For years, a large parking lot on the corner of Christopher Columbus Drive and Barrow Street has been a convenient option for motorists looking to access Downtown amenities or to grab a Path train at Grove Street. This week the lot closed for good to make way for a condo development, potentially exacerbating a shortage of on-street parking.

Rendering of Columbus & Barrow Residences. Image courtesy of Bodnar Architectural Studio.

According to a spokesperson for 143 Columbus Group JC, the company developing the site, the Jersey City Planning Board insisted on the lot’s closure when it gave the developer the go ahead for the project, called Columbus & Barrow Residences.

143 Christopher Columbus Drive
143 Christopher Columbus Drive

The 113 page 2020 Jersey City Parking Plan recommended that the city “study the areas of high-test demand, such as around the Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza …and develop a comprehensive curb management plan that matches supply to demand throughout the day and night, balancing the needs of deliveries, pick-ups and drop-offs, parking and other curbside uses.”

Asked about Downtown parking, Ward E Councilman James Solomon said that he had worked with Pershing last year to open parking at 95 Christopher Columbus Drive to the public.

The mayor’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

But parking continues to be “a major issue” for local residents says Craig Zehms, president of the Van Vorst Park Association. At a recent meeting with consultants at Grace Van Vorst Church at least sixty “very passionate people there … were not shy about expressing their concerns.”

The 63 unit project will include townhouses on Barrow Street, a seven story building on Christopher Columbus Drive and the renovation of the historic 143 Christopher Columbus Drive building. Formerly home to JC Studios and a Korean Jiu-Jitsu academy, the building was vacated after it caught fire in April of last year.

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....