It’s been a long and winding road attempting to redevelop a warehouse-turned-gym just off Riverview Park, but a new company is finally moving forward with a project that will add housing, retail and some nice historic revitalization that will fit right into the burgeoning neighborhood.
The property at 500 Palisades Avenue, in the heart of The Heights, used to be owned by CLG Properties. The company had pitched plans to the community for a six-story building with 27 residential units, 14 on-site parking spaces and a 2,834-square foot ground floor commercial space fronting the intersection of Holland Street and Palisade Avenue. The original design was conceived by Lee Levine Architects and also included a few artist live/work units and gallery space on the ground floor of the building.
Some in the community objected to the original plan, pointing to the fact that the development had more density than others in the neighborhood and would constitute a “high-rise” compared to its smaller-scale surroundings. But plans for the project were eventually approved in May last year, with the Zoning Board granting the development variances for density, height and use.
Despite the approval, no work had begun at the site. Then this summer, the property was sold for just under $1.9 million to a company called And Palisade Square LLC, which is a subsidiary of Hoboken-based Urban Square Properties. One of the principals of that company, Brian Philipson, met with the Riverview Neighborhood Association in September to discuss changes to the project.
The new design comes from Minervini Vandermark Architects and will decidedly change the exterior look of the development but leave much of the interior layout of the original project intact, including the number of units. Besides changing the color scheme of the property from red to a more neutral white, Urban Square Properties and Minervini Vandermark Architects have redesigned the fifth and sixth stories of the development to include some large glass components.
Riverview Neighborhood Association President Kern Weissman told Jersey Digs that the group does not oppose the revisions to the development, basing their decision mostly on Urban Square’s choice to preserve the four artist live/work spaces that were part of the original plan. According to Weissman, the new developer will also provide a larger gallery space than previously agreed to on the ground floor and will restore some of the historically-landmarked Belgian Block along Holland Street, which was officially opened back up this year and served as a host location during the Riverview Jazz Festival.
500 Palisade Avenue falls within the Riverview Arts District, which was established in 2013 and made it legal to have live/work studio space for artists in the area. It also was designed to facilitate more ground level retail businesses along Palisade Avenue. Both of those goals will be accomplished by moving forward with Urban Square’s project.
The original building at the site is in the final stages of being torn down and the lot should be completely cleared soon. While Urban Square hasn’t announced a timeline for the build-out of the project, drama over the development appears to be over.
500 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307