Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood may be seeing major changes, with dozens of residential developments either on the books or already being constructed, but one massive thing has remained the same: the abandoned six-story edifice at 125 Monitor Street.
Thousands of drivers on I-78 pass by this graffiti-coated structure on a daily basis while traveling to and from Manhattan, while neighborhood residents regularly walk by the building and the gated vacant lot in front of it while heading along Johnston Avenue to the light rail. Once home to companies such as the Air Reduction Sales Company, Art Moving Co., and Harcord Manufacturing, the warehouse later fell into a state of neglect despite plans for redevelopment.
In 2001, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority reported that it invested $560,000 into a $16.8 million redevelopment plan for the site. Six years later, The Real Deal wrote that there were plans by Landmark Developers for 180 loft condominiums in the building while in 2015, as we have previously reported, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) designated Ironstate Development’s Graffiti 125, LLC as the property’s redeveloper so that plans for 152 units and 139 parking spaces could begin moving forward.
As part of the latter project, the city was looking to acquire the property. However, those plans were put on hold and the JCRA ended up suing the former owners of the building. Meanwhile, the structure continued to sit empty, with no construction permits filed for the site since 2007, according to city records.
In the time since, there were two alleged major incidents inside the building, according to The Jersey Journal. A stabbing on the site was reported in May of this year while explosives were allegedly set off inside back in 2017.
Now, Jersey Digs has learned that earlier this year, the property quietly changed hands. City tax records show that the 2.198-acre tract is now owned by Yosef Brikman of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood and that it was sold for just under $3.85 million back on February 7. NJ Parcels data shows that $1,283,333 of that was paid to Botanical Realty Associates Urban Renewal, LLC while the remaining $2,566,666 was given to JAR Holdings Urban Renewal, LLC. Both LLCs are registered out of a house in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
We reached out to Brikman in order to find out what his plans are for the property, which is among the largest privately owned tracts in the neighborhood. While Brikman initially agreed to speak with Jersey Digs, multiple follow-up requests to set up an interview were not returned.
However, a listing posted on LoopNet in September advertised the site for sale as a proposed multi-family development with 163 apartments that would be completed in 2020. The price was not disclosed on the website. Earlier this month, the status of the building was changed to “off-market,” but it is not yet clear whether another new owner was found. An undated listing for the tract describing it as a “prime development site” also appears on the website of Greiner-Maltz Real Estate and mentions that not only could the existing 103,000-square-foot building be redeveloped into 180 units, but that there is room for additional residential development on the premises.
Jersey Digs will continue to investigate the status of 125 Monitor Street and will let you know should we become aware of any other changes to the property.