JERSEY CITY, NJ – Construction could soon commence on Jersey City’s new public safety headquarters after the Planning Board accepted an application from the real estate investors overseeing the project at Tuesday’s meeting.
Local officials broke ground on the site at 358 Martin Luther King Drive last September, the first step toward adding the 12-story tower to the Jackson Square Municipal Complex. According to a statement released by the city, the $120 million structure will house police and fire operations, parking enforcement, and a community court.
“We’re really excited for the new public safety headquarters building to start going vertical,” developer Eric Moore said at the meeting.
Moore, president of the Pennsylvania-based Brandywine Financial Services Corp., presented the proposal to the board and described that city residents will eventually visit the facility to acquire liquor licenses, parking and firearms permits, and public records. He said the property contains offices for the leaders of Jersey City’s different government agencies as well.
Renderings from the firm USA Architects depict a recruitment center for aspiring first responders and a museum on the first floor, while the third floor is allocated for the city’s 911 dispatchers.
“We’re planning for that [museum] to be integrated into class trips, etcetera, to teach kids and the community what…the police and fire do in more detail,” Moore said.
Project architects reserved the fourth floor for the city’s command center and designed an array of training rooms into the floorplan. They placed the community court and the Quality of Life Task Force on the fifth floor and based fire operations on the sixth floor.
Floors seven through nine feature a blend of workspaces and conference rooms, while offices for several department directors are slated for the 10th and 11th stories.
The building peaks at a penthouse largely intended for storage. Signage vertically spelling “Jersey City” will emblazon the penthouse’s façade, with the initials “JC” displayed on its other three sides.
The developers also incorporated 12 ground-floor parking spaces for municipal vehicles.
On the tower’s northern face, setbacks at the sixth and ninth floors stagger the complex away from adjacent Kearney Avenue. Parallel setbacks exist on the southern side. A combination of brickwork and stone masonry appears to comprise the external walls.
The city’s statement noted that other agencies in the facility include its special investigations unit and traffic programming office. Jersey City’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Affordable Housing, and Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce are already across the street at 1 Jackson Square, which opened in 2018.
Jersey City plans to sell three fire department buildings and move out of the Journal Square police headquarters, consolidating all their tenants into the upcoming project.
Located in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, the property sits less than a quarter mile from the Martin Luther King Drive Light Rail Station. Moore anticipated that construction could begin in the next week, with completion expected by late 2022.