JERSEY CITY, NJ - Hoping to help local business along Central Avenue, Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced on Monday that the city is moving forward on a project that was a priority for the late Ward D Councilman, Michael Yun.
The city will engage in a public/private partnership to construct a new 7-story residential building with views of the NYC Skyline, in addition to a multi-level parking garage with 400 public parking spaces to replace the existing smaller, and often overflowing, surface lot. The project, being developed to serve as parking for both residents and visitors to The Heights, also received planning board approval Tuesday.
The proposal is the first city project to create a parking facility since the turn of the century.
Heights residents have long advocated for better parking solutions, which is why the city, along with Councilman Yun, spent nearly two years engaging the neighborhood and business community to carefully craft an improved parking plan.
Three years ago, a draft redevelopment plan backed Yun considered the area of about 35 acres and 356 parcels, going north along Central Avenue. One key element of the plan looked at development of a parking deck to help increase flow of business to the area. A number of cities, including Union City, he noted at the time, provided parking areas where shoppers could park, and his vision was to establish something similar for the Central Avenue business district.
“This is a project that was a priority for Councilman Yun, and I’m proud we're able to continue with his vision. Michael was a tireless advocate for improving Central Avenue over the last several decades since he opened his business there," Fulop said. "We are going to make sure we move forward on the plans he advocated for including this parking facility, the remaking of the Central Ave streetscape, and the completion of Reservoir 3.”
The plan also has the support Central Ave Special Improvement District (SID), including Gary Solomon, owner of Hauptman Floor Covering and founding member of the business partnership who said that "the dream of having additional parking for the Central Avenue Business Community is getting closer to being a reality."
"This project has been over 20 years in the making, he continued, thanking Mayor Fulop and the Planning Department for all of their "hard work, ideas, and progress on this greatly needed improvement to our area.”
Incorporating the community’s feedback, in order to maximize foot traffic and minimize conflicts with traffic circulation on Central Avenue, vehicular access to the proposed parking deck will be facilitated from Cambridge Avenue. The site plans also include a 10,000 square foot pedestrian plaza - as originally proposed by Yun - to allow space for community events in the heart of The Heights.
“The City is working to improve our main thoroughfares for pedestrians while we better manage far-reaching parking demands," said Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh. “It’s clear my predecessor, Councilman Yun, was hard at work on many quality of life efforts, and I’m honored to continue to push them through for the overall betterment of this community.”
The new structure will also be required to incorporate green infrastructure as part of the administration’s Resiliency Master Plan. The developer will incorporate innovative, cost-effective flood reduction and pollution solutions while promoting sustainable development through features such as a sustainable rooftop, solar panels, or an on-site common rooftop recreation space.