Jersey City is preparing to welcome some new additions, both in population and architecture. Some 3,000 residential units are expected to hit the market by the end of the year and this number is expected to double in the months following. This will contribute to an estimated population increase of 8,000 residents.
Downtown is the hub of restructuring and development, and the larger scale units will be focused there. Some of these include: 70 and 90 Columbus drive, a set of residential towers that will open close to the PATH station, 400 units going up in Provost Square with construction focused on building a theater as well, and another residential tower being erected at 155 Marin Blvd.
Eric Silverman, a developer for Jersey City, told NJ.com: “People have finally recognized that Jersey City has a lot of natural assets: good architecture, a good grid pattern, the multiple modes of transportation.”
Jersey City’s top down approach to residential and retail/leisure space is a step towards “new urbanism,” for New Jersey. Distinct new urbanist development is evident in: buildings oriented to the street, on street parallel parking and streets designed for bike traffic, a focus on the public realm, a mix of uses and housing types, and it is largely pedestrian oriented.
These large residential towers are expected to offer retail space on the first floors and pedestrian plazas, such as the one constructed for 70 and 90 Columbus drive, encourage the walkability of the city landscape. Theater’s, eateries, and shops will also encourage pedestrian foot and bicycle traffic. Most of the redevelopment plans have also seen close proximity to public transportation. Elli Klapper of real-estate firm CBRE, says that Jersey City is becoming, “the hottest place for New York City money.” Commuters or city dwellers alike who see the benefits of city living but who cannot necessarily afford the costly expense of living in Manhattan can reach a good compromise in Jersey City.
A move towards New Urbanism is good for Jersey City. More residents are sharing the tax burden of redevelopment stressors with less lucrative tax abatements for downtown residential buildings. The city will get a presumably younger crowd and this offers retailers an opportunity to expand. The walkability of the city is sure to increase and hopefully it becomes a metropolitan hub of New Jersey.