Jersey City Set to Advance Bayfront’s First 1,000+ Unit Phase Later This Month

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Bayfront Jersey City Development Aerial Site
Bayfront site, Jersey City. Image via the City of Jersey City.

One of the East Coast’s largest mixed-income projects will start to rise along the banks of the Hackensack River later this year, as three companies will be developing the opening portion of a revitalized vision that’s been a long time in the making.


A 95-acre property known as Bayfront is sandwiched between the Hudson Mall and Society Hill off Route 440 along Jersey City’s west side. A long industrial history caused chromium contamination at the land to linger for decades, liabilities that Honeywell inherited in 1999.

In 2008, officials and Honeywell agreed on a cleanup and officials then passed the Bayfront Redevelopment Plan. Jersey City then bonded for $170 million to purchase the entirety of the remediated property, designating $71 million toward the design and construction of roadways, sewer, and water lines needed for redevelopment.

Bayfront Jersey City Rendering
Bayfront rendering. Courtesy via Omni/Pennrose.

The vision for the land is bold; as many as 8,000 residential units and 23 acres of open space could be created at the site. And now Mayor Steve Fulop, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA), and the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce have announced an agreement for construction of the first phase of Bayfront.

At the next JCRA meeting to be held on June 16th, the city will formally designate BRP Development Group and Bayfront Development Partners LLC as redevelopers for Bayfront parcels. Bayfront Development is a joint venture of Pennrose LLC and Omni America LLC and per an announced deal, the selected developers will pay a total of $26 million to develop the sites.

Bayfront Route 440 Jersey City Low Rise Section
Low-rise section. Rendering via Omni/Pennrose.

Bayfront’s first phase will see four parcels totaling 16 acres developed into mid-rise buildings including a total of 1,092 units. BRP Development’s portion will consist of 552 apartments on their two lots and include 193 affordable housing units, while Pennrose/Omni will be responsible for 540 units, 189 of which will be affordable housing. Several acres of parkland are shown in renderings that were released while announcing the first phase.

Bayfront Jersey City First Phase Moves Forward Street Level
Rendering courtesy via Omni/Pennrose.

“I hope with this project Jersey City can demonstrate to the country what type of development is possible when we don’t let the typical boundaries limit us. We made a $100 million bet on affordable housing and it looks like this will pay off huge both economically for current taxpayers and future residents,” Mayor Fulop said.

35% of Bayfront’s units will be designated as affordable and workforce housing as part of an effort to facilitate a truly mixed community. Within the Pennrose/Omni site, all of the units will be set aside for those who make up to 60% of the Average Median Income (AMI), while the BRP development site will be a blend of 28 units at 30% AMI, 28 units at 40%, 28 units at 50%, 28 units at 60%, 28 units at 80% and 53 units at 120%.

That amount of affordable housing would be impressive anywhere but is particularly noteworthy in Jersey City. The overwhelming majority of the city’s privately developed high rises and mega projects don’t include affordable housing, as most are not required to under current regulations and zoning. Two ordinances introduced last year to address the situation haven’t been approved despite ongoing discussions.

The city expects to break ground on infrastructure work at Bayfront sometime in the fall. An estimated completion date for the first phase hasn’t been announced.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Wait a second. I thought zoning and regulations laws were passed that mandated the a certain percent of the apartments in all developments in Jersey City?

  2. Not sure about that but I can guarantee it’s not 35%. Usually the city or neighborhood associations push for 20-25% while developers usually want 0-5%. So 35% is incredibly generous. Unless you want the developers to make zero profit.

  3. What a horrible, hideous area. Middle of nowhere too.

    Is this a coincidence that so much affordable housing will be built on a swamp very far from light rail and PATH stations?

    Hope the others who drop $2500 on a 1br here owns a car because you’re stuck otherwise.2

  4. Most of the water in this area is contaminated as is most of the soil from decades of industrial use but this has been getting remediated.

    I don’t really see traffic as an issue. As already mentioned a PATH station is in the works along with buses and programs like Via.

    So what exactly do you want? 50% affordable housing on the waterfront? I see a lot of irrational complaining but haven’t heard any real alternative solutions. Could you give us the NIMBY vision for the future of this space…that’s actually thought out and financially feasible.

  5. Amen DazedandConfused!! I genuinely don’t understand what NIMBYs or people poo-pooing projects like this envision for our future. They are in for a rude awakening once they start paying attention to the affordability and sustainability concerns we need to address in the coming decades. Millions of new, efficient housing units must be built across the country if we have any hope of urban affordability and sustainability long-term, and there are few of this scale underway, much less with this high a proportion of affordable housing.

    This is just Phase 1 of 8,000 units on 100 acres in total to be developed with the city as the master developer. I don’t think Mayor Fulop is exaggerating to say this could be a national model if everything goes right. Everyone should be encouraging development like this to the fullest.

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