Cutting edge along the water’s edge
The Jersey City waterfront is starting to look as skyscraper-heavy as any waterfront not in New York City.
Before year’s end, yet another one will go up on this side of the Hudson when Crystal Point, a 42-story luxury condominium, is expected to open.
It’s located on Second Street about 25 feet from the river, on Jersey City’s final stretch of developable waterfront directly facing Manhattan. The building features 269 premium residences and views of the skyline stretching from lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge. Units will range from 800 to 1,817 square feet.
The complex features a Crystal Spa with a thermal bath, sauna, steam and treatment room; a yoga/aerobics room; game room with billiard and poker table; state-of-the-art fitness center; lounge with catering kitchen and flat screen televisions; kids’ room; and a screening room.
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency plans to develop a 30-acre marina underneath the building. crystalpointcondos.com, (201) 433-7778
Who says you can’t take it with you?
You’ve probably seen it in episodes of “The Sopranos.” In fact, the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, which dates back to 1829, has history enough for several TV shows.
The five-acre cemetery, located on Newark Avenue near Dickinson High School, has undergone a massive cleanup since last summer, when Hoboken resident and Jersey City native Eileen Markenstein, president of the cemetery’s new board of trustees, led a group of volunteers to restore the cemetery to some of its former glory.
A not-for-profit association, the cemetery is owned by its shareholders, who have acquired the plots where their relatives are buried.
So, what’s the story behind this historic graveyard?
The last remaining member of the seven-person previous board of trustees was an elderly woman who could no longer maintain the cemetery, according to Markenstein. The previous board was paying a caretaker, but when there was no one left in charge, the caretaker abandoned the graveyard shift.
While mowing five-foot high grass and cleaning away overgrown branches, the volunteers found hundreds of forgotten gravestones marking the final resting places of Jersey City residents, including veterans of the Revolutionary and Vietnam wars.
The group is seeking volunteers and donations. (201) 707-0738, (201) 424-6041.
Could this be … Journal Square? Journal Square? The new downtown?
That’s what folks behind the Journal Square Redevelopment Plan have in mind.
The plan, up for final adoption by the City Council this spring, is meant to revitalize the Journal Square area, adding 10,000 to 15,000 new residential units, including two towers next to the existing bus/train station.
The 244-acre redevelopment area covers Vroom Street to the south, Tonnelle Avenue to the west, State Highway 139 to the north and Baldwin Avenue to the east. The plan is also known as the Journal Square Center City Plan or “Jerramiah T. Healy’s Vision for Journal Square.” The city envisions thousands of square feet of commercial and retail space and nine acres of park space in the area. As part of the project, the existing Journal Square transportation station might be replaced with a newer model. If you’re the impatient type, you might want to cool your jets. Implementing the plan is estimated to take upwards of 50 years and billions of dollars.
The centerpiece of the plan are the two $400 million towers (68 and 50 stories) to be privately built on land adjacent to the Journal Square Transportation Center by longtime Journal Square business owner Lowell Harwood and Washington, D.C.-based pension firm MEPT. That project is expected to break ground this spring. jcra.org
I won’t lie to ya
Teaching children to read, write, and do their algorithms is one thing. But what about teaching them right from wrong?
Enter the Ethical Community Charter School, scheduled to start classes this fall. The school, located at 95 Broadway in the former home of Mt. Carmel School, offers a curriculum instituted by the New York City-based Ethical Community Charter School Foundation.
The foundation’s goal is to create a school that “will serve the children of families that embrace the ideals of ethics, service, and social justice, and will provide a well-rounded education of academic studies, the arts, and the practical skills.”
A lottery was held in January to fill 60 kindergarten and 60 first-grade openings. The school will continue to accept applications throughout the spring and will hold subsequent lotteries to fill vacancies and round out the waiting list. teccs.org, (201) 606-8108
Transportation plan on track
In the year 2050, urban areas like Jersey City may not need a transportation plan. The car will be a thing of the past, replaced by hover craft, high-powered Segways, lightning-speed light rail … who knows what means of travel the future will bring?
But city officials are looking ahead—about 40 years ahead—with Jersey City Mobility 2050, a master plan for Jersey City’s transportation network.
The goal is to make city streets more pedestrian- and environmentally friendly, emphasizing alternatives to cars and outlining steps to make the vision a reality.
At several meetings feedback from the public was solicited to craft the $280,000 plan. jerseycitymobility2050.com
Singing the blues
In January, music warmed the souls of the 400 or so folks who came to hear the kick-off event of the Loew’s-Down Blues concert series. Held at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, the concert included Arthur Neilson, the Dave Gross Band with special guest Gina Sicilia, Enzo & the Bakers, Dennis Gruenling, Christine Santelli, and MC Keven Kiley.
The first concert was presented by Jersey City Magazine, and promotional partners include our parent company, The Hudson Reporter Newspapers.
“We hope these events will draw a crowd that maybe doesn’t know the square and bring new faces that will jumpstart the revitalization of the theatre itself,” says Scott Harwood, treasurer and former president and founding member of the Journal Square Restoration Corporation (JSRC). Jordan Galantz, owner of Midas Muffler and current JSRC president, cites two proposed towers as another sign of the square’s rebirth. “They’ll have panoramic views of the Hudson River and New York City but be half the price of New York City,” he says.
Says Don Smartt, JSRC’s Journal Square Special Improvement administrator: “We believe that the blues and the square are the color and shape of the future.”
For information on future concerts, visit thenewjournalsquare.com. $5 parking behind the theatre at Square Ramp Parking. Tickets, $25 at the door, $20 at loewsjersey.org or by cash or check at The Journal Square Restoration Corp., 4 PATH Plaza, Jersey City.