BY REBECCA SHEEHAN
All familiar with Jersey City know that Journal Square is the heart of it all. Getting its name from the newspaper, Jersey Journal, whose offices are located within the square, everything that is important to the city happens here in the square. It’s the business district, the residential area, transportation hub for the PATH and the headquarters of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson lines in Jersey City.
The Jersey Journal is reporting, thanks to the Jersey City Planning Board’s approval, Journal Square may be getting the
jumpstart it’s been longing for with the construction of three residential towers containing close to 2,000 units each. The vote for the towers was unanimous by the board.
The KRE Group is signed onto this project slated to begin by the end of 2013. According to the construction plans, the towers will sit adjacent to the Journal Square PATH station, which is west of Summit Avenue. With the addition of the towers, the Jersey Journal noted, a public plaza will also be built to connect Summit to the transportation center.
“KRE are proven developers in Jersey City with successful projects such as 225 Marin,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill to the Jersey Journal. “It is classic example of transit-oriented development with density located next to mass transit.”
Although the addition of these towers will start the next phase of positive development and prosperity in Jersey City, not everyone agrees with it. Journal Square’s Hilltop Neighborhood Association (HNA), is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to developing community awareness in and about the Hilltop neighborhood, is against the towers, according to Rich Boggiano, the HNA president. Boggiano may be all for developing the area, but believes these enormous buildings would tower over the homes in the neighborhood.
“Nobody in this city listens to the neighborhood. Nobody listens to the people of Jersey City,” he said also noting the HNA’s beliefs that the project would increase traffic problems in the square, in addition to putting strains on the local sewer
system and schools.
Hoping to break ground next year, the first phase of the project would include the construction of a 54-story tower
with 540 units.