Posts tagged with "Jersey City":

OMA selected to design a new Jersey City Museum

OMA has been selected by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) to design the new Jersey City Museum, which will become the largest arts and culture center in Jersey City, New Jersey, once complete. OMA and AEA Consulting will provide architectural and programmatic guidance for the city-owned art museum respectively, while AMO will conduct in-house research and design. The museum is slated to open inside of the 57,000-square-foot Pathside Building near Journal Square and will be Jersey City's largest art center, according to OMA. Despite bearing the Jersey City Museum name, the new museum will reportedly have no connection to the former Jersey City Museum nor use its existing collection. The original Jersey City Museum was founded in 1901, but attendance and fundraising steadily dwindled until the museum shuttered in 2010 and its collection was moved into storage. “Historically, Journal Square was not only a transportation hub but also a cultural center,” said OMA partner-in-charge and project lead Jason Long in a press release. “At a time where museums are increasingly serving as dynamic spaces that engage both local communities and global audiences, we are looking forward to working with the Mayor to transform the Pathside Building into a catalyst for Jersey City’s cultural and civic renaissance.” The five-story Pathside Building is located, fittingly enough, adjacent to the Journal Square PATH station, a heavily trafficked stop on the PATH train line for commuters on their way to and from Manhattan. Mayor Steven Fulop’s administration hopes that the proximity to mass transportation will help draw crowds to the new institution. “This Museum and community space is an incredibly important investment not only for the future of Journal Square, but for our City and region as well,” said Mayor Fulop. “I am excited to continue moving this project forward with the help of OMA/AMO and AEA, who have proven their expertise in museum development, and I am confident that they will help us define our vision for a space that will become a destination for artists and visitors alike.” The Jersey City Museum will focus mainly on visual artists, and a section of the building will be reserved exclusively for local artists. No design details or estimated completion date have been announced yet, but this won't be the first arts institution that the OMA New York office has tackled this year.

After furor, Kushner Companies’ Jersey City project still seeking funding

One Journal Square, a mixed-use development designed by global architecture firm Woods Bagot, has been put under the microscope as the project’s developer, Kushner Companies, seeks funding through the controversial EB-5 investor visa program. The Jersey City development has been hit with turmoil recently, with its main tenant, WeWork, backing out and taking several million dollars of tax breaks with them, as well as potentially losing a major chunk of cash ($30.4 million in city bonds, to be precise) and a 30-year tax abatement to boot, according to Bloomberg News. Kushner Companies, like many developers, has turned to Chinese investors to garner funds, specifically $150 million of the $1 billion budget, utilizing the EB-5 investor visa program. The EB-5 program, more formally known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 as a way to spur investment into rural communities and communities struggling with high unemployment rates. The gist is that a foreign investor can invest a minimum of $500,000 to $1 million in a business that will employ at least ten American workers, and, in exchange, they will receive a U.S. visa, which can turn into permanent residency for the investor and their family. The program was developed to spur growth in downtrodden communities, however, the program has become a loophole for developers to fund luxury projects, claiming nearby neighborhoods struggling with unemployment in order to qualify their luxury developments for the program. Then all they have to do is sell visas to wealthy foreigners in exchange for ‘cheap money.’ The number of visas issued through the EB-5 program has increased dramatically in recent years, from a meager 64 visas in 2003 to nearly 9,000 visas issued in 2015, according to The New York Times. Of those 9,000, approximately 80 percent were to Chinese investors, according to The Washington Post. Despite the increase in growth, a report by the Government Accountability Office in 2015 suggests the program is at high risk for fraud and has no reliable means of verifying sources of funds (like that one time invested funds were linked to several Chinese brothels). Although the EB-5 program itself is no stranger to scandals (for example, a member of Iranian intelligence utilized the program to obtain a visa), there is no doubt that much of this particular scandal comes from the company in question’s ties to a particular senior adviser to the White House (that would be Jared Kushner, husband to Ivanka Trump and former chief executive of Kushner Companies). Only one day before Kushner’s sister spoke to investors in Beijing about One Journal Square, saying the project “means a lot to me and my entire family,” President Trump signed an extension to the EB-5 program as part of his Omnibus bill, raising many eyebrows. Although there is no evidence that Kushner or his sister have done anything illegal or in direct violation of any ethics codes, the controversy surrounding One Journal Square has drawn a lot of attention to the conflict-of-interest concerns floating around President Trump’s White House, as well as the ongoing debate about the future of the EB-5 program and what that means for luxury developers. Despite the scandal and struggle to find funds, however, One Journal Square is still set to begin construction early next year. Stay tuned.

