rehabilitated under the plan.

Nine residential condominiums are included in the development, and they skew larger. The spaces break down into three two-bedrooms, five three-bedrooms, and one four-bedroom unit. No affordable housing is required nor included in the plan.

M2M Managing Partner Joseph Damanti told Jersey Digs that the first floor of the Everton will boast 14-foot ceilings and a grand lobby that evokes a “modern Gatsby” vibe.

Nine parking spaces on the ground floor will be included in the revamped building alongside five spots for bicycles. A 965 square foot common roof deck rounds out the project.

The board granted the project seven variances when approving the application, the most significant of which was related to building height. More minor deviations were granted regarding the total minimum of rear and front yard setbacks, the minimum rear yard setback, and maximum building coverage plus maximum lot coverage.

The Everton House was redesigned from an earlier version that included 14 units and 12 parking spaces, which was rejected by the Zoning Board earlier this year. M2M plans to begin construction on the project in March 2024.


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