On the rise
New development cropping up around the city
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Aug 31, 2014 | 6034 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CAN SEE FOR MILES – Kennedy Lofts offers views as impressive as anywhere in Jersey City
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The first of possibly 15 new residential developments slated for the Journal Square area held a ribbon cutting in early August.

The Kennedy Lofts, a three-minute walk to the Journal Square bus and PATH station, is the first luxury rental in the area, converting a former Hudson County government building into 56 one- and two-bedroom luxury units. The $10 million building located at 100 Newkirk St. is viewed as a stage-setter that will inspire future development.

According to Mayor Steven Fulop, there are about 15 projects at various stages of development planned for the Journal Square area.

Formerly the headquarters for Hudson County welfare services, the building at 100 Newkirk was developed by the Hopkins Group LLC and their partner Skyrock. Matt Weinreich, principal of Hopkins Group LLC, said Kennedy Lofts would serve as an impetus for change in Journal Square and would show others that the area is a good place to invest in.
“This is an investment in our community.” – Mayor Steven Fulop
Once known as the John F. Kennedy Office building, the 40,000-square-foot Kennedy Lofts offers remarkable views of Journal Square and of New York Skyline, partly because of its location in an elevated part of Jersey City.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “This is an investment in our community.”

The building includes nine studio units, 39 one-bedroom units, and eight two bedroom units. The prices range from about $1,000 to $2,100 per month. The building begins leasing on Sept. 1, and has the amenities expected in luxury rentals, including a game room, roof terrace, fitness center and lounge.

Downtown Bouniface Lofts saves historic building

The newly-constructed Boniface Lofts residential units are built in the historic Saint Boniface Church at 262 First St. The church was founded in 1983 to serve a once-flourishing German community, but was closed in 2006.

The new residential development features one-, two- and three-bedroom units that include flats, duplexes and triplexes, some of which have rooftop terraces, patios and outdoor areas.

The restoration by Ben LoPiccolo Development Group followed green and sustainable green building practices, according a release issued by the developer.

“Boniface has a great level of craftsmanship,” LoPiccolo said.

The three-story loft building is made of red brick and brownstone accents set on a bluestone faction. Twin bell towers rise alongside the curved-arch entrance, which features blue stone and thick mahogany steps.

The restoration altered the traditional uses of some of the interior spaces, such as the vestibule and choir loft, making these spaces into uniquely-shaped residential units. Most of the units have soaring ceilings from 12 to 24 feet high with rooms connected by arched apexes.

Park Place development slated for abatement

The City Council is poised to approve a 10-year tax abatement for a 900-unit residential development on largely unused land in the Liberty Harbor North Redevelopment area.

The vacant land is located at 33 Park Ave. and would require the construction of new streets.

The proposed project, to be built in phases, envisions a 44 story tower and a five-story parking deck. The $140 million project would generated about $2.1 million for the city annually, with a onetime payment of $503,000 to the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

Currently the city receives about $49,000 in taxes on the vacant land.

The project will be built in stages, according to Jim McCann, of LHN Urban Renewal. For a time, part of the property will be retained as open space. But eventually the project will call for the construction of a second tower.

McCann said this project fits in with existing development in the area, and took note of the recently opened luxury rental facility at 18 Park Ave.

While the property qualifies only for a five-year abatement, McCann said, the developer has opted to take advantage of the city’s policy that allows for the development extend it for an additional five years, for a certain payment. The council is expected to approve the abatement at its Sept. 10 meeting.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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