The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency unanimously approved (6-0) the redevelopment agreement with the first Bayfront building in Ward A, which comes with 35 percent affordable housing, at last night’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The redevelopment agreement with Bayfront Development Partners LLC includes 35 percent affordable housing for low-income households earning 60 percent and below the area median income (AMI).
The first six-story, 209-unit building – known as the Bayfront Promenade – will also incorporate multifunctional retail space, job prioritization for local residents, green infrastructure, flood mitigation, and other community-driven amenities along the Hackensack River Waterfront.
“This marks a major milestone as we successfully move forward with the Bayfront redevelopment project, which has already triggered interest, investment, and revitalization within the City’s Greenville and West Side neighborhoods,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“The transformation of the formerly contaminated site into the largest mixed-income community in the region serves as a model for sustainable and affordable mixed-income development. To take it a step further, throughout the redevelopment process, we require job prioritization for local residents during and after construction, public access along the Hackensack River Waterfront, and flood mitigation infrastructure, among other key elements to ensure our community benefits most.”
Last night’s vote follows the unanimous approval of the project by the Bayfront Community Advisory Committee, a seven-member committee comprised of Fulop, a representative from Jersey City Together, Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, a representative from Society Hill, and two additional community members.
Additionally, the Jersey City Council approved a $170 million subsidy deal with the JCRA to help fund the project back in November.
“We are seeing incredible progress as we transform the 100 acres of underutilized and remediated land into a welcoming and affordable community along the Hackensack River Waterfront,” added JCRA Executive Director Diana Jeffrey.
“This RDA approval comes after a vigorous vetting process in which the city hosted numerous public meetings to ensure the entire community is part of the decision-making process, maintaining transparency and incorporating residents’ input.”
The city acquired the 100-acre Bayfront property from Honeywell Corporation in 2018 with a goal of increasing the on-site affordable housing requirements from 5 percent, as was previously stipulated in the redevelopment plan, to a new goal of 35 percent with the city controlling the property.
After council approval, the JCRA and Bayfront Advisory Board carefully selected Bayfront Development Partners as the first approved a request for proposal (RFP) for the redevelopment project.
Bayfront Development Partners, a joint venture between prominent developers Pennrose LLC and Omni America LLC, has agreed to meet the city’s demands to build affordable housing and other community-driven requirements.
“I am happy to be part of such a transformative project. The work done over the last few years by the advisory board, JCRA, and the city is finally starting to take shape,” noted Ridley.
“This is an important project for Greenville residents who remember what the site once was, watched it through remediation, and will now see a mixed-income development here. It is proof that projects in our area can be thoughtfully constructed in the current real estate market while ensuring affordable options for current residents. In Ward A, it is important to honor the past while embracing the future.”
Jeff Kaplowitz, a Bayfront Community Advisory Committee member who is also the vice chair of the city’s cannabis control board, also offered praise for the project.
“This is an important moment for Jersey City. Bayfront will transform all of Greenville in a number of ways. I’ve been involved in this process since 2018, and we’ve had community participation throughout the entire process. I give Mayor Fulop kudos for his progressive outlook and looking towards the future to create a great neighborhood that will last hundreds of years, and to Councilwoman Ridley, who has moved the needle on how development should be going forward,” he stated.
“Bayfront will be a blueprint for other urban areas to follow on how to incorporate affordable housing with market-rate housing, creating a community that has a remarkable living experience and retail amenities along a great waterfront.”
Additionally, the Bayfront Promenade building will also house nearly 10,000 square feet of community facility space and a wide array of amenities, such as an expansive outdoor terrace with grilling stations, a community lounge with a kitchen, a co-working lounge/media room, a fitness center, yoga room, a dog wash, and bike storage.
The first Bayfront building will 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 making for a healthier, socially responsible, and sustainable place for hundreds of families to live.