The residential component of the ambitious SciTech Scity endeavor has emerged and officials in Jersey City could soon advance the redevelopment of more land just outside of Liberty State Park.
The next phase of SciTech Scity looks to revitalize about 2.17 acres of vacant land at 225 Phillip Street. The parcel is part of a plan that looks to transform a total of 16 acres across the street from Liberty Science Center into a major science and tech hub.
New York-based Alpine Residential was chosen to develop the housing portion of SciTech Scity just about two years ago. The company has worked with Ismael Levya Architects to draw up plans that call for two 12-story buildings connected by a one-floor base.
Separated into two buildings, the first floor of the West Building would include 29 garage parking spaces, a 1,327 square foot commercial space, an amenity area, and library. The second floor would house 50 additional parking spaces, with the remainder of the structure consisting of 250 residential units.
The first floor of the East Building would sport 26 parking spaces along with 1,969 square feet of commercial space plus a gym, yoga room, and leasing offices. The second floor would provide 48 garage spaces, with the remainder of the high-rise boasting 250 apartments.
The roofs of both towers would boast amenities for future residents that include a pool, deck, social spaces, game room, co-working and multipurpose spaces, and a playground. The high-rise portions would rise just over 129 feet at their tallest points.
The 500 total units in Scholars Village break down as 110 studios, 223 one-bedrooms, 131 two-bedrooms, and 36 three-bedroom spaces. No affordable housing component is included in the plan, which provides 250 spots for bicycles.
Alpine Residential is requesting four variances from existing zoning, including a deviation for an extra nine feet in height. The most significant variance relates to parking, as 150 total spaces are proposed in a zone where 389 are required.
The plans for Scholars Village emerge as Edge Works is under construction next to the property. That SciTech Scity component will rise seven stories and sport 111,000-square-feet of incubation space, with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center announced as the first tenant to claim a floor in the building.
Liberty Science High School, another major component of SciTech Scity’s first phase, broke ground last month. The public magnet STEM school, slated to open in 2025, will be operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology and accommodate 400 students in grades 9 through 12 from across Hudson County.
The last portion of the first phase of SciTech Scity involves the creation of a five-acre outdoor park that will include an events plaza comparable in size to the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. The greenery will include a community lawn, play spaces, and a residential garden between the Scholars Village buildings.
Jersey City’s planning board is slated to hear the Scholars Village component of SciTech Scity during their June 27 meeting, which is being held virtually on Zoom. The session begins at 5:30 p.m. and can be accessed by the public via this link.
SciTech Scity is being built on land that Jersey City sold to Liberty Science Center for $10 in a deal that was somewhat controversial when it was approved. The buildout of the campus is being funded by a variety of donors that include Bank of America, EY, and Verizon.
While details of the project’s second phase have not been finalized, that portion could potentially include expanded incubation space, a hotel, another science-focused public school, and other facilities aiming to drive STEM innovation and job creation.