LETTER: It’s time for Jersey City to pick a developer capable of revitalizing Journal Square

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In a letter to the editor, New Journal Square Community Association President Bill Armbruster says that it’s time for Jersey City to select a developer capable of revitalizing Journal Square. 

An artist’s rendering of One Journal Square. Photo via Woods Bagot.

Dear Editor,

The New Journal Square Community Association wishes to bring the community’s viewpoint and interests to the attention of all parties involved in the current disputes over the development of 1 Journal Square.

The local community and the whole city have been distraught for decades over the serial failures of development at the heart of Journal Square.

We have been living for years with an ugly rubble-filled lot as the centerpiece of the Square, while all physical improvements of the surrounding plaza have also been put on hold in anticipation of new development.

We were very excited by the original plans presented by the developers to our Association in 2015, and were happy when signs were posted on the fence surrounding the property announcing that construction would begin by January 15, 2017.

We were also happy that the WeWork co-working space was going to be a major tenant, which would help retain the many college students in the area, as well as other workers, so that we don’t become just a bedroom community for New York.

However, since then years have passed and no progress has been made, the project’s financing has been repeatedly questioned, WeWork is no longer part of the plans, and now the entire project is being dragged into court.

We cannot afford to keep the center of Journal Square a hostage to such a contentious process, with no progress made. This is the heart of our community, our future.

As a community organization, we don’t have an opinion on the national political affiliations of any developer.

We just need a developer who has the resources to carry out their plans and who is able to cooperate with the local community and with city, county and state officials to build the new heart of Journal Square, starting now.

Bill Armbruster
New Journal Square Community Association President