Development in Jersey City has been relatively dormant since the recession, but two major projects are about to break ground, and promise to jump-start the next wave of construction – especially as the buildings will be among the tallest in all of New Jersey.
Closest to Manhattan, Urban Ready Living Harborside is about to begin construction – the development was announced last year, and will consist of three residential towers, each soaring roughly 70 stories. Their design seems to mimic Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard to some degree, though the ‘Jenga-effect’ is not quite as dramatic, given the lack of a starchitect budget. Nevertheless, the new skyscrapers will help anchor a section of Downtown Jersey City that needs more new residents and an increase in density, and the contribution to the city’s skyline will be significant.
At 700 feet, Urban Ready Living’s triplets will become the most prominent residential towers in the neighborhood. The first building will deliver 763 units, and the developers are Mack-Cali and Ironstate. If architecture cannot be distinguished, it can at least be identifiable, and Urban Ready Living should accomplish the latter in a tasteful manner.
Most surprising is the announcement that the Journal Square residential towers are moving forward. The development, which will also consist of three buildings, will be a visual anchor for the neighborhood, which lacks anything remotely close to the project’s size. The first skyscraper to begin construction – with ground-breaking slated for December – will rise 54 floors, and the second and third buildings will rise 60 and 70 stories. Handel Architects’ page on the project indicates it will be titled ‘Journal Squared,’ and the developer is Kushner Real Estate.
The Journal Square towers will be crucial in transforming the surrounding neighborhood, as their scale, scope, and appearance signal a hopeful future – where Journal Square will, one day, rival Downtown Jersey CIty. In terms of height, this is about to happen, and the tallest of the new buildings may surpass the 781-foot 30 Hudson Street. Like Urban Ready Living, the skyscrapers also seem to look to Manhattan for inspiration, offering a wider and vastly more affordable take on 432 Park Avenue.
Boom times appear to have returned to the greater New York City region, as a surge in non-super luxury construction is finally beginning. Manhattan’s neighboring skylines will finally begin to gain appreciable height, and – most importantly – the new projects will be positive contributions to neighborhood urbanity.
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