In another sign that development is moving beyond the Jersey City waterfront, officials broke ground April 10 on a new mixed-use apartment complex in the Lafayette neighborhood at 100 Monitor St., adjacent to the Liberty State Park Light Rail parking lot.
The Monitor Street site is near Johnstone Street and within walking distance of Liberty Science Center and Liberty State Park. Monitor Street and nearby streets once served industrial and warehousing operations. Many of the lots are vacant, with the few remaining factories nearby scheduled for demolition and redevelopment in the future.
The Lafayette section runs roughly along the southeastern portion of Jersey City from Grand Street south. This project is included in the Morris Canal Redevelopment Area.
The project being developed by Ironstate Development Company will include 309 market-rate rental units, 3,800 square feet of street-level retail space and 8,000 square feet of commercial space that will serve as the new headquarters for the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.
“This project was delayed for 13 years,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “It took a lot of work to untangle the legal mess. In any event, it is good that we are finally attracting investment away from downtown. For too long growth was only in one area. We worked hard to change this and we are seeing results.”
Sprucing up the neighborhood
The new five-story building will occupy a now-vacant 2.7-acre site, and is expected to create over 600 construction jobs and take approximately 22 months to complete.
The $84 million development reflects a growing interest in Lafayette and is expected to fuel further investment in a neighborhood that continues to attract multifamily development, new businesses and restaurants like The Grind Shop and The Oak on Pine and expanded recreational facilities like the 17-acre Berry Lane Park.
The partnership of Hoboken-based real estate firm Ironstate Development Co. and joint venture partners Brookfield Property Group and Landmark Developers got approvals earlier this year to construct the building.
“We’ve been committed to Jersey City for more than two decades and view Lafayette as an emerging neighborhood with significant growth potential,” Ironstate President David Barry said. “Our location adjacent to a light rail station will conveniently connect residents to downtown Jersey City and additional public transportation options. Liberty State Park is next door, offering more than 1,200 acres of public open space. And the Liberty Science Center essentially anchors the neighborhood with an ever-evolving interactive museum experience, the largest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and the innovative $280 million Sci-Tech City opening in a few years. This is a neighborhood clearly on the rise, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
“We’ve been committed to Jersey City for more than two decades and view Lafayette as an emerging neighborhood with significant growth potential.” – David Barry
Part of a new wave of development
“I am proud to join Ironstate Development, Brookfield Property Group and Landmark Developers to mark the groundbreaking of an exciting development that will bring jobs and businesses back to the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood,” Fulop said. “Development interest in Jersey City is moving away from the waterfront, and we are thankful to those who see the potential of this neighborhood, including its businesses and residents, and choose to invest in it.”
This neighborhood had drawn several other high profile projects over the last two years that include an 83-unit Baker Building on Suydam Avenue. Three six-story buildings with a total of 167 units have been proposed for Whiton Street. There are several other buildings under construction across Johnstone Avenue in the same area.
The location near the light rail station is expected to draw people less reliant on cars, and so will not significantly impact an area that has seen significant traffic congestion over the last decade. Combined with the expected construction of the Jersey Avenue bridge, which will redirect traffic exiting the New Jersey Turnpike, the area could see a significant improvement in overall congestions, officials said.
Designed by BKSK Architects in partnership with Executive Architect Kitchen & Associates, the new steel-and-brick-clad building at 100 Monitor St. will be built in a rectangular configuration around a central courtyard with considerable outdoor space and amenities.
Like other Ironstate developments downtown, 100 Monitor St. will feature what officials are calling “smartly-designed residences” including studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments which feature efficient layouts, oversized windows, and designer finishes and appointments.
A full suite of amenities will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, resident lounge, rooftop dog run, and a 21,000-square-foot courtyard featuring an outdoor pool, sundeck, barbecue grills and a natural lawn.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.