A new proposal calls for the buildings to rise at 208 Christopher Columbus Drive and neighboring 39-41 Maxwell Alley, both of which sit alongside Coles Street in the city’s Ward E. According to a legal notice issued on April 22nd, the building along Christopher Columbus Drive is slated to be four stories tall, and would contain four single-family townhouses, while the building along Maxwell Alley would be five stories tall, and would contain four residential units. Five parking spaces would be provided on the ground floor for residents of the latter building, which is set to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
According to the notice, “while the two buildings will legally be maintained as two separate buildings on two separate lots, they are being planned and designated concurrently to create a complimentary facade that anchors the southwest corner of the Harsimus Cove neighborhood.” This plan includes having “the floor and window heights to align across both buildings for a unified facade.”
City records show that the developer, Joel Gestetner, is seeking Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan Approval with variances for height, building coverage, and lot coverage as part of the proposal.
Currently, the Christopher Columbus Drive property contains a vacant lot that is surrounding by a white fence. However, until last year, there was a four story abandoned building that caught fire in 2012 that occupied part of the tract. In early 2015, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency announced that the property was one of 23 in the city that it was seeking a redeveloper for, and, according to NJ Parcels records, it was acquired for $1.45 million in September of that year by 208 CCJC, LLC of Lakewood, Ocean County from Tampa Holding Corp. of Flushing, Queens. The Maxwell Alley property contains a garage that was previously occupied by Joe’s Auto Electric, which has since moved to Bayonne.
The Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear the proposal during its next meeting on Thursday, May 4th at 6:00 pm within the City Hall Council Chambers.