A Jersey City governing body could pay a seven-figure sum or potentially go through the condemnation process in order to get its hands on a property where a developer is envisioning a new 50-story tower.
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) is looking to acquire 11 Saddlewood Court, a townhouse located on a dead-end block off Second Street, for $1.02 million.
The property, which sits in the shadow of Downtown Jersey City’s increasing number of high-rise developments, is part of a group of townhouses that could be replaced with a development from Lennar Multifamily Communities that would include 810 apartments and a public school.
An October resolution from the JCRA’s Board of Commissioners says that a previous municipal investigation found that “the obsolete design of the townhomes located within the Study Area promoted criminal activity and created a potential fire hazard.”
In 2020, Jersey City’s municipal council designated the townhouses as an area in need of redevelopment with eminent domain power and adopted a redevelopment plan, according to the resolution.
In May, the JCRA formally designated LMC Laurel-Saddlewood Holdings, LLC, a firm associated with Lennar, as the redeveloper of the area and allowed for a redevelopment agreement with the company to proceed.
The resolution, which was adopted during a JCRA meeting on October 19, says that the agency “has determined it necessary to acquire” 11 Saddlewood Court “in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Redevelopment Law and in accordance with the Redevelopment Agreement.”
Four commissioners voted in favor of the resolution while the remaining three were marked absent.
“In the event that the Agency cannot, for any reason, acquire the Property as a result of amicable negotiations, the Agency is hereby authorized to institute condemnation proceedings,” the document adds.
The lot at 11 Saddlewood Court is no stranger to being in the headlines.
Last year, a separate developer that owns the parcel filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the high-rise development proposal. The lawsuit stated in part that the council’s determination that the area was in need of redevelopment was a “misguided attempt … to redevelop an area that is not blighted.”
Another lawsuit was filed regarding the project earlier this year.