Jersey City hopes $20M city hall annex will spark revitalization of neighborhood

Edwin Davis moved to Orient Avenue from Manhattan about a year ago and felt some initial trepidation about the area.

The neighborhood struggles with poverty, unemployment and crime. Residents nicknamed the local McDonald’s “Smackdonald’s” because of drug addicts they see congregating there in the early-morning hours.

Davis was steered to the area by a real-estate broker, and now says he’s “happy to be here.”

He’s even more excited now that the city plans to open a new $20 million municipal building in the Hub plaza.

City officials said the city hall annex will remake the troubled Martin Luther King Drive strip it will call home by attracting commercial and real-estate development. Ward F Councilwoman Diane Coleman said the annex will be the “cornerstone” of the economic revitalization of the area.

Mayor Steve Fulop said the building will be “nothing short of transformational” for the city’s Ward F, which includes a swath of the struggling inner city.

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