The vertical building boom along the Hudson River’s west bank has undoubtedly changed the Jersey City skyline over the last decade and a new development looking to replace part of a parking lot with a sky-high building has cleared its first major hurdle.
In October last year, Jersey Digs first reported on a proposed development from a corporation named Plaza VIII & IX Associates LLC. A subsidiary of Mack-Cali’s Roseland Residential Trust, a submitted application wished to develop part of a 169,000-square-foot surface parking lot the company owns located at 242 Hudson Street and 3 Second Street.
Jersey City’s planning board approved Mack-Cali’s application during their February 18 meeting by a 5-1 vote. The vision for the land is bold, as a 68-story building that rises just over 708 feet at the highest point is in the cards.
Known as Harborside 8, the development will feature 680 residential units broken down as 206 studios, 266 one-bedrooms, 183 two-bedrooms, and 25 three-bedrooms. Because the property falls within the East Waterfront District of the Harsimus Cove Redevelopment Plan, no affordable units are included in the project, as none are required.
Besides the living spaces, a total of 505 parking spaces are included in Harborside 8. 329 of them will be inside a garage within the building’s first eight floors, while the remaining 176 spaces will be located on a portion of the surface parking lot set to remain for now under the plans.
Designed by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, the ground floor of Harborside 8 will sport two retail storefronts, one facing the Hudson River spanning 5,437 square feet and the other facing Hudson Street and totaling 3,225 square feet.
The entire 10th and 11th floors of the building will be exclusively devoted to amenity space and the sheer number of perks is notable. Among the included comforts are a yoga studio, a personal training area, a fitness center, children’s room, multiple collaborative work rooms, a maker space, a demonstration kitchen, an outdoor amenity terrace, a pool, golf simulators, a dog run, a club room, library, conservatory, dining area, and wine bar complete with catering kitchen.
Outside Harborside 8, a new road will be constructed just north of the development between the building and the remaining parking lot. A new lawn and plaza will be built along the east side of the building next to a drop-off area where the new road will dead end.
The remaining surface parking lot at the property has been subdivided into a second parcel and Mack-Cali has indicated that a two-tower development called Harborside 9 will eventually be built there. The recent approvals granted by the board don’t incorporate that development, but they do include a revision to the layout of the nearby Lutze Biergarten.
Per that portion of the plans, four permanent kiosks featuring green roofs plus one roof deck will be built along the western portion of the current biergarten. The kiosks will surround a communal table seating area and the rest of the facility will consist of the current “grove” portion, lawn area, and a new play area next to the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.
Those looking forward to the upcoming season of Lutze Biergarten need not fear a temporary closure, as it looks like any construction won’t impact their summer opening. Mack-Cali has already applied to the city’s planning board to extend the interim use approvals for the biergarten through 2021 and operation allowances are in place for this year.
In terms of when Harborside 8’s tower could see shovels in the ground, Mack-Cali’s 2019 4th Quarter Report stated that the company has targeted a 2020 groundbreaking timeline for construction. The development is listed as a “priority start” under its multi-family portfolio, although the company hasn’t made any formal announcement about the approvals or possible construction just yet.
Harborside 8’s impact on the skyline is going to be significant. Including structures either built or currently under construction, this development will be the sixth tallest in the entire state behind Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino. If you include the recently approved Avalon Tower and the currently-stalled 30 Journal Square, Mack-Cali’s latest project still ranks as the eighth tallest in New Jersey.