An 18-story luxury rental tower being built by Equity Residential in Jersey City was struck by a four-alarm fire last night. The fire at 77 Hudson, which caused no injuries, began before 9 p.m. and was controlled by 1 a.m.
City Councilman Steven Fulop said that city officials have ordered that the top floors of the building be removed because concrete shifted during the fire. The city granted permission for work to continue 24 hours a day to remove the damaged floors, he said.
Equity Residential spokesman Marty McKenna said the company will work closely with city building officials to fix any structural damage caused by the fire. He said the tower’s completion, slated for mid-2009, is not expected to be delayed.
The rental tower will reach 48 stories, as will a twin condo tower planned by K. Hovnanian, which is not yet under construction. Condo sales will continue “unaffected,” K. Hovnanian said in a statement. A $6 million penthouse has already shattered the record for Jersey City’s most expensive condo. The towers will be among New Jersey’s tallest residential buildings.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Hudson County prosecutor Edward DeFazio said early reports of arson appeared to be unfounded.
“There is no obvious indication that it was arson,” he said. “The cause and origin have not been established. At this point it does not appear to be criminal.”
The fire started on the 17th and 18th floors of the tower. The Jersey Journal reported that the building’s standpipe had not been built past the 14th floor. After flames proved too intense to use the 14th floor as a base, firefighters battled the fire from the street.
The two glass towers, located in the tony Paulus Hook neighborhood a block from the Hudson River, will share a parking garage and amenity deck, with retail lining the ground floor.