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Re: Metropolitan Tower
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The 4 towers at Metro Plaza will not be built - but there will eventually be large residential + retail development at that site in smaller towers.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 18:08
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Metropolitan Tower
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What ever happened to that supertall that was proposed for the site where Pep Boys sits? Did the twin Monaco towers take it's place, or is that huge (800' high) Metropolitan Tower still in the works on some level?

Posted on: 2012/2/23 17:31
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Posted on: 2007/6/16 17:28
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Has anybody heard any updates on this project?

Posted on: 2007/6/16 17:23
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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10/28/2006

67-story tower approved for Pep Boys lot

Planning Board OK's 'Metropolitan'; residents concerned about height

Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer


Soon another skyscraper will be hovering over the Jersey City skyline.

The Jersey City Planning Board at its Tuesday meeting approved the Metropolitan, a 67-story building to be built near Newport Mall. It will be built on the site of a Pep Boys Automotive store in Metro Plaza, across the street from the mall.

The 755-foot tower, when completed, will have 809 residential units with 817 parking spaces, approximately 809 of those in an eight-floor garage inside the building, and eight outside. There will be 12,445 square feet of retail space.

G&S Investors, a real estate investment company based in Port Chester, N.Y., will build the project. They have been the owners of the Metro Plaza shopping center since the early 1990s.

The designer is the architectural firm Arquitectonica of Miami. They also designed the Ellipse, a 460-foot residential tower planned for construction in Jersey City's Newport residential area.

They also designed the Westin Times Square hotel in New York City.

But several speakers from the public expressed concern over the project.


Concessions


The project will deviate from the Hudson Exchange Redevelopment Plan in several ways.

Among the deviations are decreasing the width of the parking spaces from 9 feet to 8.5 feet, which increase the number of spaces from 610 to 817.

The developers will also decrease the setbacks from the street on three sides of the building.

Bernardo Fort Brescia, architect for the project said there will be a 35,000 sq. ft "green roof" on the garage, which means landscaping and trees.

Other amenities include a swimming pool and tennis courts.

John Pavlovich, traffic engineer on the project, said a traffic signal would be installed on the street there was found to be a bigger increase than indicated in a traffic study they commissioned.


ShopRite won't close

Larry Inserra, Jr., owner of the ShopRite supermarket at Metro Plaza, dispelled any rumors that the supermarket would be closing as the result of the Metropolitan project, calling it "one of most successful stores in the chain."

Nevins McCann added that there are plans for a master plan for the area as the Metropolitan project would be the first phase of a larger development project that would span over 20 years, with retail always having a presence in the plaza. The master plan would include creating an extension of Fourth Street to run past the plaza to mitigate the projected increase of traffic in the future.

The public's turn

Members of the public then had an opportunity to present their issues.

Valerio Luccio, a Second Street resident and president of the Harsimus Cove Neighborhood Association, called the height of the building "a bit excessive."

He also questioned whether there will be configuration of the plaza, which Luccio said has acted as a barrier separating Downtown residents from the waterfront.

"The real problem I have with this whole thing is I don't have a lot of information, and this is very disappointing," he said. "The developers did not approach the neighborhood association or the community to discuss this whole plan with us."

Francis Schiller, another attorney for the project, said the proposed master plan for the plaza will be presented in a few months to the Planning Board, and his clients would make arrangements to meet with the community.

Catherine Grimm, a Heights resident, wondered if the building could be built as a "green" building, or environmentally friendly, with as solar panels to generate heat and plumbing to recycle rainwater. One representative for the project said there are no plans for a "green" building.

Richard Deagle, a Jersey Avenue resident, wondered why the master plan has not been presented before a site plan for the project, and why a building of this size is being constructed only blocks from already existing residential areas.

"We are talking five blocks from Jersey Avenue and seven blocks from Hamilton Park for the second tallest building in [New] Jersey," said Deagle.

Dan Falcon, a Newport resident, was also upset about the master plan not being presented before the Metropolitan site plan. He also requested that the application be tabled until there is a master plan.