Climbing to 713 feet, Urby’s second development rises in Jersey City

As those on Manhattan's West Side would have spied, this volumetric arrangement of cantilevered blocks has been in the making for some time. Now, this Jersey City tower has been officially titled "Jersey City Urby," marking it the second Urby location (the first was in Staten Island) from developer Ironstate who are working alongside Roseland Residential Trust for the Jersey project.

The 69-story structure is one of Jersey City's tallest, rising to 713 feet on the Hudson River waterfront at its official address of Harborside, 34 Exchange Place. Dutch firm Concrete designed the tower and its interior. The firm also worked on Urby's Staten Island sister development—from where the tower is clearly visible. 762 apartments, comprising studio and one and two-bedroom units, will be on offer from February this year with prices expected to start at approximately $2,000 a month.

Last year, Erikjan Vermeulen from Concrete told The Architect's Newspaper that units in Staten Island were “almost equal” to those in the Jersey City project, with the only real difference being the “U-plan” layout of the overall building. Vermeulen added that creating a “smart space” that was “efficient” while keeping the design “simple and straightforward” was a key component of Concrete's approach.

In a press release, Urby stated that the project "is a complete rethink of the residential rental housing concept that is design driven and tailored to fit every neighborhood. Developed with the needs of the contemporary urban renter in mind, Urby offers thoughtfully designed apartments that make smart use of space."

The Harborside location—despite being in New Jersey—is reportedly in close proximity to notable New York and New Jersey destinations: 12 minutes from Downtown Manhattan, 31 minutes from Midtown and 35 minutes from Williamsburg. Though not yet disclosed, one can also expect the tower to be laden full with amenities too. The Urby development in Staten Island which houses more than 900 residents includes a 5,000 square-foot farm managed by Farmer-in-Residence, produce of which is cooked by a resident chef. A café and even a bee hive are available to use as well.

https://ddhjn8fhmei17.cloudfront.net/video/harborside_90.mp4

Another Urby location will also open later this year in Harrison, New Jersey.

This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect's Newspaper's coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

Huge walkable waterside development slated for Jersey City

Jersey City, New Jersey—where tall towers have popped up with some regularity for the past decade—is about to get another huge waterside development by Studio V and the landscape architects at Michael Van Valkenburgh. Private equity firm Quadrum Global is planning a 2,150-unit complex that includes 50,000 square feet of retail and a new public park for a now-vacant parcel (though a representative for Quadrum reached out to The Architect's Newspaper on January 23 to say the unit count "might change"). One available rendering of the development, called Crescent Park, depicts glassy 12-story towers curving around a lush park and waterway. Just east of I-78 on the banks of Mill Creek Outfall, a Hudson River tributary, the development is roughly parallel with lower Manhattan's Financial District. Future residents will live within walking distance of ferry service to Manhattan and the Hudson-Bergen light rail line. Jersey Digs reports that Quadrum's partner, developer Argent Ventures (doing business as Johnston View), bought the 7.5-acre property, which is part of the Grand Jersey Redevelopment Area, for close to $35 million in April 2015. Crescent Park could break ground as early as next year, documents show. Plans call for a cleanup of the creek in addition to the new construction, though the Jersey City Planning Board has yet to approve the project. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect's Newspaper's coverage of your city and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

