Manhattan Building Company Planning Downsized Bates Lofts in Jersey City

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Bates Street Towers Jersey City Rendering
Last year, Manhattan Building Company unveiled a plan for a four-tower project with up to 2,360 units. After pushback from the community, the company is now proposing a much smaller project. Rendering of the larger project, credit Studio V Architecture.

A developer that was once hoping to build four towers and transform the fringes of Downtown is still working on a proposal for properties they own in the neighborhood, but their latest vision is on a much smaller scale than the previous plans.

Last summer, Jersey Digs broke the story about a massive rezoning effort being pitched by Jersey City-based Manhattan Building Company. The changes would have potentially allowed the company, as master redeveloper within the Bates Street Redevelopment Plan, to construct up to 2,360 units along several acres of land just off the I-78 Turnpike Extension.

While the proposal had included a 20% affordable housing component and would have seen several community amenities built, it generated significant pushback from the community during meetings that Manhattan Building Company held detailing their ideas.

Bates Street Redevelopment Plan
A total of 11 lots with the addresses of 12-24 Brook Street and 34-40 Center Street would see their industrial structures demolished and replaced with Bates Lofts. Image via Google Maps.

The company has since announced that they have moved on from that proposal and they have officially submitted new plans for several parcels that were once included in the high-rise project. A total of 11 lots with the addresses of 12-24 Brook Street and 34-40 Center Street would see their industrial structures demolished and replaced with Bates Lofts, a 10-story project that would rise 105 feet before stepping down to six stories.

Bates Lofts Jersey City Development Rendering 1
Bates Lofts rendering courtesy of Urban Architecture LLC.

Bates Lofts would include 95 residential units that skew towards larger spaces. The development would include 29 one-bedrooms, 30 two-bedrooms, 34 three-bedrooms, and 4 four-bedroom apartments. None of the apartments would be set aside as affordable housing units as none are required to be, but the project would feature a garage with 105 parking spaces.

A 745-square foot corner retail space is included in the plans and the development is set to include “various amenities” that aren’t specified in the initial application. Jersey City-based Urban Architecture designed the building, which will go for a two-toned brick look with black roofs.

Bates Lofts Jersey City Development Rendering 2
Bates Lofts rendering courtesy of Urban Architecture LLC.

Public improvements to the properties in the plans include new utility laterals, decorative paved sidewalks, new streetlights, the addition of street trees, and various site furnishings. Manhattan Building Company will be utilizing both “A” and “B” height bonuses in the Bates Street Redevelopment Plan and will be requesting variances related to minimum yard setback and maximum permitted building coverage.

Jersey City’s planning board has not yet set a date to hear the new proposal for the land, which falls in a neighborhood that is starting to see some activity after years of being somewhat dormant. Besides the outcry over the four tower plan, the area’s recent drama includes a lawsuit filed against the city back in 2018 over a project at 448 Grand Street that remains stalled.

The developer of another project at 100 Colden Street, set to rise 12 stories and include 128 units, also took the city to court last year over amendments they wanted to make on the project. However, that development has since been issued construction permits and a separate 10-story, 82-unit project at nearby 460 Grand Street has been rising for many months.

Additionally, a Monmouth county-based company is planning another 100-unit development along Center Street, although those plans appear to be in the preliminary stages.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I like this plan better than the towers previously proposed, but I wish the revised proposal was more bold. The immediate area is in an awful part of the city, and this development has the potential to revitalize the area.

    More units and ground level retail space would be desirable.

  2. Hate it… Was really excited for the previous renderings, and was looking forward to a settlement for something in between … Now there will be a wall and a blockade of the city views for us after this area … I thought going up and providing benefits for the neighborhood was the way to go …

  3. Number of units is lacking, design is lacking, retail space is lacking, and considering where it is it should have affordable units as part of it.

  4. The original design made sense and had some gravitas. Go high with the living units and be above the ground level noise. Retail at the base. This new design is not well thought out and an embarrassment – needs a new team on it.

  5. Totally agree with all the above, this is extremely disappointing. One of the best parts of the previous proposal was refurbishing underneath I-78, which would have been such an asset to the surrounding community especially considering the current barren state of that area directly underneath. It could have been a bridge between downtown and that area of the city, not to mention a wonderful open space right near the school.

    I can understand scaling back from four 50-story towers, but this?? It’s also a huge loss for affordable housing. Any chance it could be rejected?

  6. Apparently Tom Ogorzalek and his wife Cece DeLeon from Van Vorst Park Association went scorched earth against the original proposal because they didn’t want affordable housing “in their neighborhood.” Truly disgusting and a huge loss to the area.

  7. Seems like the developer acquiesced to the wishes of the Community groups one of whom was for the initial project but later signed the letter opposing it. Generally the way these things work is those who are best organized get what they want. It would seem then that those who would like the large tower project should form a counter group to those who oppose it.

    “Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to affect change” – Margret Mead.

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