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Jersey City presses ahead with massive apartment development

Bayfront Development Partners, a joint venture of Pennrose and Omni America and BRP Development Group, has been selected to build the first phase of an 8,000-unit mixed use development in Jersey City.

Mayor Steve Fulop announced the developers have paid $26 million to build 1,092 apartment units on four parcels within the 100-acre Bayfront development site beginning in the fall.

Jersey City acquired the Bayfront property from Honeywell Corporation in 2018 for $100 million with the aim of increasing the on-site affordable housing requirements from five to 35 percent with the city controlling the property.

“I hope with this project Jersey City can demonstrate to the country what type of development is possible when we don’t let the typical boundaries limit us. We made a $100 million bet on affordable housing, and it looks like this will pay off huge, both economically for current taxpayers and future residents,” Mayor Fulop said.

 The JV was selected following a Request For Proposals from the  Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA), and the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce (HEDC).

In phase one, BRP will build 552 units on their two lots, totaling 193 affordable units, and Pennrose/Omni is responsible for 540 units, 189 of which will be affordable housing. The units will be a mixed  community of affordable units. Within the Pennrose/Omni development site, all of the units will be up to 60 percent Average Median Income (AMI), while the BRP development site will be a blend of 28 units at 30 percent AMI, 28 units at 40 percent, 28 units at 50 percent, 28 units at 60 percent, 28 units at 80 percent and 53 units at 120 percent.

“Today’s announcement represents a huge step forward. These initial proposals will create a model development designed for people all across Jersey City, with more than 400 units of affordable housing at a range of incomes,” said Reverend Laurie Wurm, Jersey City Together. “None of this would have been possible without the persistent organizing of faith leaders and residents for decades, who fought to clean up the site and then to ensure it would be an inclusive opportunity for the city as a whole. In the midst of several serious crises, we must and will continue to build for a better future in our city and region.”

The Bayfront Redevelopment Plan will transform the once contaminated site along the Hackensack Riverfront into the centerpiece of the city’s West Side revitalization.

The plan is designed to maximize the economic benefits to Jersey City and its taxpayers while prioritizing affordable housing, localized hiring opportunities during and after construction, and sustainable “green” development.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with local officials and Omni to transform an underutilized site into a vibrant new mixed-use community,” said Jacob Fisher, Regional Vice President at Pennrose. “Featuring green design, top-notch amenities, and ample outdoor and community spaces, the plans for the Bayfront development will have long-term, positive impacts on the entire neighborhood.”

“Developing sustainable, mixed-income communities is vital for success in today’s market,” said Meredith Marshall, co-founder and managing partner of BRP Companies. “We are looking forward to embarking on a new partnership with the City of Jersey City, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency and the greater Jersey City community to enhance the quality of life for the City’s residents, as well as continuing to grow our footprint within the Garden State.”

Eugene Schneur, Managing Director of Omni said, “Omni is excited to work with local and state officials and our partners at Pennrose on this transformational project which we feel will be the catalyst for future public private partnerships in Jersey City. We expect the Bayfront redevelopment to benefit all members of the community and transform underutilized land into a vibrant and thriving neighborhood.”

“While many municipalities are paralyzed by the pandemic, today’s announcement speaks to the fact that here in Jersey City we continue to proactively work to prepare for a post-pandemic world,”concluded Mayor Fulop.

The city expects to break ground on the infrastructure work for Bayfront in the fall.

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