Jersey City’s HAP Tower Getting Redesigned, Adding Park and Community Center

500 Summit Ave Jersey City Previous Rendering
A previous version of the planned HAP Tower stalled when Jersey City’s planning department refused to hear or approve HAP’s proposal for over a year. Rendering by CetraRuddy.

A stalled development just off Journal Square is set to be revived in the coming months following a court settlement, and the developer behind the proposal has already released an updated rendering of what the revamped project is slated to look like.

Back in June 2016, New York-based HAP investments broke into the Jersey City market with their purchase of a large parking lot at 500 Summit Avenue for $26.5 million. The company submitted plans the following year seeking to build HAP Tower, a 740-unit rental high-rise set to include 42 stories and 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail to go with 200 parking spaces.

Jersey Digs was the first outlet to report on a lawsuit that HAP filed against the city in September 2018 that accused planners of stalling the development. The case claimed that Jersey City’s planning department made no determination of completeness regarding their application and refused to hear or approve HAP’s proposal for over a year.

We can now exclusively report that both sides have resolved their differences, as Hudson County Judge Joseph Turula approved an agreement between HAP and the city on April 24. The settlement negotiations included input from the Hilltop Neighborhood Association and the deal looks to create almost an acre of amenity space for the public.

Redesigned Hap Tower 500 Summit Ave Jersey City
A recently approved agreement between HAP and Jersey City will make way for a redesigned version of the project to move forward. Redesigned rendering also by CetraRuddy.

Per documents obtained by Jersey Digs, HAP has agreed to dedicate 0.80 acres of the project’s land for a municipal park and neighborhood community center. The company will set aside $2.5 million towards the construction of the facilities, which will be deeded to Jersey City upon completion.

The tower would be built first under the deal and construction of the park and community center will need to be completed no later than one year after a Certificate of Occupancy is granted to the residential component. HAP will also need to provide no less than 40 parking spaces for patrons visiting the community center under the agreement.

There are a few other parking benefits for the neighborhood as well. The city will need to remove on-street spaces on West Street to accommodate the development and as compensation, HAP will create and reserve 24 parking spaces within the project’s parking garage for the Hilltop Neighborhood Association to allocate at their sole discretion.

Additionally, HAP will be contributing $500,000 towards off-site green space improvements within the neighborhood under the settlement.

The deal stipulates that to kick off the project’s revamp, HAP will need to meet with city professionals and a designated design committee from the Hilltop Neighborhood Association. The company will then rework their 500 Summit Avenue proposal and be required to circulate new construction and design drawings to both groups within six months.

In exchange, HAP Tower is granted “automatic approval” based on plans the company submitted to the city from November 2017 “supplemented and further amended by the modifications” of the settlement agreement. The company will still need to apply to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency for designation as a redeveloper under the deal’s terms.

The settlement has yet to be officially announced, but HAP appears to have hit the ground running on the development’s overhaul. The company posted a new rendering of the project back in June and is still working with CetraRuddy Architecture on the design, which ditches the clear and blue hues of the old proposal and supplants them with a mostly white exterior.

“We look forward to unveiling more details about the project as we continue into the design development phase,” the post said.

Based on the timeline stipulated in terms of the settlement agreement, a more formal revelation about HAP Tower’s future should be coming before the end of the year.



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