An ambitious mixed-use development is slated to become one of the Garden State’s tallest buildings and will soon be bringing residences, retail space, a plaza, and a school to a Downtown block.
Mack-Cali’s The Charlotte at 25 Columbus Drive had a long road to completion. The company initially bought the site from L+M Development for $53 million back in 2018 and modified plans for a tower set to rise just over 623 feet.
Drawn up by Elkus Manfredi, the high-rise portion of the development will include 750 total apartments with 37 designated as affordable housing units. The tower portion of the project is essentially done, as the entire structure is enclosed in a curtain wall alongside white panels to the top floor.
Significant progress has been made on the 471-space parking garage component on the Montgomery Street side of the property. The roof of that structure will be home to a variety of amenities for residents like an outdoor swimming pool, dining and lounge areas, and a children’s playground, while the ground floor will feature 17,000 square feet of retail space split between four storefronts.
The Charlotte has a 36,000-square-foot elementary school included in the plans that is nearly finished. Located at the intersection of Columbus Drive and Washington Street, the two-story building sports a gray brick exterior and will be deeded over to Jersey City for $1 when the project wraps construction.
A public plaza is also being built as part of the development at the corner of Warren Street and Columbus Drive. The sprucing up of an existing 163-unit affordable housing building on the southeast section of the land is well underway with work continuing near the structure’s entrance, as sidewalks, landscaping, bioswales, and more have already been installed along Washington Street.
The Charlotte was granted a 25-year tax abatement by the city council back in 2017. Mack-Cali was looking to move the new affordable housing units off-site to other existing properties they own along Washington Boulevard last year, but the planning board quickly shot down that idea by unanimously rejecting the proposal.
While Mack-Cali has not announced a timeline for The Charlotte’s completion, it will stand out even in the area’s increasingly vertical landscape. It is set to become the fifth tallest building in Jersey City when it opens, just behind the 713-foot-tall Urby Harborside.