Upcoming Development to Bring 75 Units to Lafayette, Jersey City

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121 Garabrant Street Lafayette Jersey City
121 Garabrant Street, Lafayette, Jersey City. Rendering via Garabrant, LLC.

A decade ago, it was hard to find signs of new development in the southeastern portion of Jersey City’s Lafayette neighborhood. Just a few blocks away from a dense residential community, this former industrial section of Ward F surrounding the Liberty State Park Light Rail Station was dotted with vacant properties and empty structures. However, it is likely that a decade from now, commuters passing through the area on the light rail or Interstate 78 will have a drastically different view of it, since most remaining undeveloped tracts will have been replaced with mid-rise residential or mixed-use structures. Once projects like Pine Street Lofts, 426 Whiton, and Crescent Park are completed, thousands of new residents could call Lafayette home.

One street that could be home to many of these newcomers is Garabrant Street, a small dead-end block off of Johnston Avenue. A legal notice shows that a Jersey City developer named Garabrant, LLC will construct a 75-unit rental project on and around 121 Garabrant Street. When completed, this six-story development is also slated to include 27 parking spaces for residents.

The properties from 113 to 127 Garabrant Street are all undeveloped or wooded lots, and were acquired by Long Hill Township, Morris County-based DGJ Belleville, LLC for over $1 million in 2015, according to NJ Parcels.

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As part of the project, the developer is set to receive a five-year tax exemption from the City of Jersey City. The company would pay full land taxes but would pay no taxes on improvements in 2020, 20% of improvement taxes the following year, and 100% by 2025.

As housing prices in this city continue to increase, many longtime residents have raised concerns about being able to afford to live in their own neighborhoods or in the new developments that they see being constructed around them. While some projects in the city contain units that are designated as “affordable housing,” this development will not be among them. In lieu of providing units at prices lower than market rate, Garabrant, LLC will give $137,010 to the Jersey City Affordable Housing Trust Fund, according to the notice. The amount is based on a fee of $1,500 for each of the units and $1.50 for each square foot of parking space.

Point Capital Development, which developed the neighborhood’s transformative Baker Building, is behind this project. According to company founder John Fio Rito, the units will be a mixture of one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and studios. Fio Rito told Jersey Digs that the development will be built by Fields Construction and designed by Avoid Obvious Architects and Palermo Edwards Architecture. Construction is expected to begin on March 1st and be completed by May 2019.

The Jersey City Municipal Council is scheduled to vote on whether to grant final passage to the tax exemption proposal during its meeting this Wednesday, February 14th at 6:00 p.m. The Council already passed the ordinance on first reading during its Jan. 24 meeting.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. overall great news to see more interest in Lafayette!

    On the downside…that rendering of the building is absolutely hideous and completely out of place in this historic neighborhood

    • Where are the historic homes near Garabrant? From what I’ve seen, the immediate area is much more industrial. I personally enjoy seeing a more modern aesthetic in JC. Though I’m always a bit skeptical as to how much the finished project will end up looking like the rendering.

      • I’m talking about the Lafayette / Bergen Lafayette area in general not that specific street. I’m not against modern buildings (not a huge fan them in historic areas but if done nicely can be ok). I just think that building is ugly whether it’s modern…historic…mid century..etc.

    • BP station! HAHAHA! I thought the same however it looks more like the building being taking over by grass … I do like the look since its near liberty state park, and looks like its part of the trees. This area is not “historic” its near the old factories … But love the boom in this area, def looking forward to hanging out here since its only a few steps from my neighborhood …

      • The roof profile is interesting and I have no problems with bulk, but the neon green is too harsh. This is something you would see on the side of a highway to catch people’s eye. To come home to this everyday would get old quick. Changing the neon green to something more subtle would go a long way, even a darker grey would be better, and the tips of the blades could have an accent color. Sometimes bright colors are better for accents instead of broad strokes.

          • You have great insight. The grass of the vacant lot was the inspiration. Instead of building a “heavy”, imposing brick/industrial structure or copy some Hoboken-esque design, we wanted the structure to feel light on the street-scape and evoke a feeling of grass growing through the building. At least that’s the idea. To ally fears of neon green…or people looking for a gas station…HA!…we’re actually looking at the metal accent paneling for the blades to have a slight iridescence to change color (a more natural green) as the sun hits it. Thanks for your comments

  2. After the Tax Revaluation that hit Jersey City. Why should I buy, and develop an area with high crime, to just get slapped with a huge tax bill 5 years from now. I rather take money elsewhere like the JC Heights, or Hoboken where the taxes are stable.

    • Taxes are low throughout JC. Only downtown is really getting hit. However, even if ALL of JC would be built out, taxes would just be distributed evenly … And by the way. It’s going to be a LONG TIME until the next reval … It’s safe to say Lafayette, Bergen Hill, West side (07304) will be fine … (Downtown and potentially Journal square are a different story …)

  3. This actually is quite a historic area, dating back to before the naming of Jersey City. In fact there was an African Burial Ground not far from here, which, ironically, was created by the slave-owning Garabrant family, who owned a lot of this land. Just FYI.

  4. It’s funny that the current residents are being re-assessed on their property taxes yet all these new projects are receiving tax abatement that can be as much as 20 years!

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