Approval with conditions

The Planning Board did not heed Falcon's request, as they approved the application for the project, giving kudos to the architect for the design.

But before the vote, City Planner Maryann Bucci Carter said the parking width of 8.5 feet is a permitted width and that the building's height is also permitted within the existing redevelopment plan.

Planning Board Commissioner Leon Yost said that the developers should think carefully of so many parking spaces in an area where the NJ Transit light rail runs through, but gave his approval.

Commissioner Michael Sottolano said looking at the building, he was "overwhelmed" and "it's a tremendous project."

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2006/10/29 2:36
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Posted on: 2006/10/25 17:17
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Why should we care if the developers make money or go broke --
downtown will have lots more people in any event -- rentals or
condos -- it will be (already is) vastly safer than only a few years
ago -- and we will have lots of amenities -- sure rents will be
much higher and that is a shame for those renting but if you own,
or you are lucky to have a rent stabilized place then you will likely
be happy about the changes.

It is also great for Journal Square, the Heights and frankly
everywhere in JC-- more good tenants who move out of downtown
because they can't afford the higher rents or all the newcomers
who feel safer with the new downtown but can't afford the rents
will look in these areas

I am not gonna lose sleep worrying about the developers -- even if
they all go broke -- people will be renting in these high end
buildings -- maybe at discounted prices - but don't hold your
breath for that one.

------------------------------------------

I also think you underestimate the wealth of many of the new
"immigrants" and what is really happening in New York City's and
"wealthy" suburbs' growth.


JSalt wrote:
"Despite what you may want to believe, the overwhelming majority
of that U.S. population growth is happening in suburbs, and very
little of it is in urban areas.

The vast majority of New York City's population growth has been
due to immigrants in the outer boroughs - people who do not likely
buy luxury condos."

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:59
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Despite what you may want to believe, the overwhelming majority of that U.S. population growth is happening in suburbs, and very little of it is in urban areas.

The vast majority of New York City's population growth has been due to immigrants in the outer boroughs - people who do not likely buy luxury condos.

Of course these facts don't preclude the possibility that there is overwhelming pent-up demand for apartments in this specific area (some claim there's a massive shortage in Manhattan).

But I think what's probably going to happen is that you're going to wind up with at least a few years where there's a huge surplus of inventory and condos don't move. Then it'll be a matter of whether the developer has the balls and the funds to wait things out until the market picks up again.

One of the more interesting things about Delivered Vacant is that it ends right around when the Hoboken started to cool for a while (obviously it eventually picked up again). The bigger developer the film follows winds up going bankrupt, and the smaller one ends up losing money on his brownstone-rehab projects. People always assume the developers know what they're doing, but there's no guarantee of that.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:42
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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actually the numbers are very healthy for preconstruction.
as far as crowding - look at manhattan's east side : from 20's thru ues - its' all hi-rises and plenty of office space on lex, yet 1 main subway line :4/5/6. jc downtown is nowhere near that density. actually, at this point hoboken has higher density of population then newport , believe it or not. and if you were in newport or near exchange pl every day - it does not have crowds either.
about path, though i agree - that worries me somewhat. but PA states that ridership was much higher earlier , so they can handle it.
potholes are jc province - chances are with more affluent dwellers roads will improve. at least closer to waterfront.
rebuilding ramps to holland tunnel already started: 15 year project.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:28
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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well there you go, there's the numbers, and they don't lie.
are they building bigger path train platforms? more shopping? How about fixing some damn potholes, i'm sure the richies that are moving in don't want their fancy cars messed up.
i just can't picture downtown w/ that many more people. good luck downtownies.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:18
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Quote:

ErinMaiden wrote:
ii just keep seeing more and more building, but i don't see people trampling down others to get these condos.


