Jersey City Bayfront
Jersey City Bayfront

Last night the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency unanimously voted to approve the first Bayfront redevelopment agreement, a deal with Bayfront Development Partners LLC, to build a six-story building on Route 440 that has 35 percent affordable housing.

According to the city’s press release about the deal, the project will garner numerous environmental certifications and will include retail space and many common spaces for residents. Priority for jobs related to the undertaking will go to Jersey City residents.

“With these requirements,” Bayfront, which sits on a former environmentally contaminated site, “will provide the most affordable housing of any private mixed-income community of its size in the country,” the release goes on to say.

Bayfront Development Partners is a joint venture between Philadelphia-based Penrose LLC and Manhattan-based Omni America LLC, both of which have extensive experience building mixed-use, mixed-income projects.

According to earlier reporting, the Bayfront site will be redeveloped in two stages resulting in 1,000 new apartments. This first structure, “Bayfront Promenade,” will have 209 units, 35 percent of which will be reserved for households at 60 percent and below of the area median income.

Bayfront
Bayfront

Last night’s vote follows the unanimous approval of the project by the Bayfront Community Advisory Committee, a 7-member committee comprised of the mayor, a representative from JC Together, Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, a representative from Society Hill, and two additional community members.

Said Mayor Fulop: “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. 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.”

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 five percent as was previously stipulated in the redevelopment plan to 35 percent. The City Council voted to bond $170 million to purchase the land and build the necessary infrastructure on the property.

Coming after years planning and negotiation, last night’s deal was considered momentous.

“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,” said JCRA Executive Director Diana Jeffrey.  “This RDA (redevelopment agreement) 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 Bayfront Promenade building will also house nearly 10,000 square feet of common space including an 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. Sponsors expect the structure to earn Enterprise Green Communities and Energy Star certifications.

Elizabeth Morrill

Deputy Editor Elizabeth Morrill has worked in business, not for profit fundraising and as a freelance copy editor. She holds degrees in American studies and education from Yale and Harvard.