Underutilized land in Jersey City’s Lafayette section is starting to be put to a better use, and a groundbreaking at 424 Whiton Street is kicking off what could be a flurry of activity coming to the neighborhood soon.
Approved last year, the development is being headed by Secaucus-based Tovaste Management and was designed by Hampton Hill Architecture. It will rise six stories and bring 30 new rental units to the neighborhood, two of which will be dedicated as affordable housing. The property will be a mix of one- and two-bedrooms, plus a few units will have dens and large private terraces.
In addition to including 18 covered parking spaces and a bike storage room, 424 Whiton will sport a resident roof deck. Pilings and footings have already been laid down at the site, which is expected to finish construction in 12-14 months.
The property is just a stone’s throw away from the Liberty State Park Light Rail Station, but growth in the neighborhood in terms of new construction hadn’t quite taken off until recently. Vacant lots and a few notable abandoned industrial properties have long defined the stretch, but the proximity to several retail corridors along both Communipaw and Pacific Avenues is a draw. Last year, a nearby project at 100 Monitor Street was approved and that development, a joint venture between Ironstate and Landmark Developers, is expected to break ground soon.
Several other plans are in the works for the neighborhood, including a 20-unit proposal at 323-325 Pine Street and a 55-unit project at 342 Johnston Avenue. During their last meeting, the city’s Planning Board granted approvals to a project at 132-136 Monitor Street, which combines 11 lots and would construct two side-by-side seven-story buildings containing 84 units, 35 parking spaces and 1,000 square feet of ground floor amenity space.
How many of these projects end up getting built and when shovels could hit the ground remains to be seen, but the upward trajectory of Bergen-Lafayette that’s been on display recently, particularly in terms of appreciation, seems to be continuing.