An ambitious rails-to-trails project aims to cement Jersey City’s growing cultural reputation

A team of New Jersey– and Berlin-based designers is turning a hulking infrastructure relic in Jersey City into a catwalk-laced park that could serve as a model of community redevelopment. More than a century ago, the Erie Railroad sliced a four-track-wide cut through the Palisades mountain range. The resulting Bergen Arches linked to the railroad's Manhattan-bound main line along the banks of the Hudson, but when the railroad ceased operations in 1959, the arches were overtaken by forest and slowly forgotten. Now, placemaking organization Green Villain is working with Berlin-based So + So Studio to reimagine the arches as sites of recreation. The impetus was Jersey City's dizzying evolution from postindustrial New York City–adjacent afterthought to hip bedroom community that attracts artists priced out of New York, as well as finance types and regular people seeking urban life at a lower cost. In their project statement, the team hopes to spark conversation on land conservation in urban areas and provide recreation opportunities for Jersey City (JC) residents. “As our post-industrial city continues to amass mid to high-rise towers, it is imperative that we look down as much as we look up for the answers about individuality and place. The stick and steel will allow the residents to live here, Restaurant Row to eat here, but without Jersey City-centric projects that allow us to compete on the global stage we will always be haunted by the specter of placelessness. The Bergen Arches project is the answer. Help us to reclaim and revitalize these spaces that bear such history and call for a creative future for Jersey City.” Green Villain, with offices in JC, Denver, and Berlin, is a hybrid organization that specializes in mural-making, JC real estate development, event production, and creating consulting in partnership with SMBs, developers, and brands to place-make through music, technology, and art. Jersey Digs spoke with Green Villian's Bill Benzon, as well as So + So Studio's Kevin Driscoll and Rion Philbin, who outlined the site's distinctive features, the importance of railroads in JC's development, and the site's potential for transformation. The project's first goal is to connect neighborhoods with two new cuts, including one that would allow people to access the Bergen Arches on elevated walkways that then descend up to 60 feet, revealing the site's rich topology. Public art will augment the program to "boost Jersey City’s overall cultural reputation.” Train your eyes on the Bergen Arches website and Instagram to pick up more information on this developing project.  

In a race to the top, Perkins Eastman breaks ground on New Jersey’s tallest building

One of Jersey City's selling points is better views of the Manhattan skyline than from Manhattan itself. From the New York shores, its plain to see that Jersey City has amassed an impressive collection of skyscrapers, too. Last week, Perkins Eastman, developer China Overseas America, and city officials officially broke ground on 99 Hudson, a 79 story condominium tower that is set to be New Jersey's tallest building. One block from the Hudson River and sited on what's now a parking lot, the 800-unit building will rise 900 feet from sea level, according to a statement from Perkins Eastman. That's 119 feet taller than the Goldman Sachs building, now the state's tallest building, three blocks away. Renderings depict a complex that occupies the full block. An eight story base with a roof garden sits to the west of the main tower, which has multiple stepped exposures to maximize water views. The development will add 7,500 square feet of public plazas and green space, as well as create ground-floor retail along three sides of its block. The project is the first large-scale condo development in more than five years, though Jersey City has seen its skyline rise dramatically over the past decade. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop's tenure is marked by aggressive pursuit of development, including towers like these and possibly this, plus an ambitious affordable housing proposal. Jersey City, consequently, is poised to become the state's largest as early as this year.

