The Jersey City Planning Board unanimously approved (7-0) the Bayfront project, which will allocate 35 percent of their 210 residential units toward affordable housing, at last night’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“To see this come to fruition … to see so many affordable units is overwhelming and distributed the way they are. So, I’m happy to vote aye,” Jersey City Planning Board Commissioner Steve Lipski said during Tuesday night’s vote.
Bayfront Development Partners LLC, a joint venture between industry-leading developers Pennrose LLC and Omni America LLC, will also include 52 parking spaces, 143 bicycle parking spaces, and 12,410 square feet of multifunctional retail space.
“When we pushed to increase on-site affordable housing requirements from 5% to 35%, we were told it couldn’t be done. Clearly, our persistence is paying off as this first building with 35% affordable housing sets a precedent for the entire Bayfront project,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We are making strides to bring this groundbreaking vision to reality, maximizing the opportunity to build a premier residential and retail waterfront area that best serves the residents of Jersey City by prioritizing affordability, jobs for residents, quality public spaces, and attracting interest and investment to the south and west areas of Jersey City.”
Within the six-story building, 74 affordable units will be set aside for households earning 60% and below the area median income (AMI).
The first building will also include various community-driven amenities, including green infrastructure, flood mitigation, and a public walkway along the Hackensack River Waterfront.
“We have made incredible progress towards transforming this once contaminated site into a waterfront sanctuary for the public to enjoy while expanding quality affordable housing for our residents today and for decades to come,” added Division of Planning Director Tanya Marione.
The city acquired the 100-acre Bayfront property from Honeywell Corporation in 2018, intending to increase the on-site affordable housing requirements from 5%, as was previously stipulated in the redevelopment plan, to a new goal of 35%, with the city controlling the property.
The agreement, passed by the City Council in November, bonded $170 million to purchase the land and build the necessary infrastructure on the property.
After a thorough review, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) and Bayfront Advisory Board carefully selected Bayfront Development Partners as the first approved Request for Proposal (RFP) for the redevelopment project.
Bayfront Development Partners (Pennrose and Onmi America) agreed to meet the city’s demands to build affordable housing and other community-driven requirements.
Last night’s planning board vote follows the unanimous approval of the project from the JCRA board in July, as well as the Bayfront Community Advisory Committee.
Additionally, Pennrose and Omni America will also incorporate sustainable and green building practices to achieve Enterprise Green Communities and Energy Star certification while using LEED measures, certifying the development of quality affordable housing.
Hopefully they will fix the flooding problem on Kellogg Street before they start construction. As a resident of Society Hill, which is directly next door, I can state that the problem is severe. Also, let’s hope they do something about the horrible traffic on Rte 440. It’s an absolute disgrace. There is no reason it should take me 45-50 minutes everyday to go 7.5 miles.