new buildings are selling in hoboken and in jc. you can check out kannekt bs - granted, there's a lot of fluff posted there, but there's enough info, if you're willing to sift thru.
currently trump is selling the 1st building : in 1 month 30% sold. also shore club north sold 135 out of 221 units since july. A sales slowed and mandalay's are in a total slump, but it's an older and much less attractive building.
so currently there are 4 hi-rises competing, not including portofino and shoreclub south, both of which sold out quite some time ago.
there's only 2 rentals being build at the moment off waterfront - columbus and grove point. they're pricing grove point condo's same as condo A (wonder who'll fall for that...)
2nd trump might be a rental and also 2nd 77 hudson - but that is at least 5 years in the making. hi-rise rental market is very healthy in jc - buildings are at very high occupancy and rents are steadily rising. the only other rental coming up soon is aqua in newport - contruction starting in 2008. that one will have knock out views, together with knock out prices. if lefrak does not fret, who'll rent, neither do i.
oh, and by the way - check out W condo's thread on kannekt, some astounding numbers quoted there....

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:13
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:07
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Setting aside the cost for a minute - would most of you be comfortable living 60+ stories up? Maybe I am just a worry wort, but I don't like the idea of living any higher than I can comfortably get up and down stairs to.

Similarly, people have expressed concern about living in the Beacon because of its previous use as a hospital, but I haven't read anyone express the same concern about The St. Francis condos.


On another note: if as Alb believes, tearing down Pep Boys is a Mitzvah, I think the community should insist that there be a Bar as one of the commercial establishments. The Bar Mitzvah could feature the wines of Manischewitz - talk about terroir!

Posted on: 2006/10/25 16:04
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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i just do NOT understand how they think they can fill a huge ass project like this. not to mention where will all those people eat, and what trains will the take to get to work?
i just keep seeing more and more building, but i don't see people trampling down others to get these condos.

I walk everyday from the heights thru hoboken to get the bus, and there's so many new buildings going up in hoboken, but the one thats been finished for about a year has about 4 condos bought. I know this b/c i'm nosy and peek in the windows.

I just don't understand how they can continue to build and build and build some more when existing projects sit empty. Such a waste.

ps. anyone that lives in the heights and takes the lightrail at congress, have you seen the new large hole that used to be a field next to the tracks? Does anyone know what this is? i would be SHOCKED to learn its more condos but developers never cease to amaze me in the fact that they will build a condo ON tracks, and then say luxury b/c it has a stainless steel stove.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 15:49
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Quote:
So the end result is that the city gets a "beautiful" new building with extra traffic and congestion on mass transit with NOTHING in return except for Payment In Lieu of Taxes.


To me, the tax-abatement thing is the worst part.

I don't mind the idea of people building tall buildings on ugly lots around Shoprite. Tearing down 111 First or the Embankment might be a crime against posterity, but tearing Pepboys or BJ's would be a mitzvah.

I could also live with the limited parking space philosophy. Given how few people really need a car to get to work, why can't all the developers just copy the new Trump building developers and offer to provide access to a fleet of Zipcar rental cars?

But the whole idea that developers are getting tax breaks in exchange for developing on ultra-hot property seems to be extremely absurd.

I don't mind all that much if the developers of the Beacon or the various Bergen-Lafayette properties get abatements. Developers there might really need help to make their projects work. But the folks developing residential units downtown ought to understand that improving the local government infrastructure, including the schools, is in the interest of their customers.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 14:04
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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SWEET! I can't wait until they start knocking down condos to build more condos!

Posted on: 2006/10/25 13:24
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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The architect (who also designed the Ellipse) was there and gave a stealthy presentation. He spoke loud, clear and swiftly as he explained each picture board and moved them along quickly. Lot's of pictures. People's eyes were bugging out... you needed big eyes to take it all in!

I got a chance to look (and touch) the materials.. blue/green glass. Very nice.

I liked the part when Falcon asked when they planned to start building.... and they responded.. right away! Priceless.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 11:27
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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The Metropolitan was approved unanomously tonight at the Jersey City Planning meeting. What happend to the intelligent people on the planning board, they got rid of them!

