Owners of properties near a proposed a 9-acre redevelopment project along Bates Street in southern Jersey City who once opposed the plan now support it and say they believe it is exactly what the area needs.
The owners made their views known to the city in letters that were obtained by NJBIZ.
Manhattan Building Co. (MBC), is the master developer of the project, which it says would represent the first cohesive development away from the waterfront.
The original proposal called for 2,360 units across four towers ranging from 23 to 50 stories, but the redevelopment plan will be scaled back after community meetings and feedback, MBC said. MBC, along with other developers that own interests in the project, is working with city officials on a long-term plan to create infrastructure, including parks, sidewalks and sewer and water lines
Owners of properties adjacent to the redevelopment project will then enter into a sub-redeveloper agreement with MBC and adhere to the amended plan.
“Despite the previously perceived animosity between the Large Property Owners and the Master Redeveloper, the purpose of this letter is to make it crystal clear. We are all working towards the same goal on a unified front and we have agreed to follow the lead of the master redeveloper,” Tom Critelli, member of York Street West LLC wrote in a recent letter to Annisia Cialone, director of the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce.
Critelli added that he was also writing for Mike Mecca, of Mecca Realty Properties and Jack Yao, of Pegasus Enterprises, who were initially litigating against the project.
“The time is now – this is a unique opportunity to create a world-class neighborhood, including recreation and open space, affordable housing, connectivity and much needed new sewage infrastructure,” the letter reads.
John Palumbo, chief legal officer/vice president of real estate development at Manhattan Building Co. told NJBIZ that he believes this plan is what the community of the southern end of Jersey City needs and is excited about creating jobs in the area.
Palumbo said that what he’s most passionate about is the opportunity to work together with the Hudson County Building & Construction Trades Council to create an apprenticeship program specifically for the Bates Project to ensure local minority job opportunities.
The Hudson County Building & Construction Trades Council, which represents thousands of union workers who live and work in Jersey City and other Hudson County surrounding areas, is another organization in supporting MBC and the Bates Street Redevelopment project.
Patrick Kelleher, president of the HCBC Trades Council stated in a letter that “this Development Team has expertise in master planning, as well as, horizontal and vertical development and the need for serious infrastructure planning. Furthermore, from our working relationship with Manhattan Building Co., we know that this development team brings a unique insight on the Jersey City community and the many issues that must be addressed.”