After announcing the plan two years ago, Jersey City is finally beginning construction on its City Hall annex. According to the Jersey Journal, a groundbreaking ceremony is planned tomorrow for the 45,000 square foot project.
The annex will be located on Martin Luther King Drive at the HUB shopping center where the city plans to move 300 jobs.
When announcing the plan in 2014, Mayor Fulop said, “By moving several hundred jobs to the south of the city, including the permitting and development offices, we are committed to putting our money where our mouth is and taking steps to return Jackson Avenue [former name of MLK] to being a bustling business center.”
The city has enlisted real estate developer Brandywine to build the project. The annex will be financed through a lease-to-own agreement with Brandywine.
According to the Journal, the annex will cost Brandywine $20 million to build. It will then lease it to the city at a cost of $36 million over 20 years. At the end of the lease, the city will own the building. Officials for the city estimate it would cost the $43 million to build it themselves.
The project will be the largest investment in Ward F’s history. City officials hope the influx of workers will lead to new restaurants and shops that will further revitalize the area.
“I have no doubt that the City Hall Annex will be a catalyst along the MLK Drive,” said Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr. “This is an exciting project that will spur additional economic development, both commercial and residential, and provide jobs and growth for a part of the city that has been neglected far too long.”