Over the last two decades, Jersey City’s Hudson River waterfront has gone from partially abandoned to a residential boom and many are wondering if the city’s “other” waterfront is starting to follow suit, minus the towering high-rises.
The Hackensack Riverfront, generally described as the waterfront land west of Route 440, has some existing residential space that includes Droyers Point and Society Hill. The amenity-rich gated communities, gradually built out in three phases starting in the late 1980s, consist of over 1,400 condos and townhouses. There is also a Hackensack RiverWalk that’s part of the projects, although it currently dead-ends at neighboring properties.
One of those properties is the long-planned Bayfront project. The land, just north of Droyers Point, is being developed as a partnership between the city and Honeywell Corporation, who was responsible for remediating chromium contamination on the land. Cushman & Wakefield are marketing the now-clean 95-acre property to investors and say the land is fully zoned and assembled.
The approved plans at Bayfront call for up to 8,100 residential units, one million square feet of offices and 600,000 square feet of retail, in addition to creating 20 acres of open space that includes filling a gap in the Hackensack RiverWalk.
Part of the appeal of Bayfront lies in the potential expansion of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail from its current terminus at West Side Avenue to a new station across Route 440. The extension, estimated to cost $225 million, is eligible for Federal funding and is being championed by county officials.
The new rail station would also connect the waterfront and New Jersey City University’s new West Campus. The school is scheduled to open a new $50 million dormitory at 209 West Side Avenue in September that will house 425 students. It’s part of the university’s 21-acre redevelopment plan for the neighborhood that also includes an academic building, a theater, office space and mixed-use retail.
While much development is ongoing and planned for the area, no thriving city would be complete without open space. That role is filled by Lincoln Park, which totals over 270 acres and is less than a mile from most of these projects. Currently, the park’s track and field facility is undergoing a renovation, as is the historic fountain built in 1911 that greets visitors at the park’s main entrance.
But the park’s biggest addition is the Skyway Golf Course, a 9-hole, public course built on a site that was once an urban landfill. The project, which opened in June last year, restored 35 acres surrounding the course to quality wetlands vegetation, also enhancing a 10 acre tidally influenced pond on the property.
Rates for a round range from $19 to $63 a person and discounts are available to county residents. The course features regulation-length links designed by KemperSports and also has a nature walk around the perimeter that is open to the public.
Despite the new construction in the area, the city also created the West Bergen – East Lincoln Park Historic District last year in an effort to preserve the many historic homes that surround the park. While Jersey City’s big real estate changes have frequently focused on the Hudson, the Hackensack is starting to show its might.