Plenty of Jersey City firehouses date back to the 19th century, but some city firefighters could soon report to work at modern facilities as officials plan to move forward on constructing two brand new firehouses.
The Jersey City Fire Department (JCFD) is planning a new Rescue 1 firehouse on Communipaw Avenue and a new facility for Engine 10 on Grand Street, according to city records. Plans to hire contractors for both of the new buildings were recently approved by the City Council.
In July, after issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for “consulting architectural firm in connection with schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration” for the Communipaw Avenue firehouse, the Council voted to hire The Musial Group of Mountainside, Union County. Councilmen Michael Yun and James Solomon voted against the contract, while Councilwoman at Large Joyce Watterman was listed as being absent during the vote. The contract with the firm will cost the city $597,320. Of the nine applicants, the lowest bidder, LSEA Corporation, was disqualified, while the second lowest bidder, Coppa Montalbano Architects, was not selected.
A month later, following a similar RFP, Netta Architects was selected to perform the same type of services for the Grand Street firehouse. Netta Architects, which also happens to be based in Mountainside, will receive a contract for $498,500. LSEA Corporation, which was also the lowest bidder for this contract, was disqualified as well. Netta Architects was the second lowest bidder of the seven applicants while The Musial Group was the fourth lowest. All present members of the City Council voted in favor of the deal with Netta Architects, according to the resolution, though Councilman Rich Boggiano was reportedly not present at the meeting.
The resolutions do not list where on Communipaw Avenue and Grand Street the new firehouses will be. Currently, the JCFD’s Rescue 1 firehouse is located adjacent to the Jersey City Police Department’s West District at 582 Communipaw Avenue in Ward F, between Crescent and Monticello Avenues. Meanwhile, Engine 10 is situated roughly half a mile away at 283 Halladay Street in Bergen-Lafayette.
These upcoming changes come as the Engine 15 Ladder 9 firehouse on Sip Avenue in Journal Square is temporarily closed. City records show that the building was shut down in April in order to allow for a year’s worth of renovations. A resolution that was passed by the City Council in July calls for installing a $134,000 fleet modular building from Vesta Housing Solutions near the corner of Sip Avenue and Route 440 to be used as temporary housing, storage, and offices.