The few people from the public who spoke including myself asked questions with no satisfying answers, here are a few:

When is Pep Boys going to be torn down? No Comment
Will it be condo or rental? No Comment
Are you going to be seeking a tax abatement? No Comment
Does the City have the right to deny this application? NO, only the 2 deviations which include parking space width and setback from the sidewalks.

I requested that the developer reveal to the city and the general public the Master Plan for the entire redevelopment plan which includes the strip mall with BJs and Shoprite. This should be done BEFORE this building gets approved.

In her endorsement of this approval Maryann Bucci Carter from planning explained that a new traffic study for downtown will recommend that new projects should contain LESS parking spaces to reduce traffic congestion downtown and promote mass transit. Even the developers engineer admitted that only 10% of residents use cars to get to work. Maryann said this project is best suited to meet this new guideline because of its proximity to mass transit but then recommended that it be exempt for the new parking guidelines and get approved with 809 parking spaces for 809 units. The planning commissioners then amended the Master Plan to accomidate the developer's parking requirement. This was the ONLY thing that planning was able to control and they gave it away to the developer without modifying anything for the public good including open space/park space on the site.

So the end result is that the city gets a "beautiful" new building with extra traffic and congestion on mass transit with NOTHING in return except for Payment In Leiu of Taxes.

According to the Jersey Journal there are approximately 25,000 units approved but not yet completed, mostly in downtown Jersey City, NJ. I cannot understand how they expect to rent or sell all of these units within the next few years.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 3:32
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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maybe mr. trump will go 1,000 feet? he's not one to be outdone.

Posted on: 2006/9/18 5:02
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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the 3 buildings : one south of doubletree, 2 north are Monaco, San Remo 1 and 2. Approved i think already - part of DoubleTree expansion by developer. jerseycityportal has some articles on them.

Posted on: 2006/9/18 0:47
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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I just pray we don't end up with another monstrosity like the one Arquitectonica (the design firm for the Metropolitan) built in Times Square
That building makes me shudder everytime I see it
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Posted on: 2006/9/17 4:18

Edited by HPDweller on 2006/9/17 4:38:56
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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As Jim Carrey would say..... Smokin!

Posted on: 2006/9/17 2:38
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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yes very miami that is correct in fact we have a buiding underconstruction similar at 67 stories called The Marquis.

Posted on: 2006/9/17 2:01
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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I retract that then.. the original article was misinformed. Just enjoy the eye candy in that case.

Posted on: 2006/9/16 18:48
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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No no no.. this isn't The Ellipse. That's being built IN Newport by the Lefraks... on a pier practically IN the water. Same architectural firm though... this is an entirely DIFFERENT building. I have to eat my words I never saw anything about building on MetroPlaza until now... I guess it's "good" the ShopRite is stayin' for better or worse, right?

Looks stunning though.. SO much more distinctive than the ugly boxes we're currently getting.

Posted on: 2006/9/16 17:19
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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Quote:

kvtshirt wrote:


Here is a concept rendering of the building, now largely referred to as "The Ellipse" by many in the real estate community because of its stark departure from the standard architectural model for most Jersey City highrises.



I thought The Ellipse was another tower, a bit further east, planned by LeFrak.

The Metropolitan is not The Ellipse.

Posted on: 2006/9/16 17:18
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Re: 67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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This was recently covered in Curbed. "I've seen the plans...Boomerang shape. Cool top. Boxy podium with pool on top. Very Miami." Here is a concept rendering of the building, now largely referred to as "The Ellipse" by many in the real estate community because of its stark departure from the standard architectural model for most Jersey City highrises.

Posted on: 2006/9/16 16:13
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67-story condo tower proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state.
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67-story tower to overlook Newport Mall

Proposed for Pep Boys site, would be 2nd largest building in state

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Hudson Reporter --09/15/2006

FUTURE CONDO SITE ? The Metropolitan is planned for construction on the site of the Pep Boys Automotive Supercenter. The other stores at the center will remain.

A 755-foot residential tower called the "Metropolitan" is being proposed for land just south of the Newport Mall, at the site of where a Pep Boys Automotive store is currently located.