Jorge Mastropietro Architects brings high design to Jersey City’s Little Free Library

Though the proposed 90 story resort casino with on-site yacht parking will bring many amenities to Jersey City, that development will not include a library. Perhaps in response to this shortcoming, Jersey City is bringing education out of classrooms and into public spaces with a small-scale, semi-permanent library. Architecture and development firm Jorge Mastropietro Architects Atelier (JMA) created for the Jersey City Little Free Library Competition. The New York– and Buenos Aires–based firm created a diminutive, shape-shifting outdoor book kiosk in Hamilton Park. This is one local example of over 32,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide (map). [En]Light is made of semi-transparent acrylic, so that books are visible from the outside but protected from the elements. Its orange aluminum casing unfolds, chrysalis-like, into benches, creating a gathering space around the project. At night, [En]Light lights up, a glowing beacon for bibliophiles (and probably moths, too). In a statement, founding principal Jorge Mastropietro explained the significance of the design: "We've emphasized the importance of the printed word in an age of digital media. To celebrate the public role of a library, it's important to build community interaction—bringing together people and knowledge in an organic way, just as the best libraries do." Little Free Library is a national movement to broaden access to books and foster enjoyment of reading. Founded in 2009, the movement is inspired by the wide-reaching philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie's public libraries, as well as the "take a book, leave a book" systems of local cafes. It's up to leaders in individual communities to establish their own book boxes; organizers can register their library with the Little Free Library website to gain recognition and support. The Little Free Library was honored last month by the Library of Congress (one of the world's largest) for its unconventional approach to building literacy.

New York City’s Citi Bike bike-share system expands into New Jersey

Bike sharing is a trend that is taking the country by storm of late as Jersey City, New Jersey, jumps on the biking bandwagon installing 35 docking stations for 350 bicycles. The new Jersey City bike sharing setup will work in sync New York City's system and will have the same pricing scheme. Likewise, membership to either system overlaps with the other, so bikes can be used across both cities. Docking stations have been placed near PATH stations and spread over the city and into the suburbs. In fact, nearly every neighborhood will have one. Subsequently the distances between docking locations is longer than that compared to the system in NYC. In New York, Motivate, the group behind the scheme, focused on core areas and then dispersed docking locations later on. Speaking to the Jersey Journal, Mayor Steve Fulop said, "We wanted each of the areas in the city to have access right from the start. That was a priority." Dispersing the docks so widely is a risk however, as commuters may be put off cycling the longer distances. Fulop though expressed his excitement for the system to be integrated city-wide. “It’s not very often that a city gets a completely new public transit system, a new way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active, and a new link to New York all at once, but that’s what we have today with Citi Bike,” Fulop said in a press release. “This is something that will connect every corner of the city. We have bike stations in every ward.” Part of the appeal of the biking scheme is that it doesn't require any public money for operating subsidies. Like in NYC, Citi Bike Jersey City is funded by private sponsorships and user fees. Motivate president and CEO Jay Walder said: “Thanks to Mayor Fulop’s visionary leadership and the support of terrific sponsors, the Citi Bike program is now a seamless regional transportation network improving commutes on both sides of the Hudson.”

Jersey City implementing pioneering 2013 Housing Plan to spur affordability, dense development

