In March of this year, New York/Tel Aviv-based developer HAP Investments announced plans for a $400 million tower in Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood, at 500 Summit Avenue. The builder bought the site for $28 million from Robinhood Plaza, which had negotiated with the city to allow a 42-story tower with 1 million square feet of space, in exchange for building a park between Summit and Baldwin Avenues.
While HAP told the Jersey Journal that the preliminary design would take about a year, YIMBY has come across a few renderings by CetraRuddy that appears to show the project. HAP did not return YIMBY’s call for comment, so we can’t be sure of how current the images are.
As depicted, the building would be glassy and L-shaped, with one textured side and the rest smooth. The park also makes an appearance in one of the renderings, suggesting that HAP is planning on working within the already-entitled zoning limits – an entitlement that the previous owner had to sue the city to get, and which at least one local council member is none too pleased about (“Over my dead body they’ll put a 42-story tower there,” Journal Square councilman Rich Boggiano told the Journal).
Under Mayor Steve Fulop, however, Jersey City has been more accommodating to builders. He recently cheered on a 95-story waterfront tower proposal, and has offered tax breaks to developers who would venture beyond the riverfront – where most of the development action is – and build inland, in the Journal Square area. (In this respect, the development pattern in Jersey City resembles that of Long Island City, where the waterfront area was developed before builders began seeking sites further inland, around Court Square.) While much of the neighborhood is built-out with row homes and tenements, the downtown area still has a number of surface lots that will be ripe for redevelopment in the years to come.
HAP’s site has excellent access to mass transit, located right next to the Journal Square PATH station. The ride to Herald Square takes 27 minutes during the week, while the World Trade Center is just 14 minutes away.
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