After over two years of litigation, the City of Jersey City and Kushner Companies have reached a settlement on the $900 million One Journal Square project that will involve no tax abatements.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This has always been about what is best for our taxpayers and Jersey City. Fortunately, after many years and many prior developers who left this property to stagnate, the City’s great team and Kushner Companies have been able to set aside their differences and collaborate to reach common ground. Now this long-delayed and much-awaited project can move forward,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“Kushner Companies is thrilled to be moving forward with the support of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency to build this centerpiece landmark development in the heart of Journal Square. After several years of litigation, we have reached a mutually beneficial compromise with Jersey City and Mayor Fulop to set aside any lingering acrimony and clear the way for this vital addition to the Journal Square revitalization project,” added Kushner Cos. General Counsel Christopher W. Smith.
The Associated Press first reported on the settlement last night.
Construction is now expected to begin in 2021 and will include 1,700 apartments and a 10-level parking garage for residents.
Additionally, each of the two towers will consist of 52 stories dedicated to residential units above a 12-story base building which contains ground floor retail space, amenity space, additional residential uses, and structured parking.
The project has been modified to, among other things: reduce the height of the buildings from 758 feet to 710 feet, replace five stories of office space and one story of retail space with residential space, remove the WeWork and WeLive concepts, and re-envision the facade of the towers.
Furthermore, the updated redevelopment agreement includes a $2.5 million investment in local arts initiatives and will require the developer to focus on hiring locally, including local workforce sessions to further local residents development and opportunities.
Back in April 2018, the Jersey City Redevelopment Authority informed Kushner Cos. that they violated their redevelopment agreement and therefore a tax break would not be granted, as HCV first reported.
They are set to vote on the settlement at a meeting scheduled for next week.
“The JCRA is pleased to have this matter come to a satisfactory resolution. With this settlement, the renaissance of Journal Square can continue,” added JCRA Executive Director Diana Jeffrey.
This snafu led to the developer filing a federal lawsuit claiming they had unfair dealings with the city due to politics: their former president Jared Kushner, is now President Donald Trump’s (R) son-in-law and senior advisor.
“Let’s be clear. The citizens of Jersey City are the winners here. Kushner Companies is eager and ready to move forward shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Fulop and the people of the great City of Jersey City, and get to work building this landmark development to advance the revitalization of Journal Square,” stated Eugene T. Paolino, counsel to Kushner Companies.