Phase Two of Downtown Jersey City’s Urby Could Be Scaled Back

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Urby 200 Greene Street Phase 2 Jersey City
The original plan for the next phase of Urby, Jersey City. Rendering by Concrete/HLW International.

Almost half a decade after the first phase of the Urby development helped re-shape Downtown’s skyline, several indicators have emerged that the second portion of the project is likely to be scaled back to a single tower.

One of the largest residential developments in Jersey City if not the entire Garden State, the announced three-tower mega-project at 200 Greene Street heralded a new era of development when it surfaced back in 2015. A partnership between Ironstate Development and Mack-Cali subsidiary Roseland Residential Trust, construction of Urby’s first 69-story tower wrapped in 2016 and quickly set leasing records.

Urby 200 Greene Street Original Plan Jersey City 2
Urby’s original three-tower design, Jersey City. Rendering by Concrete/HLW International.

Phase one of the project, which has drawn retail tenants like Ample Hills Creamery and the Bib Gourmand-awarded DomoDomo, included 763 rental apartments. The totality of the Urby development was slated to include three 69-story towers and a combined 2,358 residential units, but a neighboring parcel set to host the other high-rises has remained a parking lot for several years.

It looks like 2020 might be the year we see some movement on the second phase of Urby, but at a scale that’s a bit smaller than what was originally pitched. Financial news website The Motley Fool recently posted a transcript of Mack-Cali’s 4th Quarter Earnings Call that took place late last month and Urby was one of the company’s future projects that was discussed at length.

Mack-Cali CEO Michael DeMarco revealed during the call that phase two of Urby will be “going back to the city and getting a site plan approval.” Later in the call, Roseland Residential Trust Chairman Marshall Tycher described the second phase of Urby as a proposed 796-unit tower, which would be significantly smaller than what was previously announced.

Urby 200 Greene Street Original Plan Jersey City
Urby’s original three-tower design, Jersey City. Rendering by Concrete/HLW International.

Per a construction bid listing via Dodge Data and Analytics, the second phase of Urby was set to include over 1,500 units of housing in two 69-story towers. While no announcement has been formally made about possible design changes, Mack-Cali CFO David Smetana stated during the earnings call that the company “sat closely with our Roseland partners and remodeled out what we call the next wave of development,” which includes phase two of Urby.

The original development, designed by Dutch firm Concrete with HLW International as executive architect, had called for a sky bridge over a new road between the current Urby tower and phase two. It’s unclear if the potential re-design will still follow that format, and formal plans have yet to be submitted to the city regarding Urby’s possible changes.

Urby 200 Greene Street Skybridge Jersey City 1
The sky bridge between Urby towers, Jersey City. Rendering by Concrete/HLW International.

The scaling back of Urby’s second phase makes sense, as Mack-Cali recently won approvals to build their massive Harborside 8 tower just a block away. Set to rise 68 stories and include 680 residential units, the company has indicated that development should break ground sometime later this year.

It remains to be seen if either Mack-Cali or Ironstate Development makes any official announcement about Urby’s overhaul, but it could be a busy year for the brand. We broke the news last month that Journal Square’s version of the development, set to rise 25 stories and include 340 units, is slated to begin construction during the third quarter of 2020.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My understanding is that Mack-Cali is building Phase 2 as simply one tower, and then Phase 3 is the third tower. It isn’t that the project is changed, it’s that the timeline is changed (building the upcoming two towers in separate phases rather than the same phase, as previously planned).

  2. That would make more sense. Urby is one of the most successful multifamily developments in the country in terms of how fast they were able to lease up and the rental rates.

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