Plans for a major Jersey City project featuring several community-minded components are coming into focus at a former industrial site in Bergen-Lafayette, which could soon be transformed into a sprawling mixed-use complex.
Jersey Digs initially reported on a proposal for 417 Communipaw Avenue almost two years ago. The land, once home to a company called Steel Technologies, spans 3.3 acres and is perched down the street from the 17-acre Berry Lane Park.
The company behind the revitalization effort is Skyline Development Group, who constructed the Soho Lofts among other prominent Jersey City projects. Their latest 600,000-square-foot development effort is dubbed Steel Tech and would be anchored by a 17-story tower that rises 190 feet.
The entirety of the Steel Tech plan has been designed by Hoboken-based MHS Architecture and the residential component would include 420 units. 5% of the units, or 21 of them, would be set aside as affordable housing under the plan and the residences break down as 92 studios, 197 one-bedrooms, 96 two-bedrooms, and 35 three-bedroom spaces.
7,425 square feet of retail would be included in the high-rise portion, which would feature about 24,000 square feet of amenities for future residents. The main building sports a glass-heavy design with red brick components.
The development of the project would see the existing Steet Tech Head House adaptively reused and includes the construction of a new 22,000-square-foot recreation center. That facility, which will be deeded to the city upon completion, is expected to cost about $5.5 million and would be entirely funded by the developer.
Another major component of the Steel Tech redevelopment is an endeavor called a Minority Business Enterprise Success Incubator and Micro Plaza. That 14,000 square foot portion will offer affordable commercial offices, with no less than 40% of the spaces designated as retail incubator space for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.
The final section of the plan involves the construction of a 20,000-square-foot public outdoor plaza, which would be created along the eastern portion of the land that runs down Woodward Street. A 40-space surface parking lot also is mentioned in the development’s application.
The initial plan that was pitched by Skyline Development Group was met with skepticism by the Morris Canal Redevelopment Area Community Development Corporation, who filed a lawsuit early last year looking to throw out zoning changes enacted to allow the project to move forward. That case was officially closed in October, with a Superior Court judge noting in his order that the filing was “voluntarily dismissed.”
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who has publicly supported the Steel Tech plan, praised the end of the court proceedings in a statement released last month.
“While this baseless lawsuit has done a tremendous disservice to our community, it is my hope that residents now hear the full truth with the court’s dismissal so that we can move forward on this important neighborhood improvement project together,” Fulop said.
Skyline Development Group officially submitted two applications to the city in August before the lawsuit was dismissed, one of which seeks to subdivide the property into several parcels. The planning board, who have not yet set a date to hear the application, still needs to approve the plan before construction of Steel Tech can begin.