If it gets its city approvals, the structure at Sixth and Washington streets would be the second largest building in New Jersey. The largest building is already in Jersey City: the Goldman Sachs building at 30 Hudson St. stands at 791 feet.

Within a 10-block radius, there are several condo towers either under construction or that have been approved for construction, including: the 55-story Trump Plaza Jersey City on Washington Blvd. and Bay Street; the 33-story Athena on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Second Street; and the proposed San Remo I, San Remo, and Monaco condo towers located off Washington Boulevard behind the Doubletree Hotel.

The Metropolitan, when completed, will have 809 condominium units, 809 parking spaces on seven floors, and 12,445 square feet of retail space.

The tower is one of several that may be built in that 18-acre shopping area currently anchored by a Shop Rite supermarket and BJ's Wholesale Club. But those shopping stores will still remain.

The plans for the Metropolitan were presented to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency at their August meeting, and will be presented to the Jersey City Planning Board on October 3.

Details behind the Metropolitan

G&S Investors, a real estate investment company based in Port Chester, N.Y., will build the Metropolitan. They have been the owners of the Metro Plaza shopping center since the early 1990s.

The designer of the project is the architectural firm Arquitectonica of Miami. They also designed the Ellipse, a 460-foot residential tower planned for construction in Jersey City's Newport residential area. They also designed the Westin Times Square hotel in New York City.

Tom Lehne, consultant for G&S Investors, said last week the Metropolitan is estimated to cost $180 to $200 million and construction would start next summer, pending all approvals from the city.

Lehne was the former head of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency in the early 1980s.

Lehne also dispelled rumors regarding the closing of the Shop Rite supermarket, BJ'S Wholesale Club, and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores.

"The other stores have very long-term leases and they are doing great business, especially the Shop Rite," said Lehne. "And it is the wish of [Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy] and the Redevelopment Agency, and I am sure the Planning Department, that the Shop Rite and its parking lot stays intact."

First phase of development at shopping center

Jersey City attorney Francis Schiller, representing the developers, said the Metropolitan project would be the first phase of a larger development project that would span over 20 years, with retail always having a presence in the plaza. Schiller said there will be a meeting with the city's Planning Department to create a master plan specifically for the plaza.

What prompted G&S Investors to look at a residential component? Lehne said the decision was based on them seeing the continuing development in Jersey City.

Schiller said there is no height restriction in the area, which is governed by the Hudson Exchange Redevelopment Plan. The height of this building, Schiller said, would provide "great view corridors" of the New York Skyline to the east and the Watchung Mountains to the west.

What's inside the Metropolitan?

Lehne said the developers are looking to provide a "first-class signature building."

Instead of housing only condos, Lehne said the developers may decide to provide a mix of condos and rentals. That will be predicated on a marketing study being done by the developers currently to learn how to attract new residents to the Metropolitan.

Lehne added that the developers will contribute their share of affordable housing as required by the city for the its Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Residential units will conceal the four stories of parking from public view.

The 12,445 square feet of retail space on the ground floor will be divided into three areas. Both Schiller and Lehne agreed that the retail will be "neighborhood friendly boutiques" or small-scale retail since there are already big-box stores.

Councilman likes project but not abatement

Lehne said the developers will seek a tax abatement for the project.

A tax abatement is an agreement to exempt a developer from paying regular fluctuating property taxes. Instead, the developer makes a separate revenue deal to pay money directly to the city over 20 or 30 years. The city gets all the money rather than having to share it with the county and schools.

In the last few years, the agreements have become controversial because some people believe developers don't need the extra incentive to build, and other residents may have to chip in a bigger share of taxes than they should have to.

"The city actually makes a lot of money; it's a revenue producer," argued Lehne. "This site is two, three acres, which will mean millions of dollars going to the city."

Also happy about the Metropolitan but opposed to an abatement being granted is Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop, who represents most of Downtown Jersey City, including the project site.

"I think it will be a great project, but if they come to seek an abatement, I will vote against it," said Fulop. "I think they can build this project without incentives."

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2006/9/16 13:15
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