Jersey City officials and and Kushner Companies executives finally broke ground on the long-awaited, nearly $1 billion, One Journal Square project that includes a 67-story skyscraper.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
One Journal Square also boasts 1,723 rental residences, 45,000 square feet of amenities, and 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space that has been pre-leased, including a Target, as Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted this morning.
Jared Kushner, a former advisor to ex-President Donald Trump (R) – and also his son-in-law – was formerly the CEO and President of Kushner Cos. The company was founded by his father Charlie Kushner, who attended the ceremony.
“There is not another city in the country that can speak to the amount of development in this concentrated area,” Fulop said of the revitalization of Ward C’s Journal Square.
Officials indicated that mixed-use development, will create more than two million square feet of residential, retail, amenities, parking, and open space at 10 Journal Square (the actual address of the project).
One Journal Square will also consist of two, 64-story glass towers allowing for views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and New York City.
Fulop also highlighted the $72 million renovation of the Loew’s Theatre by Devils Arena Entertainment, expected to be restored by 2025, and the Centre Pompidou museum that is slated to open in the same year.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find another city in the country that can point to this in a two-block radius,” he added.
Fulop said the project was 16 years in the making with multiple developers failing to break ground.
“There were many times when we didn’t think this project would move forward because there were challenges around economics, around relationships,” the mayor added, acknowledging that the project had been rife with issues over the years.
The project indeed had many troubles, including lawsuits that at least in part stemmed from issues issues between the Kushner Cos., Fulop, and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA).
One Journal Square was finally approved by the JCRA after they came to terms with Kushner Cos. in October 2020.
“Thank you to Charlie and Sarah. Charlie, what I’ve learned through this over the last nine years is he can be a very good friend and a very, very formidable adversary. When we work together and collaborate, the best things happen,” Fulop also noted.
Kushner Cos. President Nicole Kushner Meyer, Jared’s sister, also expressed excitement about the project moving forward.
“This the beginning of new jobs, storefronts, family living spaces, centers of art, culture, and revitalization of the heart of this historic city. For over a century Jersey City has welcomed new immigrants who came here to build a life of promise and opportunity for their families,” she said.
“My own grandparents Rae and Joseph Kushner were Holocaust survivors and arrived on these very shores in 1949. They had no money, a young child, and big hopes to rebuild a life and family they had lost.”
She noted the building will have a good view of the Statue of Liberty, “a symbol of freedom and justice. We have come a long way. Like so many other immigrants family who is in New Jersey, my grandparents began their pursuit of the American Dream.”
Kushner Meyer said it will have amenities including gym classes, an indoor basketball court, a rock-climbing wall, an indoor Olympic-sized swimming pool, an outdoor swimming pool, golf simulators, and a co-working lounge. They also have already leased retail space to a supermarket with a pharmacy.
She also complemented Mana Contemporary for being home to some of the city’s best artists before mentioning that the Pompidou will be next door, indicating they will partner to have public art display in the plaza “that will feature a reimagined 9/11 memorial.”
Kushner Cos. Development and Construction Executive Vice President Michael Sommer said the 2060 plan to redevelop Journal Square was first adopted in 2010 and includes 211 acres, 57 city blocks, and 1600 parcels of land within its boundaries.
Sommer said the 2060 plan will be “returning Journal Square to a flourishing central business and shopping destination.”
“There has been much progress in and around Journal Square including new residential projects and exciting new announcements for future entertainment venues including a refurbished Loew’s Theaters to our west and the world-renowned Centre Pompidou to our east. The new center of gravity of it is One Journal Square,” he said.
Additionally, Kushner Cos. CEO Laurent Morali thanked the JCRA, the city council, and Fulop for making this project a reality.
“Charlie, we did it,” he said to great applause.
“I understand it’s the largest development project in the State of New Jersey, it will also redefine the skyline of our beloved skyline metropolitan area. Jersey City has become an international hub with so many communities being part of it. We’re about to witness the dream become a reality.”
Morelli thanked AIG and Related Fund Management for providing $500 million in construction financing for the project along with several other companies. He also thanked Charlie and Sarah Kushner for inspiring the team.
The transformative project, which is being developed by Kushner adjacent to the Journal Square PATH Station, will include a new public plaza at its base facing John F. Kennedy Boulevard that will feature green space and seating areas.
The project is expected to be completed in 2026.