Jersey City Officially Files Legal Action to Seize 50 Journal Square

50 Journal Square Jersey City
On May 2, Jersey City officially filed a legal action in Hudson County Superior Court looking to condemn 50 Journal Square. Image via Google Maps.

A vacant building that dates back over a century could soon be acquired by Jersey City to build a new park as a lawsuit has been filed seeking to acquire the property via eminent domain.

On May 2, Jersey City officially filed a legal action in Hudson County Superior Court looking to condemn 50 Journal Square. The building at the site was constructed during the 1920s and has been owned by an entity called Journal Square Realty Corp. since 1999.

50 Journal Square Park Jersey City
Image via Google Maps.

The ground floor had been home to the Journal Square Pub before being revitalized into the JSQ Lounge, a business that re-opened in 2021 after shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic. That spot closed for good in 2022.

Jsq Lounge Jersey City 1
The now closed JSQ Lounge at 50 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City. Photo by Gillian Blair/Jersey Digs.

Jersey City’s Council approved an ordinance last year authorizing “the acquisition by purchase or condemnation…of 50 Journal Square for the construction of a public park.”

Officials had been hoping to reach a deal to buy the property via negotiations, but Jersey City’s recent lawsuit states that they have “been unable to acquire said interest in the land through bonafide negotiations with the property owner.”

The legal filing says the city is willing to offer $1.2 million for the 50 Journal Square parcel, assuming it is free from contamination. The city included an assessment in the filing from September of last year to justify their position, noting that the building is vacant other than a lease that is in place for rooftop cell receivers.

A variety of LLCs are listed as having ownership of the parcel in the lawsuit, as are several members of the Quentzel family. Jill Quentzel spoke to the Jersey Journal last year and claims that the family once received a $8.1 million cash offer from Kushner Real Estate for the property.

Despite the fairly recent activity on the street level, the upper floors of the property have remained boarded up and vacant for the better part of at least two decades.

Loew's Jersey Theatre Journal Square Jersey City 2
The renovation of the historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square is underway next door to 50 Journal Square. Rendering courtesy of the City of Jersey City.

The 50 Journal Square parcel is next to an alleyway that borders the Loew’s Jersey Theater, which is currently undergoing a $72 million renovation. The performing arts venue is being overhauled by Devils Arena Entertainment.

Jersey City’s acquisition of the 50 Journal Square property would essentially widen the alleyway and create open space, which could come in handy given nearby redevelopment plans. The matter is now officially in the hands of the courts, who will determine fair market value for the parcel that could lead to the city’s acquisition.


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