The Jersey City Council passed the proposal for the MLK City Hall annex, a three-story office building, estimated to be 45,000 square feet, with officials hoping it will revitalize a distressed economy. [fve]http://youtu.be/OdT8piE_acY[/fve]
The project would be located near the intersection of Kearney Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive and is expected to create jobs, and add increase foot traffic, to help support the local business currently near the Hub shopping strip.
According to Ordinance 15020, city offices such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce are also expected to relocate to the annex.
There were many supporters of the plan including Jersey City NAACP President, William Braker, and former Deputy Mayor, Kabili Tayari.
Other advocates, like district 31 Assembly candidate Bruce Alston, wanted the plan to include more than just a building, but a security of jobs for Jersey City workers – unlike the waterfront development where companies contracted their own workers.
Brandywine, a Pennsylvania-based real estate management company, is responsible for the project and has entered into a Lease/Purchase Agreement with the city.
The cost of the initial fit up work will be $50 per square foot. The cost of the project raised concerns at the public hearing, especially on how it affected tax payers.
The result was a 7-2 vote, with Councilmen Rich Boggiano and Michael Yun voting against it.
Councilman President Rolando Lavarro concluded the voting by exclaiming “Hell yeah!”