Kushner’s controversial One Journal Square project receives approval to bring 1,700 units to Jersey City
All renderings by Woods Bagot
After sitting vacant for over a decade, a large site in Jersey City’s Journal Square will soon be home to two 710-foot towers with over 1,700 units of housing. The Jersey City Planning Board on Tuesday approved Kushner Companies’ controversial One Journal Square project, signaling the beginning of the end of this development saga. The approval came after the city and the developer reached a settlement agreement last October over a lawsuit filed in 2018 against the city by Kushner Companies, run by the family of White House advisor Jared Kushner, that claimed officials stalled the project over “anti-Trump” sentiment.
Designed by Woods Bagot Architects, the skyscraper complex measures about two million square feet and consists of two 52-story towers rising from one 10-story podium. In total, there are 1,723 units of housing, 883 parking spaces, and space for retail and commercial use. Older plans had called for two 849 foot tall, 56-story towers with 1,512 residential units and a 56- and a 79-story tower with a total of 1,725 units.
Amenities at One Journal Square include a full-sized basketball court, pool, roof terrace, dog run, dining areas, and a landscaped public plaza surrounding the building.
“Kushner is excited to reach this milestone needed to get this pivotal project off the ground and make 1 Journal Square a reality,” Jenny Bernell, executive vice president of development for Kushner, told NJ.com in a statement. “We look forward to continuing a great collaboration with Jersey City.”
The site, which is next to the Journal Square PATH train station, has been vacant since 2009. Kushner Companies and KABR bought the property in 2015 and their plans to build two 56-story towers were approved in 2017, along with $93 million in tax breaks from the state, which included $59 million tied to bringing co-working company WeWork to the site.
There were issues getting the project started, especially after WeWork backed out as the anchor tenant of One Journal Square. Nicole Kushner Meyer also attempted to raise money from Chinese investors by promising EB-5 visas in exchange, name-dropping her brother Jared as a way to lure investment. The company reportedly sought 300 wealthy investors from China to provide about $150 million for One Journal.
In response, Mayor Steve Fulop announced that Jersey City would no longer provide the 30-year tax break and $30 million in city-issued bonds the developer had requested. Kushner then filed a lawsuit against Jersey City, blaming the mayor’s “political animus” toward Donald Trump. The suit had claimed Fulop issued a default against the $900 million development in order to “appease and curry favor with the overwhelmingly anti-Trump constituents of Jersey City,” as 6sqft reported.
Construction is expected to kick off at One Journal Square in mid-2021, with the project completed in 2025.
- Kushner Companies revive plans for problem-plagued towers at One Journal Square
- Kushner Cos. blame Jersey City’s ‘anti-Trump’ sentiment in lawsuit over stalled $900M project
All renderings by Woods Bagot