If you visited Newark Avenue in Downtown Jersey City five years ago and went back there again today, you would be forgiven if you thought you were in a different place. From a pedestrian plaza to new restaurants to development moving further west, the bustling corridor has undergone quite a transformation over the last few years.
Under construction projects like 380 Newark and proposals like 333 Newark and 400 Newark are becoming common, and another new development is in the works for 285 Newark Avenue. This one would replace a one-story brick building that was formerly home to Viaquenti Preschool, who finished moving their facilities to the Cast Iron Lofts building earlier this summer.
The development is on an irregularly-shaped lot, fitting with Newark Avenue’s slants and curves as it heads west. Designed by Hoboken-based Minvervini Vandermark, the proposal would consist of 22 residential units and commercial space on the ground floor, which will be dry-flood proofed and feature 20-foot ceilings. The building’s front exterior will utilize masonry, glass and charcoal-colored aluminum components, and the property will include an underground water detention tank to help deal with flooding issues in the area.
The living quarters will consist of one and two-bedroom spaces, and certain rear-facing units will feature balconies. A three-bedroom unit on the property’s top floor will sport a north facing balcony, while about 600-square feet of common outdoor space will be included behind the building’s ground floor. In addition, a 500-square foot common roof deck plus a 1,600-square foot green roof system will adorn the building’s apex. A bike storage room and some exterior sidewalk bike racks round out the development.
The property is currently zoned for neighborhood commercial and is part of the area’s Central Business District. If approved, 285 Newark would need to be granted variances for six stories in height instead of the allowed five and would also need two different ones related to parking, as no off-street spaces will be provided in the development.
The plan was presented to the Village Neighborhood Association at their July 10th meeting, and North Bergen-based BSG Management Company is behind the project. However, the land is currently owned by Marez Realty and has been since 1997. It is not clear if there is a deal in place to sell the property should the plans get approved, but the earliest the application could be heard is at the Zoning Board’s August 17th meeting.