Plans Show a 25-Story Urby Tower Could Come to Journal Square, Jersey City

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Site of proposed development: 532 Summit Avenue and 571-577 Pavonia Avenue, Journal Square, Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

A modern urban living concept that’s been a big success Downtown looks like it will be heading west, as the company behind Jersey City’s Urby development has submitted plans that would bring a new high-rise to a parking lot near the Journal Square PATH station.

The first phase of Ironstate Development’s Urby has been one of the most prominent buildings along the Jersey City waterfront since it was completed over two years ago. The company partnered with Mack-Cali to build the 69-story tower and quickly set records for price per square foot while drawing marquee restaurants like DomoDomo to the space.

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Proposed Journal Square Urby. Drawing by HLW Architects via the application.

Over the summer, Ironstate quietly submitted plans for its latest venture that encompasses five lots, totaling over 19,000 square feet at 532 Summit Avenue and 571-577 Pavonia Avenue. The property, which has the Journal Squared development across the street in one direction and the historic Brennan Courthouse in the other, is currently controlled by Newark-based company Extended Management Corporation, who own parking lots throughout the tri-state area.

Plans submitted by Ironstate reveal they hope to build a 25-story, 341-unit project at the property that would be called Journal Square Urby. The structure would rise 265 feet and include a 2,607-square-foot café space on the ground floor fronting Summit Avenue. Under the plans, a new entry plaza would be constructed between the proposed Journal Square Urby and the adjacent Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.

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Proposed Journal Square Urby. Drawing by HLW Architects via the application.

The project, designed by Madison-based HLW Architects, would consist of 159 studios, 122 one-bedrooms, 15 two-bedrooms, and 45 three-bedrooms. Urby’s living concept is designed to encourage neighborly interaction, so several prominent shared spaces are included in the building to encourage social interaction and a sense of community.

Journal Square’s variation on Urby would include a second-floor gym facility and a sprawling roof deck that includes several amenities. It would consist of a 2,085-square-foot pool deck, a separate 1,320-square-foot indoor space that includes a communal kitchen, and another 1,700-square-foot outdoor space.

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Journal Square Urby site plan. Drawing by HLW Architects via the application.

The development is slated to feature 1,349 square feet of office space meant for a leasing facility but would not include any parking spaces or affordable housing units. The property falls within Zone 3 of the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan and under current regulations, neither parking nor affordable units are required.

Ironstate is nonetheless seeking relief from the city’s planning board via several “c” variances from what is allowed under current zoning. They include deviations regarding floor-to-ceiling heights, the building’s base height, four separate setback variations, frontage of the first floor, and the development’s proposed use of a synthetic stucco material called EIFS that’s not allowed under current regulations.

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Proposed Journal Square Urby. Drawing by HLW Architects via the application.

Ironstate submitted their Preliminary and Final Site Plan application to the city’s planning department back in August, but a date hasn’t been set to hear the proposal.



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  1. Awesome! Big fan of Urby, they actually seem to know how to attract good businesses and have hip vibe…unlike Mack “Daddy” Cali and nerdy DeMarco. Just keep them out of JSQ please

    • I don’t like either. Both seem artificial and clearly are just a scheme to line a developers pocket at the expense of the community. How about making affordable housing for Jersey City residents instead? That’s something to be proud of when leaving a legacy behind.

      • That’s just an unrealistic expectation and makes it seem like you don’t fully understand how business and finance work. To want JSQ to be “affordable housing” would basically mean you want no change because no developer is going to spend the kind of money to build a high rise if they are building “affordable housing”. And no businesses will want to move in because everyone is in affordable housing and not looking to spend out shopping or eating. So basically nothing change…everything stay the same. If that’s your wish you’re in the minority.

  2. The Kandindsky like mural on the side of the building is a nice touch but kind of dated. I’d like to see the developer spring for a more technologically advanced giant video/ projection screen billboard. It would make for great site to showcase contemporary video art. Instead of watching stupid shit on tv people could expand the parameters of their right brain a little bit.

  3. Love it! Size. Murual. Urby reputation. Taking too long for planning to schedule. Hope it doesn’t suffer same faith as 500 summit… Councilman Richard is very against building on this side of the street for some reason…

  4. Rich B – please dont stall this project, please please please please.

    This will trun the vibe of the place, please sincere request, not to stop this project.

  5. It looks ugly and is disconnected from the community. Why do you people think its ok to just throw a building in someones neighborhood and fill it with transplants? Gross. Hope it fails.

    • Curious what do you mean by “someone’s neighborhood”? Since JSQ has gone through change throughout its history…from farmland, to booming business District, to desolate and depleted, and now seems to be changing into a city type feel. So if anything it’s just going through another change. People act like JSQ has been like this for 400 years and now suddenly it’s changing lol. And no it won’t fail! You can’t stop it

  6. Jersey City just keeps moving forward and its about time. For too long JC remained fallow for whatever reason. I’m familiar with this area and this is an improvement along with what has recently been built and what is planned. Full speed ahead a nd a look to the future 2200!


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