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Friday, December 21, 2007

Surprises & Disappointments: A Year of Construction

We started off last year running through a bunch of projects we expected would break ground. Some did, some didn't, here's a look back.

1. Majestic II
The Majestic II, soon to be officially branded as South Grove, broke ground at the end of November with a bang. The lot was cleared of the old structures including an old carpet store.

2. Columbus Corner
This project seems to have stalled, or perhap has disappeared altogether. The project includes rehabilitating a historic building on the corner of Columbus and Barrow, which has recently been occupied by an art gallery. Read More

3. Gulls Cove II Grand and Marin Tower
The lot on the corner of Marin and Grand has been by us and others, incorrectly referred to as Gulls Cove II. Either way, nothing has broken ground on the lot yet, though has served as a launch pad for Gulls Cove construction. The second phase of Gulls Cove, a low rise segment attached to the north end of the main tower does have foundations, and the main Gulls Cove tower should have occupancy early in 2008.

4. Metropolis Towers Expansion
While the low rise retail and amenities building between the two existing towers was leveled, nothing has happened with the anticipated two tower expansion or new parking garage. The national credit meltdown and slowing housing market may have put this project on hold indefinitely. Read more on the proposed expansion.

5. 217 Newark Avenue 213 Newark Avenue
The lot was sold last year and now is being developed by Brooklyn based Tree Top Development. The original plans scrapped, the new building is taller, and broke ground a few weeks back with a pile driver starting work.

6. 361 Newark Avenue
Last year we expected work to resume on the site; "after a quick demolition and pilings driven into the ground, work on the site mysteriously ceased. The developer apparently decided to go from six stories to twelve. It seems likely that construction on the new twelve story mini-tower will resume in 2007." Apparently not though. The only thing that changed on this lot in all of 2007 is the location of a mysterious blue van.

7. Morgan Point
Nothing has happened with this site on the corner of Marin, Morgan and Steuben Streets. The original plan for "Jersey City's Flat Iron" tower may be on hold until after the Power House District is rezoned, and presumably, the tower would gain some height.

8. Aqua
Not only has the Aqua broken ground, its nearly topped off. Blog JC Construction has some photos of the 31 story rental tower in the Newport section of the waterfront.

9. The Ellipse
Another Newport tower, the Ellipse may or may not have actually broken ground yet. Located on a pier in the Northeast of Newport, its entirely inaccessible and invisible from the public streets or public waterfront park while Aqua is under construction.

10 & 11. Grover Cleveland and Ulysses S. Grant
This pair of low rise Newport buildings are planned for the top of the Tenth Street embankment. There are a few pilings in the embankment, but nothing more has happened during the year. Newport development is relentless, and we expect any project from the Lefraks to eventually get built.

12. The Metropolitan
Pep Boys was supposed to have been gone by this summer. This tower is almost certainly a victim of the credit crunch and housing slowdown. Since the Metropolitan is to be the main attraction for a multi-tower redevelopment of Metro Plaza strip mall complex, we expect a tower to eventually go up on the site, once the credit market recovers.

13. & 14. San Remo & Monaco
There was a brief flurry of activity with these towers over the summer. Pilings were driven into an existing parking lot; a stack of metal appeared on the site. Then it all went a way, and the developer went before the planning board over a landscaping issue. We're a bit confused by all this. Read More

15. Harborside 4
This office tower has not broken ground, but has officially received the green light for construction. Midtown rents are on the rise and Jersey City's office market is beginning to get squeezed. All signs point to this building going up soon, just not before the New Year. Read More

16. Second Street Hudson Exchange Chrystal Pointe
The waterfront luxury residential tower is full steam ahead, albeit under a new name. Second street and the waterfront walkway is closed at the eastern tip to allow for construction with pilings actively under construction. read More

17. Manischewitz Site
We actually expected the old warehouse to be demoed already, but the Toll Brothers, new owners of the site, are fighting for upzoning-- a few high rise towers and an open plaza. Local activists are fighting the proposal, but the track record for this kind of thing in Jersey City certainly favors toll. We expect to see some tower rising in a year or two.

18. Van Leer Chocolate Factory
Clearing of the site began in the second half of 2007. But there is a lot to clear on this site with lots of rubble and concrete. Still, this is a major project that continues to move forward.

20. Belfuse
The Belfuse, a low rise building planned for Paulus Hook did break ground. Kinda, sorta. The site seems to still be under some sort of soil remediation, with pipes and plastic wrap over the whole lot. No construction equipment yet. Read More


Bits & Briefs

Newark Ave. Nights
The Village Voice justifies this site by declaring Skinner's Loft "quietly make(s) this city the best little neighborhood in New York."

20 acres of ick to be gold patch
The Journal reports on the cleanup of the site just west of Liberty Harbor North, a chemical infested patch of land on the edge of the downtown that will soon be prepared for housing.

Jersey City to sell Newark Avenue building
Hudson Now confirms that the city plans on selling 121 Newark Avenue, a building that spans the width of the block from Newark Avenue to Columbus Drive just west of Grove Street. The expected $4 million price tag will fill holes in the city's budget; redevelopment of the building may fill some holes in Newark Avenue.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Campaign Launched to Prevent PATH Fare Hike

Hoboken councilman Pete Cammarano wants to prevent the Port Authority from hitting PATH riders with a proposed fare increase and has launched to coordinate a grass roots effort to keep fares as they are. New Jersey has a 50% stake in the Port Authority, which gives Governor Corzine, a Hoboken resident, veto power. Of course, we suspect Corzine doesn't ride the PATH very often, so if you want your voice to be heard, be sure to Sign the Petition.


Journal Square Gets Developers' Love

The Real Deal reports Journal Square is finally catching the development bug.

"Currently, Journal Square is a relative bargain as existing condos run approximately $300 a square foot, while Jersey City's waterfront has been selling at roughly $500 a square foot for new construction. Manhattan condo prices, by contrast, ran nearly $1,350 a square foot in the third quarter, according to numbers from Miller Samuel appraisers."


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New York's Sixth is a blog for the forgotten, de facto borough across the river featuring original content, commentary, and information relevant to living in Downtown Jersey City / Hoboken.


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