On July 20, 2022 in New Jersey, Jersey City‘s mayor, Steven M. Fulop, joined the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) to announce the 6-0 vote by the JCRA’s Board of Commissioners, which unanimously approved the first Bayfront redevelopment agreement (RDA) with Bayfront Development Partners LLC.
“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,” said Mayor Fulop.
“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. To take it a step further, throughout the redevelopment process, we require job prioritization for local residents during and after construction, public access along the Hackensack River Waterfront, and flood mitigation infrastructure, among other key elements to ensure our community benefits most,” he added.
This mixed-use redevelopment project on the revitalized waterfront promises 35% affordable housing for low-income households earning 60% and below the area median income (AMI).
“We’re thrilled to work closely with the Mayor, JCRA, HEDC, and all project partners on the transformative Bayfront Promenade redevelopment,” said Jacob Fisher, Regional Vice President at Pennrose. “The comprehensive redevelopment will transform a former industrial site into a vibrant, transit-oriented community with high-quality, affordable housing.”
The first six-story building will also incorporate multifunctional retail space, job prioritization for local residents, green infrastructure, flood mitigation, and other community-driven amenities along the Hackensack River waterfront to benefit the residents of Jersey City.
From the start, Mayor Fulop pushed for a high level of affordability, requiring a minimum of 35% affordable units throughout the Bayfront site to increase affordable housing opportunities for our neediest residents. With these requirements, Bayfront will provide the most affordable housing of any private mixed-income community of this size in the country.
The first building, Bayfront Promenade, will include six stories with 209 units with 35% designated for households at 60% AMI and below. 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.
“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 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,” she continued.
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 5%, as was previously stipulated in the redevelopment plan, to a new goal of 35% with the City controlling the property. The agreement, passed by the City Council, bonded $170 million to purchase the land and build the necessary infrastructure on the property.
“The Bayfront Advisory Committee has been a guiding force to ensure the community’s needs are addressed every step of the way in the redevelopment process. Community involvement at this level benefits current and long-established residents of Jersey City by bringing much-needed investment and amenities to reinvigorate the south and west sides of Jersey City. Thank you to my fellow Bayfront Advisory Committee members and to all the residents that have been working with us and providing input,” concluded Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.
The approval of the first redevelopment agreement is the result of a rigorous, multi-year-long process. After a thorough review, the JCRA and Bayfront Advisory Board carefully selected Bayfront Development Partners as the first approved Request for Proposal (RFP) for the redevelopment project.
Bayfront Development Partners, a joint venture between industry-leading developers Pennrose LLC and Omni America LLC, has agreed to meet the City’s demands to build affordable housing and other community-driven requirements.
“I am happy to be part of such a transformative project. The work done over the last few years by the advisory board, JCRA, and the City is finally starting to take shape,” added Ward A Councilwoman and Bayfront Community Advisory Committee member Denise Ridley.
“This is an important project for Greenville residents who remember what the site once was, watched it through remediation, and will now see a mixed-income development here. It is proof that projects in our area can be thoughtfully constructed in the current real estate market while ensuring affordable options for current residents. In Ward A, it is important to honor the past while embracing the future,” she explained.
The Bayfront Promenade building will also house nearly 10,000 square feet of community facility space and a wide array of amenities, such as an expansive 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.
“Omni is delighted to move forward with Pennrose and our local and state partners on this transformational mixed-use, mixed-income project that will serve as a model for future public-private partnerships in New Jersey and beyond. We look forward to making Bayfront Promenade a vibrant, community-oriented development that enhances quality of life for all,” said David Fleming, Executive Director of Development, Omni America LLC.
The first Bayfront building will incorporate sustainable and green building practices to achieve Enterprise Green Communities and Energy Star certification while using LEED measures, certifying the development of quality affordable housing making for a healthier, socially responsible, and sustainable place for hundreds of families to live.
“This is an important moment for Jersey City. Bayfront will transform all of Greenville in a number of ways. I’ve been involved in this process since 2018, and we’ve had community participation throughout the entire process. I give Mayor Fulop kudos for his progressive outlook and looking towards the future to create a great neighborhood that will last hundreds of years, and to Councilwoman Ridley, who has moved the needle on how development should be going forward,” concluded Bayfront Community Advisory Committee member Jeff Kaplowitz.
“Bayfront will be a blueprint for other urban areas to follow on how to incorporate affordable housing with market-rate housing, creating a community that has a remarkable living experience and retail amenities along a great waterfront,” he concluded.
Images courtesy of Bayfront Development Partners, LLC.