Petition Urges LeFrak to Scale Back Five-Tower Plan for Jersey City Waterfront

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2 Sixth Street Lefrak Proposal Newport Jersey City 2
LeFrak’s proposal for the Sixth Street Pier in Newport, Jersey City. Rendering by Arquitectonica via the application.

An ambitious proposal that would bring 1,998 apartments to a pier along the Hudson River is seeing some pushback from the community despite the project falling mostly in line with the neighborhood’s existing zoning regulations.


Back in March, Jersey Digs revealed the look of a sprawling project from LeFrak at 2 Sixth Street. The company envisions three total structures on the massive lot and has proposed extending Sixth Street westbound from its current terminus near the start of the pier while building a public waterfront walkway around the perimeter of the property.

2 Sixth Street Lefrak Proposal Newport Jersey City
The proposed future of the Sixth Street Pier in Newport. Rendering by Arquitectonica via the application.

LeFrak’s plan includes five high-rises, with the property’s westernmost portion hosting two offset 33-story towers connected by an eight-story podium base surrounded by townhomes. The central building of the proposal would also have an eight-story podium base while featuring one 33-story and one 39-story tower.

The easternmost section of the property would be home to the final and tallest building under the plan — a mixed-use tower that rises 51 stories. The totality of the plans has sparked a petition on Change.org from the board of Mandalay on the Hudson, a nearby condominium development on 2nd Street.

2 Sixth Street Lefrak Proposal Newport Jersey City 4
The proposed five-tower development. Rendering by Arquitectonica via the application.

Launched shortly after our March reporting, the Mandalay board claims to be worried about the overcrowding LeFrak’s development could cause and says the lack of transparency on the project is “very disappointing.” Their petition is aimed at Jersey City’s council, planning committees, and environmental agencies.

“The planned construction of five congested high-rise buildings with the tallest, 51-story tower, at the shore end of the ground of Pier 6, which has only narrow side walkways for public access to the Hudson River shoreline and no green space, is just one of many examples of enriching developers at the expense of our safety and quality of life,” the board states.

2 Sixth Street Lefrak Proposal Newport Jersey City 3
The Sixth Street Pier, Newport, Jersey City. Aerial view courtesy Department of Environmental Protection.

The petition thus far has gathered less than 1,500 signatures in just under a month. LeFrak’s proposal fully conforms to the Newport Redevelopment Plan and is requesting only minor variances related to minimum yard requirements and multiple structures on the same lot.

The development’s application was initially slated to be heard by the planning board during their April 6 meeting but was carried from that session and will now be heard on May 4.

UPDATE (5/3/21): Per a public notice, the 2 Sixth Street proposal will no longer be heard during the planning board’s May 4 meeting. It has been listed as “carried to a date uncertain.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like the Mandalay Board is classifying their concerns to preserve their views and property value under over-crowding.

  2. LeFrak owns the land. Their plan is unambiguous and under-utilizes the waterfont. But that is classic LeFrak. If you bought a condo with an empty lot in front of it, you are at the very least a fool for thinking that plot would never be developed and block your precious view. Surprise! You live in a city.

    We should be petitioning for better land-use, (more ground-level commercial rather than the one tiny space they’ve designated; less parking). But anything else? LeFrak has the full right to tell these petitioners to pound sand.

  3. Its going to block the view from a huge chunk of the riverside walkway, all the way from the beer garden to the Newport lighthouse. Its going to be a problem if every old pier is going to get built on, the waterfront will just be a collection of long piers.

  4. Agree with others that this is classic NIMBYism and nothing more. The current pier is a dump and not publicly accessible so this would certainly be a huge improvement. They are disappointed in the lack of transparency LOL do they realize who they’re dealing with?

    This is one of the most prime large undeveloped waterfront parcels left in JC, I would love a park more than anyone but there’s no reason LeFrak shouldn’t be able to move forward with the proposed development. In the end it will add considerably to the city’s tax base which is good for all JC residents, and the architecture looks pretty nice IMO.

  5. LeNotGood, thanks for stating it much more elegantly. I agree with what you said. Clean up how those buildings work on ground level so it’s a positive addition to Jersey City’s Waterfront.

  6. Not pro or anti Lefra Org, but they are the only ones to have had the vision to buy all those rotten old piers in rotten old downtown JC 35 years ago. So it’s pretty much their bat and ball and they can do what they want within the zoning guidelines, of course. As I mentioned previously retail isn’t an option on a site like this and the reason they’re building parking garages is because they’ll rake in shed loads more money vs retail. There’s never been a real urban plan to develop JC in general, and these parcels in particular, because the bottom line is never about aesthetics, or parks, or cultural amenities. It’s always what will increase the tax base the most.

  7. I’m trying to figure out how they are going to fit five buildings on that pier. One maybe two buildings with a park would have been just fine. Unfortunately these buildings will block my view, but the upside is that I rent so I will be gone before this project breaks ground.

  8. “It is very disappointing that there is a lack of transparency in regard to development plans, as we often find out information either from media or when excavators have already started digging the ground next to our doors.”

    “is just one of many examples of enriching developers at the expense of our safety and quality of life.”

    Sounds like these NIMBYs didn’t do any research on the zoning around their new apartments, and now they’re trying to protect their resale value by trying to pit this as “the little guy” vs. the big bad developers? Crocodile tears.

  9. Though I do agree that an increased tax base *should* help JC, what we’ve seen is far from it. The PATH, as far as I know, is not being expanded, but instead is expected to take on these new residents who will likely be commuting into NYC. Pre-pandemic, boarding a PATH train into Manhattan was like squeezing yourself into a sardine can. It’s going to be impossible to use with all the new residents. The developer claims there is going to be expanded ferry service, but at those prices, who is going to use it? As for schools, we have 2 schools in the waterfront area to service all. It’s just not enough.

    JC is going through incredible growth and that’s great. But if our infrastructure isn’t properly addressed, residents won’t be inclined to stay and it will affect us all. The committee that approves these projects should really take this into consideration.

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