In 2016, Jersey City’s population is set to exceed Newark’s. With an influx of newcomers, city officials have pioneered a tax incentive plan that encourages new development while actively combating segregation by income. While these goals usually conflict, officials are confident that the program, Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), will meet the needs of all stakeholders. Introduced in 2013 by newly elected Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the plan spreads affordable and market rate housing evenly throughout the city by tying development incentives to the relative desirability of given neighborhoods. Though there's been no development under PILOT yet, as of now, new developments can qualify for the program. New Jersey property taxes are one of the nation's highest. Like most tax abatements, the objective of PILOT is to encourage economic activity by easing the developer's tax burden to incentivize denser development. The city partnered with researchers at New York University and Columbia to study the city's housing market intensively at the neighborhood level. According to Ryan Jacobs, Jersey City's Director of Communications, Jersey City operates under the philosophy that "any improvement to [the] land is a good idea." Jacobs critiqued the "tale of two cities" dichotomy that prevails in many discussions around balancing affordability and development. In Jersey City, he states that "that choice is a false choice, it's more communal than that. It's not healthy to have one part of the city that is growing and one part that isn't." PILOT divides the city into four tiers, each with a different tax incentive. Tiers 1 and 2, highly developed areas, receive property tax abatements for a shorter amount of time. Tier 1, for example, has a 10 year property tax abatement, and a mandate that 10 percent of newly constructed units be affordable housing.  Tier 4, by contrast, has a 15 percent affordable housing mandate and a 30 year property tax abatement. The city wants to attract concentrated investment in Tiers 3 and 4. Consequently, these zones have longer tax abatements. Regardless of their designation, there is a mandate in each tier to build affordable housing. Jersey City adopted HUD's standards of affordable housing to encompass individuals making 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and below. Tax abatements are tailored to individual neighborhoods. A special target is the revitalization of Journal Square, once the commercial heart of the city, and now a neighborhood in need of reinvestment. Currently, downtown and waterfront districts, like the 1980s New Urbanist Port Liberté, attract new residents who can afford median monthly rents greater than $2,000, while inland neighborhoods garner comparatively less investment. According to the 2010 Census, approximately 19,000 Jersey City units (29 percent) rent for greater than $1,500 per month. Port Liberté, with its canal, bike paths, and dense residential clusters, has a median household income of $100,000, compared to the citywide median of $46,813. The city intends to make the affordable housing application process as transparent as possible. Per state law, developers of market rate housing that receive tax abatements must contribute $1,500 per residential unit to the city's affordable housing fund. The fund has received $15 million dollars since 2003. These proposed developments pictured here serve as examples of projects that could be executed under PILOT. The two images at top are of a waterfront development that received an abatement (though not through PILOT). The complex is 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable, and  the first mixed income development in that district in 30 years. On Montgomery Street, 116 new affordable units are planned (an additional 10 units will be market rate). The complex is designed by Wallace Roberts and Todd (WRT).

AN Video> Richard Meier shows us around his model museum

Once a week, Richard Meier can be found at his model museum in the expansive Mana Contemporary arts complex in Jersey City. This is where he comes to work on collages, collaborate with screenprinter Gary Lichtenstein, and visit with his daughter Ana, who runs a furniture showroom next door. https://vimeo.com/131434676 The 15,000-square-foot Richard Meier Model Museum is filled with some 300 models of the architect’s work—from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles to his proposal for the World Trade Center site in Manhattan. The museum also includes exhibition space for Meier’s sculptural work and a library with 1,000 books and magazines from his personal collection. The Architect’s Newspaper recently toured Mana Contemporary (a former tobacco factory) with its founder and director Eugene Lemay, and sat down with Meier himself to learn about the model museum and how his design process has changed over the years. More from our conversation with the architect is posted below. AN: Describe your typical day at the model museum. Richard Meier: First I have some coffee and sometimes I read the newspaper and then I start working on collages. I come out here—it’s nice and peaceful and quiet. It is very different from working in the office. Next door is Gary Lichtenstein’s studio—he is a print maker—and I make prints with Gary. We do things together that would not be possible if we did not have this space. Today, so much of architecture and design work happens on computers. To you, what is the importance of craftsmanship, drawing, and model making in a digital age? One augments the other. All of our drawings are done on a computer, but that does not mean that models are not also helpful. We continue to make models of every project as part of the process. What do you hope to do next? If I had my druthers, I would do more things in New York. It is a lot easier to get together, to meet, to talk about what we are doing. But today things happen and you never know where the next project might be coming from. Anything else people should know about the model museum or Mana Contemporary? It is an amazing sort of area. Within the building, there is a dance company, there are other artists, it is sort of a place to visit in the same way people visit galleries in SoHo or Chelsea. It is nice and quiet, and for me just a great place to work outside of the office. I can do things here that I would not be able to do in the office.

