JERSEY CITY, NJ – Construction on a mixed-use apartment tower featuring room for three ground floor stores will begin in the Jackson Hill neighborhood after the Jersey City Planning Board authorized the facility at a meeting on April 6. 

Prospective tenants of the five-story complex at 541-547 Martin Luther King Drive will choose from a selection of 36 residential units and receive a variety of internal and external amenities. Led by developers Abraham Stark and Menachem Hoffman of New York City, the project also borders Clinton Avenue to the north, and a paved municipal common area separates the two roads. 

“The building, we believe, is going to certainly add some activity to this plaza, whether it be outdoor dining space or other types of activity that will be related to the retail stores,” architect Dennis Devino said. 

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Renderings from Devino Architects & Associates explain that the commercial spaces range from just over 1,100 square feet to over 2,000 square feet in size. One retailer sits directly on the public plaza, while the remaining two face Martin Luther King Drive on the opposite side of the property. 

Through a lobby on Martin Luther King Drive, tenants will access their private gym, lounge, and storage for 22 bicycles. Elevators toward the middle of the first level provide access to the four residential floors and rooftop deck. 

“We have a 577-square-foot fitness center, but the lobby is also looked at as a possible workspace for individuals that may be working from home,” Devino said. 

Devino’s architectural plans describe that 20 of the proposed apartments contain one bedroom and one bathroom, and four units include a bedroom, bathroom, and den. Eight units will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and four additional options offer two bedrooms with one bathroom.

The smallest units with a single bedroom and bathroom measure nearly 610 square feet, and the largest apartments with two bedrooms and two bathrooms are expected to be approximately 910 square feet. Devino added that each alternative comes with either an outdoor balcony or patio. 

And at the structure’s peak, Devino allocated more than 3,300 square feet of green roofing covered in low-lying plants. Nearly 1,500 square feet are reserved for a rooftop deck finished with wooden pedestal pavers. 

On the ground floor storefronts, Devino incorporated glazing with metal and concrete paneling and provided an awning above the entrances. A blend of brickwork, corrugated metal, and concrete panels comprise the façade of the residential levels, while stucco and fiber cement siding cover the rear-facing sides. 

Devino’s renderings indicated that the building would have backlit signage spelling “Verge” toward the top of its northern and eastern façades to represent the tower’s name. But according to Stephen Joseph, the project’s attorney, community members expressed their displeasure with the name at an earlier neighborhood meeting. 

Moving forward, Joseph said the developers intend to change the name and remove the logo to comply with local regulations. 

The structure replaces the restaurant, event space, and apartments currently located on the parcel, which is just over a quarter mile walk from the Martin Luther King Drive Light Rail Station. The Planning Board’s decision coincides with its approval of a mixed-use facility at 124-126 Martin Luther King Drive at the April 6 meeting as well. 

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