A building of notable historic significance could meet the wrecking ball and be replaced with a modern development under a new proposal, but the developer behind the plan is looking to provide an amenity to the community as part of the deal that acknowledges the property’s past.
A company simply named 500 Communipaw Ave LLC is looking to redevelop several connected parcels they own at 500-510 Communipaw Avenue and nearby 22 Park Street. The land is currently home to a surface parking lot and an Art Deco building constructed during the 1920s that has been vacant for many years.
The Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy had pushed for the preservation of the structure earlier this year, as the building has ties to notorious mayor Frank Hague. An activist named John Longo ran what was essentially the political opposition out of the building for decades, but a historic preservation specialist hired by the city’s zoning board decided earlier this year that the building could be demolished.
Plans for a second life at the property consist of a mixed-use development that has been drawn up by Hoboken-based MVMK Architecture. The tallest portion of the project would rise five stories and 55 feet, with a smaller section off the street topping out at four floors and 44 feet.
71 total units are included in the proposal, six of which would be set aside as affordable housing for those with moderate incomes. The living spaces break down as 12 studios, 41 one-bedrooms, 14 two-bedrooms, and four three-bedrooms.
The ground floor would include 47 parking spaces in a garage set to utilize a mechanical stacking system. 4,377 square feet of ground-floor commercial space split between three storefronts would be featured at the building, which looks to utilize brick and aluminum components on the exterior.
As a nod to the site’s past, the developer has agreed to include what would be known as the Longo Community Meeting Room in the project. Besides hosting various events, the 325-square-foot space would showcase exhibits acknowledging the history of John Longo and “other rotating exhibits acknowledging the history of Jersey City,” according to the application.
Amenities for residents highlighted in the proposal include a 1,384-square-foot amenity rooftop plus an extensive green roof. A second-floor rear-facing common terrace would also be built off the development’s four-story portion.
The property is located within both a Neighborhood Commercial and an R-1 Zone and will be seeking variances for use, maximum permitted stories, maximum permitted curb cut width, minimum rear yard setback, and parking aisle width.
Jersey City’s zoning board is slated to hear the development’s application during their September 9 virtual meeting, which will begin today at 6:30 p.m. and can be accessed on Zoom using this link.