Jersey City learns from Las Vegas with this 90-story waterfront casino tower proposal

If a billionaire New Jersey investor gets his way, it will be a lot harder for lazy headline writers to call Jersey City the “New Brooklyn.” That's because wealthy person Paul Fireman wants to bestow upon the city a very non-artisanal $4 billion sky-scraping casino and resort complex. The Wall Street Journal reported that the massive project includes a "90-story hotel, 14 restaurants, a theater and a complex of pools on a 200-acre site.” It is being called "Liberty Rising," which sounds more like a Hollywood blockbuster or covert military operation than a mixed-use development, but, hey, what can you do. For "Liberty Rising" to actually, well, rise, New Jersey lawmakers will need to pass a referendum to expand gambling into the northern part of the state. The Journal reported that Garden State lawmakers are split on when to bring up the referendum, and how new gambling revenue would be spent. It seems that a portion of the revenue would go toward boosting Atlantic City's tourist economy. (This would be a good time to mention that at the end of last summer four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos had closed, costing 8,000 people their jobs. ) If New Jersey voters ultimately vote in favor of the plan, then Liberty Rising, and other projects like it, could take shape just outside of New York City. This specific project was designed by the Las Vegas–based Friedmutter Group Architects and, expectedly, has a Las Vegas vibe going for it. The complex rises from a multi-tiered podium that is topped with waterfalls, pools, and green space. Below, there's a place to park your yacht. Along one of the two glass towers appears to be landscape terraces that jut out of the main structure. Liberty Rising is obviously a massive project, but just one of the many new developments reshaping Jersey City. As AN reported last year, the city is taking advantage of its close proximity to Manhattan and trying to entice New Yorkers being priced out of the five boroughs with new residential buildings—many of them rising to supertall heights.

Architecture 101> Harvard Students Tackle Policy and Design for Post-Sandy Resiliency

As the Rebuild By Design jury mulls over a winner of its resiliency-based design competition to re-imagine the East Coast in light of Hurricane Sandy, students in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design have been creating their own ways to protect against the Next Big Storm. While their studio, titled “Design and Politics,” was purely academic, it was modeled on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official competition. The Dutchman in charge of Rebuild, Henk Ovink, oversaw the interdisciplinary teams of students, and representatives from half of Rebuild’s final ten teams served as jurors at the studio review. But where the Rebuild by Design teams re-imagined the East Coast with bold interventions and flashy renderings, the GSD students took a much more, well, academic approach. Their proposals were less flare, and a whole lot more wonk. “We actually asked the students to design nothing at the beginning,” Ovink told AN. “We divided them into groups and they had to research the [local] ecology, water systems, energy, and economy.” Needless to say, the presentations were pretty technical. Students Alison Tramba and Trevor Johnson, for example, laid out the shortfalls of the indebted National Flood Insurance Program and offered ways to get it back in the black. To do so, they plan to disincentivize waterfront living with higher insurance rates for those living along the coast, while providing subsidies to protect low-income residents from spiking rates. At the same time, they offer a host of incentives to increase the storm proofing of residences and businesses. It is not sexy stuff, but it is important. Similarly, there were tax credits for “green” infrastructure in Jersey City, a smart-grid for Long Island City,  interventions to protect the drinking-water supply in Ocean County, and a wall to reduce runoff from a sewage plant in Newark. The review was at its most fascinating—and challenging—when students grappled with the issue of relocation in the face of climate change. To Chris Donohue, there is too much residential and economic vitality along the Jersey's coast to just force folks to pack it up and head inland. To protect them—at least in the short-term—he would create barrier islands to keep the storms back. Daniel Feldman took a different approach, opening development opportunities farther from the shore to move communities away from the sea. Both of these students, though, understand that neither of these proposals are adequate given the daunting reality of rising sea levels. Because within a matter of decades, the entire Eastern seaboard could be gone. And with it will go all the dunes, berms, and seawalls that fought back for as long as they could. The question of what to do in the interim, then, is an entirely unanswerable one. But it is one that hangs about above all architects, planners, politicians, and those living on the water’s edge. As for the official Rebuild By Design competition, Ovink told AN that an announcement about a winner, or winners, will be made in the next few weeks. “It could be that there’s a certain condition that asks for another year of research, study, and planning," he said. "And it could easily be that we jump forward to a site specific implementation."