Local officials and developers from Ironstate Development Companies and Panepinto Properties were on hand on Monday, April 10 for a ribbon cutting at the Residents Inn by Marriott, 80 Columbus Drive, a new extended stay residence designed to fit over one of the two existing PATH entrances.
The new facility with its unique design provides 152 studio and one-bedroom suites for business and leisure travelers, and is the latest phase in a larger mixed-use development on Christopher Columbus Drive by the well-established developers.
Located within a block of the Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza and a downtown filled with eateries, small shops, and other services, the Inn becomes one more piece in the development of Columbus Avenue, which already has two completed projects and one under construction. Upon completion the project will offer 1,484 luxury rental residence and a 30,000 square foot Base Gym, as well as the recently-opened Sprout Market Place.
Although technically the inn has been up and running for about a month, the ribbon cutting marks a significant sign of progress in the continued redevelopment of the area between the waterfront at Exchange Place and the Grove Street area.
“This is an extended stay inn, which means that people are coming here to invest time and money in this community.” – Robert Menendez
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D – NJ), who was among the officials on hand to celebrate the opening, called it an investment in the community that signifies Jersey City’s growing economic influence in the region. He said a facility of this kind brings in people who are doing business here, and this means a potential increase of jobs.
“Twenty years ago, some people looked at this site and saw a vacant lot,” he said. “But other people looked at that lot and saw a vision for the future.”
Menendez said while Jersey City has always had a gritty, hard working population, now it has also become a shinning vision of what could be in the future.
“This is an extended stay inn, which means that people are coming here to invest time and money in this community,” he said.
Officials helped the launch
Dave Barry, president of Ironstate, said local officials such as Mayor Steven Fulop and national leaders such as Menendez have been instrumental in helping projects of this kind get off the ground.
“Mayor Fulop and Senator Menendez have been friends and advocates for Jersey City and Hudson County,” Barry said. “Mayor Fulop is forward thinking and he has the ability to execute. It has been my pleasure to work with him and the others involved with this project.”
Barry said the inn provides a much-needed extended-stay hotel option in an area that already offers terrific public transportation, a walkable setting, and proximity to Jersey City’s financial district as well as midtown and downtown Manhattan.
“We are excited to partner with Marriott and its globally-recognized Residence Inn brand, and are confident the hotel will appeal to business and leisure travelers, both as a stand-alone destination and as a launching point to New York City,” Barry said.
Fulop said the hotel was designed to fit with the existing PATH entrance, providing a unique visual design for the area.
Joseph Panepinto, president and CEO of Panepinto Properties, said the inn reflects the innovative lifestyle and culture of Jersey City.
The 14-story inn offers views of the Statute of Liberty to the south and the Manhattan skyline to the east.
Designed for extended stay, each suite offers a fully-equipped kitchen with coffeemaker, microwave oven and residential-sized appliances. The deluxe suite features an oversized outdoor balcony.
Food service also offers daily hot breakfast.
Other services include a 24-hour food and beverage market, dry cleaning, an onsite guest laundry room, a fitness center, 360 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate functions up to 15 people, complementary Wi-Fi, fax, and copy services. The hotel also has a full service bar, and a rooftop patio with a barbeque grill and fire pit expected to open in 2018.
The project also includes advisory support from Wave Hospitality Advisors.
Giving a nod to the local arts scene, the developers have commissioned 240 works of art by regional artists, many of whom are Jersey City residents. This collection was curated by Stefania Panepinto, of Panepinto Fine Art, and these works will be on display through each of the hotels suites and public space.
Al Sullivan may be reached at email@example.com.